ASCOLI PICENO, Italy (AP) — Mourners sobbed and caressed coffins, some of them holding the bodies of young children, as Italy prepared to hold a state funeral for some victims of the devastating earthquake that struck a central mountainous area this week.
Flags flew at half mast across Italy on Saturday as the country observed a day of mourning for the victims of an earthquake that killed nearly 300 people. President Sergio Mattarella paid tribute to the "extraordinary effort" of more than 4,000 rescue experts and volunteers as he began what was set to be an emotionally charged day with a brief visit to Amatrice, around 100 kilometres (60 miles) northeast of Rome. There are fears more bodies will be recovered in Amatrice, a holiday spot that was packed with visitors when the powerful quake struck in the early hours of Wednesday.
French resorts were defiant after a ban on the burkini in a Riviera town was overturned, vowing to keep the restrictions in place and continue imposing fines on women who wear the full-body swimsuit. In a judgement expected to lead to bans being overturned in around 30 coastal towns, the State Council, France's highest administrative court, ruled Friday the measure was a "serious and clearly illegal violation of fundamental freedoms". The suspension of the ban on the Islamic swimsuit, which has triggered a fierce debate in France and sparked critical headlines around the world, was welcomed by the UN, and a French Muslim group said it was a "victory for common sense".