Silvio Berlusconi, leader of the Forza Italia party, poses for photographers before attending a recording of the "Porta a Porta" television show in Rome, Italy, on Feb.
Silvio Berlusconi says he wishes Donald Trump would count to 10 before firing off tweets to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
“I’m frightened because when the dictator of North Korea says ugly things about Trump, he gets angry and takes the mobile phone and tweets,” former Italian premier Berlusconi, whose style is often compared to Trump’s, said at an election rally in Fermo, central Italy, Thursday, according to newswire Ansa.
“Replying is sometimes like putting the s--- in the fan.
” Berlusconi, 81, said that when he was in office he would never respond to provocation immediately and instead would huddle with his best advisers to compose a more measured reply.
“I haven’t yet managed to talk to Trump, who is a very special person,” Berlusconi said.
“They all attack him, he’s like an alien with respect to the bureaucracy of Washington and the Republican Party but you have to say he has two broad shoulders, almost like the ones my mother and my father gave me, he puts up with everything without batting an eyelid.
” Berlusconi, who is banned from holding office until next year because of a 2013 tax fraud conviction, heads a four-party alliance that was leading in the final polls before a Feb.
That could give Berlusconi a key role in choosing the next premier after the March 4 vote.
Amazon`s competition with big retail should not have market observers that worried the tech giant is going to "take over everything," an economist said Thursday.
"What will likely stop Amazon in terms of market perception will be reality," Daniel Lacalle, chief economist at Tressis Gestion, told CNBC.
"There`s this view in the market that Amazon is going to take over everything.
And there are limits.
" Amazon took up 44 percent of all U.
online retail sales in 2017 — and 4 percent of America`s total retail sales — according to data released by One Click Retail last month.
Its retail market share was seen to be a main factor causing a decline in Walmart`s gross margins when the corporation posted earnings Tuesday.
But Lacalle said market observers should not expect Amazon to dominate the globe.
"I think that Amazon is also delivering, but what you cannot expect is this sort of global takeover, that Amazon will destroy every single sector because people are getting smart and I think that that is a positive," he said.
Amazon has aggressively expanded its business to target sectors including finance and health.
It was one of three companies, the others being J.
Morgan and Berkshire Hathaway, to announce in January the launch of a new firm that will look to simplify U.
health care with technology.
And it quietly launched an exclusive range of over-the-counter health products, made by pharmaceuticals manufacturer Perrigo.
Amazon has also made a push into finance with its own lending service for merchants, and last week it was revealed that the tech giant had partnered with Bank of America to provide loans for that service.
Shares of Amazon hits an all-time high on Wednesday, reaching $1,500 for the first time.
Its stock has rocketed more than 70 percent in the last 12 months.
The firm`s fourth quarter earnings led to a slew of upgrades from analysts earlier this month.
Amazon`s stock was trading almost half a percent higher in U.
premarket trade at 7:19 a.
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Theresa May will shut her most senior cabinet ministers away in a room until late Thursday night in an effort to force them to agree what kind of Brexit they want.
But officials warn in private that the most divisive decisions may get kicked down the road.
prime minister has invited her 11 most powerful colleagues to join her at her Chequers country house residence, where they will spend an afternoon, an evening, and at least one meal thrashing out the arguments over staying close to the EU’s rulebook, or breaking quickly away.
The meeting takes place against a fraught backdrop -- her party is even more divided than her Cabinet, and without a parliamentary majority she can’t lay down the law.
The risk of a leadership challenge hangs over everything May does.
And she needs to spell out her blueprint for the future relationship with the EU now because talks on trade are due to start next month, and end in October.
There is an “urgent need” for the government to clarify what it wants from Brexit, Hilary Benn, chairman of Parliament’s committee on leaving the EU, said in a letter to Brexit Secretary David Davis published Thursday.
Blurring the Details By the end of the night, May’s aides hope she’ll have won enough support from her top team to be able to go away and write a speech she’s expected to deliver next week, announcing the U.
’s negotiating goals.
“The prime minister is making a speech shortly in relation to the economic partnership and this is a significant part of that process,” May’s spokesman, James Slack, told reporters in London on Wednesday.
Privately, some in May’s team are cautious that a deal will be reached.
 One senior official said Wednesday that the meeting will be just another one of the series of discussions the cabinet has had on the subject.
Another said there would be an exchange of views and discussion on the key points of contention.
  Ministers could agree, according to another official, to blur the details on the U.
’s future relationship with the EU to preserve cabinet unity ahead of May’s speech.
But that won’t deal with the two biggest fears among cabinet Brexit supporters.
These are that the riddle of avoiding a hard border with Ireland will be used as a Trojan horse to keep Britain in a customs union with the EU, and that May will allow the European Court of Justice to keep a role overseeing regulation affecting the U.
Read more: May Under Pressure After Tory Hardliners Demand Clean Brexit Brexit-backers and pro-Europeans in May’s cabinet have been holding meetings in pairs and small groups in an effort to reach a consensus.
Their task became more complicated Wednesday when the government published its plans for the transitional period that businesses want to help bridge the gap between EU membership and life outside the bloc.
In the document, the U.
asked the EU for flexibility on the length of the Brexit transition period so that it lasts as long as it’s needed.
This is in contrast to the hard end date of Dec.
31, 2020 favored by the EU, and the move alarmed Brexit-backers in May’s party.
The proposal wasn’t formally signed off by the Cabinet, according to an official.
Jacob Rees-Mogg, a leading Tory euroskeptic, registered his outrage at the document’s “perversion of democracy” in a column published by The Telegraph, highlighting the all-but-intractable divisions and sharp suspicions separating the factions within the party.
“Transition must be time limited,” Rees-Mogg wrote, which is at odds with the document’s talk of a duration “‘determined simply by how long it will take to prepare and implement the new processes’: this translates from bureaucratese into English: ‘we must remain.
”’ Read more: Rise of an English Gentleman Threatens the Hardest of Brexits Euroskeptic Tories worry May’s preparing to tie the country too closely to the EU’s single market and trade rules, an outcome they’d see as a betrayal of the U.
’s 2016 vote to leave the bloc.
On Monday night, a letter emerged from 62 Brexit-supporting Tory lawmakers to the prime minister in which they demanded restrictions on any transitional terms that May agrees on.
On the other side, pro-Europeans are fighting May’s plans to take Britain out of the EU’s single market and customs union.
To add to the prime minister’s troubles, her battle to get her Brexit laws through Parliament in preparation for the divorce is now raging in the U.
’s upper chamber, the House of Lords, where she faces more opposition from her own side.
The EU`s top court has ruled that firms can dismiss pregnant workers as part of general staff cuts, despite legal protections for pregnant women.
The European Court of Justice (ECJ) defended the position of Spain`s Bankia - a bank that was bailed out - over its dismissal of a pregnant woman in 2013.
In her case, it said, the dismissal was not connected to her pregnancy, so did not infringe EU law.
Jessica Porras had been notified of the reason for staff cuts at Bankia.
EU Directive 92/85 prohibits the dismissal of a pregnant worker, at any time from the start of her pregnancy to the end of her maternity leave, but allows exceptions under national law unconnected with the pregnancy.
The Catalonia high court had asked the ECJ to clarify the EU rules on pregnant workers` rights, after Ms Porras appealed against a court ruling in Mataró, near Barcelona.
Read more on this topic: EU law requires an employer to state in writing the reasons for making a collective redundancy, and to inform the pregnant worker of the criteria chosen for identifying those who will lose their jobs.
The ECJ says Bankia had consulted workers` representatives about the looming job cuts and had sent Ms Porras a letter explaining its reasons.
She had been given a low score in a company assessment, the ECJ said.
Students at Russia`s most prestigious university are claiming partial victory over plans to force them off campus during this year`s Fifa World Cup.
They are furious that a World Cup "fan zone", an area for football fans to watch matches on big screens, is set to be built right outside their dormitory windows at the Moscow State University.
Some students may be forced out of their rooms to house National Guard servicemen, who will ensure order during the event, which starts in June and runs for a month.
Many are also angry at plans to move their exams forward to May, with some undergraduates having to pass six exams in less than two weeks, a post by the university initiative group on VKontakte social media platform says.
An online petition addressed to Vladimir Putin and Moscow mayor Sergei Sobyanin demanding the fan zone be moved elsewhere has raised more than 11,500 signatures, while a pen-and-paper one attracted some 4,224.
Russia`s Education Ministry announced in November that university campuses would be used for fan zones, and assured students that their "rights would be observed", Kommersant newspaper reported.
Initial resistance, partial victory The petitions were initially met with resistance at the university.
A students` VKontakte group says that an attempt to deliver the physical petition to university dean Viktor Sadovnichy on 21 February was met by elevators leading to the dean`s office being switched off, and access blocked by security guards.
The university leadership had similarly urged students via Facebook not to participate in the action, calling it "blocking of administrative premises and violating the internal regulations of the university".
But on the same day, two documents were issued, one promising students whose windows face the fan zone that they would be temporarily relocated; and another signed by the university rector saying that exams would be returned to their original dates.
Despite these concessions, the student group has talks scheduled with Mr Sadovnichy next week, but say they remain sceptical as their key demand - that the fan zone be moved away from campus - remains unfulfilled.
Reporting by Maria Kiseleva, Alistair Coleman Next story: Kazakhstan changes its alphabet - again Use #NewsfromElsewhere to stay up-to-date with our reports via Twitter.
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Election officials in U.
states have been beefing up their defenses against possible Russian meddling ahead of the November midterms, but many say they’re not getting much help from Washington.
With party primaries set to start in less than two weeks, time to prepare is running short and — with control of Congress on the line — the stakes are high, Nafeesa Syeed reports.
The nation’s top spy chief sparked alarm among lawmakers last week when he admitted “there’s no single agency in charge” of blocking more foreign tampering.
The wave of near-daily revelations from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe underscores the extent to which details of the threat are still being uncovered.
European countries from Latvia to Italy are also contending with potential Russian interference ahead of upcoming votes there.
The situation is like “changing the tire while the car is driving,” said New Mexico Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver.
“We’re already preparing for our elections in November and still trying to find out what we need to know.
” Global Headlines Money arms race | Billionaire Tom Steyer and packaging king Richard Uihlein are leading the charge among mega-donors seeking to influence the November midterms.
The top 10 contributors logging a combined $65.
7 million so far for a battle that’s already triggering television advertising and expected to set a spending record, John McCormick and Bill Allison report.
Macron’s plan | Emmanuel Macron’s push to take his post-partisan revolution to the rest of Europe will run into the skepticism of the continental establishment at tomorrow’s summit in Brussels.
As Helene Fouquet writes, the French president may find that Europe’s patchwork of political fiefdoms can be hostile to newcomers who threaten their interests.
  Fading democracy | Once an island of stability in East Africa, where conflict and one-party rule are common, Kenya’s democracy is fraying.
 Following an opposition boycott of a rerun presidential election, the government`s crackdown on dissent, temporary shutdown of TV broadcasts and deportation of a prominent lawyer “calls into question the political and constitutional structure of Kenya,” in the words of Christopher Dielmann, senior economist at Exotix Capital.
  Too hungry to pump | Venezuela’s oil industry is grinding to a halt as workers grow too weak for heavy labor.
As Fabiola Zerpan reports, in the run-up to April`s presidential election, thousands are skipping work to hunt for food, compromising the oil production that keeps the tattered economy functioning.
Women scour the ruins | In a region where women are often marginalized, they’re leading a desperate search for male relatives lost in Yemen’s civil war.
Glen Carey traveled to the country, and spoke with members of the Yemeni Abductees’ Mothers Association.
“I hear you.
” That was among the talking points on a handwritten note that Trump held during a White House meeting yesterday with with often tearful, sometimes angry students and parents affected by last week’s school shootings in Florida.
Trump has proposed arming teachers and other staff to fight attackers.
It’s an approach the National Rifle Association endorsed after a gunman killed 20 first graders and six staff members in Connecticut in 2012.
  — With assistance by Karl Maier.
Seeking a drastic change in Poland’s growth model, its new prime minister wants to reshape the European Union’s biggest eastern economy in the mold of South Korea or Japan, where governments and “national champions” drive expansion and rely less on foreign investment.
“I’d dream to be in the situation of Korea, which was poorer than us just a few decades back,” Premier Mateusz Morawiecki said in an interview in Warsaw on Wednesday.
“Poland was in a communist environment -- and after one and a half generation, they are far ahead of us.
So I wish the clock could be reversed.
” The reboot would do away with an economic blueprint adopted after the collapse of communism almost three decades ago across eastern Europe, which looked to western capital flooding into manufacturing to take advantage of lower wages and proximity to key markets.
But since the Law & Justice party swept to power in Poland two years ago, the government has expanded its role with acquisitions from banking to energy, a tilt in economic policy that mirrored the country’s broader embrace of populism.
“Sometimes politicians are better at stimulating, and have to help in case of market failures or in areas like infrastructure,” Morawiecki said.
“This is where state involvement is needed.
” QuickTake: Poland’s Populist Turn Increasing the state’s role was a necessary step since private capital is too weak and cautious, according to Morawiecki, who once headed the Polish unit of Spain’s Banco Santander SA and became prime minister last December.
That’s because Poland lacks the equivalent of Spanish construction giants or the kind of conglomerates that dominate South Korea’s economy, he said.
When asked about a potential merger between the country’s two largest refiners -- PKN Orlen SA and Grupa Lotos SA -- as a means to create an oil champion, Morawiecki expressed support for the idea of boosting scale but stopped short of endorsing a specific plan.
“In general, yes,” he responded to a question of whether such a tie-up would help the expansion of Polish capital.
“Specifically, I can’t confirm as I’m not here to suggest to anybody who should merge with whom,” Morawiecki said.
“It’s the prerogative of the supervisory boards and managements.
But scale is important.
” After a wave of privatization in the 1990s, and more market-friendly policies pursued by Law & Justice’s predecessors, Morawiecki said the government has opted to boost social transfers to ease competitive pressures within Poland.
The state is now a force behind entrepreneurship, savings, investments and innovation and wants foreign capital to be involved in technology-driven greenfield projects, as private owners are better at allocating funds, he said.
‘More Expansionist’ “I’d wish that private capital was much more expansionist, more brave in expanding, as Poland is too small,” he said.
“The only thing we can do is to stimulate mid-size companies to go ahead and expand with our developmental instruments.
” Poland is already making some headway in reducing its dependence on outside funding, with foreign ownership resulting in annual transfers of about 100 billion zloty ($30 billion) in dividends and other outflows.
As a sign that change is under way, Morawiecki points to Poland’s current-account balance turning positive in 2017 for the first time in 30 years.
Other successes include a declining share in foreign holdings of sovereign debt, which has dropped to 50 percent from near 60 percent three years ago, and boosting budget revenue to finance the deficit instead of using privatization proceeds, he said.
The yield on Poland’s 10-year bond fell 3 basis points to 3.
47 percent on Thursday, compared with 3.
21 percent when Morawiecki became premier.
The zloty weakened for a third day, declining 0.
1845 against the euro at 10:14 a.
Euro Entry? Morawiecki’s vision finds room for Poland remaining an open and interconnected economy.
Still, while his government recognizes the strategic importance of euro adoption, the nation remains far behind its peers in the neighboring currency union in terms of economic convergence to consider giving up the zloty, he said.
“Strategically and geopolitically, we do discuss euro entry now and then, which is the right thing to do,” Morawiecki said.
“But from the point of view of real convergence, wage convergence and industrial convergence, we are quite a way from the moment where I would feel comfortable to recommend anything in this regard.
” — With assistance by Konrad Krasuski.