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Renzo asked to form new Italy government / Co-pilot hijacks Ethiopian aircraft / EU halts Swiss talks / Ukraine amnesty comes into force / UN report on North Korea rights abuses / “No wrongdoing” in Schumacher accident / The weather


Renzo asked to form new Italy government

The Italian President Giorgio Napolitano has asked the leader of the centre-left Democratic Party, Matteo Renzi, to form a new government, following the resignation of Enrico Letta. Letta resigned as prime minister on Friday, after he failed to win the party´s backing in a vote called by Renzi. The 39-year-old mayor of Florence has promised radical reforms to combat high unemployment, boost economic growth and cut the cost of Italian bureaucracy. Financial analyst Nicola Marinelli says it won´t be an easy task: "Going into a government, doing all these kind of strong reforms without having a strong popular mandate, is going to be a risky strategy."

Co-pilot hijacks Ethiopian aircraft

Swiss police are questioning the co-pilot of an Ethiopian Airlines plane, which was diverted to Geneva after being hijacked on a flight from Addis Ababa to Rome. The unnamed Ethiopian reportedly took control of the plane while the pilot was on a break and locked the cockpit door. He gave himself up after landing the aircraft and has asked for asylum. Police say he was unarmed and there was no risk at any time to passengers or crew.

EU halts Swiss talks

The European Union has suspended talks with Switzerland over its participation in EU research and education programmes because of the Swiss vote last week to curb immigration. Switzerland's access to millions of euros of EU funding is now at risk.

Ukraine amnesty comes into force

An amnesty for anti-government protesters in Ukraine has come into effect, after activists ended their occupation of Kiev city hall and other locations over the weekend. The protests started in November when President Viktor Yanukovych abandoned plans for a wide-ranging agreement with the EU in favour of closer trade relations with Russia.

UN report on North Korea rights abuses

The United Nations is set to release a detailed report on human rights violations in North Korea after a year-long inquiry. Testimonies gathered from defectors reportedly include accounts of torture, rape and murder inside labour camps where political prisoners are held. The UN Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in North Korea was set up last March to begin building a case for possible criminal prosecution.

“No wrongdoing” in Schumacher accident

Prosecutors investigating Michael Schumacher´s skiing accident in the French Alps in December have ruled out any criminal wrongdoing in the case. The 45-year-old Formula One motor racing legend suffered serious head injuries when he fell while skiing off-piste during a family holiday in the French ski resort of Meribel.

The weather

The rain or snow should ease off, some sunshine in the north and east. Top temperatures from 1 to 11.