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ROME Cheap Dion Phaneuf Jersey , March 20 (Xinhua) -- Italian Minister of Infrastructure Maurizio Lupi said he would resign from his post after multiple allegations of corruption and kickbacks connected to large-scale public works projects, in what is being cast as the first major scandal of the 13-month-old government of Prime Minister Matteo Renzi.

Lupi's decision came after Italian police arrested four people and announced dozens more were under investigation of illegally manipulating public contracts worth more than 25 billion euros (26.9 billion U.S. dollars) for projects ranging from high-speed railway lines to the soon-to-launch Milan Expo 2015.

Lupi was not among those put under investigation, but his close ties to those named in the massive probe made it more difficult for him to do his job.

To further complicate Lupi's situation, police revealed that one of the four men arrested, a developer named Stefano Perotti, gave the minister's son, Luca, an architect, a Rolex watch valued at 10,000 euros in connection with one of the engineering contracts in question.

Lupi denied any wrongdoing, and he said his decision to step down was for the good of the government.

"I never obtained any favors or received anything inappropriate while serving in this job," Lupi said, adding that his exit would "help strengthen the government."

Leading up to the latest developments, Renzi warned Lupi that he could not continue under the current circumstances. After the resignation was announced, the Prime Minister called it a "wise decision."

Analysts said the developments, which broke late Thursday, had the potential to hurt Renzi's image.

"Italians won't be surprised to find allegations of corruption connected to a political figure, especially after the years of corruption and corruption charges with (former Prime Minister Silvio) Berlusconi," Gian Franco Gallo, a political affairs analyst with ABS Securities, told Xinhua. "But Renzi set himself up as the anti-Berlusconi. If he starts getting touched by scandal as well, that would change."

Maria Rossi, co-director of the polling firm Opinioni, agreed, up to a point. Rossi said if the Lupi situation remained an isolated case, the impacts would be minimal.

"This is a single incident and Lupi hasn't even been directly implicated, at least so far," Rossi said in an interview. "It is clear Lupi's resignation was managed correctly, and Renzi's track record when it comes to scandals has been good. I think if we don't have another unwelcome surprise in another month or two, he'll be fine."

One unwelcome aspect of the situation, according to Gallo, is that Renzi must now find a replacement for Lupi and get the candidate approved by parliament. Nobody expects problems, but it does siphon away some political capital Renzi would rather use moving his reform agenda forward.

"This is just another unexpected distraction," Gallo said, adding "the impacts add up."

Nikon D600 camera is pictured. [Photo dfic]

Many companies in China fear 315 Gala, a news show broadcast annually by China Central Television (CCTV), dreading their dirty laundry will be washed in full public view.

But consumers love it. Every year since 1991, the program has been exposing misconduct by companies on every March 15, the World Consumer Rights Day, thereby defending consumers' rights.

Let's take a look at some of the companies accused by the program of selling defective products in the past five years.

Nikon China. Year: 2014

Many consumers had complained of dust buildup on the image sensor of the Nikon D600 camera, CCTV said on its annual 315 Gala news program on March 15, 2014.

Industrial and commercial authorities launched a probe into the company a day after the program was aired. Sales of Nikon D600 were halted on some shopping websites, including JD and Suning, and the model was replaced with D610.

Apple Inc. Year: 2013

Show exposed the different guarantee plans implemented by the tech giant for consumers in China and abroad. Users in China urged the company to end the double standards. Apple's provisions included shorter warranty periods compared with other countries, using refurbished parts in repairs and avoiding after-sale obligations.

CEO Tim Cook bowed to pressures in April from Chinese consumers who demanded an apology over the warranty policies, saying the company was sorry for any "concern or misunderstanding" in the country.

Volkswagen AG. Year: 2013

Second-largest automaker in the world was called upon to recall cars with faulty direct-shift gearboxes, which in some models could lead to engine power failures, sudden acceleration, or unusual vibrations.

VW spokesman Christoph Ludewig later said the company would "contact the involved customers to fix the issue as quickly as we can."

McDonald's Corp. Year: 2012

A McDonald's restaurant in Beijing was accused of selling chicken wings 90 minutes after they were cooked while the company's rules had set a 30-minute limit. The company issued a public apology on March 16 and closed the restaurant temporarily.

McDonald's gave away more than a million free McMuffins across China on March 17, 2013, two days after the show was aired. But the fast-food chain claimed the timing was purely coincidental.

Carrefour SA. Year: 2012

On March 15, 2012, the retail giant was exposed deceiving consumers by selling expired meat and feather-stripped chicken as free-range chicken with a two-fold price in a Carrefour supermarket in Zhengzhou, capital city of Henan province.

Cadcast, and posted a message on Sina Weibo, a popular micro-blogging website in China, saying an emergency panel had been set up to investigate food quality.

The store was later closed temporarily as the company carried out restructuring.

Hewlett-Packard. Year: 2010

HP, .

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