Italy

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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 »

In 'Race Against Time,' Italy Saves Ship on Crash Course

Smugglers set boat loaded with migrants on collision course with coast

(Newser) - The Italian Coast Guard rescued 970 migrants today after smugglers put their cargo ship on automatic pilot heading straight for a crash into the Italian coast and abandoned the command. The Coast Guard officials said the migrants, most believed to be Syrians and including many children and pregnant women, arrived... More »

Circus 'Pandas' Were Really Painted Dogs

Chow chow pups were being used in traveling circus

(Newser) - With more paint and a couple of horses, they could have had zebras, too: A pair of chow chow puppies dyed black and white looked enough like pandas to fool visitors to a traveling circus near Milan, officials in Italy say. Forestry officials—who investigate many animal cases in Italy—... More »

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 »

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