Italy

Regional News • Europe • Italy
Giuseppe Conte wins confidence vote in Italy's senate by slim margin
Giuseppe Conte wins confidence vote in Italy's senate by slim margin
Credit: Presidency of the Italian Republic / via Wikimedia Commons

The victory ends the turmoil triggered by former prime minister Matteo Renzi, who last week yanked his small Italia Viva party from the ruling coalition, which includes the Five Star Movement (M5S) and Democratic party (PD), over disagreements about the handling of the pandemic and a post-Covid-19 economic recovery plan.

Conte, who has led two different administrations since 2018, was supported today by 156 lawmakers in the senate on Tuesday, with 140 voting against and 16 abstaining. Conte also won a vote of confidence in the lower house on Monday.

Thus, Italy’s prime minister, has managed to cling to power, but he will plough ahead with an even more fragile government as the country battles to emerge from the coronavirus pandemic and recession.

While minority governments are nothing new in Italy, what will be unprecedented is a minority government (backed by an unwieldly coalition) attempting to lead the country out of the deepest economic crisis since the second world war in the middle of a pandemic that has claimed more than 83000 victims while also trying to create a multi-year plan to manage €209bn (£185bn) of recovery funding from the EU.

Health
Pope Francis and his predecessor Pope Benedict received first shot of Covid-19 vaccine
Pope Francis and his predecessor Pope Benedict received first shot of Covid-19 vaccine
Credit: Vatican News

The Vatican confirmed on Thursday that Pope Francis, aged 84, and retired Pope Benedict, aged 93, have had their first doses of a coronavirus vaccine. The pontiff and his predecessor got the first half of their vaccinations as part of a campaign for Vatican City residents and employees launched on January 13th.

"You are gambling with your health, with your life, but you are also gambling with the lives of others," Francis said in a recent interview with Italian broadcaster Canale 5. He said "anti-vaxxers" were living in inexplicable "suicidal denial."

In December, the head of the Vatican's health service said the tiny city-state would roll out its vaccination program with the Pfizer medication.

Regional News • Europe • Italy
Italian Government left without Parliamentary Majority as Matteo Renzi Pulls his Party from Ruling Coalition
Matteo Renzi
Matteo Renzi Credit: Università Ca' Foscari Venezia

The Giuseppe Conte-led administration is teetering on the brink of collapse after the former prime minister, Matteo Renzi, pulled his small Italia Viva party from the ruling coalition. Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte could now either offer his resignation to the president, Sergio Mattarella, who could give him a mandate to try to forge a new alliance, or go to parliament for a vote of confidence. Other possible outcomes include Mattarella putting together a broad-based government of national unity or, failing that, calling elections.

Regional News • Americas • United States
World Leaders condemn DC protests

Political leaders across the globe, have expressed their concern and shock as Pro-Trump supporters stormed the US Capitol and condemned the violence happening on the day the US Senate was to certify the Electoral College results.

"The right of people to exercise a vote, have their voice heard and then have that decision upheld peacefully should never be undone by a mob," so Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern of New Zealand and said she and her countrymen were "devastated" by the events.

Leader of the nationalist League party in Italy, Matteo Salvini, who has been a vocal supporter of Trump, said on Twitter that "violence is never the solution" and Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India called for an "orderly and peaceful transfer of power."

Regional News • World
More than 40 countries ban British flights over new Covid-19 strain, EU members discuss co-ordinate response

More than 40 countries have imposed a ban on UK arrivals, include Belgium, Canada, India, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, Romania, Russia, and Switzerland. On Monday, European Union member states meet to discuss a co-ordinated response and France is planning to establish a protocol "to ensure movement from the UK can resume.

Health
One person in Italy tests positive for the British Covid-19 variant
One person in Italy tests positive for the British Covid-19 variant
Credit: Ashley Winkler for Pendect

The scientific department of the Celio military polyclinic, which is collaborating with the Higher Institute of Health in this emergency, has sequenced the genome of the Sars-Cov-2 virus from a subject who tested positive with the variant found in recent weeks in Great Britain.

The patient, and his partner, who returned from the UK on a flight that landed at Fiumicino airport in Rome in the last few days, are in isolation "and have followed, together with other family members and close contacts, all the procedures established by the Ministry of Health". Several experts agree on this last point, from the president of the Higher Health Council Franco Locatelli to virologist Fabrizio Pregliasco and Giacomo Gorini, a researcher at Oxford University's Jenner Institute.

Health
Several European countries halt landing of British flights after detection of new virus mutation
Several European countries halt landing of British flights after detection of new virus mutation
Credit: unsplash.com / Daniel Klein

After a new strain of Covid-19 was detected in the UK, several European countries have imposed a landing ban on British flights. Trains to Belgium have also been banned.

The Netherlands have banned British Flights until January 1. Italy's foreign minister has announced that his government joins the ban on flights. Austria and Germany are planning to impose similar measures, but no immediate details are currently known.

Sports • Soccer
Italy World Cup legend Paolo Rossi is dead
Paolo Rossi
Paolo Rossi Credit: STF / AFP Photo / UPI (Public Domain)

Italy's 1982 World Cup hero Paolo Rossi has died aged 64. His death was announced on Thursday, following what Italian media report had been a long illness.

He was the first player, later equalled by Ronaldo, to win the World Cup, the top scorer title and the Golden Ball in the same year.

Regional News • Europe
Italy bans internal travel over Christmas; keeps ski resorts closed until 7 January
Italy bans internal travel over Christmas; keeps ski resorts closed until 7 January
Credit: unsplash/Gabriella Clare Marino

On Thursday night, Prime MinisterGiuseppe Conte signed a new decree banning travel between regions in Italy from December 20 to January 6 and travel between municipalities between December 25 and December 26 to discourage large private gatherings. The government also resisted pressure from leaders of Alpine regions and will keep ski resorts closed until 7 January.

Regional News • Europe
Italy reports 28,352 new Covid-19 cases and 827 deaths
Italy reports 28,352 new Covid-19 cases and 827 deaths
Credit: Adam Nieścioruk

The Italian Health Ministry reported 827 Covid 19-related deaths and 28,352 new infections in the country. Italy was the first Western country to be hit by the virus and has seen 53,677 COVID-19 fatalities since its outbreak emerged in February, the second-highest toll in Europe after Great Britain.

While Italy's daily death tolls have been amongst the highest in Europe over recent days, the rise in hospital admissions and intensive care occupancy has slowed, suggesting the latest wave of infections was receding. The northern region of Lombardy, centred on Italy's financial capital Milan, remained the hardest hit area on Friday, reporting 5,389 new cases from a previous 5,697.

Regional News • Europe • European Union
Germany, Italy, France urge to shut ski slopes until Jan 10; EU waves off
Germany, Italy, France urge to shut ski slopes until Jan 10; EU waves off
Credit: unsplash/https://unsplash.com/photos/vZz5RKpVIyg

Germany joins Italy and France in their demand to ban ski resorts from opening until January 10, stating it would be a "great risk, even crazy, to open ski-slopes."

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and multiple prime ministers addressed an appeal to all citizens to refrain from "all not absolutely necessary professional and private journeys, in particular, tourist journeys to foreign countries, especially considering the start of the ski season."

"The Federal Government is asked to come to coordinated regulations at European level in order to prevent ski tourism from being permitted before 10 January", the paper continues.

EU Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides opposes a Europe-wide ski ban over the Christmas holidays, saying that "there is no formula that applies to all EU countries because every country has a different situation."

Regional News • Europe
Italy reports 36,176 new Covid-19 cases on Thursday, 653 deaths
Rome during the Covid-19 pandemic
Rome during the Covid-19 pandemic Credit: Camelia.boban (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

Italy has registered 36,176 new coronavirus infections over the past 24 hours, the health ministry said on Thursday, up from 34,283 the day before.

Italy was the first Western country to be hit by the virus and has seen 47,870 Covid-19 fatalities since its outbreak emerged in February, the second-highest toll in Europe after Britain's.

The northern region of Lombardy, centred on Italy's financial capital Milan, remained the hardest hit area on Thursday, reporting 7,453 new cases, down from 7,633 the day before.

Regional News • Europe
Italy: 33,979 Coronavirus cases and 546 deaths

Italy reported 33,979 Coronavirus cases and 546 deaths on Sunday, a slight decrease compared to Saturday. The Lombardy is one of the hardest hit regions of the country.

Regional News • Europe
Italy reports record 40,902 daily coronavirus cases and 550 deaths
Italy reports record 40,902 daily coronavirus cases and 550 deaths
Credit: Adam Nieścioruk

The Italian health ministry said Friday the country has registered a record 40,902 new coronavirus infections over the past 24 hours, up from 37,978 on Thursday. Infections in Italy since the disease first came to light in February total 1.107 million, while 44,139 people have now died because of the coronavirus.

The northern region of Lombardy, centred on Italy's financial capital Milan, remained the hardest hit area on Friday, reporting 10,634 new cases against 9,291 on Thursday.

Sports
Valtteri Bottas beats Lewis Hamilton to Emilia Romagna Grand Prix pole at Imola
Valtteri Bottas beats Lewis Hamilton to Emilia Romagna Grand Prix pole at Imola
Credit: LAT Images for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd

Valtteri Bottas beat Mercedes team-mate, Lewis Hamilton, to take the pole position for the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix at Imola. The Finn was 0.097 seconds quicker than Hamilton, with Red Bull's Max Verstappen starting in third.

The top five are complete with Alpha Tauri's Pierre Gasly taking a surprise fourth position followed by Renault's Daniel Ricciardo in fifth.

Technology • Internet & Web
Italian Competition Authority opens investigation against Google
Italian Competition Authority opens investigation against Google
Credit: Courtesy of Philipp Klöckner

The Italian Competition Authority has opened an investigation against Google, questioning the discriminatory use of the huge amount of data collected through its various applications, allegedly preventing rivals from competing effectively as well as adversely affecting consumers.

In addition, Google has allegedly used their technology to achieve a targeting capability that some equally efficient competitors are unable to replicate by using tracking elements enabling its advertising intermediation services.

Regional News • Europe
Italy: Protests against Coronavirus measures

Following new Coronavirus restrictions, protests broke out across Italy on Monday. Clashes involving petrol bombs happened in both Milan and Turin. In Naples, protestors called for the resignation of its governor. Italy has imposed a curfew in many Italian regions and has ordered the closure of eateries, gyms and cinemas after 6pm.

Regional News • Europe
Europe's Covid-19 cases doubled over the past ten days
Europe's Covid-19 cases doubled over the past ten days
Credit: unsplash.com/Ewien van Bergeijk - Kwant

Covid-19 cases have doubled in Europe over the past ten days, rising from 100,000 to 200,000. Multiple countries, including Austria, Germany, Italy and France, have reported daily records in the past week.

Regional News • Europe
Rome to impose a nightly curfew
Rome during the Covid-19 lockdown in March 2020
Rome during the Covid-19 lockdown in March 2020 Credit: Camelia.boban (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

The Lazio region in Italy that includes the capital Rome plans to introduce a curfew from midnight to 5 am to try to reduce the surging Covid-19 infections.

According to Reuters, sources in the regional government said the new rules would be effective from Friday. Also, the source said, the region would introduce restrictions on schools and universities.

Lifestyle • Religion
Pope Francis endorses same-sex civil unions
Pope Francis
Pope Francis Credit: Long Thiên (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

Pope Francis as made his most explicit endorsement of same-sex civil unions since becoming pontiff while being interviewed for the feature-length documentary “Francesco,” which premiered Wednesday at the Rome Film Festival.

"Homosexual people have the right to be in a family. They are children of God," Francis said in one of his sit-down interviews for the film. "You can't kick someone out of a family, nor make their life miserable for this. What we have to have is a civil union law; that way they are legally covered."