BREAKING: Italian PM steps down; another European crisis looming?

Photo: Anthony Moretti, 27May2016

Photo: Anthony Moretti, 27May2016

The New York Times examines what prompted Matteo Renzi to resign.

“Good luck to us all,” Renzi told reporters after saying he would tell a Cabinet meeting Monday afternoon he is resigning. Then he will tender his resignation to the Italian president after 2 1/2 years in office.

Renzi conceded defeat after exit polls showed his proposal losing by a margin of about 60 percent to 40 percent in Sunday’s referendum.

Renzi said the reforms would have cut Italy’s bureaucracy and made the country more competitive. His opponents were hoping to tap into the populist sentiment that has been gaining ground in Europe and the U.S.

The Globe and Mail notes that French politicians were quick to pick up on that populist theme.

In a tweet, Marine Le Pen, leader of France’s anti-EU, xenophobic National Front party said “The Italians have disavowed the EU and Renzi. We must listen to this thirst for freedom of nations and protection!”

Mayor, two journalists murdered in Finland (UPDATED)

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1st UPDATE: 5:19 p.m. EST: AFP notes that an arrest was quickly made.

The attack took place as the women were leaving a restaurant in the southeastern lakeside town of Imatra near the Russian border, and police said they may have been targeted at random.

Investigators identified the victims as the head of the municipal council and two local reporters for the Uutisvuoksi newspaper, the STT news agency said.

ORIGINAL POST: AFP has the report.

The mayor of a Finnish town near the border with Russia and two local journalists were shot dead as they left a restaurant on Saturday night, police said.

Investigators said the three women were killed by a man with a shotgun who was later arrested and was interrogated on Sunday. The motive for the attack was not clear.

U.K., to drivers: If you text, drive and kill someone, then plan to spend life in prison

St. George's Hall, Liverpool, 13March2015, Photo: Anthony Moretti

St. George’s Hall, Liverpool, 13March2015, Photo: Anthony Moretti

The Times has the details.

Sam Gyimah, the justice minister, said the maximum sentence needed to rise to a life term from the current 14-year limit, which usually sees people released after just seven years, to ensure that “the punishment fits the crime”.

Road safety campaigners hailed the plans as a “vindication” of their work but said ministers should go further. The RAC has warned that there is an “epidemic” of drivers texting, calling and checking emails at the wheel.

Last year 122 people were convicted of causing death by dangerous driving, an offence that covers speeding, street racing and other reckless behaviour, as well as using a phone. Another 21 people were convicted of causing death by careless driving while under the influence.

College football fans: Which team would you leave out of the playoff?

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Five choices, but only four can make it into the playoff.

So, if you had a vote, which one would you leave out?

Liberals crushing university life

Photo: Anthony Moretti 27Nov2016

Photo: Anthony Moretti 27Nov2016

The Globe and Mail suggests liberal activism is having a corrosive effect at Canadian universities.

Until recently, Henry Parada was director of the School of Social Work at Ryerson University, Toronto’s big downtown commuter school. His career was going well and he got major research grants. Now he has stepped aside after a handful of students calling themselves the Black Liberation Collective accused him of “a violent act of anti-Blackness, misogyny and misogynoir.” What was this act? It seems that he left a meeting where a black female speaker was giving a talk. No one knows why.

Minnesota Vikings owners didn’t get what they wanted, and now they’re going to be spiteful

Photo: Anthony Moretti, 5Aug2016

Photo: Anthony Moretti, 5Aug2016

The Star Tribune has the details.

The owners of the Major League Soccer (MLS) expansion franchise the Minnesota United are in talks about playing games at U.S. Bank Stadium — and it has left the stadium’s primary tenant, the Minnesota Vikings, crying foul and threatening to sue.

United owners and the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority (MSFA), which manages the $1.1 billion building, have been in discussions about an exhibition game — and perhaps more — at the stadium. But the Vikings say they are being shut out of the discussions in violation of state law and the stadium’s use agreement.