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Dec. 8, 2012 at 10:06 PM
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Italian P.M. Monti resigns

ROME, Dec. 8 (UPI) -- Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti, who lost the blessing of Silvio Berlusconi's PDL party, announced his resignation Saturday .

Monti came to his decision after talking with President Giorgio Napolitano at the Quirinal Palace, Agenzia Giornalistica Italia reported.

"The declarations made yesterday in Parliament by PDL Secretary Angelino Alfano clearly represent a no-confidence vote for the government and its policies," the Italian news agency quoted Monti as saying.

A statement issued by the president stated Monti said he "reckons the government will not be able to finish its term" and he "is ready to resign."

AGI said Monte cautioned Italian lawmakers that "not undertaking the responsibility of bringing about a provisional budget" would "worsen the consequences of a government crisis on a European level, too ... ."

The BBC reported Monti, who had been minister of economy and finance before being named prime minister in November 2011 following the resignation of Berlusconi, said he will try to marshal through a budget and financial stability law before leaving office.

The British network noted under Italian law, elections must be held within 70 days of the government resigning. Elections had been expected by April before Monti's announcement.

Belusconi, who heads the PDL party, has announced he will run for prime minister again, despite facing ongoing legal problems.

Hamas leader vows to continue jihad

GAZA, Dec. 8 (UPI) -- Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal, marking the group's 25th anniversary with his first visit to Gaza, told a massive rally Saturday "jihad is the way to liberation."

"Resistance is the means not the end ... for 64 years we have tried all other options but to no avail ... there is no victory without resistance," the Palestinian Ma'an News Agency quoted him as telling the crowd estimated in the tens of thousands.

"Jihad is the way to liberation, along with all types of national and diplomatic struggle ... there is no value for all those types without resistance."

Meshaal extended an olive branch to its rival, Fatah. The two groups have been at odds since armed clashes between the two broke out in 2007.

"Reconciliation means the unity of the political program ... one president and one parliament and one representative, which is the PLO [Palestinian Liberation Organization]."

Meshaal said he supports national elections but Hamas should be a political partner whatever the outcome.

Jack in the Box holdup suspect shot

SACRAMENTO, Dec. 8 (UPI) -- A holdup at a Jack in the Box restaurant in Sacramento Saturday ended with the alleged gunman shot and in custody and two hostages freed, police said.

The Sacramento Bee reported the hostage situation ended about 3:45 p.m. PST after a SWAT team set off at least three concussion grenades and opened fire.

The Sacramento Press reported the male suspect was being transported to a hospital with gunshots wounds about 3 hours after the incident started.

The Bee said police converged on the eatery about 12:30 p.m. after receiving word of an armed robbery. An unidentified woman was released by the gunman about 2:45 p.m. and a second woman, apparently a restaurant employee, ran out after the grenades and gunfire.

Police Public Information Officer Doug Morse told the Press some neighboring businesses in the shopping center were evacuated during the episode.

Suspect held in beatings of 3 women

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Dec. 8 (UPI) -- A 35-year-old man was jailed Saturday, suspected of brutally attacking three women at random in Vancouver, city police said.

Nicholas Osuteye of Alberta province was charged with three counts of attempted murder, along with single counts of assault and mischief. Police said he was wearing only underwear when arrested near BC Place Stadium Friday, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported.

Police said the attacks occurred between 9:30 and 10 a.m. PST Friday. Two victims were hospitalized in critical condition and the third in serious condition.

The names of the victims were not released.

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