Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has survived more than 50 no-confidence votes in his political career, surviving yet another at least implicit one on Tuesday. But he is still headed out the door, he says. Over the years, charges of corruption, accusations of soliciting underage prostitutes, and alleged involvement with the mafia were not enough to sink the indomitable Mr. Berlusconi – but charges of mishandling the economic crisis seem to have done it. Here’s a look at the many things that would have taken down many other world leaders.
The terrorist Carlos the Jackal went on trial today for his role in four bombings in the 1980s that targeted trains and a newspaper office, killing 11 people. The native-born Venezuelan was once the most sought-after fugitive in Europe, a mysterious figure who killed two French secret police and an informant before being apprehended in Sudan in 1994. The Jackal’s real name is Ilich Ramirez Sanchez. He first gained headlines and notoriety for an attack on an OPEC meeting in 1975 on behalf of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine in which he took some 60 hostages, including 11 oil ministers. His current trial follows the discovery of evidence against him in communist-era files from Hungary, Germany, and Romania. He is suspected in a dozen other cases for terrorism spanning three decades. Today in a Paris court, Ramirez said he was a “professional revolutionary,” according to the Associated Press. He claims involvement in some 100 terrorist attacks. What is the Jackal's story?
Kate Middleton could be the first British royal in centuries to see an eldest daughter become Queen instead of a younger brother. Under the century-old tradition of male primogeniture, if the eldest child was a girl she would only become queen if none of her younger siblings were boys. Now, with the assent of 16 countries in the Commonwealth, girls will be just as eligible as their brothers, meaning the eldest child will always ascend to the throne. The change in law, which is expected to soon be formalized in the British parliament, also lifts a ban on Catholic heirs – a move British Prime Minister David Cameron and Catholic leaders have praised. Here are five would-be queens who were leap-frogged by their brothers for the throne: