Italy

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Pope Gives Sleeping Bags to Homeless for His Birthday

Pontiff handed out 400 sleeping bags to Rome's destitute to celebrate his 78th

(Newser) - Pope Francis spent his birthday last year by going to church with four homeless locals . This year he upped the ante, celebrating his 78th birthday on Wednesday by donating 400 sleeping bags—complete with an imprinted papal coat of arms—to homeless people around Rome, ABC News reports. Volunteers and... More »

Man Fined for Crossing Street Too Slowly

Elderly Italian didn't make it to the other side before light changed

(Newser) - Why did the chicken cross the road? To get away from Pinerolo, perhaps. The Italian town is getting some odd press after news emerged that an 85-year-old man who failed to cross one of its streets quickly enough was handed a fine of about $50. Italy's La Repubblica newspaper... More »

Top-Secret Mafia Ritual Caught on Video

Recruits reportedly seen taking 'holy' oath, promising to commit suicide if disloyal

(Newser) - A double-kiss on the cheeks. A loyalty oath to keep up your end of the "holy chain … the holy society." A reminder to always carry an extra bullet to take yourself out if you ever betray said society. Authorities in Milan say that's exactly what they... More »

Costa Concordia Has Likely Yielded Her Final Victim

Authorities think remains are those of Indian waiter Russel Rebello

(Newser) - The last unaccounted-for body from the Costa Concordia cruise ship that sank off the coast of Giglio, Italy, in January 2012 may have finally been found, Reuters reports. The Italian coast guard said today it believed that recovered remains were those of Russel Rebello, an Indian waiter who worked on... More »

WWII Pilot Found Buried in His Fighter Plane

Lt. Guerrino Bortolani died fighting Allied forces

(Newser) - An Italian WWII pilot who died battling US pilots 70 years ago has been found 13 feet underground, his remains still at the controls of a fighter plane armed with machine guns and cannons, Discovery reports. Lt. Guerrino Bortolani went down in a losing battle against Allied planes on March... More »

Mussolini's Secret Bunkers Are Opened

Visitors can now immerse themselves in 'darkest pages of our history'

(Newser) - As many as 12 World War II bunkers have been identified beneath the city of Rome, thought to have been built for Benito Mussolini or other party leaders, reports Business Insider . Three are now set to open to the public on Halloween; two were opened for a short time in... More »

Wreck of WWII 'Flying Coffin' Bomber Found in Italy

The aircraft appears to have lived up to its nickname

(Newser) - The World War II-era B-24 aircraft was so stiff, heavy, and hard to control that its American crews dubbed it the "flying coffin." Not only was its only exit hard to reach at the tail—leaving many trapped before being able to parachute out—but it was intended... More »

Officials: Nurse Killed 38 Patients Who 'Annoyed' Her

Daniela Poggiali, 42, is described as 'cold, polished'

(Newser) - Italian police have arrested a nurse who possibly killed up to 38 patients because they or their families "annoyed" her, officials say. Daniela Poggiali, 42, was arrested Friday in connection with 11 patient deaths and had already been under suspicion of killing another in April, the New York Post... More »

Italian Parliament's Barbers See Pay Cut—to $125K

It's proof of 'unjustified privileges,' says civil servants union

(Newser) - In Italy, the average nurse earns about $30,000 a year . A high school teacher typically brings home about the same, PayScale.com reports. The barbers who snip the hair of Italy's members of parliament? Well, they rake in just a bit more: $125,000 a year—and that'... More »

2nd Child 'Cured' of HIV Has HIV Once Again

Italian boy stopped treatment with news of 'cured' Mississippi baby

(Newser) - "The search for an HIV cure continues." That from a new study published in The Lancet that reports a second child believed to have been cured of HIV has seen a return of the virus. A baby boy, born HIV-positive in Milan in December 2009, was given antiretroviral... More »

Christian Woman Leaves Sudan, Meets With Pope

Meriam Ibrahim, family make pit stop in Rome before move to US

(Newser) - A Sudanese woman sentenced to death for refusing to denounce her Christian faith—then freed , only to be rearrested and freed again —has finally left the country. After more than a month in the US embassy in Khartoum, Meriam Ibrahim today flew with her family to Rome, where she... More »

Costa Concordia Is Upright Again

Biggest-ever passenger ship salvage operation; now ready to be towed

(Newser) - More than two years after it capsized off the coast of an Italian island, CNN reports that workers have refloated the Costa Concordia in the final phase of the biggest-ever passenger ship salvage. In an operation expected to take up to a week, air was pumped into tanks attached to... More »

Chemical Weapons Transfer to Take Place in Mafia Hub

Locals worried about effect on environment, health

(Newser) - The most lethal chemical weapons in Syria’s arsenal will be transferred onto the US Navy ship MV Cape Ray tomorrow, but contamination isn’t the only concern, reports the Daily Beast . The transfer of 1,300 tons of chemical weapons from the Danish vessel Ark Futura, including mustard gas... More »

Mysterious Stone Spheres to Be Protected

They join more than 1K sites now on UN list of World Heritage sites

(Newser) - The planet now has more than 1,000 UNESCO World Heritage Sites : places "of outstanding value to humanity" that UNESCO helps to safeguard and preserve. The World Heritage Committee wrapped up its 38th session on Wednesday by adding 26 sites to its list and expanding four more; that list... More »

Century-Old Mafia Murder Apparently Solved

Alleged Mafioso accidentally reveals that his father's uncle did it

(Newser) - After more than 100 years, Italian police believe they've solved the killing of a famed New York police detective, after an alleged modern Mafioso allegedly bragged about his relative's role in the killing. NYPD Lieutenant Joe Petrosino, who was something of a celebrity during his lifetime, was gunned... More »

Italy to Shrink Deficit Using Hookers, Cocaine

Illegal activities to be added to GDP

(Newser) - Surprisingly enough, this idea didn't come from Silvio Berlusconi: Italy plans to include things like illegal drug sales, prostitution, and cigarette smuggling in its GDP figures for the first time, immediately giving the size of the economy a big boost, Bloomberg reports. Prime Minister Mario Renzi has pledged to... More »

Italy Recovering Bodies From Sunken Boat

Death toll stands at 14 'at the moment'

(Newser) - A boat crowded with migrants sank today in the Mediterranean just beyond Libya's territorial waters, leaving at least 14 dead, said the Italian Navy, which helped rescue more than 200 survivors. The Navy said "at the moment 14 bodies have been recovered." There was no estimate of... More »

Berlusconi Reports for Duty at Hospice

Former Italian PM begins community service with Alzheimer's patients

(Newser) - Silvio Berlusconi headed to a hospice today ... to begin his community service for tax fraud . The former Italian prime minister was initially handed a four-year jail sentence, but it was dropped to a one-year term—now to be spent working one day a week with Alzheimer's patients. Berlusconi, who... More »

New Yorker Meets Sister After 57 Years

Intelligence analyst links Peter Hart and Liliana Bonato

(Newser) - Fifty-seven years ago, a boy was born to an Italian woman who died soon after. He was adopted by Americans and his sister was sent to live with an uncle. Now, Peter Hart is 57 years old, and he's about to meet his 72-year-old sister, Liliana Bonato, for the... More »

US Army Base Broken Into, Covered in Pot Seeds

Protesters in Italy sowing the seeds of peace and love, apparently

(Newser) - Peace and love, man: A group of anti-war Italians opposed to a US Army base in their midst broke into said Army base last week, where they planted about 200,000 marijuana seeds, reports Stars and Stripes . The NoDalMolin protest group posted video of members cutting through the fence at... More »

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