ITALY: 2 parties reject overtures
A political crisis that has rattled the eurozone deepened on Wednesday when two party leaders ruled out the most likely options to form a government and avoid a new election. Populist leader Beppe Grillo slammed the door on overtures from center-left boss Pier Luigi Bersani with a stream of insults while Nichi Vendola, Bersani's junior coalition partner, ruled out a government alliance with the center-right. Grillo's anti-establishment 5-Star Movement blocked center-left control of parliament in one of Europe's biggest populist victories.
SLOVENIA: Prime minister removed
Parliament ousted Prime Minister Janez Jansa and his conservative government Wednesday and named an opposition financial expert as his replacement. A 55-33 vote in the 90-seat legislature appointed Alenka Bratusek as prime minister-designate, the first female to lead Slovenia since its secession from Yugoslavia in 1991. Jansa's government, elected a year ago, fell apart when three coalition parties left the cabinet after the state anti-graft watchdog accused Jansa in January of corruption by failing to declare $285,000 of his personal assets.
SWITZERLAND: 3 shot dead in wood factory
Three people were killed and seven injured in a shooting at a wood-processing plant, police said. The gunman, a 42-year-old who worked at wood-processing company Kronospan Switzerland, was one of the dead, Lucerne cantonal police said Wednesday. A motive wasn't known for the attack at the factory in Menznau, 12 miles west of Lucerne. Switzerland, where men can keep army-issue firearms after mandatory military service, has been debating stricter gun control since January, when a 33-year-old gunman killed three people in the southern village of Daillon.
MEXICO: Union leader held for embezzling
Mexico's most powerful woman was charged with a massive embezzlement scheme on Wednesday, grim-faced behind bars live on national television in an apparent message that the new government is asserting its authority. It is a dizzying fall from power for national teachers union head Elba Esther Gordillo.