Italy

Populists form government

Italy’s anti-establishment 5-Star Movement and the right-wing League succeeded Thursday in forming western Europe’s first populist government, which will be headed by a political novice whose first try was rejected four days earlier as too risky for the Italian economy. What changed was the willingness of 5-Star leader Luigi Di Maio and League leader Matteo Salvini to shuffle the proposed roster of government ministers amid a financial market scare. They moved a euroskeptic economist vetoed by Italy’s president from overseeing the Economy Ministry to a Cabinet post. Just a short time earlier, President Sergio Mattarella’s office announced that new premier Giuseppe Conte would be sworn in Friday afternoon.

India

Nationalists suffer defeat

India’s opposition parties inflicted a humiliating defeat on the governing Hindu nationalist party of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in more than a dozen by-elections for seats in Parliament and state assemblies. India’s Election Commission said Thursday that Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party and its allies won only two seats in four by-elections for Parliament and 10 for state assemblies in key states in voting Monday.

Israel

Palestinian areas get aid

The Israeli government on Thursday unveiled a program to invest $560 million in long-neglected Palestinian neighborhoods of east Jerusalem. It aims to reduce the huge social gaps between the overwhelmingly Jewish western part of the city and Palestinian neighborhoods, which have poor infrastructure and subpar public services; nearly 80 percent of the city’s Palestinian families live in poverty. The program will invest in education, infrastructure and helping Palestinian women enter the workforce.

Africa

Gorillas make comeback

A new survey shows Africa’s critically endangered mountain gorillas have exceeded 1,000 after conservation efforts, making them the only great ape in the world considered to be growing in number. The WWF says they have increased to 604 from about 480 in 2010 in the Virunga Massif, which includes parts of Rwanda, Uganda and Congo. Combined with the latest published figures from the gorillas’ only other home, Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, the overall population is 1,004.

Beacon Journal/Ohio.com wires