Italy

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Cabbie Charges Overweight Passenger for Blown Tire

Passenger pays, but files formal complaint

(Newser) - When a Rome cab driver's back tire blew as he was taking a passenger from the train station to a medical clinic, the cabbie decided it was the passenger's fault—because he reportedly weighs 336 pounds—and charged him an extra $56, the Road Warrior Voices blog reports.... More »

2 Countries Got Into a Fight Over ... Nutella

French minister accused spread of ravaging environment

(Newser) - France's environment minister caused an international brouhaha by picking on the wrong nutty spread. Segolene Royal singled out Nutella as the cause of environmental destruction, including climate change and "massive deforestation," and said people should stop eating it because it contains palm oil, the Guardian reports, prompting... More »

Teacher's Summer Homework List Goes Viral

Tasks include walking on the beach, dancing

(Newser) - Thankful your school days are over? An Italian teacher's summer homework list might make you want to get back to class. Though most Italian students put pen to paper for scholarly pursuits through their summer holidays from mid-June to mid-September, Cesare Cata—a secondary school teacher at the Don... More »

This Woman Just Set a Record in Space

Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti is close to being there for 200 days

(Newser) - Nearly 200 days in outer space is what Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti will have logged when she touches down in Kazakhstan on Thursday, a feat that has given her the world record for the longest time in space by a woman on a single mission, USA Today reports. On Saturday,... More »

4K Migrants Rescued at Sea in 24 Hours

Smugglers sent them adrift once the weather cleared

(Newser) - More than 4,000 migrants have been rescued off Libya's coast in 22 separate operations in one day, with rescuers finding 17 people dead aboard a rubber dinghy, the Italian Coast Guard said today. The rescues, from 13 wooden fishing boats and nine motorized rubber dinghies, took place yesterday.... More »

Italian Army's New Task: Reduce the Cost of Weed

First crop is coming along nicely

(Newser) - While the Italian military's record as a fighting force may not be completely without blemish, it's turning out to be pretty good at growing weed. Medical marijuana is legal in Italy, but since it can be far too expensive to buy at pharmacies, the military was tasked with... More »

Italy Terror Bust Is One of Its 'Most Important Ever'

Police take down Sardinia cell with alleged ties to Osama bin Laden

(Newser) - Italian police say they have taken down a terror cell comprised of businessmen who financed al-Qaeda from Sardinia. Counterterrorism agents arrested 18 Pakistani and Afghan nationals in seven provinces today in "one of the most important operations we ever conducted," the lead investigator tells NBC News . "We... More »

Boat Disaster Captain Arrested

Tunisian charged with reckless homicide

(Newser) - Only 27 survivors have been rescued from a capsized boat thought to have carried as many as 900 people —and two of them have been arrested. Prosecutors say they have arrested the captain and a crew member of the boat in which hundreds are feared to have drowned in... More »

Italy Searches for Hundreds as Packed Boat Capsizes

Only 28 rescued so far as wave of migrants continues

(Newser) - Emergency services mounted a major search and rescue operation today north of Libya after a ship containing hundreds of migrants trying to reach Italy capsized in the Mediterranean. Italy's ANSA news agency said an estimated 700 people were aboard and only 28 people had been rescued. Barbara Molinario, spokeswoman... More »

Why Ancient People Cut Flesh Off the Dead

Researchers find telling cut marks on prehistoric bones

(Newser) - Farmers living in Italy thousands of years ago had a special relationship with their dead that involved "defleshing" the bones and leaving them in a murky cave, according to a recent study . Researchers gleaned this by looking at bones from 22 Neolithic humans discovered in Scaloria Cave on Italy'... More »

Top Court's Amanda Knox Ruling Coming Today

But this may or may not turn out to be the final one

(Newser) - Yet another ruling in the Amanda Knox case is coming from Italy's highest court today. Knox and then-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito were convicted in the 2007 murder of Meredith Kercher in 2009, acquitted on appeal in 2011 (at which point Knox returned to the US), had that acquittal overturned in... More »

Fascist's DNA Rebuilt From 'Love Hanky'

Gabriele d’Annunzio's DNA reconstructed in scientific first

(Newser) - Want to revive the DNA of a protofascist warrior poet? Just gather the man's semen from an old hanky gifted to a girlfriend and voila, you have the first DNA reconstructed without exhuming human remains. At least that's what forensic experts did in Italy with Gabriele d’Annunzio,... More »

Berlusconi Acquitted in Bunga Bunga Case

Court upholds decision to clear him in prostitute scandal

(Newser) - Italy's highest court upheld Silvio Berlusconi's acquittal in his infamous "bunga bunga" case today, giving the former premier a welcome legal victory as he tries to rally his Forza Italia party ahead of regional elections in May. The Court of Cassation rejected prosecutors' appeal and confirmed Berlusconi'... More »

115-Year-Old Woman's Secret: Raw Eggs, No Men

Emma Morano has been single since 1938

(Newser) - People who were single and unhappy about it on Valentine's Day might be cheered by the story of Emma Morano, who has been single for the last 77 Valentine's Days and says it has helped her to live to the age of 115. The Italian, believed to be... More »

'World's Richest Candyman' Died on Valentine's Day

Michele Ferrero brought Nutella to the world

(Newser) - Pastry maker Pietro Ferrero invented Nutella amid postwar chocolate shortages in Italy, but it was his son who brought the cocoa-hazelnut paste to the world. Michele Ferrero, who died on Valentine's Day at the age of 89, built the family firm into a $30 billion global confectionary empire, creating... More »

Costa Concordia's Sobbing Captain Gets 16 Years

Francesco Schettino claims 'entire organization' should have been on trial

(Newser) - The captain of the capsized Costa Concordia luxury liner has been convicted of multiple charges of manslaughter and sentenced to 16 years in jail, closing down a trial that's been running since July 2013 and ending one of the more jaw-dropping and avoidable maritime disasters in recent memory, reports... More »

Scientists 'Read' Words on Ancient, Burnt Scrolls

X-ray technology could lead to great literary finds

(Newser) - It's been centuries since a certain set of ancient scrolls was discovered in 1752, but their words have largely remained a secret. The 300-some rolled-up pieces of papyrus were in Herculaneum, a town pummeled by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79. The scrolls were left in a... More »

Second Nun Gives Birth in Italy

She was taken to hospital with stomach pains

(Newser) - Last year about this time, a Catholic nun in Italy went to the hospital with stomach pains and, much to her surprise, ended up delivering a baby boy . Different year, different nun, same result: This time, a 31-year-old sister in central Italy was taken to the hospital with severe stomach... More »

Sleep Drug Helps Car-Crash Victim Start Speaking Again

Docs say man regained speech after being given drug normally used as sedative

(Newser) - A 43-year-old car-crash victim in Italy who fell into a "minimally conscious state" to the point where he could no longer speak suddenly started chatting again after receiving a sedative, LiveScience reports. A study published in November in Restorative Neurology and Neuroscience said it's the first case showing... More »

450 Migrants on Abandoned Ship Are Rescued

Ezadeen being towed to Italian coast after smugglers abandoned it

(Newser) - After several hours of struggling, Italian rescue teams shortly before dawn managed to secure the wave-tossed Ezadeen, says an Italian Coast Guard commander. On board: about 450 migrants who were abandoned by smugglers, leaving the cargo vessel in rough seas without a crew. An Icelandic Coast Guard ship is now... More »

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