ROME --The strength of Amara Lakhous’s second novel, Divorce Islamic Style, is his deep insight into the underworld of Muslim immigrants and their interaction with the dark side of Italy.
ROME -- The only award I ever won during my whole scholastic career was for ‘Best Turn-Out’- I have a feeling it was a weekly thing and I only won it once, but rather pathetically I still cherish the memory. I was reminded of it again the other day while watching Roman office workers in their lunch-hour (or three). I was thinking that if there was an equivalent award for businessmen, Italians would be permanent, unchallenged, worldwide winners.
ROME – FAO management is reneging on pledges to redeploy staff whose positions are being abolished, telling them are no funds available to keep them in the troubled UN agency, sources say. In another development a new Orwellian circular has cautioned that staff talking to the media about policies at the Rome-based famine fighting agency face being sacked.
FLORENCE -- Janet Ross was a major factor in drawing people’s attention to the Tuscan countryside rather than concentrating on Florence.
She spent 60 years, until her death in 1927, living near Florence but probably her greatest influence was through her books on rural life and on Tuscan cooking –even though she owned up to “never having even boiled an egg.”
ROME– UN Food and Agriculture Organisation staff face swingeing job cuts by year end as Director General José Graziano da Silva slashes dlrs 37 million from the famine-fighting agency’s budget, FAO sources say.
NEW YORK-Algeria, a major oil-gas exporter with a young population of 37 million, is led by a 76-year-old who says he fought France --Abdelaziz Bouteflika represents a generation legitimising hegemony over the country on the basis of its valour in the 1962 independence war.
SKOPJE -- When I mentioned to friends in Italy and the UK that I was coming to work in Macedonia, most had only the dimmest idea of the country, or even that it exists as an independent state. In fact, the former Yugoslav republic gained its independence from Belgrade in 1991 without a shot being fired.
ROME-The supreme court handed Silvio Berlusconi a 4 year prison term for tax fraud but his political future evidently hangs on a new trial to determine how long he is banned from public office.
Thursday night’s final appeal verdict at the Court of Cassation marks the first time the 76-year-old media magnate has been found guilty definitively in more than 17 trials he's been accused in over 20 years. He risks not just losing his hallowed status as “Cavaliere” but of being unable to recover from the political humiliation and stigma of having a criminal record.