Italian woman granted sick pay for time off to look after her ill dog

Rome academic wins landmark court case where she argued that two days taken as leave to care for dog should be allowable

An Italian woman has won her battle to be granted sick pay for days she took off to look after her poorly puppy, in a first for the pet-loving country.

The woman, a Rome academic, won her instance with the help of lawyers from the Italian Anti-Vivisection League( LAV ), one of the biggest animal rights groups in Europe, the organisation said.

A judge accepted the lawyers’ example that her university should count her two days off under an allowance for absences related to” serious or household personal reasons “.

Their argument was underpinned by a provision in Italy’s penal code that provides for people who abandon an animal to” grave suffering” to be jailed for a year and fined up to EUR1 0,000.

” It is a significant step forward that recognised that animals that are not maintain for financial gain or their working ability are effectively members of the family ,” said LAV president Gianluca Felicetti.

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Brexit critic Colin Firth opts for Italian passport for family reasons

Oscar-winning actor will continue to be based in London as officials in Rome confirm he now holds dual nationality

Many of the threats and promises exchanged during the row over Brexit have yet to be tested by period, but this weekend at the least one has come to pass. The Oscar-winning movie performer and producer Colin Firth, unmoved by Theresa May’s pronouncements in Florence, has accepted Italian citizenship, in agreement with the Italian interior ministry in Rome.

It was reported in May that the actor had made a formal application for Italian citizenship in response to the vote to leave the European Union, while last year Firth’s apparent opposition to the referendum result was noted in an Austrian newspaper.

He was said to have described Brexit as” a disaster of unexpected proportions “. The actor’s agent said that the decision to apply for a new passport at the Italian embassy in London had been a family decision. He would not confirm that it had anything to do with Brexit.

” Colin applied for dual citizenship[ British and Italian] in order to have the same passports as his wife and children ,” the agent said.

The 56 -year-old star came to fame as Jane Austen’s aloof Mr Darcy, the epitome of the reticent English aristocrat, in an acclaimed 1995 BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice . But from now on Firth is officially as Italian as spaghetti carbonara.

” The very famous actor, who won an Oscar for the cinema The King’s Speech , is married to a citizen from our country and has often declared his love for our land ,” the Italian interior ministry said.

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Firth, who grew up and went to school in Hampshire, has been married to the Italian environmental campaigner, way entrepreneur and film producer Livia Giuggioli since 1997. The couple live in Chiswick, London, with their two sons Luca, 16, and Matteo, 13.

Since Italy is one of the few European countries that allows dual nationality, Firth is expected to keep his British passport as well as a home in this country.

Firth and Giuggioli, 47, also have a house near the cities of Citta della Pieve in Umbria and the actor speaks good Italian. His 2008 cinema Genova , directed against Michael Winterbottom, told of a widower who falls in love first with Italy and then with an Italian woman. The actor, who has also appeared in the reach cinemas The English Patient , Bridget Jones’s Diary , Love, Actually and Shakespeare in Love , is currently promoting his new film Kingsman: The Golden Circle , a sequel to the ironic, action-packed 2015 hit.

Since the Brexit decision, a growing number of Britons have applied for citizenship in EU countries, with Irish applications outstripping all others. Any Briton born in the Irish Republic or Northern Ireland, or with an Irish mother or grandparent, is entitled to an Irish passport and it is thought six million could be eligible.

May went out of her way in Florence to pledge that hundreds of thousands of Italians living in the UK would retain their full rights.

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Aid groups snub Italian code of conduct on Mediterranean rescues

Five of eight groups operating migrant rescue ships refuse to agree to new measures, quoting concerns over operational effectiveness and neutrality

Five aid groups that operate migrant rescue ships in the Mediterranean have refused to sign up to the Italian governments code of conduct, the Interior Ministry said, but three others backed the new rules.

Charity boats have become increasingly important in rescue operations, picking up more than a third of all migrants brought ashore in so far this year against less than one percent in 2014, according to the Italian coastguard.

Italy, fearing that the groups were facilitating people smuggling from North Africa and encouraging migrants to stimulate the perilous passageway to Europe, proposed a code containing around a dozen phases for the charities. Those who refused to sign the document had set themselves outside the organised system of ocean rescues, with all the concrete outcomes that they are able have, the ministry said.

Italy has hitherto threatened to shut its ports to NGOs that did not sign on, but an source within the Interior Ministry said that in reality those groups would face more checks from Italian authorities.

Doctors Without Borders( MSF ), which has taken part in many of the rescues of the 95,000 migrants brought to Italy this year, attended a meeting at the Interior Ministry but refused to sign the code. MSF objected most strongly to a requirement that assistance boats must take migrants to a safe port themselves, rather than transferring people to other ships, which permits smaller barges to stay in the area for further rescues.

Our boats are often overwhelmed by the high number of[ migrant] boats and life and death at sea is a question of minutes, MSF Italys director, Gabriele Eminente, wrote in a letter to the interior minister, Marco Minniti. The code of conduct puts at risk this fragile equation of co-operation between different barges, he continued, adding that MSF still wanted to work with the ministry to improve ocean rescues.

But Save the Children backed the measures, saying it already complied with most of the rules and would monitor constantly to be sure that applying them did not stymie their work. We would not have signed if even one single phase would have compromised our effectiveness. This is not the case not one single phase of the code will stymie our activities, said Valerio Neri, director of Save the Children Italy, after the meeting.

The Malta-based Migrant Offshore Aid Station( MOAS) and Spanish group Proactiva Open Arms agreed to the conditions, but Germanys Sea-Watch, Sea-Eye and Jugend Rettet, and Frances SOS Mediterrane abstained. MSF, SOS Mediterrane and Jugend Rettet also called for clarification of the rules and took issue with a clause in the code that would oblige groups to allow police officer on board.

For us, the most controversial point was the commitment to help the Italian police with their investigations and perhaps take armed police officers on board, Jugend Rettet coordinator Titus Molkenbur said. That is antithetical to the humanitarian following principles neutrality that we adhere to, and we cannot be seen as being part of the conflict.

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Imagine living with this crap: tempers in Venice boil over in tourist high season

As residents leave and guest numbers soar, the citys quality of life is being eroded. This summertime, irate locals have taken to the streets

Emotions operate high in Venice, the Italian island city that fascinates visitors even as it exasperates the dwindling band of local inhabitants.

Venice is still known as La Serenissima, the most serene, and was once a place where the population scratched gracefully along with guests made up largely of intellectuals, writers and artists. It is difficult now to imagine that happy coexistence, when you stray through the intricate maze of alleys and waterways and speak to local people. Depopulation and mass tourism have long been causes of local hopelessnes. But this summer it feels as if a tipping point may not be far away.

Earlier this month an estimated 2,000 Venetians marched against a tourism industry they argue has eroded their quality of life, that is damaging the environment and driving residents away: Venices population has fallen from about 175,000 in the post-second world war years to 55,000 today.

Carlo Beltrame, one of the events organisers and a researcher in humanities at Venices Ca Foscari University, yearns for a hour when taking a motorboat was not stressful or when a trip-up to his doctor in the Rialto Bridge area did not involve getting caught up in the slow-moving tourist throng.

Around 2,000 people leave each year, he told. If we go on this route, in a few years hour Venice will only be populated by tourists. This would be a social, anthropological and historic disaster.

Whether irritated by selfie sticks , noisy wheelie suitcases or people snacking on one of the 391 bridges, Venetians contempt towards the 28 million visitors who flood the city each year has reached alarming levels.

On a July morning in Cannaregio a neighbourhood tucked away from the congested Piazza San Marco area you can still catch a glimpse of the authentic Venetian lifestyle. The scene plays out much as it does in other Italian cities: smartly dressed people chat animatedly as they shop at the butchers and bakers or congregate at the bar. Children play freely on the streets.

The area remains largely undisturbed by tourists, but Luciano Bortot, who was born here, is feeling anything but serene. Youre asking me what its like to live with this crap? he told. It used to be wonderful, we had lots of artisans the problem now is the mass tourism, the people who “re coming” only a few hours and see nothing its as much of a nightmare for them.

Like many of his neighbours, Bortot hates the behemoth cruise ships that chug through the Giudecca canal four or five times a day, emitting fumes before disgorging thousands of people on some days as many as 44,000 into the historic centre.

Venice
A ship glidings into the city one of several every day. Photo: Dan Kitwood/ Getty Images

He also laments the upsurge in the number of B& Bs, which make it impossible for residents to find a home to rent on a long-term contract.

With its carnival, star-studded cinema festival and the Biennale art exhibition, Venice has a long history of cultivating tourism. It is an industry that brings millions to the coffers per year and offer thousands of jobs. The city cannot live with it or without it and, even among themselves, it seems that emphasized Venetians are becoming increasingly fractious.

Venetians of today are not so proud , not like our ancestors were, told Michelangelo Adamo, 23, a eatery worker who is training to be a boat skipper in order to be allowed to escape to the quieter islands. They dont actually am worried about art or culture, they drive speedboats and feed junk food, its more like Miami Beach.

Another resident of Cannaregio is Galliano di Marco, the CEO of VTP, the Venice passenger terminal that manages and provides services to the cruise liners and their passengers. Originally from the central Abruzzo region, he enjoys life in Venice, despite being a target for those involved in the No Big Ships activist group, which for years has combated against the cruise liners and in June held an unofficial referendum in which Venetians voted in favour of ousting the vessel from the citys lagoon.

Venetians are quick to point the blamed at cruise-ship passengers for the demise in their quality of life, arguing that they stay for only a few hours, expend little money and leave a road of litter in their wake.

Di Marco disputes this, quoting figures that paint a different scene: only 1.5 million of the 28 million visitors to Venice each year arrive on a cruise ship, with the rest coming by bus, auto, train or airliner. With an average age of 65, they expend between 120 and 160 per head, bringing about 250 m to the city per year. The passenger terminal also provides tasks for an estimated 5,000 people.

But the well-publicised disagreement, which even inspired New York mayor Bill De Blasio to urge his Venice counterpart, Luigi Brugnaro, to ban the ships, has left VTP and the cruise industry in turbulent waters. With this in intellect, since taking on the role in December Di Marco has striven to ten-strike a compromise between the sector and the activists, devising a plan that would find the ships instead take a longer journey into the lagoon via the Vittorio Emanuele canal.

The proposal needs approval from the Italian government, but is backed by the cruise companies. It will take 1.5 hours longer to enter and leave the lagoon, but the cruise companies is cognizant of the fact that because they want to keep Venice on their itineraries its one of the three best destinations in the world, he said.

Its not our bellow, but we are doing whatever we can to take the big ships away from the Giudecca canal because truly, enough is enough.

Map of Venice

Di Marco is less conciliatory towards demands for the passenger terminal, a vast, well-structured region that also provides services to hydrofoils arriving from Croatia and Slovenia, to up sticks to Marghera, an unsightly industrial area on the mainland.

Theyre trying to build a ghetto for the cruise passengers and I will fight this as much as possible, he told. At the moment passengers arrive in the living room of Venice; in Marghera it would be like greeting them in the toilet.

The citizens who marched recently carried flags reading: Im not leaving. But despite their determination to stay, they are pessimistic about the future. Residents expected that Unesco would send a strong signal to the authorities by following through with a threat to place the world heritage site on its endangered listing. Instead, the organisation recently granted the city another year to be submitted with measures to protect its monuments and preserve its fragile environment.

It feels as if were at a point of no return because its already out of control, said Beltrame. He would like tourist numbers to be limited, while focusing on improving the quality and promoting the city as a hub for scientific and maritime research.

Luciano Bortot, meanwhile, seems with jealousy towards the neighbouring semi-autonomous region of Trentino-Alto Adige, which until the end of the first world war comes within the framework of Austria.

He believes the answer to Venices woes lies in the Veneto region, among Italys richest, procuring greater, if not full, freedom from Rome. A non-legally binding referendum will be held in October. Venice would be better managed by Venetian heads , not Roman ones, he said. If we had an official referendum, Veneto would definitely vote to break away.

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Gluten-free bread for Holy Communion is toast, says Vatican

Unleavened bread used for communion during Catholic mass can be genetically modified but not entirely gluten-free, church rules

The unleavened bread used to celebrate the holy communion during Catholic mass can be made with genetically modified organisms, the Vatican said Saturday, but they cannot is thoroughly gluten-free.

Low-gluten bread is permitted but there must be enough protein in the wheat to make it without additives.

Cardinal Robert Sarah of the Vaticans Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments said the guidance was needed now that Eucharistic bread and wine can be found in supermarkets and even over the internet.

In a letter issued last month, Sarah also reminded bishops that the bread should be made by people distinguished by their integrity and that adding fruit or sugar was a grave abuse.

It is altogether forbidden to use wine of doubtful authenticity or provenance, he added.

But for people who cannot tolerate wine the use of mustum, or must, a thick non-fermented grape juice, is considered valid matter for the sacrament, which Catholics believe turns the bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ.

Through the Eucharistic celebration Christians remember Christ sacrifice of himself on the cross. There are 1.2 billion Catholic in the world.

Agence France-Presse contributed to this report

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Morrissey claims he was held at gunpoint by police officer in Rome

The singer says he felt terrorised by the armed officer who he tells detained him for half an hour and screamed in his face

The singer Morrissey said on Wednesday that he had been terrorised by a police officer in Rome who held him at gunpoint for half an hour on a busy street.

The former lead singer of the Smiths, a long-time fan of Rome who had returned to the Italian capital to record an album, said the policeman unlocked his firearm and screamed into my face as a crowd of more than 100 people watched.

Morrisseys nephew Sam Esty Rayner, a photographer which are normally takes footage of the vocalist, posted a picture of the officer and wrote his motorbikes licence plate number on Facebook.

morrisseysolo (@ morrisseysolo)

Morrissey accosted in Rome! Police officer demands “papers” – Sam Esty Rayner Photography/ FB https :// t.co/ 61 RTKspBFK

July 5, 2017

The Police Officer pictured below terrorized Morrissey for 35 minutes demanding papers. Morrissey had no newspapers, Rayner wrote.

Morrissey biopic England Is Mine trailer displays early years of Smiths frontman

Morrissey in a statement accused the police officers of a deliberate act of terror and said he had not broken any law. I believe he recognised me and wanted to frighten me. I did not back up even though I believed he was about to shoot me, Morrissey said.

I urge people to beware of this dangerously aggressive policeman. He might kill you, he said.

Morrissey has frequently criticised the security forces both in his music and off-stage. In 2015, he said he was sexually assaulted by an officer at San Francisco International Airport who touched him during a security check.

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Why has Italy been spared mass terror attacks in recent years?

Experts say Italy has learned harsh lessons from anti-mafia policing, understands perils of radicalisation in jail, and also relies on monitoring and deportation

Each time Youssef Zaghba landed in Bologna, there was someone waiting for him as he got off the plane. It was no secret in Italy that the 22 -year-old Moroccan-born Italian, identified as one of three terrorists behind the London Bridge assault, was under close surveillance.

They would talk to him at the airport. Then, during his stay, police officer would come a couple of times a day to check on him, his mother, Valeria Collina, said in an interview with the Guardian. They were friendly to Youssef. They would say: Hey son, tell me what you have been doing. What are you doing? How are you?

In the weeks since the attack, Zaghbas role has glistened a light on the differences between how terror suspects are handled in Italy and the UK. Upon his arrival in London, Zaghbas mother told, he was never once stopped at the airport or interrogated, even though Italian officials had alerted British equivalents that he was a threat.

Franco Gabrielli, Italys chief of police, has said of Italys efforts to alert the UK: Our conscience is clear. Scotland Yard, in turn, has said Zaghba was not a police or MI5 subject of interest.

Italy has suffered from its share of political violence in recent decades, including the murder of two prominent anti-mafia judges in the 1990 s. But unlike almost all of its big European neighbours, it has not witnessed a major terrorist attack since the 1980 s.

Is Italy just lucky? Have the countrys counter-terrorism policies born out of years of anti-mafia policing and intelligence work and a decade of bloody political violence in the 1970 s given Italian officials an edge in the age of Isis? Or are there other factors at play?

The main difference is Italy doesnt have a big population of second-generation immigrants that have been radicalised or could potentially be radicalised, said Francesca Galli, an assistant professor at Maastricht University and an expert in counter-terrorism policies.

It took about 20 people to watch a terror suspect full-time, Galli told. Naturally, the abundance of resources required to closely monitor anyone becomes more challenging if there are more suspects to watch.

Two recent incidents the case of Zaghba, and another , non-fatal terror incident in Milan in which a soldier and police officer were stabbed by an Italian whose father was north African point to a potential shift in security threats profile in Italy. But Galli said that generally speaking Italian police and counter-terrorism forces-out did not have to deal with a huge number of people who were potentially at risk of radicalisation, unlike France, Belgium and the UK.

That is not to say that Italy has escaped terrorist activity. Anis Amri, the Tunisian who assaulted a Berlin Christmas market last year and was shot by police in the outskirts of Milan, was believed to have been radicalised in a prison in Sicily. Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel, the Tunisian behind the deadly attack in Nice last year, was identified by Italian police as having expended time in the border township of Ventimiglia.

Some experts say Italy has been able to combat the threat of Isis domestically by mastering legal and policing tools developed through years of experience in mafia investigations, which in turn were born out of the so-called years of lead the period between the late 1960 s and early 1980 s marked by acts of political terrorism by left- and rightwing militants.

According to figures released by the Italian interior ministry, counter-terrorism authorities stopped and questioned 160,593 people between March 2016 to March 2017. They stopped and interrogated about 34,000 at airports and arrested about 550 suspected terrorists, and 38 have been sentenced on terrorism charges. More than 500 websites have been shut down and nearly half a million have been monitored.

Giampiero Massolo, who served as the director of Italian intelligence from 2012 to 2016, said there was not a particular Italian way to combat terrorism.

We learned a very harsh lesson during our terrorism years, he said. From that we drew the experience of how important it is to maintain a constant dialogue at the operating level between intelligence and law enforcement forces-out. In fact, prevention is key to try to be effective in counter-terrorism.

He added: Another feature is to have a good control of the territory. From this point of view, the absence of[ French] banlieues-like places in Italian major cities, and[ the predominance] of small and medium towns attains it easier to monitor the situation.

There are also more specific practises. Arturo Varvelli, a senior research fellow and terrorism expert at the thinktank Ispi, said the lack of second- and third-generation Italians who might be susceptible to Isis propaganda meant authorities instead focused on non-citizens, who could be deported at the first signs of fear. Since January, 135 individuals had been expelled, he said.

Italian authorities also rely on intercepted telephone call, which unlike the UK can be used in evidence in tribunal and in cases related to mafia and terrorism can be obtained on the basis of suspicious activity and not solid proof.

Much like the fight against Italian organised crime the Camorra around Naples, the Cosa Nostra in Sicily, and the Ndrngheta in the south infiltrating and interrupting terror networks necessitates violating close social and even family relationships.

People suspected of being jihadis are encouraged to break ranks and cooperate with Italian authorities, who use residency permits and other incentives, Galli told. There has been a recognition, too, of the dangers of keeping terror suspects in jail where, much like mafia bosses before them, prison is seen as a prime province for recruiting and networking.

I think we have developed experience in how to deal with a criminal network. We have lots of undercover agents who do a great job of intercepting communication, she said.

While Italians authorities are seen as having broad powers, police do not have special powers to incarcerate terror suspects without charge. Terror suspects may be held for up to four days without charge, just like any other suspect. However, Italy has been criticised by the European tribunal of human rights for holding defendants too long once they have been charged and are awaiting trial.

Galli said there was no groundswell of concern about whether Italys tactics transgressed civil liberty. The broad use of surveillance including intercepted the complaint is seen as sufficiently targeted to terror and mafia suspects, unlike public criticism in Italy of sweeping data collection methods used in the US and UK.

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Trevi levy: Rome imposes fines for frolicking at famous fountains

The eternal city is engaged in a constant battle to prevent tourists from damaging its ancient monuments

Rome is cracking down on anyone hoping to recreate Anita Ekbergs dip in the Trevi fountain in the film La Dolce Vita, imposing fines for bad behaviour in and around the citys watery wonders.

One of Italys most visited cities, Rome has long struggled to protect treasures such as the Colosseum and prevent tourists paddling in its sculpted fountains.

Angry headlines in Italian newspapers as temperatures have risen in recent weeks have included The incivility continues: Tourists in the fountains and the flowerbeds and Monuments under attack.

Mayor Virginia Raggi on Monday said people caught picnicking or camping out on the fountains pedestals, putting their feet in the water or going for a swimming would be fined up to 240.

We need to protect our city, and good behaviour is important, Raggi, a member of the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement, said in a video posted on Facebook.

The decree enforcing the fines, which start from a minimum of 40, is valid for the summer season until 31 October.

Romes police has been tasked with monitoring these sites even more closely, Raggi said in the video, filmed overlooking the enforcing white Altar of the Fatherland in central Rome.

As well as the Trevi, the listing of monuments marked out for extra protection includes the 500 year-old Barcaccia, a boat-shaped fountain at the foot of the Spanish Steps which was badly chipped by drunken football supporters in 2015.

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Five people seriously injured as Juventus fans in Turin panic over firecrackers

False alarm leads to stampede with the reporting of 400 people injured, five of those severely, including 7-year-old boy

Juventus fans watching the Champions League final stampeded in a Turin piazza in anxiety after misstep firecrackers for an detonation or gunshots.

About 400 people were being treated for injuries, Italian media reported. About five people were seriously hurt, including a 7-year-old boy who was trampled, Sky TG2 4 reported.

Thousands of fans had gathered to watch the Champions League final in front of a giant screen in San Carlo Square.

During the second half of the match, which local club Juventus went on to lose 1-4 to Real Madrid, video cameras present a sudden rush in the middle of the crowd that caused a surge that tos people against barriers.

Many fans then began to run out of the centre of the square, screaming in dread.
The panic may been started by the explosion of a loud firecracker that was mistaken for a bomb, a witness told.

Afterwards shoes and suitcases littered the ground, people were assured limping and searching desperately for friends and relatives.

Police have set up an info point to help people find their loved ones, and they are investigating what caused the panic.

I considered the entire piazza went in the direction next to the screen to escape, all in a panic, Associated Press reporter Brian Hendrie told. They ran, fell on the ground on the glass. He said some reported having heard a small detonation, others a shot. I heard five or six different versions. It sparked a panic.

Within minutes, dazed fans in Juves black and white jerseys returned and milled about the piazza amid the broken bottles and rubbish littering the cobblestones, with the match largely forgotten.

The square was evacuated so quickly it was left strewn with sneakers ripped off peoples feet as they ran.

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Verletzte in Turin! – Panik beim Public Viewing https :// t.co/ IS7rZC7qGy

June 4, 2017

The root cause of this was anxiety, to understand what triggered it we will have to wait a while, told local official Renato Saccone, the prefect of Turin.

Police told around 200 people needed hospital treatment with five of them in a serious condition. Some injuries resulted after a railing around the entryway to an underground parking beneath the square gave route under the weight of the crush.

Local media cited older Juventus fans present as telling the anxiety had evoked painful memories of the 1985 Heysel disaster in which 39 largely Italian fans succumbed when fans were crushed by a collapsing wall before the start of that years European Cup final, against Liverpool.

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