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Silvio Berlusconi

May 31, 2009 | Associated Press
Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is fighting back in a scandal feeding on his reported fondness for young women, with his lawyer acknowledging Saturday that the media mogul has moved to block publication of hundreds of photos taken of guests at his sumptuous Sardinian villa. The wife of the 72-year-old Berlusconi, Veronica Lario, 52, announced a few weeks ago that she was seeking a divorce, in part because of what she lamented was her husband's infatuation with young women.
April 15, 2014 | By Henry Chu
ROME -- Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi was ordered Tuesday to spend a year performing community service among the elderly as his sentence for committing tax fraud at his media conglomerate. The decision by a Milan judge spares Berlusconi, 77, a sentence of house arrest. But the former premier, who has dominated Italy's political scene for two decades, will see his movements restricted just as his center-right party gears up for elections to the European Parliament next month.
February 16, 2011 | By Henry Chu, Los Angeles Times
A judge Tuesday ordered Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi to stand trial on charges that he paid for sex with a 17-year-old girl, then abused his authority by trying to get her released from custody after police picked her up on suspicion of stealing. It was a major setback for the 74-year-old premier, whose personal entanglements for months have overshadowed the business of governing Italy. Berlusconi denies any wrongdoing and says there is a plot by left-wing judges and his political foes to force him from office.
November 29, 2013 | By Tom Kington
ROME -- Italian judges are recommending that former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi be investigated in connection with accusations he bribed young female witnesses in a trial related to his notorious "bunga bunga" parties. The new legal challenge came to light Friday, two days after the three-time prime minister was expelled from the Italian Parliament for six years following a tax fraud conviction. Berlusconi is accused of paying 2,500 euros ($3,400) apiece each month to young models and TV showgirls to tone down their accounts of the sexually charged nature of his dinner parties.
October 20, 1992 | Berlusconi is president of the international media conglomerate Fininvest Group and the richest man in Italy. Fininvest owns Canale 5, Italia 1 and Retequattro, the country's most popular private television channels, and is also part owner of Telecinco in Spain and Telefunf in Germany. Berlusconi wrote this article for The Times:
The future belongs to global television. But that future will be a long time coming. Not years, but many decades, maybe more than a century, depending on how long it takes for the world population to become uniformly English-speaking. My company has prospered, among other things, because I have always been able to take the long view.
Silvio Berlusconi's term as prime minister in 1994 lasted only seven turbulent months, but never mind. That matters as little now as his three subsequent convictions--overturned on appeal--for false business accounting and bribing the tax police, and the four indictments he still faces. Nor does it matter much that Berlusconi, Italy's richest person, wants to govern again without giving up control of the country's three largest private television networks and the rest of his corporate empire.
December 21, 2012 | By Janet Stobart, Los Angeles Times
LONDON - Prime Minister Mario Monti, the technocrat who guided Italy through economic turbulence for 13 months after scandal-plagued Silvio Berlusconi left office, resigned Friday to make way for new elections. Monti, a former economics professor and European Union commissioner, was appointed to the office, with a Cabinet of academics and economists and broad support to bring the country back from the brink of financial disaster. "A year ago this government was launched, and today - not because of a Maya prophecy - we must bring it to an end," Monti quipped as he spoke to colleagues at an annual reception.
April 7, 2011 | By Janet Stobart, Los Angeles Times
The trial of Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi on charges of sexual misconduct and abuse of power opened Wednesday in Milan and almost immediately was adjourned until May 31. It was one of the most anticipated courtroom events in Italy's history, including testimony allegations of orgy-like parties at Berlusconi's villa and phone-tap transcripts featuring females who were said to be paid handsomely to entertain male guests. It began with an anticlimactic 10-minute hearing.
June 22, 2003 | Tracy Wilkinson, Times Staff Writer
When Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi emerged from his bribery trial one recent day, a crowd awaited. "You'll end up like Ceausescu!" a heckler cried out, alluding to the reviled Romanian dictator who was summarily executed after a brief trial. His famous temper flaring, Berlusconi demanded that his aides get the man's name, and he promised to sue.
With a massive swing to the right, Italian voters overturned a half-century-old political system in a single election. In the heady aftermath Tuesday, two questions were paramount: How do you get the fragile new ship of state into the water? Will it float? Final official returns Tuesday gave a working majority in both houses of Parliament to Milan magnate Silvio Berlusconi and the fractious three-party, rightist pact he forged to take part in his first election.
October 4, 2013 | By Tom Kington
ROME -- Silvio Berlusconi's fading political career took another blow Friday when a committee in the Italian Senate recommended that he lose his seat in the upper house of Parliament after a conviction for tax fraud in August. The full Senate will now decide by Oct. 14 whether to oust the 77-year-old media mogul and former prime minister from his seat. Berlusconi's week got off to a bad start when he failed to bring down Italy's coalition government after dozens of lawmakers in his party threatened to desert him and back the government in a Senate confidence vote.
October 2, 2013 | By Tom Kington
ROME -- Italy's former prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi, has made a last-minute U-turn on plans to bring down the Italian government, backing premier Enrico Letta in a crucial confidence vote after members of his own party threatened to desert him. In a shocking reversal that could splinter his party and seriously damage his political fortunes, Berlusconi agreed to throw his support behind Letta. The prime minister is trying to pass reforms intended to drag Italy out of its most serious recession since the Second World War. Following last-ditch talks with rebels in his party, the 77-year-old media mogul made a short speech to the Italian Senate shortly before the vote, saying: "We have decided, not without some internal strife, to support the government.
August 1, 2013 | By Tom Kington
ROME - Italy's high court on Thursday upheld a conviction of tax fraud and a four-year prison sentence for Silvio Berlusconi, the first time that the media mogul and three-time prime minister has received a definitive conviction and sentence in his 20-year dominance of Italian politics. The verdict may signal the unwinding of Berlusconi's colorful political career and could also undermine Italy's fragile coalition government. The court declined to rule on a five-year ban on political office that Berlusconi had been handed by a lower appeals court, sending the matter back to the lower court for reconsideration.
June 13, 2013 | By Charles McNulty, Los Angeles Times Theater Critic
Political comedy isn't what it used to be, but what shtickmeister could compete with the running gags of those currently holding office? David Mamet took up the challenge and came up short with his Oval Office farce "November," leadenly staged last fall at the Mark Taper Forum. Now we have "Yes, Prime Minister" trying to tickle audiences at the Geffen Playhouse with the behind-the-scenes machinations of the British government. Written by Antony Jay and Jonathan Lynn, the team that co-created the popular BBC television series "Yes Minister" and "Yes, Prime Minister," the show redeploys the characters from those programs to satirize a political system in which civil servants pride themselves on being both the puppet masters and the cleanup squad of a benighted prime minister.
May 17, 2013 | By Tom Kington
 ROME -- The Moroccan-born dancer at the center of Silvio Berlusconi's prostitution trial took the stand in court for the first time Friday, describing how female guests at Berlusconi's so-called bunga-bunga parties stripped to their underwear and dressed up as nuns, nurses and even Barack Obama. Karima el Mahroug, better known by her stage name Ruby the Heartstealer, was giving evidence at the trial of three associates of the former Italian prime minister who are accused of procuring prostitutes for him. Berlusconi is on trial separately on charges of paying Mahroug for sex when she was 17, a crime in Italy, as well as trying to cover up the alleged crime.
March 7, 2013 | By Tom Kington
ROME -- Former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi was given a one-year jail sentence Thursday for breach of confidentiality after the publication of illegally obtained wiretaps by a newspaper controlled by his family. Berlusconi remains free pending appeals, and it's considered unlikely that the jail sentence will ever be enforced. But the verdict by a Milan court adds to a mounting number of legal tangles faced by Berlusconi, whose political coalition came in second in elections last month.
December 10, 2012 | By Henry Chu, Los Angeles Times
LONDON - Turmoil engulfed Italy on Monday as the country braced for the imminent resignation of its prime minister, the intended comeback of his disgraced predecessor and the prospect of months of political and financial instability after a period of relative calm. Elections originally expected to be held around April are now likely to take place in February, cutting short the present government's time to enact measures aimed at reviving Italy's moribund economy and bringing down its enormous public debt.
July 2, 2006 | Tracy Wilkinson, Tracy Wilkinson is Times bureau chief in Rome.
IN the 1980s, in an early indication of Silvio Berlusconi's plans to conquer and transform the Italian television audience, one of his networks broadcast the game show "Colpo Grosso," or "Big Hit." Call it "Big Hit," and it will become one -- so went the Berlusconi mantra. On the show, contestants had to take off a piece of clothing for each wrong answer.
February 14, 2013 | By Tom Kington, Los Angeles Times
ROME - Weeks before Pope Benedict XVI announced his resignation because of failing health, Italians were already bracing themselves for a change at the top. But the elections to pick a new Italian government this month have been overshadowed and potentially thrown for a loop by Benedict's shocking decision to be the first pontiff to step down in almost 600 years. The 85-year-old's final Mass on Wednesday, which drew the kind of cheering fans to St. Peter's Basilica that politicians dream of, dominated pages of newspapers that Italy's political candidates had hoped to fill with dramatic campaign promises and choice insults aimed at their opponents.
December 29, 2012 | By Janet Stobart, Los Angeles Times
LONDON - First, Silvio Berlusconi, who was driven from power last year by Italy's economic woes and his own scandals, said he wanted back his old job as prime minister. Then Mario Monti, an appointed technocrat who succeeded him at the head of an unelected government, kept the nation guessing for weeks before suddenly declaring that he would dive into politics and seek to lead the next government. They're only part of a perplexing lineup of political candidates voters will face in February's elections as political parties begin a frantic search for coalition partners.
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