Former Prime Minister of Italy Matteo Renzi gives a press conference at the foreign press association on February 13, 2018 in Rome

Italians will vote on a controversial constitutional reform that may determine the fate of Matteo Renzi’s government. Yet neither Italy’s membership of the EU and the common currency, nor its financial stability are at stake.

On 4 December 2016, Italians will vote on a constitutional reform proposed by the current government of Prime Minister Matteo Renzi. If accepted, the reform will change the institutional setup of the country. Most significantly, it would end Italy’s ‘perfect bicameralism’, in which the two legislative houses have nearly identical powers.

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Damaged Nord Stream gas pipelines in the Baltic Sea. LEHTIKUVA

Six weeks ago, investigative journalist Seymour Hersh published a report claiming that President Joe Biden ordered the destruction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline last September. The $11-billion pipeline was set to double the volume of natural gas delivered from Russia to Germany. While the story gained attention in Germany and Western Europe, it faced a near media blackout in the United States.

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Twenty years after the US-led invasion of Iraq toppled Saddam Hussein, the oil-rich country remains deeply scarred by the conflict and, while closer to the United States, far from the liberal democracy Washington had envisioned. LEHTIKUVA / AFP

On the 20th anniversary of the Iraq War, it is essential to reflect on the 20 lies that led to one of the most disastrous foreign policy decisions in American history. In 2013, author and journalist Glenn Greenwald compiled a list of the "20 lies about the Iraq War," which remains just as relevant today.

The first lie on the list was that Saddam Hussein was responsible for the 9/11 attacks.

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Women hold over 32% of board positions in the largest and most traded companies in EU countries, according to a recent report by the Finnish Chambers of Commerce. The proportion of women on boards is growing rapidly, with over 30% of board members in more than half of the member states being female. However, the growth rate of women in executive roles is not as fast, and women are still rare as CEOs and board chairs.

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MiG 29 fighter jets taking part in the NATO Air Shielding exercise near the air base in Lask, central Poland. LEHTIKUVA / AFP

Poland - the first NATO member to do so - on Thursday pledged that it would send four MiF-29 fighter jets to Ukraine. This was a significant development in Kyiv's struggle to fend off Russian aggression, CNN reported.

President Andrzej Duda said that almost a dozen aircraft that Poland had inherited from the former German Democratic Republic would be handed over in the upcoming days after being serviced.

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The ifo Institute has confirmed its economic forecast for 2023 and 2024. This sees Germany’s economic output this year remaining at roughly the same level as last year (−0.1 percent). While consumer-related industries suffer from high inflation and are contracting, manufacturing activity will support growth. The economy is then expected to grow more strongly next year, by 1.7 percent.

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Georgian anti-government protesters rally outside the parliament as lawmakers vote to call off controversial "foreign agent" bill that sparked an international outcry and mass protests in the Caucasus country earlier this week, in Tbilisi on March 10, 2023. LEHTIKUVA / AFP

As protests erupted in Georgia against the proposed "foreign agent" bill, some critics argued that the move was a part of a larger pattern of US influence and color revolutions in the region.

The bill, which was withdrawn after two days of protests, would have required organizations receiving more than 20% of their funding from overseas to register as "foreign agents" or face substantial fines. Protesters in Georgia compared the proposed law to Russia's 2012 legislation, which has been used to suppress western-funded NGOs and media.

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Childrens christmas toys tested by Tukes for their safety. LEHTIKUVA

Last year, nearly 2,200 dangerous products were reported to the Safety Gate system from European markets, according to the European Commission. Safety Gate aims to transmit information about dangerous products found on EU markets so that they can be effectively removed. In Finland, 79 notifications were made, which included toys, clothing, personal protective equipment, and electrical appliances. The most common risks found in the notifications were chemical risk, the risk of choking on small parts, electric shock, and external injuries.

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Meta sign at the headquarters in Menlo Park, California. LEHTIKUVA

Elon Musk's Twitter could soon face new competition from Facebook-owned Meta.

Meta Platforms Inc is considering launching a new Twitter-like social network. "We're exploring a standalone, decentralized social network for sharing text updates," a Meta spokesperson said in a statement to Variety.

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UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. LEHTIKUVA / AFP

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said that the progress toward gender equality is "vanishing before our eyes," and it will take 300 years to bridge that gap, according to the official release from the UN.

While addressing the UN session of the Commission on the Status of Women on Monday, Guterres said, "It takes on even greater significance at a time when women's rights are being abused, threatened, and violated around the world. Progress won over decades is vanishing before our eyes."

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