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Mayor of scandal-hit Italy quake town withdraws resignation

The mayor of the Italian town of L'Aquila, which was partially destroyed in a deadly 2009 earthquake, withdrew his resignation Wednesday 10 days after stepping down amid a corruption scandal. "I am back. I am here to defend the town. I have returned because of the solidarity shown by thousands of my fellow citizens," Massimo Cialente told reporters.

Mayor of Italy earthquake town quits over graft

The mayor of the Italian town of L'Aquila, which was partially destroyed in a 2009 earthquake that killed 309 people, stepped down Saturday following a corruption scandal involving members of his team. "I have no legitimacy left. I am tired. I am angry. I have suffered a full-on media attack. That is why I am resigning," Massimo Cialente told reporters. "I have understood that I am no longer useful in this town and I am maybe even an obstacle," he added.

Four arrested over Italy quake contract bribes

Four people were placed under house arrest on Wednesday for alleged bribery linked to reconstruction contracts following the 2009 earthquake in L'Aquila in central Italy which killed 309 people, police said. Four more people have been notified they are under investigation, including the quake-struck city's deputy mayor, Roberto Riga, and a local official in charge of restoring damaged monuments, Vladimiro Placidi. Police said the eight people under investigation received a total of 500,000 euros ($680,000) in kickbacks from construction firms.

European Parliament lawmaker says some EU quake aid for Italy appears to have been misused

BRUSSELS - Controversy has broken out in the European Parliament over the alleged misuse of European Union aid money for the survivors of a devastating 2009 earthquake in Italy. Soren Bo Sondergaard, a Danish member of the parliament, said Thursday he visited a new development of 60 houses in the L'Aquila area where the quake struck. The homes are empty because they've been deemed unfit to live in, he said, adding that the funds to build them either went to criminals or "unbelievably stupid people."

Italy marks fourth anniversary of L'Aquila quake

Italy on Saturday commemorated the fourth anniversary of a devastating earthquake in and around the city of L'Aquila which killed 309 people and forced tens of thousands to abandon their homes. Families of the victims led a torch-lit procession with thousands of people in the night between Friday and Saturday, when the tremor struck the mediaeval university town in the middle of the Apennine mountains in central Italy four years ago.

Churches closed in central Italy town after quakes

Churches were closed and two temporary structures erected to house spooked citizens in the town of Sora near Rome on Sunday after three quakes shook central Italy, sparking panic but causing little damage. A 4.8-magnitude quake which struck Frosinone between the capital and the southern city of Naples at a depth of 10.7 kilometres (6.6 miles), saw people race into the streets and shook apartment buildings in the centre of Rome.

Quake shakes central Italy, spooking residents

A 4.8-magnitude quake hit central Italy late Saturday, shaking apartment buildings in the centre of Rome and spooking citizens in the region of Abruzzo, struck by a killer quake in 2009. The quake hit Frosinone, between the capital and the southern city of Naples, at a depth of 10.7 kilometres (6.6 miles) according to Italy's Geophysics Institute. No injuries or damage to buildings were reported.

Four guilty of manslaughter in Italy quake trial

Three Italian builders and a technician were found guilty on Saturday of multiple manslaughter after a dormitory collapsed during an earthquake in the town of L'Aquila in 2009, killing eight students. Bernardino Pace, Pietro Centofanti and Tancredi Rossicone, who carried out restoration works on the house in 2000, were given four years behind bars each. The prosecution had accused them of weakening the 1960s building further.
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