ROME -- Media tycoon Silvio Berlusconi won a close race in Italy's national elections on Sunday. He returns to power, as Italy's prime minister, a position he last held in 1994.
Berlusconi marketed himself through thousands of billboards with his ever-smiling photo and constantly reminded Italians of his publishing, television, real estate and financial services empire.
TOKYO -- Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi said on Monday that he plans to visit Tokyo's Yasukuni Shrine. The controversial memorial is dedicated to Japan's war dead. The visit may cause criticism by other countries, Kyodo News reported.
Several Japanese cabinet ministers visit the shrine each year. A number of prime ministers have made trips. But only one, Yasuhiro Nakasone, described his 1985 visit as official.
NMD gets cool reception
THE WASHINGTON POST
MOSCOW -- US President Bush's representatives spread themselves across the world last week looking for support, or at least acceptance of, his plans to build a missile defence system.
But if he hoped to win approval of his vision of a nuclear shield, Bush might be disappointed when his delegates return home. Leaders in Western Europe expressed doubt and questioned the plan. Furthermore, Russia continued to warn that construction of a comprehensive anti-missile system could undo decades of arms control agreements.
"I would put it like this: We still have more questions than answers," Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Yakovenko said after Bush aides met with senior officials in Moscow on Friday. But he added, "The most important thing is that discussions have begun and are going to be continued."