International briefs

Italian prime minister resigns

Italians celebrated the resignation of Silvio Berlusconi outside Rome’s presidential palace on Nov.12, as the prime minister officially stepped down, ending his 17-year political career, reported CBC News.

Berlusconi had pledged to step down following a crucial parliamentary vote on austerity measures, which passed in the Italian lower house with 380 legislators in favour and 26 against.

Despite years of being dogged by accusations of philandering, it was economic crisis that brought an end to the 75-year-old’s political career.

The new economic package for the country includes spending cuts and proposals to boost growth and extend the retirement age.

Obama seeks back up from China, Russia over Iran nuke reports

U.S. President Barack Obama sought support from China and Russia on Nov. 12 to confront Iran in the face of new allegations that it has been secretly trying to build a nuclear bomb, reported the Globe and Mail.

After meeting with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev at the Asia-Pacific economic summit, Obama said the two nations share a goal to “move Iran to follow its international obligations when it comes to its nuclear program.”

Obama’s statements did not address the United States’ push for more sanctions against Iran, a step Russia and China oppose.

The meeting was the first opportunity for leaders of the three nations to discuss the Nov. 11 report from the International Atomic Energy Agency, which raised new questions about Iran’s nuclear program.

The watchdog agency provided evidence Tehran has conducted research, testing and procurement that could be used to develop nuclear weapons.

Tehran has rejected the material as a fabrication by the United States and its allies, maintaining its nuclear program is purely for energy and research.

Brazil investigates Chevron oil spill off coast of Rio de Janeiro

Brazil’s president has ordered a full investigation into an oil spill near an offshore field operated by Chevron Corp, reported the Winnipeg Free Press.

President Dilma Rousseff said in a statement she wants a “rigorous investigation” to determine who was responsible for the spill near the well being drilled by Chevron’s subsidiary in Brazil.

The investigation is set to be conducted by the country’s Mines and Energy Ministry and the National Petroleum Agency.

The total volume of the spill is estimated to be between 400 and 650 barrels of oil.