Receive Breaking News updates as they occur
By Gavin Jones ROME (Reuters) - Italy could have an election as early as February, a minister in Prime Minister Matteo Renzi's outgoing government said on Tuesday, speaking after talking to Renzi. The comments will add to growing support for a quick vote as the only way to avoid protracted political limbo in Italy following Sunday's "No" vote on Renzi's constitutional reforms. Renzi announced he would step down after his heavy defeat.
By David Lewis and Aaron Ross KINSHASA (Reuters) - The task of preventing Democratic Republic of Congo’s political crisis from spiralling into fresh conflict falls to the country’s Catholic Church, one of the few institutions to emerge from decades of turmoil with its credibility intact. The role as mediator of last resort illustrates the clout of the Church in Congo – home to some 30 million faithful – where Catholic leaders have long gone beyond their pastoral duties to fill the void left by an absent state, providing healthcare and schooling, and promoting human rights and democracy. In October, Congo’s President Joseph Kabila appeared to have secured the backing of regional leaders for an African Union-mediated deal with some opposition leaders to remain in power until April 2018, a year and a half after his second and last term in office ends.