Italy

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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 »

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 »

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