ROME (Reuters) - Italy arrested 41 people on Tuesday after uncovering a criminal ring that charged people thousands of euros for illegal entry to the country to work in circuses. Police said the group used a clause in the immigration law which allows performers, dancers and circus workers to be hired from abroad, provided they get special permission from local authorities. A married couple of local government officials on the southern island of Sicily obtained false permits for the mainly Indian, Bangladeshi and Pakistani citizens, police said in a statement. At least 500 people paid the group in a business which raked in about 7 million euros ($7.5 million), police said. Most of the immigrants never actually worked in circuses once they had achieved entry to Italy, they added. The sums involved are small compared with immigration rackets like the fixing of contracts to manage migrant reception centers that is currently under the spotlight in a major mafia trial underway in Rome. But Interior Minister Angelino Alfano expressed regret at the latest sign of political corruption in Italy, which global anti-corruption group Transparency International said last month was at an "unbearable" level. "It is disappointing to keep discovering faultlines in society, in the public administration, that favor nefarious operations," Alfano said in a statement. More than 18 circuses and numerous show managers used the scheme for income to make up for difficulties in their own businesses, the police statement said. ($1 = 0.9322 euros) (Reporting by Isla Binnie; Editing by Ruth Pitchford)
- Charlotte Observer
Alex Bowman led the final 10 laps of the race following a late caution and strong restart to put him out front for the flag.
- The Telegraph
She is said to be the Queen’s favourite daughter-in-law, and now the monarch is set to turn to the Countess of Wessex to fill the gap left by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex in carrying out royal duties. The 56-year-old Countess was one of the most prominent members of the Royal family in the days following the Duke of Edinburgh’s death. She made the first public comments about his passing, repeatedly visited Windsor Castle and provided a photograph of the Queen and the Duke at Balmoral that Her Majesty chose to share with the world as a tribute to her late husband.
- The Telegraph
Hollywood legend Robert De Niro is unable to turn down acting roles because he must pay for his estranged wife's expensive tastes, the actor's lawyer has claimed. Caroline Krauss told a Manhattan court that he is struggling financially because of the pandemic, a massive tax bill and the demands of Grace Hightower, who filed for divorce in 2018 after 21 years of marriage. The court has been asked to settle how much De Niro should pay Ms Hightower, 66, until the terms of the prenuptial agreement the couple negotiated in 2004 takes effect. “Mr De Niro is 77 years old, and while he loves his craft, he should not be forced to work at this prodigious pace because he has to,” Ms Krauss told the court. “When does that stop? When does he get the opportunity to not take every project that comes along and not work six-day weeks, 12-hour days so he can keep pace with Ms Hightower’s thirst for Stella McCartney?”
A leading conspiracy theorist who thought COVID-19 was a hoax died from the virus after hosting illegal house parties
A high-profile conspiracy theorist from Norway, who shared false information about the pandemic online, has died from COVID-19, officials say.
- The State
The car’s batteries kept reigniting, thwarting fire crews’ attempts to extinguish the blaze.
- The Telegraph
The Duke of Edinburgh's cap, gloves and whip were placed on the carriage driven to the Quadrangle of Windsor Castle to witness his funeral procession. The Duke's personal effects were placed on the seat alongside the carriage driver in a poignant tribute to his love of carriage driving. The carriage, made of aluminium and steel, was designed by the Duke eight years ago. A brass clock mounted in the front was given to him by the Queen's Royal Irish Hussars in 1978 to mark his 25 years as Colonel-in-Chief.
Hollywood star Matthew McConaughey has a double-digit lead over Gov. Greg Abbott in latest Texas gubernatorial election poll
The "Dallas Buyers Club" actor has not yet declared his candidacy for Texas governor but has said that running is a "true consideration."
Mayim Bialik says not even the 'Big Bang Theory' writers were originally sure if Amy would say yes to marrying Sheldon
Mayim Bialik told Insider that even the "Big Bang Theory" writers had to discuss and weigh the options of Amy accepting or denying Sheldon's proposal.
Photos of the Queen at Prince Harry's wedding and Prince Philip's funeral - held at the same venue - highlight the impact of her loss
The Queen attended Prince Harry's wedding at the same chapel where Prince Philip's funeral was. Photos from the events emphasize her loss.
The deployment is aimed at showing solidarity with Ukraine and Britain's NATO allies, the newspaper reported https://bit.ly/32pc4BK. One Type 45 destroyer armed with anti-aircraft missiles and an anti-submarine Type 23 frigate will leave the Royal Navy's carrier task group in the Mediterranean and head through the Bosphorus into the Black Sea, according to the report. RAF F-35B Lightning stealth jets and Merlin submarine-hunting helicopters will stand ready on the task group's flag ship, the carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth, to support the warships in the Black Sea, the report added.
- The Telegraph
The Duchess of Sussex wrote the card attached to the wreath sent by her and Prince Harry to ensure that, in a small way, she played a part in the Duke of Edinburgh's funeral service. Meghan, who is heavily pregnant with the couple's second child, had hoped to attend the ceremony but was advised against travelling by her doctor. The 39-year-old was watching the funeral on television at home in Montecito, California. The Sussexes' tribute was among nine family wreaths laid in the Quire of St George's Chapel, propped against the stalls on each side of the Duke's coffin. Buckingham Palace aides declined to provide details of the other wreaths, saying they were private. But a source close to the Sussexes confirmed that theirs had been designed and handmade by Willow Crossley, a Cotswold florist known for her natural, rustic arrangements. The variety of locally sourced flowers, some of which were picked from the designer's garden, were chosen due to their particular significance.
- The Independent
Biden news: White House warns Russia of consequences if Navalny dies as John Kerry apologises for Trump
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- The Independent
GOP members who voted to impeach Trump get flood of donations defying former president’s vow for revenge
Incumbent Republican lawmakers received record donations in first quarter of 2021 as Trump yet to mobilise base for primary challengers
Neighbor who tossed an elderly Jewish woman off a balcony while yelling 'Allahu Akbar' avoids trial because he smoked weed
A court ruled that Kobili Traoré, a drug dealer who smoked cannabis every day, will not go to trial for murdering Orthodox Jew Sarah Halimi in 2017.
Four of the eight who died at a FedEx warehouse were members of the Sikh community.
- Lexington Herald-Leader
Walgreens says it’s contacted the “limited number” of people who received them.
- Business Insider
Nearly two-thirds of Trump voters disapprove of Meghan Markle, while Biden voters overwhelmingly like her: poll
Among all poll respondents, Markle is viewed positively by 47 percent, with 33 percent seeing her unfavorably, and 20 percent with no opinion.
- Business Insider
Elon Musk's brother Kimbal Musk, typically a Democrat donor, gave $2,800 to each GOP lawmaker who voted to impeach Trump
Kimbal Musk previously donated to the presidential campaigns of Democrats Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, and Barack Obama.
Pakistan's foreign minister has welcomed mediation efforts by the United Arab Emirates between his country and India but told UAE newspaper Khaleej Times that he was not planning to meet his Indian counterpart in the country. Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar are visiting the Gulf state at the same time.
- Associated Press
The U.S. Justice Department made a “wrong and dangerous” argument in seeking to defend former President Donald Trump against a former advice columnist’s claim that he defamed her when he denied her allegation of rape, her lawyers have told a court. During Trump's presidency, the Justice Department sought to make the United States, not him personally, the defendant in E. Jean Carroll's lawsuit — a move that would put U.S. taxpayers on the hook if she got a payout in the case. The Justice Department has argued that the statements he made about Carroll, including that she was “totally lying” to sell a memoir and that “she's not my type," fell within the scope of his job as president.