Regional News • Europe
AstraZeneca hid 29 million doses of vaccines in a facility near Rome
AstraZeneca hid 29 million doses of vaccines in a facility near Rome
Credit: Illustration: Pendect, Ashley Winkler. (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

Italian inspectors found a secret stock of 29 million doses of the AstraZeneca Coronavirus vaccine in a filling plant of the company near Rome. AstraZeneca delivered around 30 million doses to the EU so far, but promised three times as much. The EU Commission is now demanding accountability.

Lifestyle • Religion
Pope's personal physician dies of Covid-19 complications after already heaving cancer

Pope Francis' personal physician, Fabrizio Soccorsi, has died as a result of an infection with the coronavirus. As reported by the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano, the 78-year-old died after "complications" from a Covid 19 infection. Soccorsi had been admitted to Rome's Gemelli University Hospital on Christmas Day due to cancer.

The 84-year-old pontiff wants to be vaccinated as soon as possible.

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.

Regional News • Europe
Mayor of Rome says she's been targeted by Mafia
Mayor of Rome says she's been targeted by Mafia
Credit: Livioandronico2013 / via Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

According to the mayor of Rome, Virginia Raggi, organized crime groups planned to kill her and her family after she demolished some of their illegally built villas in 2018, forcing her to live with a police escort.

Raggi stated that "we have been informed that they were planning an attack against me and my family," and that "there are parts of Rome where people come close to me to tell me to keep on fighting but then they move away because they are afraid of being seen by the clans,".

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."

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 • Golf
2020 Ryder Cup postponed to September 2021
Phil Mickelson during Ryder Cup 2018
Phil Mickelson during Ryder Cup 2018 Credit: Franck BITON (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

The Ryder Cup was postponed until 2021 in Wisconsin due to the Covid-19 pandemic. After weeks of discussions between the PGA of America, the European Tour and the PGA Tour the event, scheduled for September 25-27 at Whistling Straits had to be moved to September 24-26 in 2021.

The next Ryder Cup to be held in Europe has also been moved by a year to 2023 in Rome.

That is the second time in the last two decades the Ryder Cup was postponed, the first time was in 2001, after the September 11 terrorist attacks.