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Italy’s center-left party poised to win general election

Italy’s centre-left led by Pier Luigi Bersani was poised to win the general election, according to exit polls on Monday, with a large lead over Silvio Berlusconi’s party. The centre-left is set to snap up to 34.5 percent of the vote, with 29 percent going to the centre-right, according to…

Austerity hits Italy’s crumbling cultural heritage

After slashing arts budgets and with its most famous monuments badly in need of repair, Italy’s government is increasingly looking to private investors to help it preserve a priceless cultural heritage. The biggest initiative so far, however, is faltering after billionaire Diego Della Valle said he might pull his 25…

Italian wine industry booming despite European debt crisis

Italy’s wine industry is flourishing despite the recession, with booming exports to foreign markets and competitive domestic pricing, experts said Monday at the start of the Vinitaly trade fair. “Italian wine growers have been able to seize the moment,” said Giovanni Mantovani, director of Verona Fiere, the company which organises…

Italy court rules LGBT have right to ‘family life’

Italy’s highest civil court opened the way for homosexuals to have the same rights as heterosexual married couples Thursday, but it upheld a ban on gay marriage and said those celebrated abroad were not valid in Italy. In a ruling welcomed by gay rights groups, the court said that homosexuals…

Ten arrests in global child porn network

Ten people have been arrested in France, Italy, Portugal and the United States in an Italian-led inquiry into an online child porn network operating in 28 countries, investigators said Thursday. The prosecutor’s office in Florence headed the probe, nicknamed “Operation Nanny”, in coordination with the European Union’s judicial cooperation unit…

Europe cold snap claims 260 lives, causes ferry scare

Hundreds of people were rescued Saturday after a ferry caught in a snow storm hit a breakwater off Italy, as a vicious cold snap that has claimed over 260 lives across Europe tightened its grip. Ukraine has suffered the heaviest toll with 122 deaths, including many who froze to death…

Death toll from Europe freeze tops 220

Temperatures plunged to new lows in Europe where a week-long cold snap has now claimed more than 220 lives and forecasters warned Friday that the big freeze would tighten its grip over the weekend. A total of 223 people have died from the cold weather in the last seven days…

World stocks steady near 5-1/2 month high

LONDON (Reuters) – World stocks held steady near a 5-1/2 month high on Friday as investors anticipated an imminent conclusion to Greek debt talks while lower Spanish bond yields and a fall in Italy’s six-month borrowing costs also supported the euro. EU Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn said…

Warnings of ecological timebomb after Italy ship wreck

GIGLIO ISLAND, Italy — Fears rose of an environmental disaster from a wrecked cruise ship in an area of outstanding natural beauty in Italy on Monday as hopes faded of finding any more survivors on board. “This is an ecological timebomb,” Sergio Ortelli, mayor of the picturesque Tuscan island where…

Once a stray, Italian kitty inherits $13 million

A cat in Rome, Italy is officially part of the 1 percent after inheriting $13.3 million. Four-year-old Tommaso may have once been a stray, but he’s now the third-richest pet in the world. His 94-year-old owner was a childless widow who left the money to the kitty because no animal…

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