Italy

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Judge Rules Tiny 'Warrior' Can't Go to Rome for More Treatment

UK High Court judge says nothing else can help Alfie Evans; his parents are appealing

(Newser) - A UK High Court judge may have deemed his decision Tuesday "the final chapter" in the case of little Alfie Evans, but Alfie's parents aren't ready to accept that ending. The BBC and Guardian report on the court's ruling that the seriously ill 23-month-old—who suffers... More »

He Took an Eggplant 9 Years Ago. Finally, Closure

Italy's Supreme Court acquits man who lifted the fruit to feed his child

(Newser) - In Italy's own version of Les Misérables, a man who's fought a nearly 10-year legal battle over an eggplant finally got his reprieve from the country's court of last resort. Per AFP , the unnamed man, then 49, was nabbed by cops in 2009 emerging from private... More »

Huge Volcano May Face 'Catastrophic Failure'

Mount Etna is slowly drifting toward the Mediterranean

(Newser) - Europe's biggest and most active volcano is sliding into the Mediterranean Sea and could suffer catastrophic failure one day—even if that day is far away, the BBC reports. Scientists who studied Mount Etna on the Italian island of Sicily say it is sliding just over half an inch... More »

Cops Bust 'Psycho Sect' That Pushed Strict Macrobiotic Diet

Italian police say one follower of Mario Pianesi dropped to just 77 pounds

(Newser) - He called doctors "assassins" and convinced sick followers to adhere to a strict macrobiotic diet, police in Italy say. But in reality, police say those who followed the teachings of 73-year-old Mario Pianesi and his 51-year-old wife were fleeced for money, manipulated into working for next to nothing for... More »

Voters in Italy Just Ousted the Establishment

Populist and far-right parties deal a strong blow to the euro zone

(Newser) - Italian voters went to the polls over the weekend and upended the political establishment. The big winners were populist and far-right parties, which received about 55% of the vote in total, though it could take weeks to figure out exactly what kind of coalition will be governing the country. The... More »

Romans Wake Up to Rare Snowfall

Winter storm blankets the city

(Newser) - Romans have awoken to a rare snowfall, after an Arctic storm passing over much of Europe dumped enough snow to force schools to close and public transport to reduce services. Rome's Mediterranean climate and proximity to the sea usually result in mild winters, such that restaurants often keep outdoor... More »

Vatican to Hold International Conference on Exorcisms

Friar says there are 500K cases requiring exorcists every year in Italy alone

(Newser) - Anyone who has sat through Exorcist II: The Heretic or Exorcist: The Beginning would rightly think the world is all set on exorcists, thank you very much. The Catholic Church would disagree. USA Today reports the Vatican will be hosting a week-long international conference on exorcisms in April after demand... More »

Neanderthals Expertly Made Tools Still in Use Today

These were no dummies, say researchers in Italy

(Newser) - Modern hunter-gatherers used "digging sticks," crafted from wood, to search for edible roots and tubers, as well as to hunt. It's a tradition that stretches back at least 171,000 years, according to a new PNAS study. Digging in Italy, scientists have uncovered 58 wooden tools—including... More »

Official: Man Shot 6 Immigrants Out of 'Racial Hatred'

Apparently random shooting spree targets African immigrants in Italy

(Newser) - An Italian gunman with extreme right-wing sympathies shot and wounded six African immigrants Saturday in Italy during a two-hour drive-by shooting spree, the AP reports. Police photos showed the shooting suspect with a neo-Nazi tattoo prominently on his forehead as he sat in custody and an Italian flag tied around... More »

50 Suspected ISIS Fighters Believed to Have Entered Italy

Interpol list leaked to 'Guardian'

(Newser) - An agency in France says an Islamic State fighter may have illegally entered the country. And that's just one of 50 suspected ISIS fighters believed to have landed in Italy in an attempt to reach the rest of Europe, according to an Interpol list obtained by the Guardian . Interpol... More »

Thieves Mix in With Crowd After Stealing Famed Jewels

'Incomparable' collection was on display in Venice

(Newser) - Thieves stole precious Indian jewels from the famed Al Thani Collection that were on show in a Venetian palace Wednesday, making off with a brooch and a pair of earrings by mixing in with the crowd on the final day of the exhibition, police say. The stolen jewels were not... More »

Rome's 'Traumatized' Christmas Tree Cost $57K

Locals aren't pleased

(Newser) - Rome wasn't built in a day, but it looks like its Christmas tree may have been. The "toilet brush" of a tree now standing in one of the city's busiest public squares and being roundly mocked in Italy and around the world makes Charlie Brown's Christmas... More »

Finally, Pizza Officially Recognized as Art Form

It's part of the 'intangible cultural heritage of humanity'

(Newser) - The city of Naples, often in headlines because of its garbage woes and mafia violence, is celebrating international recognition of its tastier side, the AP reports. UNESCO on Thursday added the art of the Neapolitan pizza maker, or "pizzaiuolo," to its list of "intangible cultural heritage of... More »

Pope Urges Traffic Police to Show Mercy to Drivers

But he's against people using cellphones while driving

(Newser) - Pope Francis says police should exercise the Christian virtue of mercy—even when dealing with Italy's notorious traffic. At a meeting with officers in charge of the nation's roads Monday, he praised their work but urged them to show mercy in the situations they encounter daily, the BBC... More »

World's First Head Transplant on Corpse a Success, Doc Says

Sergio Canavero says procedure on live patient will happen soon—but he has many doubters

(Newser) - The first step in what USA Today says would be an "audacious" therapy reportedly took place in China Friday: the world's first human head transplant, achieved with two corpses. And Sergio Canavero—the Italian doctor behind the alleged procedure, says he plans to do the same thing next... More »

Mafia's 'Boss of Bosses' Is Dead at 87

Salvatore 'Toto' Riina had been serving multiple life sentences in Italy

(Newser) - Mafia 'boss of bosses' Salvatore 'Toto' Riina died Friday in a hospital while serving multiple life sentences as the mastermind of a bloody strategy to assassinate Italian prosecutors and law enforcement trying to bring down the Cosa Nostra. He was 87. Riina died hours after the Justice Ministry... More »

Secret Room Where Michelangelo Hid, Sketched to Be Opened

It has been closed since its discovery in 1975 to keep the artwork safe

(Newser) - For two months in 1530, Michelangelo hid in a secret underground room beneath the Medici Chapels, "fill[ing] the walls with drawings" to forget his fears, as he later recalled. He had been commissioned by the Medicis, the most powerful family in Florence, to build the chapels—a mausoleum for... More »

80% of His Skin Had Been Lost. Doctors Grew Him a Replacement

Genetic treatment saved 7-year-old's life

(Newser) - A child who was expected to die from a devastating skin disease is alive today thanks to an experimental treatment that grew him a whole new skin. Hassan, a 7-year-old Syrian boy living in Germany, was born with a condition called epidermolysis bullosa that prevented the outer layer of skin... More »

26 Bodies Found Floating in Sea. All Were Teen Girls

Their remains were brought ashore in Salerno, Italy

(Newser) - They were mostly between the ages of 14 and 18, and 26 of them are now dead. CNN reports on the latest tragedy in the Mediterranean Sea and describes an appalling scene: teenage girls' bodies floating lifelessly beside a nearly submerged rubber dinghy that survivors tried to cling to. The... More »

Woman Can't Stop Sweating Blood From Face, Hands

Doctors say 'most unusual' condition is hematohidrosis, but they aren't sure what causes it

(Newser) - You know there's a problem if you start coughing up blood—but how to react when you start sweating blood? Per the CBC , a 21-year-old Italian woman got to a hospital ASAP, and now doctors are puzzling over her "most unusual" case of bleeding from her face and... More »

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