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Putin Defends Italy's Former Prime Minister Berlusconi

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Good morning, I'm Steve Inskeep with news analysis by Vladimir Putin. Russia's president supports removing Syria's chemical weapons but denies Syria used them. And now, he's defending Silvio Berlusconi. The former Italian prime minister was convicted of paying for sex with a minor. And yesterday, Putin suggested Berlusconi was a victim of discrimination. He said Berlusconi was put on trial for living with women, and the prosecutors, quote, "wouldn't touch them if they were gay."

It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.