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Moment survivors are pulled out of avalanche hotel

This is the moment a child was rescued from a hotel in Italy that was buried by an avalanche two days ago.

Eight people, including two children, have been found alive at the Hotel Rigopiano in the central Abruzzo region.

It was feared no one would be saved after two bodies were found on Thursday and at least 20 others are still missing as the rescue operation continues.

A woman being pulled out of the snow-covered hotel by firefighters. Credit: Italian Firefighters/ ANSA/ AP

Trio of earthquakes strike central Italy

Three earthquakes have shaken central Italy Credit: United States Geological Survey

A series of three earthquakes shook central Italy, including Rome, on Wednesday.

A 5.3-magnitude quake first struck shortly after 10am local time, 65 miles northeast of the capital and just five miles from Amatrice - a town flattened by a powerful tremor last August.

Within an hour, a 5.7-earthquake hit a similar distance from Rome, forcing the city's Metro to be evacuated.

Not long after a third quake measuring 5.3 some 68 miles northeast of Rome was also felt.

Nearly 300 people were killed when the mountainous Amatrice region was shaken by three quakes last summer, causing significant damage to older buildings.

Antonio Tajani, an Italian politician, said tremors were "felt as far as Rome (but it) appears there are no victims."

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Paolo Gentiloni appointed Italy's prime minister

Credit: Reuters

Italy's President Sergio Mattarella has given the mandate to Foreign Secretary Paolo Gentiloni to try and form a new government.

Foreign Minister Mr Gentiloni was a key member of Matteo Renzi's Democratic Party.

Mr Renzi resigned on Wednesday after losing a referendum on constitutional reform on which he had staked his job.

Mr Gentiloni said he would try to form the government as soon as possible and that it would move "within the same framework" as Mr Renzi's.

"I am aware of the urgent need to give Italy a government with full powers," he said.

Italian PM Matteo Renzi set to hand in resignation

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi is to resign after defeat in Sunday's referendum. Credit: Reuters

The Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has said he will resign on Wednesday evening following approval of the 2017 national budget.

He offered his resignation following defeat in Sunday's referendum on legislative changes.

But President Sergio Mattarella told Renzi to stay in office until the budget was passed in parliament.

Renzi tweeted that he plans to go to the president to resign at 7pm (1800 GMT).

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