VATICAN CITY – Evidently bowing to conservative bishops' pressure, Pope Benedict XVI transferred Archbishop Joe Tobin from Rome to head the archdiocese of Indianapolis.

 Archbishop Tobin, 60, had been appointed Secretary of the Congregation for Religious as recently as August 2010 for what would normally be a five year term and had quickly become the leading voice for reconciliation with women religious.

18 Oct 2012

ROME-At the electronic music festival 'Emufest' this month, composer, writer, and pianist Mario Bertoncini and two students assembled magnificent sounds of mechanics, school teachers and tinkering-toddlers.

Along with the performance, Oct. 7 marked Bertoncini's birthday. Eighty years ago the audio-craftsman was born in Rome. He studied music composition, piano, and electronic music during university and in 1974 became Artist-in-Residence at the German Academic Exchange Service in Berlin where he created open air kinetic sound-sculptures for a show at the Berliner Festwochen.

16 Oct 2012
Shelly Kittleson

ROME – "In those years Italy and Yugoslavia were the only Western countries to help with the resistance, through publishing clandestine material," said Said Ould-Khelifa, the director of Algeria’s pick for the Oscar Best Foreign Film nomination competition. After the screening of the film Zabana! at Rome’s Asiatica film festival, he went on to say that Italy’s Istituto Luce would have the distinction of being the film’s first European distributor.

16 Oct 2012
Insider reporters

ROME -- ILO officials are investigating FAO consultant Telma Viale for a possible conflict of interests for apparently working for both agencies, ILO sources say.

"Ms Viale is still being paid by the International Labour Organisation as a consultant, meaning she shouldn't be working on contract for the FAO at the same time," said a senior ILO source. "We are investigating to determine whether there is a conflict of interest," the Geneva-based source told Italian Insider. "Obviously we expect FAO to cover up for this." 

12 Oct 2012

ROME –  A 200+ piece exhibit demonstrates National Geographic star-photographer Steve McCurry as a collector of undiscovered beauty, after years of following his nomadic spirit and curiousity.

Born in Philadelphia in 1950, McCurry began his work as a photographer at a local newspaper. After three years he went took an excursion to India. With pictures from the trip, he composed his first real portfolio.  McCurry quickly made traveling a dimension of life: "For the mere travel and to learn about different cultures gives me joy and an inexhaustible charge. "

9 Oct 2012
Laura Simmons

ROME -- Australia may withhold its funding to the FAO in protest against alleged inefficiency at the UN agency, Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd has cautioned.

The Australian Foreign Minister and ex-Prime Minister Kevin Rudd strongly criticised the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) at a conference organised by the Economist in Hong Kong entitled Feeding the world: Asia's Prospect of Plenty.

9 Oct 2012
Shelly Kittleson

KABUL - In Afghanistan, the military forces have their joint operating bases, while foreign NGOs have their heavily fortified compounds and guesthouses. Afghan civil society, on the other hand, lacks a place wherein to gather, debate and grow. A project led by the Italian network Afgana aims to change that.

6 Oct 2012

ROME – FAO Director general Jose Graziano da Silva has fuelled outraged comments from female colleagues at the UN agency by lamenting a shortage of “really good candidates” among women for top jobs.

 “I have recommended that at least one woman continue to be included in the shortlists for all vacant posts,” the Brazilian agronomist said. “I have to say that we are having difficulty to recruit really good candidates. I ask you for your help in identifying qualified women who can contribute to our work in FAO,” Dr Graziano added.

18 Sep 2012

ROME - FAO head Jose da Silva Graziano wants increased support against hunger from the Pope but some observers claim influence of controversial Opus Dei at the UN agency already is excessive.

At a private audience with Pope Benedict in the Vatican in June, the Brazilian FAO Director General stressed the importance of strengthening collaboration with the Church. "Ending hunger is too great a challenge for any one government or agency alone. For this reason we look forward to strengthening cooperation between FAO and the Church," Dr Graziano told the German pontiff.

13 Sep 2012