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17 stolen masterpieces returned to Italy with only scratches
21 December 2016 - Seventeen masterpieces valued at 17 million euros ($17.7 million) were returned to Italy from Ukraine on Wednesday after being stolen ... from a Verona art museum last year. Italian Culture Minister Dario Franceschini, who traveled to Kiev to retrieve the paintings -- which included works by Rubens, Tintoretto, and Mantegna -- said the possibility of ever recovering them once seem remote. Still, the paintings returned with little more than scratches after their long ordeal, according to an art expert. (more)

United States returns stolen 14th century image of saint to Italy
9 December 2016 - A stolen 14th century illustration of a Roman Catholic saint was returned on Friday to Italy, where it will be put in a museum, U.S. Customs officials said. The image, an ink, tempera, and gold image of a haloed Saint Lucy, had spent decades at the Cleveland Museum of Art, which bought it in good faith in 1952, the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency said in a statement. It said the artifact was turned over in a ceremony at the Italian Embassy. (more)

African migrants go to Italian quake zone to help survivors
26 August 2016 - African migrants hoping to start a new life in Italy after risking their lives crossing the Mediterranean have headed to the area of Wednesday's earthquake, helping local people who lost everything in the disaster. 'It was their idea. They wanted to do something, so we helped make it happen,' said Letizia Dellabarba of the Human Solidarity Group (GUS) charity that brought the migrants to Pescara del Tronto. Dellabarba said most of the migrants who helped in the quake zone were from Burkina Fasso, Niger, and Senegal. (more)

Italy tackles food waste with law encouraging firms to donate food
3 August 2016 - A law passed in the Senate on Tuesday will help Italy recover 1 million tonnes of food a year for the needy, according to the law's chief sponsor, and comes six months after a similar bill was passed in France. Unlike the French law, however, which penalises supermarkets that fail to abide by new rules forcing them to donate unsold food to charities, the Italian law has instead focused on incentives that make it easier for companies to change their behaviour. It is estimated that Italy wastes about 5.1 million tonnes of food a year. (more)

New mayor wants Turin to become Italy's first 'vegetarian city'
21 July 2016 - Meat dishes have been central to the food tradition of northern Italy for centuries. But Chiara Appendino, the new mayor of Turin and a force in the populist Five Star Movement (M5S), could be about to change all that. The move is unprecedented in Italian municipal government. Last year the World Health Organization labelled cured meats such as ham, sausage, and salami as carcinogenic. (more)

Rome's refilled Trevi Fountain basks in restored glory
3 November 2015 - Water coursed back into Rome's Trevi Fountain for the first time in over a year on Tuesday as the city showed off the latest privately-funded restoration of its prized landmarks. The work was sponsored by fashion house Fendi. Tourists in the piazza, named after the three roads ('tre vie') that once met there, waited to throw a coin into the newly-crystalline water in homage to the tradition that doing so guarantees the thrower a return trip to the Italian capital. (more)

Italy tells EU it will opt out of growing GMO crops: statement
1 October 2015 - Italy has told the European Commission that it will ban growing crops with genetically modified organisms (GMOs) under a rule that allows European Union countries to opt out of GMO cultivation, a government statement said on 1 October. On Wednesday, Germany sent a similar letter to Brussels, and Bulgaria also said it would opt out of GMO cultivation. (more)

Italy hails mergers and acquisitions boom after dry spell
1 April 2015 - Mergers and acquisitions in Italy in the first three months of 2015 has nearly matched the value of such transactions for all of the previous year, with hungry investors encouraged by Prime Minister Matteo Renzi's push for reforms. The emergence of international buyers is also seen by deal-makers as a sign of more transparent and open business pratices in the country, where foreign buyers have at times been sidelined regardless of their merits in past auction processes to the benefit of Italian bidders. Italy's mergers and acquisitions fervour follows years of stagnation and the flight of international investors at the start of the financial crisis. (more)

Italy: Turin Egyptian Museum gets overhaul of pharaonic proportions
31 March 2015 - For the earliest Egyptologists, a trip to the Egyptian Museum in Turin, Italy was considered indispensable. The museum's new director is seeking to return the almost 200-year-old museum to its one-time prominence, boosted by an overhaul of the collection and exhibit space of near-pharaonic proportions. The museum, founded in 1824, is filled with treasures and contains the world's second-largest collection of Egyptian artifacts after Cairo. (more)

italy's Santa Maria Novella: The ancient perfume store you've never heard of
27 March 2015 - In an unassuming building on a quiet street, not far from the bustle of Florence's Santa Maria Novella train station, stands what is probably the world's oldest pharmacy and cosmetic shop. The rather plain entrance gives no inkling of the aromatic treasures within this 600-year-old establishment, which still uses ancient recipes to make its modern-day perfumes and skin care products. Dominican friars arrived in Florence at the beginning of the 13th century and converted the church of Santa Maria Novella into a monastery. They made an apothecary in the adjoining cloister and started cultivating medicinal herbs and dispensing balms, ointments, and other herbal remedies to the convent's infirmary. (more)


Success of Maharishi's Programmes
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Italy: Conference in Milan presents success of Consciousness-Based Education
7 May 2014 - The 1,500 seat conference venue was filled to capacity for the recent Scuola Senza Stress conference in Milan, Italy. The large audience was drawn to learn from distinguished education experts from Italy, the USA, and the UK, all about how Consciousness-Based Education can create 'stress-free schools', transforming the lives of students, educators, and families in Italy. The conference was endorsed by local officials in Milan, including Dr Guido Podesta, President of Milan Province, who gave the introductory speech at the conference, and also spoke in support of Stress-Free-Schools at an inaugural press conference held at the provincial palace. The Album of Events page of Global Good News is currently featuring a series of photos from this event. (more)

Italy: Educators present Stress-Free Schools to administrators, faculty, students, parents in Milan
5 February 2014 - The purpose of the recent Scuola Senza Stress (Stress-Free Schools) conference in Milan was to show how implementing Consciousness-Based Education could create stress-free schools, transforming the lives of students, educators, and families in Italy. The 1,500 seat hall was at near capacity for the event. Highlights of the conference were talks by educators, including Dr Ashley Deans, a long-time expert in Consciousness-Based Education, who described the benefits of incorporating the programme in schools. Giovanna Finocchiaro, pioneer of Scuola Senza Stress in Italy, shared her experiences with the programme at a school in Sicily. (more)

Italy: Local television interviews David Lynch about cinema, Consciousness-Based Education
5 February 2014 - In 2005 filmmaker David Lynch established the David Lynch Foundation for Consciousness-Based Education and World Peace to ensure that every child, anywhere in the world, who wanted to learn Transcendental Meditation could do so. In Milan for the recent Stress-Free Schools conference, Mr Lynch was invited to appear on a popular local television channel. During the interview he spoke about the cinema as well as several of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi's programmes to improve the quality of life both for individuals and the society--Transcendental Meditation, Consciousness-Based Education, and Stress-Free Schools. (more)

Italy: Stress-Free Schools conference draws Milan officials' praise for Consciousness-Based Education
5 February 2014 - A recent conference in Milan, Italy, focused on the effectiveness of Consciousness-Based Education, including the practice of Transcendental Meditation, in creating 'Stress-Free Schools'--Scuola Senza Stress--and transforming the lives of students, families, and the community as a whole. Distinguished speakers from Italy, the UK, and the USA included provincial president Guido Podesta, filmmaker David Lynch, founder of the David Lynch Foundation, which presented the conference at the provincial palace, and Giovanna Finocchiaro, a schoolteacher in Sicily and the pioneer of Stress-Free Schools in Italy. (more)

Milan, Italy: David Lynch talks Stress-Free Schools - Scuola Senza Stress - to promote harmony, peace
5 February 2014 - On a recent visit to Italy, world-renowned filmmaker David Lynch spoke at a conference about Stress-Free Schools, gave a live presentation about the conference on a nationally broadcast television programme, and met with local people who practise Transcendental Meditation. Everywhere his message was the same--encouraging implementation of Consciousness-Based Education in schools to promote national peace, harmony, and prosperity. (more)

Italy: Expanding programmes support development of consciousness and better quality of life
17 July 2013 - In the past year several new developments unfolded to improve the quality of life for Italians. A course in Maharishi Vedic Organic Agriculture was offered, more students enjoyed Consciousness-Based Education, and news of the Transcendental Meditation programme began to reach a wider audience across the country. (more)

Italy: National assemblies deepen knowledge and experience of meditation
17 July 2013 - In the past year, two large national assemblies in Italy have given people who practise Transcendental Meditation special opportunities to deepen their understanding of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi's Vedic Science. At the same time participants enjoyed creating a coherent, peaceful influence in the environment while accelerating their development of consciousness through group practice of Transcendental Meditation and its advanced technologies of consciousness. The assemblies were held in Castel San Pietro Terme, a renowned spa town near Bologna, in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy. (more)

Italy: Physicians take in-depth training in Maharishi Ayur-Veda health care
17 July 2013 - Fifteen medical doctors in Italy have concluded the second year of a three-year training course for health professionals in Maharishi Ayur-Veda health care. (more)

Italy: Research presented on effectiveness of Transcendental Meditation to combat Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
17 July 2013 - In June research conducted by brain research expert Fred Travis, PhD, was presented at an international conference in Bologna, Italy, on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Dr Travis is co-author of a study published in April in the Journal of Traumatic Stress, which found dramatically reduced PTSD symptoms in African war refugees. The talk, 'Transcending trauma: Effectiveness of Transcendental Meditation practice for combating PTSD', was presented by Dr Rossano Maset, a teacher of the Transcendental Meditation programme in Italy who serves as education director for the organization. The conference was organized by the Italian Society of Traumatic Stress Studies. (more)

'We'll meditate forever!' - Students at Italian school 'passionate' about Transcendental Meditation
14 April 2012 - In anticipation of the recent visit of Dr Bevan Morris, President of Maharishi University of Management, the students at a middle school in Sicily decorated the school with colourful posters expressing the joy and happiness they experience from their Transcendental Meditation practice. The posters, many of which were decorated with rainbows, flowers, and beautiful cutouts, exclaimed, 'We'll Meditate Forever!', 'Meditation is Paradise', and 'Let's Meditate!' (more)


Flops
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Italy quake toll hits 250 as rescuers search flattened towns
26 August 2016 - The death toll from a devastating earthquake in central Italy climbed to 250 on Thursday (25 August) as rescue teams scoured mounds of rubble for a second day in towns and villages flattened by the natural disaster. The 6.2 magnitude quake struck a cluster of mountain communities 140 km (85 miles) east of Rome early on Wednesday (24 August) as people slept, destroying hundreds of homes. Italy sits on two fault lines, making it one of the most seismically active countries in Europe. (more)

Costa Concordia captain Francesco Schettino sparks outrage by giving seminar on 'managing panic' at Sapienza Rome university
6 August 2014 - The Sapienza University of Rome has found itself at the centre of controversy after it emerged Francesco Schettino, the captain of the doomed Costa Concordia, was invited to speak at an event organised by a university professor on 'managing panic'. Italian newspaper La Nazione reports that Schettino, currently on trial for charges of manslaughter and abandoning ship, described himself an 'expert' on panic management in times of crisis as he spoke at the end of a limited access session held off the campus and organised by professor Vincenzo Mastronardi who teaches at the University's Faculty of Medicine. Schettino, who allegedly refused repeated orders to get back on the Concordia while as many as 300 passengers remained trapped on board, spoke after a 3D reconstruction of the sinking of the ship was shown. He allegedly told the newspaper: 'I was invited as an expert -- I know how you behave in these situations. Besides, I have travelled in all the seas of the world, I know how you are supposed to react with ethnically diverse crews.' (more)

Mortality rates higher in Italy's toxic 'Land of Fires'
4 July 2014 - Mortality rates are higher in the Campanian toxic-waste-burning zone the Land of Fires and around the polluting ILVA steel plant in Taranto than in the rest of Italy, the Higher Health Institute (ISS) has confirmed. In the Land of Fires near Naples mortality rates compared to the rest of Campania are 10 per cent higher for men and 13 per cent higher for women, the ISS said. In Taranto infant mortality is 21 per cent higher than in the rest of Puglia, it said. (more)

Italy: Eco-mafia earned 15 bn euros in 2013
11 June 2014 - An average of over three environmental infractions were committed in Italy every hour last year, reported the Italian environmental association Legambiente on Wednesday. In discussing its 2014 report, the group noted that 29,274 infractions were committed in 2013, that revenue from the crimes topped 15 billion euros and that 321 organized crimes groups had been involved. The financial takings from environmental crimes was down from some 16 billion euros the previous year, though profits from illegal special waste management remained at 3.1 billion euros and illegal building was still at 1.7 billion. (more)

Multi-million-euro corruption scandal in Venice
4 June 2014 - The mayor of Venice was among 35 people arrested Wednesday in an unfolding multi-million-euro corruption scandal, one that includes a Berlusconi-era minister in an alleged scheme that funneled bribes to political campaigns through the lagoon city's flood-protection system over the course of a decade. At the centre of the alleged bribery web is Consorzio Venezia Nuova, a consortium of private and government entities responsible for safeguarding the Venetian lagoon, which includes MOSE, a 5.5-billion-euro system of retractable flood barriers set for completion in 2016 after years of delays. The MOSE investigation comes as investigators probe other graft allegations in northern Italy. Last month police uncovered a suspected criminal network that organised bribes in exchange for contracts to work for Milan Expo 2015, or the World's Fair. Both cases have put pressure on Premier Renzi, who appointed an anti-corruption czar in response to the Expo scandal and growing popular disenchantment with the ruling class. (more)

Migrant boat carrying hundreds sinks south of Sicily, at least 14 dead
12 May 2014 - Italian naval and coast guard vessels recovered 14 bodies and rescued around 200 people after a migrant boat sank in the sea between Libya and southern Sicily, authorities said on Monday, a day after dozens were drowned in a similar incident. Italy has struggled for decades with a stream of migrants travelling in small, unsafe boats from North Africa to the islet of Lampedusa, midway between Tunisia and Sicily. The influx of migrants has grown since the Arab Spring upheavals of 2011 and the protracted civil war in Syria. An Italian navy statement said two naval and two coast guard patrol boats and a vessel from the Guardia di Finanza customs police had joined the rescue operation on Monday and medical assistance was being provided to survivors. On Sunday, at least 40 people died and 51 others were rescued after a boat carrying migrants mostly from sub-Saharan Africa sank off Libya's coast east of Tripoli. Hundreds of migrants were drowned in two separate disasters last year that prompted the Italian government to step up air and marine patrols of the seas south of Sicily. (more)

ADHD medicine's long-term safety unknown - Italian research
2 May 2014 - Scant research has been done on the long-term safety of drugs for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), a new analysis shows, though millions of American children have been taking them for decades. The US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 11 per cent of American children between the ages of four and 17 -- or 6.4 million -- had been diagnosed with ADHD as of 2011. About half were taking drugs to treat the disorder. 'We have too few long-term studies on the effects of these medicines,' Dr. Sanford Newmark told Reuters Health. 'There's a big, big gap in our understanding of what the effects of these medicines might be. It's worrisome.' Researchers from the Mario Negri Institute for Pharmacological Research in Milan, Italy, found a dearth of long-term studies on side effects of stimulants such as Ritalin, which some kids take into adulthood. In 2011, Danish researchers, after reviewing short-term studies examining adverse reactions to ADHD drugs, also called for long-term safety studies. They pointed out that drug manufacturers funded almost all of the studies, and a majority of the authors received contributions from the pharmaceutical companies producing the medications. (more)

Italy: Binge drinking, more than 7 million of people at risk
10 April 2014 - More than seven million people, or 13.2 per cent of Italy's total population over the age of 11, demonstrated behaviour in 2013 that put them at risk of alcohol abuse, the Italian statistical agency Istat said Wednesday. 'In young people, consumption is more frequently occasional, but with a strong risk of binge drinking, while the greater concern for adults and the elderly is excessive daily consumption of alcohol,' said Istat's Emanuela Bologna at Alcohol Prevention Day in Rome, organized by an alcoholism observatory within Italy's National Health Institute. (more)

Unsafe Italian schools risk earthquake disaster
4 April 2014 - Italy risks disaster if its schools are not strengthened against earthquakes, leading geologists said on Friday, in a call for action before the fifth anniversary of a quake in the university town of L'Aquila that killed over 300. Risk to life from earthquakes in Italy has worsened since the disaster on 6 April 2009, the National Council of Geologists warned, saying buildings had continued to be constructed without respecting anti-earthquake regulations. The council's president Gian Vito Graziano warned casualties may have been much higher if the earthquake had not struck at night. Decaying schools are a well-known but neglected problem in Italy. The most recent Pisa school assessment released in December by the OECD noted that all schools in Italy suffer from poor physical infrastructure. A survey of 5,300 school buildings across the country showed just 9.0 per cent were built to withstand earthquakes and 60 per cent did not have a fire safety certificate, according to environment group Legambiente. Despite a striking need for works on school buildings, the survey noted a steep drop in spending on repairs between 2009 and 2012 as spending cuts hit during the economic downturn in those years. Of the schools in the Abruzzo region where L'Aquila is located, 94.5 per cent were reported to need extraordinary structural repairs. (more)

Italian troops sent into Naples' 'Triangle of Death' because of mafia wars over illegal waste disposal
1 April 2014 - The Italian government is sending 100 troops into the area north of Naples that has seen a spike in murders and continued environmental destruction from mob-run waste disposal rackets. Every night north-east of the city, between the towns of Nola, Acerra and Marigliano, hundreds of small fires burn in fields and waste ground in what is known as the 'Triangle of Death' -- which gained its name for the high cancer rates thought to be caused by pollution from the waste. Camorra gangs are thought to be to blame as they make millions of euros a year by disposing of waste, as well as dumping poisons. The past few months have also seen a surge in murders as the 90 or so clans and their 4,000 affiliates fight turf wars over the lucrative 'Ecomafia' business -- the illegal disposal of toxic waste. Massimiliano Manfredi, a Naples-born MP and a member of the parliamentary Anti-Mafia Commission, said that rooting out corrupt officials who helped the mafia would be more effective than sending in troops. (more)

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