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BBC TwoNewsnight
Last Updated: Tuesday, 11 April 2006, 16:27 GMT 17:27 UK
Tuesday, 11 April, 2006
By Kirsty Wark
Presenter, BBC Newsnight

Romano Prodi
Silvio's not so sure - Romano Prodi claims victory in Italy
Presented by Kirsty Wark

Italy

Silvio Berlusconi is refusing to go quietly, calling for a partial recount, hanging on for the very last vote from abroad to be counted.

After the closest-fought ballot in modern Italian history Romano Prodi believes he has won, but there is lingering uncertainty.

If Prodi is the winner he will lead the 61st Italian government since WW2, but is likely to be severely hampered by the disparate nature and conflicting aims of his coalition.

The question is, will Berlusconi try to orchestrate an early election, or will he bow out of Italian politics? Tonight we examine the Berlusconi phenomenon and the strange stranglehold he has had on Italian life.

Mafia

On the other hand Italians are well used to the presence of larger than life figures.

By coincidence Italy's reputed Mafia boss Bernardo Provenzano - the country's most wanted man who has been on the run since 1963, was captured near Corleone in Sicily today.

An Interior ministry spokesman said it was an important step forward for the entire nation. Is the Mafia in Italy now in free fall?

Crime reporter

Newsnight gave the former Conservative Party leader, and cub reporter, Michael Howard the chance to make a film about crime - specifically what happened during his watch as Home Secretary.

Then the crime statistics fell and Michael Howard contends that it was a result of his introduction of four specific policies that created a legacy that he argues Tony Blair has squandered.

He'll be in the Newsnight studio tonight along with a former director of prisons, a criminologist and a youth worker.

Iran

Iran's state TV has just reported that President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad claims his country will "soon join the club of countries that have nuclear technology". We'll have the latest.

Our tunes

And finally don't forget to download our latest podcast - we've moved effortlessly into the iTunes top 5 news podcasts - but still need help to overtake Woman's Hour.


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