Italy

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • Celebrities & Public Figures
Actress Franca Valeri dies aged 100
Franca Valeri in 2011
Franca Valeri in 2011 Credit: Associazione Amici di Piero Chiara / Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

Italian actress Franca Valeri has died at the age of 100 in her sleep at her Roman home on August 9. Valeri, the pioneer of female comic roles in Italy's post-war, was described by Italy's President Sergio Mattarella as a "versatile and popular actress who will remain in the hearts of Italians for her great talent and her extraordinary likability."

Valeri started working in film in the early 1950s and worked alongside Italian actor Totò and directors Federico Fellini and Mario Monicelli. She died just nine days after her 100th birthday.

Sports • Soccer
Andrea Pirlo is the new manager of Juventus
Andrea Pirlo is the new manager of Juventus
Credit: Twitter (Reproduction)

Juventus announced Saturday Andrea Pirlo as their new coach just hours after sacking Maurizio Sarri following the club's Champions League elimination against Lyon. Pirlo played four seasons with the Turin team, winning four Italian league titles, one Italian Cup and two Italian Super Cups.

Pirlo was appointed manager of Juventus' Under-23 side a month ago but has now signed a two-year contract to coach the first team.

Sports • Soccer
Juventus sacks Maurizio Sarri after Champions League elimination
Juventus sacks Maurizio Sarri after Champions League elimination
Credit: Twitter (Reproduction)

Juventus have sacked Maurizio Sarri as manager after one season. The head coach signed a three-year contract last summer, after a year at Chelsea.

Sarri lead the "Vecchia Signora" to a ninth straight Serie A title, but the team was knocked out of the Champions League by Lyon at the last-16 stage, and lost the the Coppa Italia to Napoli.

The club released a statement thanking Sarri for "having written a new page in Juventus' history".

Sports • Soccer
Manchester City and Lyon advance to the last eight in the Champions League
Manchester City and Lyon advance to the last eight in the Champions League
Credit: Twitter (Reproduction)

Manchester City and Lyon will face each other on the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals. The game will be played on August 15 at the Estádio José Alvalade in Lisbon.

In Manchester, City qualified with a 2:1 win against Real Madrid, with goals by Sterling and Gabriel Jesus.

In Turin, Juventus won the game 2:1, with two goals by Cristiano Ronaldo, but Lyon qualified on the aggregate result -- by having more away goals.

Transportation • Air Transportation & Traffic, Flying
Italy threatens to ban Ryanair over Covid-19 compliance
Boeing 737 Ryanair
Boeing 737 Ryanair Credit: Dylan Agbagni (Creative Commons Attribution 1.0)

ENAC, the Italian air transport regulator, has threatened to suspend Ryanair from flying to Italy over what it claims were "repeated violation of anti-Covid-19 health measures drafted by the Italian government".

Ryanair said in a statement that ENAC’s assertions were "factually incorrect" and that the company "complies fully with the measures set out by the Italian government."

Italian rules require passengers to maintain distance from others unless other precautions are taken including controlled boarding and disembarkation to avoid close contact, temperature tests and the wearing of face masks.

Technology • Internet & Web
WhatsApp adds new "Search the web" feature
WhatsApp adds new "Search the web" feature
Credit: WhatsApp

WhatsApp added a new feature that makes it easier for users to verify whether the assertions made in forwarded messages they have received on the app are true. The new feature, called "Search the Web" works by allowing users to upload the message via their browser without WhatsApp ever seeing the message itself.

"Search the web" is being rolled out starting today in Brazil, Italy, Ireland, Mexico, Spain, UK, and US for those on the latest versions of WhatsApp for Android, iOS and WhatsApp Web.

Politics • European
Italy: State of Emergency extended until mid October
Giuseppe Conte in July 2020
Giuseppe Conte in July 2020 Credit: Governo Italiano / Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0)

The Italian Council of Ministers approved Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte’s request to extend the state of emergency until October 15th. Under the state of emergency, the government can curb certain freedoms and can make lockdown decisions without parliament's approval.

Sports
F1 2020 season extended with 3 races at Nürburgring, Portimão and Imola
F1 2020 season extended with 3 races at Nürburgring, Portimão and Imola
Credit: Ferrari

Formula One's preliminary schedule has been extended into October and November with the addition of 3 new rounds in Europe (Germany, Portugal and Italy). Those races replace the races in the Americas, now officially ruled out for 2020.

Reports in sports media suggest that the final calendar could see 15 to 18 races, with at least Bahrain and Abu Dhabi tracks expected to be added as season closers.

Politics • European
EU leaders reach deal on €750 billion coronavirus recovery package
EU leaders reach deal on €750 billion coronavirus recovery package
Credit: EU2017EE Estonian Presidency (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

Following the fourth night of talks, EU leaders have struck a deal on a huge post-coronavirus recovery package involving €750 billion in grants and loans to counter the impact of the pandemic in the 27-member bloc. The deal includes as well as a seven-year €1 trillion EU budget.

Member states were split between those hit hardest by the outbreak -- Spain and Italy --, and those more concerned about the costs of the recovery plan --Sweden, Denmark, Austria, the Netherlands and Finland. While the first group wanted a minimum of €400 billion in grants, the later set €375 billion as their upper limit.

The €390 billion figure was suggested as a compromise, and "frugal" nations were reportedly won over by the promise of rebates on their contributions to the EU budget.

Technology • Internet & Web
Tinder starts testing video dates
Tinder Face to Face screenshots
Tinder Face to Face screenshots Credit: Tinder

Tinder announced Wednesday that it has begun testing the ‘Face to Face’ chat feature in the U.S., Brazil, Australia, Spain, Italy, France, Vietnam, Indonesia, Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Peru and Chile.

In a press release, Tinder says: "We recently surveyed our members in the US, and half of them have had video dates with a match off Tinder in the past month. Not only that, but 40 percent of Gen Z members wanted to continue using video as a way to decide whether to meet IRL in the future - even once their favorite date spot is open again"

The new feature was promised as a way Tinder evolves its business in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.

Transportation • Air Transportation & Traffic, Flying
Alitalia to resume international flights from Milan
Alitalia to resume international flights from Milan
Credit: ERIC SALARD (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

Alitalia on Wednesday resumed international flights from Milan Malpensa airport to Amsterdam, Brussels, Paris and London, as Italy gradually reopens its airports to foreign travellers and scraps restrictions imposed to contain the Covid-19 outbreak.

Also, during this month, the company will start flying to a dozen domestic destinations from Milan Malpensa.

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • Art & Design
France arrests six in theft of Banksy artwork from Bataclan
Fire door, Bataclan
Fire door, Bataclan Credit: Banksy

Reuters reports french officials arrested six people near France’s Italian border in connection with the theft of a mural by British street artist Banksy that memorialized the victims of the 2015 Paris terror attacks.

The piece was spray-painted onto an emergency exit door at the Bataclan theatre, and it was stolen in January 2019 by a team of hooded thieves. Detectives tracked it down in a barn at a farmhouse in the Abruzzo region of Italy earlier this month.

Law
Italy arrests Siemens, Alstom executives over alleged bribery relating to Milan subway contracts
Siemens headquarters Munich
Siemens headquarters Munich Credit: Siemens

The Italian Finance police arrested 13 people in an investigation about bribery related to Milan subway contracts. Officials of ATM, Milan municipal transport company, and two executives working for Alstom and one for Siemens were detained.

Milan prosecutor Francesco Greco said that Paolo Bellini, manager at ATM, is accused of taking €125,000 related to eight contract tenders worth €150 million.

Sports
Alex Zanardi, former F1 driver and Paralympian, in medically induced coma after crashing handbike into a truck
Alex Zanardi in the 2011 edition of NYC Marathon
Alex Zanardi in the 2011 edition of NYC Marathon Credit: Brunhild Media (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0)

Alex Zanardi is in a medically induced coma and remained in serious condition a day after crashing his handbike into a truck during a handbike relay in his native Italy. Zanardi, a former Formula 1 driver and Paralympic gold medalist, was taken by helicopter to a hospital in Siena, where he is on a ventilator in intensive care after a three-hour surgery.

Zanardi had both legs amputated after crashing in a CART Series accident in Germany, in 2001 and has since become a four-time Paralympic hand-cycling gold medallist.

Sports • Soccer
Napoli beat Juventus on penalty kicks to take the Coppa Italia trophy
Napoli players celebrates Coppa Italia
Napoli players celebrates Coppa Italia Credit: Twitter (Reproduction)

It was expected to be a hard fought final between the two teams consistently at the top of Italian football in the last decade, and thus it happened: 4-2 was the final result on penalties after a goalless draw.

Napoli turned an initially disappointing season into its most successful one in six years by adding a new cup to their trophy room.

Napoli head-coach Gennaro Gattuso celebrated his first major trophy as a manager, meanwhile, for Juventus' Maurizio Sarri it was yet another missed opportunity to claim an Italian silverware.

Politics • European
AstraZeneca agrees to supply Europe Union members with 400 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine
AstraZeneca Manufacturing
AstraZeneca Manufacturing Credit: AstraZeneca

Europe’s Inclusive Vaccines Alliance (IVA), a group formed by the Netherlands, Germany, France and Italy, concluded a contract with AstraZeneca to provide 400 million doses of a possible vaccine developed by the University of Oxford. If the trial results convince regulators the vaccine is safe and effective, deliveries are expected to start by the end of 2020.

The company reached similar agreements with the United Kingdom and with the United States.

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • Art & Design
Banksy door resurfaces in Italy
Fire door, Bataclan
Fire door, Bataclan Credit: Banksy

The Italian police have found a stolen artwork from the mysterious artist Banksy. The door, which was stolen last year from the Parisian venue Bataclan, was decorated with a mourning girl by the artist to commemorate the victims of the bloodbath caused by Islamic terrorists in 2015.

The artwork was retrieved in cooperation with the French police. The state of the piece and whether there are any suspects in the case is unknown at this point. Tomorrow, the Italian authorities will likely give more in a press conference.

Lifestyle • Travel
German tourists fined after swimming in Venice's Grand Canal
Tourist swimming under Rialto Bridge
Tourist swimming under Rialto Bridge Credit: Notizie.it (YouTube Reproduction)

A pair of German tourists who swam in Venice's Grand Canal on June 3 have been fined €450 each and removed from the city.

The men entered the water in the Erbaria area of the Grand Canal and got out at Riva del Vin, swimming under the city’s famed Rialto Bridge along the way.

Sports • Soccer
Brescia to terminate Mario Balotelli's contract for missing training sessions
Mario Balotelli
Mario Balotelli Credit: Jimmy Baikovicius (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.0)

Brescia decided to unilaterally terminate Mario Balotelli’s contract after the striker has missed several training sessions with the club since the lockdown restrictions were eased in Italy.

Balotelli signed a three-year deal with his hometown club last summer after being released by Marseille and has scored five league goals in 19 appearances this season.

Law
Two women killed in Carinthia, Austria

On Saturday morning, a 60-year old Austrian man killed two women. He murdered the first woman (62), presumably his ex-wife, with an axe and later shot another woman (56) out of his car. The unnamed man fled to Italy where he was spotted at a parking lot by Italian police. The perpetrator fired three warning shots and, upon being approached by police, shot himself.