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'Stop doing evil,' pope tells mafia

Pope Francis called on the mafia to "stop doing evil" as he met relatives of their victims on Friday to demonstrate the Catholic Church's opposition to organised crime. Over a thousand people attended prayers with the pope at a church near the Vatican, where a list of 842 names of victims of mafia violence were read out -- including butchered toddlers and renowned anti-mafia Judge Giovanni Falcone, blown up in his car in 1992. The meeting was an attempt to draw a line under the Church's historic ties with dons claiming to be God-fearing Catholics.

Pope tells Mafia to stop evil or prepare for hell

By Steve Scherer ROME (Reuters) - Pope Francis, in an annual ceremony held to remember the hundreds of innocent people murdered by the Italian mafia, made a solemn plea for mobsters to change or else "end up in hell". The mafia continues to plague much of southern Italy: just on Monday, a four-year-old boy was shot dead, along with his mother and her boyfriend, near the southern city of Taranto in a suspected mob hit.

Pope meets mafia victims in stand against underworld

Pope Francis plans on Friday to demonstrate a stand against organised crime by meeting with relatives of mafia victims, a step to help overcome the Church's historic ties with dons claiming to be God-fearing Catholics. Over a thousand people are expected to attend prayers with the pope in a church near the Vatican, where a list of 900 names of victims of mafia violence will be read out -- from butchered toddlers to renowned anti-mafia Judge Giovanni Falcone, blown up in his car in 1992.

Child victims of Italy's 'men of dishonour'

The brutal murder of a three-year-old boy in a mafia ambush in southern Italy shows that the so-called "code of honour" among members of organised crime groups is pure myth, according to experts. Domenico was shot dead along with his mother and her partner when the car they were travelling in was attacked by gunmen in Taranto on Monday, sparking reactions of horror in Italy. Two other children in the car apparently only survived because they played dead.

Toddler slain in Italy drug war

The killing of a three-year-old toddler along with two adults in an apparent fight for territory in a violent drug war has sparked reactions of horror in Italy. The victims -- a convicted murderer on day release from prison, his partner and her young son -- were killed in southern Italy late Monday after the car they were travelling in was forced off the road by gunmen in a second car, who then fired more than 15 bullets through the windscreen.

Italy judge warns of 'new mafia' as police bust financial mobsters

An Italian judge warned Tuesday that a "new type" of mafia organisation has taken root in Italy, after police discovered a money-laundering operation headed up by a mobster nicknamed the "Bank of Italy". Giuseppe Pensabene, a member of the powerful 'Ndrangheta crime group from southern Italy, was arrested Tuesday on accusations of leading a team of loan sharks in Seveso near Milan which opened its doors to new members from among the local corrupt.

Italy issues arrest warrants, seizes assets in Rome mafia crackdown

ROME (Reuters) - Italian police on Tuesday issued arrest warrants for 16 suspected mafia members and seized millions of euros in assets as part of a crackdown on organized crime clans in Rome. Police seized about 6 million euros ($8.26 million) in assets from the so-called Fasciani clan suspected of controlling criminal activity in Rome's seaside neighborhood of Ostia. Among the assets the court took over were a beach restaurant, bar and luxury car dealership controlled by front men for the clan, investigators said.

Women rebel in Italian mafia heartland

As the police patrol outside and pace the corridors of her office, anti-mafia prosecutor Alessandra Cerreti speaks to AFP about her specialty -- breaking the power of the clans by turning their women. Only a handful of women have ever broken ranks with the ruthless and secretive 'Ndrangheta mafia group based in the Calabria region in southern Italy, which controls the flow of cocaine from South America to Europe.

Drug raids break up Italy-US mafia alliance

Italy and the United States arrested dozens of people and broke up a fledgling alliance between New York's Gambino family and the 'Ndrangheta mafia on Tuesday, mainly thanks to a US undercover agent who infiltrated the secretive Italian organised crime group. Italian and US prosecutors and police gave details of the joint operation at a press conference in Rome, saying they issued 26 arrest warrants and placed 40 people under investigation in a two-year investigation.

Drug raids break up Italy-US mafia alliance

Italy and the United States arrested dozens of people and broke up a fledgling alliance between New York's Gambino family and the 'Ndrangheta mafia on Tuesday, mainly thanks to a US undercover agent who infiltrated the secretive Italian organised crime group. Italian and US prosecutors and police gave details of the joint operation at a press conference in Rome, saying they issued 26 arrest warrants and placed 40 people under investigation in a two-year investigation.
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