VATICAN CITY –Emma Madigan has taken up the post of Irish ambassador to the Holy See, after the permanent position was cut for budget reasons in 2011.

 The new envoy was received by Pope Francis on Tuesday and took the opportunity to invite the pontiff to Ireland.

12 Nov 2014

NAPLES – A lawyer was found guilty but two mafia bosses acquitted of threatening Roberto Saviano's life in a result which is "half a victory" according to Saviano.

 Lawyer Michele Santonastaso was convicted of “making threats aggravated by mafia connections” against writer Saviano. He was given a one year suspended sentence and ordered to pay damages.

11 Nov 2014

ROME – Silence fell at the eleventh hour in the Commonwealth War Cemetery in Testaccio, as veterans and embassy representatives gathered to mark Remembrance Day.

 Wreaths were laid at the tomb of the unknown soldier in the centre of the cemetery by envoys and military personnel from a host of countries, principally members of the Commonwealth, but also former allies the U.S and former enemy Germany.

 The cemetery in Testaccio is the final resting place of 426 Allied soldiers of the Second World War, four of whom are unidentified.

11 Nov 2014

SIENA - "It's right back there," the guide is pointing through a pane of glass behind a side altar in the Basilica Cateriniana di San Domenico in Siena.

 Tourists jostle against us to get a better view and I crane my neck to try and see through the glass, through the metal bars and into the ornate reliquary to get a glimpse of the mummified, dismembered head of St. Catherine.

11 Nov 2014
Hannah McIntyre

VATICAN CITY – Hundreds of calligraphers producing Apostolic blessings may lose jobs after the Vatican decided not to renew their contracts, claims a Calligraphers' association.

10 Nov 2014
Hannah McIntyre

ROME – The English Theatre of Rome’s production of “A Farewell to Arms” showed incredible innovation, however first night missteps threatened to topple the show.

9 Nov 2014

ROME – FAO Latin America Chief Forestry officer Jorge Meza evidently has disregarded the director general’s ban on croneyism, adjudicating a long term consultancy to girlfriend Maria Mercedes Proaño, FAO sources say.

 Italian Insider reported July 21 how Brazilian DG José Graziano da Silva ordered the FAO’s boss for Latin America to “get your lover off the payroll.”

 A well-placed source in Santiago, Chile,  said “it seems things have not changed so much in FAO's LATAM HQ.”

8 Nov 2014

ROME- The Eni oil refinery in Gela is to be turned over to biofuel after the company arrived at a job-saving agreement with the government.

 Federica Guidi- Minister of Economic Development- and the management of Eni’s refinery in Gela arrived at the positive agreement on Thursday over the future of the company and its employees.

 “Deal done with Eni in Gela. The refinery will become green. Saved all the jobs.” tweeted with enthusiasm Enrico Romagna Manoja, secretary for Minister Guidi.

7 Nov 2014

SALERNO – The remains of Dewey L Gossett have been recovered in the mountains above Acerno where the US pilot crashed during the Second World War.

 Matteo Pierro, from the association “Salerno 1943” whose volunteers helped to find Gossett, commented, “We can announce that we are almost certain that the remains are truly those of the pilot who crashed into the Accellica mountain on September 27 1943, but we must wait for confirmation from DNA tests which will be compared with relatives.”

7 Nov 2014