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Italy Death Toll Nears That of 2009 L'Aquila Earthquake

247 confirmed dead

(Newser) - After what the AP terms a night of "uninterrupted search efforts," the death toll in central Italy has risen to 247, the number steadily inching toward that of the devastating 2009 L'Aquila quake, which killed 308 . The tiny towns of Amatrice and Accumoli were the hardest hit... More »

Why a 6.2-Magnitude Quake Reduced Towns to Rubble

Depth, geography, and age

(Newser) - At a magnitude 6.2, the earthquake that struck central Italy this morning, killing at least 120 , wasn't especially powerful. So why was it so devastating? Three factors: depth, geography, and age. Depth is pretty straightforward: The quake was a shallow one, at six miles down, which exacerbates the... More »

'Apocalyptic Scenes' After Heart of Italy Rocked by Quake

Amatrice, Pescara del Tronto, Accumoli devastated

(Newser) - Asked if there were any dead, the mayor of the central Italian town of Amatrice, hit hard by an overnight quake, said, "Look there are houses that aren't here anymore. ... the town isn't here anymore." The quake—being reported variously as between magnitude 6.0 and... More »

How Earthquakes May Light Up the Sky

Experts point to underground electric charges

(Newser) - Scientists long doubted centuries of witness claims of lights in the sky around the time of an earthquake. But photographic evidence supports the reports, and experts are taking the phenomenon seriously. "Earthquake lights are a real phenomenon—they’re not UFOs," Robert Thériault, the lead author of... More »

Italy Scientists Get 6 Years in Jail for Not Predicting Quake

L'Aquila earthquake killed 309

(Newser) - In a decision sure to rock the scientific community, an Italian judge has sentenced six scientists and one former government official to six years in prison for failing to predict a 2009 earthquake that killed 309 people, the BBC reports. The seven, all members of the government-appointed National Commission for... More »

6 Dead in Italian Earthquake

Strongest quake to hit Italy in 3 years damages buildings, injures many

(Newser) - A 6.0 earthquake in northern Italy early today has killed at least six people and injured 50, reports CNN . The earthquake occurred at 4am local time, about 22 miles north of Bologna, and sent thousands of people fleeing into the streets for safety. Serious damage was reported to many... More »

Italian Scientists on Trial Over Earthquake Deaths

Group met six days before L'Aquila quake, but raised no alarm

(Newser) - Predicting earthquakes is shaky business at best, but that detail isn't stopping Italian officials from prosecuting a group of prominent scientists over their failure to do exactly that. Six scientists and one government official face charges of manslaughter for allegedly failing to provide adequate warning of imminent disaster to... More »

Scientists Show How We Remember Dreams

But they're still not sure about the 'why' part

(Newser) - From the scariest nightmares to the most bizarre fantasies, some dreams are remembered forever, and a team of Italian scientists knows how. Researchers at L'Aquila and Bologna universities have determined that it's all about the theta waves. If those slow electrical oscillations are present in the cerebral cortex... More »

G8 Pledges $20B for Farmers in Poor Countries

In pushing for funds, Obama cites father's experience

(Newser) - On the last day of a G8 summit stymied on climate change and trade, leaders have pledged $20 billion to farms in poor countries in the fight hunger, Reuters reports. Some $3.5 billion will come from the US, which wants to focus on farm aid instead of food aid.... More »

Lula to Obama: How 'Bout That Soccer Game?

(Newser) - Barack Obama endured a bit of good-natured ribbing at the G8 today from Brazilian President Luis Inacio Lula da Silva, who raved about his country's come-from-behind victory over the US in the finals of soccer's Confederation Cup. The Brazilian leader gave Obama a signed jersey and used his catchphrase, "... More »

Bruni to G8: Don't Let Recession Kill AIDS Funding

We've made progress—now don't let economy destroy it

(Newser) - Carla Bruni-Sarkozy gets in the op-ed game today, urging G8 leaders who are converging on L’Aquila, Italy, to continue the commitment their predecessors made 8 years ago to fighting HIV/AIDS in Africa. The earlier initiative helped the Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria save some 4 million... More »

Obama Arrives in Italy for G8

(Newser) - President Obama arrived this morning in Rome ahead of his first G8 summit. Obama is meeting privately with Italian President Giorgio Napolitano and PM Silvio Berlusconi before traveling to L'Aquila, the earthquake-ravaged town that is hosting the international confab. The coming three days' talks will focus on climate change, foreign... More »

Aftershocks Rattle G8 Organizers

(Newser) - Italy's decision to shift the G8 summit to the quake-damaged city of L'Aquila has raised major safety fears as aftershocks continue to rattle the region, reports the Washington Post. A 4.1 magnitude temblor hit the area Friday, with the epicenter just half a mile from where world leaders will... More »

Quake-Ravaged G8 Setting Still Tent City

(Newser) - World leaders have begun arriving in Italy for the G8 summit, which at the last minute Silvio Berlusconi relocated to L'Aquila—the devastated town where 300 died in a massive earthquake. While many praised the Italians for quickly rehousing the victims, rebuilding has been stalled and 15,000 people are... More »

Italy Seeks to Move G8 to Quake-Hit Town

Berlusconi wants world leaders to meet in L'Aquila in July

(Newser) - Silvio Berlusconi pledged today to move this summer's G8 summit to L'Aquila, where an earthquake killed 296 people and destroyed the homes of 65,000, Reuters reports. The meeting is set to take place on a small island off Sardinia, but the Italian PM said he would rather see the... More »

'L'Aquila Is Finished,' Residents Despair

Ad-hoc recovery is like post-Katrina's FEMA: experts

(Newser) - At the heart of Italy's quake-struck L'Aquila was its namesake university and the 27,500 students the local bars, shops, and hostels relied on for customers. With many fleeing the crippled university and town that will take years to renovate, local shop owners wonder how they'll survive. “L’Aquila... More »

Quake City in Italy Begins Construction Probe

Rescuers find pillars made of sand

(Newser) - Reeling from the loss of 293 people and counting from this week's earthquake, officials in Italy's regional capital L'Aquila are investigating whether shoddy construction exacerbated the disaster, reports BBC. The probe is expected to focus on modern structures that rose after stringent safety standards were enacted. Rescuers have reported that... More »

Aftershocks Hamper Rescue Efforts as Italy Toll Hits 281

(Newser) - Aftershocks in the Abruzzo region of Italy this morning, including one with a magnitude of 5.2, hampered ongoing rescue efforts and spooked refugees still in the area, Reuters reports. Officials closed off the center of L’Aquila, where the latest tremors continued to damage the hard-hit town. Though rescuers... More »

Berlusconi's Latest Gaffe: Quake Homeless 'Camping'

Berlusconi slammed for gaffe as quake toll hits 260

(Newser) - Silvio Berlusconi is drawing fire for reportedly saying the thousands made homeless by Monday's earthquake should see the experience as a "camping weekend," the Guardian reports. The gaffe-prone Italian prime minister, touring an emergency encampment, said the displaced survivors "lacked nothing," although hundreds still didn't... More »

Experts Rush to Save Art in Quake Zone

Thousands of artworks trapped in buildings in danger of collapse

(Newser) - Italian art experts are scrambling to rescue artistic treasures in quake-hit central Italy, the Wall Street Journal reports. The head of the local branch of the Ministry of Culture is braving aftershocks and unsafe structures in an effort to assess the damage and see what can be saved. Thousands of... More »

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