An Italian prosecutor says a heavily indebted man seeking to make a false insurance claim has confessed to setting off explosions at a farmhouse he owned that killed three firefighters.
Prosecutor Enrico Cieri says Giovanni Vincenti told investigators he meant to blow up his farmhouse in the northwestern region of Piedmont by setting off gas canisters, but he allegedly made a mistake with a timer connected to the canisters and triggered two explosions.
Firefighters went to the farmhouse after the initial explosion early Tuesday and were then struck by a second, stronger blast.
Vincenti was detained Friday night. At a news conference Saturday morning, Cieri said Vincenti told investigators he had no intention of killing the firefighters.
The Scottish National Party launched its campaign for Britain's Dec. 12 election on Friday, urging Scots to send its lawmakers to London in order to bring Scotland a step closer to independence.
The party currently holds 35 of Scotland's 59 House of Commons seats, and hopes discontent about Brexit will boost that number.
In Britain's 2016 referendum on European Union membership, Scotland voted overwhelmingly to remain in the 28-nation bloc.
Polls suggest that has boosted support for independence, which Scottish voters rejected in a 2014 plebiscite.
SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon said "Scotland's vote to remain in the EU has been ignored" and that a vote for the SNP "is a vote to escape Brexit."
The party says it will try to hold a new independence referendum next year.
That would require the approval of the British government in London. Prime Minister Boris Johnson's Conservatives say they will refuse to give permission.
But the SNP could emerge as kingmakers if the election results in a divided Parliament with no party holding an overall majority.
Sturgeon said a Parliament with no overall majority would be "the best outcome for Scotland, because it gives us significant influence and power."
Sturgeon said the party would not prop up a Conservative administration, but could help the left-of-center Labour Party hold power — as long as Labour agreed to support a new independence referendum for Scotland.
Torrential rain drenched parts of north and central England, swelling rivers, forcing evacuations and disrupting travel. One woman died after being swept away by surging waters.
Floods hit the city of Sheffield, where the River Don overflowed after 3.4 inches (85 mm) of rain fell on Thursday. Some 30 people sought refuge in the Meadowhall shopping center after flood waters stranded shoppers who had turned up to see Christmas lights switched on.
"Some places have seen a month's worth of rain in one day," Met Office meteorologist Alex Burkill said.
As of Friday afternoon, the agency said 73 flood warnings were in place, as well as six severe "danger to life" warnings near the River Don.
Emergency services in Derbyshire, south of Sheffield, recovered the body of a woman near the River Derwent after reports of a woman being swept away by flood water.
The Environment Agency said the highest rainfall on Thursday was registered in Swineshaw, in the Peak District — 4.4 inches (112 mm).
An 11-year-old Albanian boy whose mother took him to Syria when she joined the Islamic State group has returned to Italy to join his father.
The boy, Alvin, smiled as he stepped off the plane in Rome after arriving Friday morning from Beirut.
Red Cross and Red Crescent staff worked with Albanian and Italian government officials to facilitate his return.
Italian police who worked on the case said the boy's mother had died a few steps away from him amid fighting in northeast Syria.
The search for Alvin in Syria began after his father, Afrim Berisha, who lives in Italy, wrote to Italian authorities asking for help to find him. Berisha had a reunion with his son at a crowded detention camp in Syria weeks ago but wasn't immediately allowed to bring him home.
A leading international human rights body says Croatia should not be allowed into the European Union's border-free travel zone because of its treatment of migrants crossing into the country from neighboring Bosnia.
In a report Friday, Human Rights Watch criticized the EU's executive Commission for saying last month that Croatia is ready to join the so-called Schengen Area.
It said Croatia's "unlawful and violent summary returns of asylum seekers and migrants should disqualify it from joining the Schengen Area" and that the Commission's actions "sends the message that serious human rights abuses are no obstacle to Schengen accession."
There was no immediate reaction from Croatia to the report. Croatian officials have repeatedly denied accusations of abuse from migrants and human rights groups.