Scandal-hit Berlusconi to skip family conference

ROME — Premier Silvio Berlusconi has scrapped a planned appearance at a conference on family values next week in Milan, amid reports of encounters with a prostitute and his ties to an underage Moroccan girl.
Francesco Belletti, who heads a family association, said earlier this week that a Berlusconi appearance would "embarrass" the conference.
A statement from Berlusconi's office said a Cabinet undersecretary would open the conference Monday on behalf of the government.
Berlusconi has been engulfed in a scandal over his ties to the Moroccan girl, whom Berlusconi freed from police custody in what many saw as an abuse of power. New allegations of sex with a prostitute have also surfaced.
Berlusconi dismisses the allegations as "unfounded attacks."
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