Italian lawmakers appoint 1st female Senate chair in history

Maria Elisabetta Alberti Casellati, a Forza Italia MP, has been appointed speaker of Italian Senate, local media report. She has become the first woman in the country’s history to chair the parliament’s upper house. Casellati is a staunch ally of Forza Italia’s leader Silvio Berlusconi. She graduated from the Pontifical Lateran University and practiced as a matrimonial lawyer for several years, having joined Forza Italia in 1994.