INSIDER NEWSDESK

 ROME - A Rome court has rejected a request by Rudy Guede, currently serving 16 years in prison for the 2007 murder of Meredith Kercher, to spend the rest of his sentence doing community service.

 The court has granted him partial freedom in that he has permission to collaborate with the Centre for Criminological Studies in Viterbo.

 Starting on Wednesday, Guede, who has been described as an exemplary inmate, will leave prison to work in the office and return each night, reports La Repubblica.

1 Oct 2019
JAN FILIPOWICZ

ROME – FAO Director General Qu Dongyu has relaxed a curb on business class travel by hungercrats at the UN agency, raising hopes among staff that China may increase its contribution to the embattled UN agency to pay for an enhanced budget and more resources for the organisation, FAO sources said Tuesday.

 Dongyu’s Brazilian predecessor José Graziano da Silva introduced a cost-cutting measure by decreeing nobody from the poverty-busting agency should fly business class unless their journey lasted as much as 12 hours.

1 Oct 2019
INSIDER NEWSDESK

 ROME – Judging by the enthusiastic support given to the idea by main political parties, 16-year-olds in Italy could soon get the vote.

 The suggestion was raised by former prime minister Enrico Letta in an interview with La Repubblica.  It has clearly been influenced by the engagement of young people in climate protests, reports Il Sole 24 Ore.

 In the interview, Letta said that the change was urgent and could easily be approved by the current parliament majority, and would be a way to show young people that:

1 Oct 2019
INSIDER NEWSDESK

 ROME – On his first official visit to Italy as U.S. Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo was to have a private audience with Pope Francis at a Vatican symposium on Wednesday.

 Arriving Tuesday in Rome, Pompeo was scheduled to meet with Italian President Sergio Mattarella, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte and Foreign Minister Di Maio, according to a statement from the U.S. State Department.

 The visit, part of a six-day European tour that also takes in Montenegro, Northern Macedonia and Greece, will touch on issues involving global trade and security.

1 Oct 2019
Desmond O'Grady

 Calabria is sometimes seen as a backward region corroded by a criminal underworld but this afflicts mainly its southern zones.  A recent trip to its northernmost province revealed instead a surprising wealth of resources, including religious witness ever since it was part of the Byzantine empire.

30 Sep 2019
INSIDER NEWSDESK

 GENOA – Further revelations in the Morandi Bridge investigation suggest that attempts to save money on maintenance owing to a deal with German and Chinese companies may have played a role in bringing about the disaster, La Stampa reports.

 Benetton sold nearly 12 per cent of Autostrade per l’Italia (Aspi) on April 28 2017.  6.79 per cent went to a consortium run by German company Allianz Group, the rest to the Silk Road Fund, which is owned by the Chinese government for investment in countries along China’s One Belt, One Road initiative.

30 Sep 2019
INSIDER NEWSDESK

 ROME – Silvia Romano, the Italian aid worker kidnapped in Kenya in 2018, has been converted to Islam and forced to marry, Il Giornale reported on Monday.

 Forced to wear a veil and follow Sharia law, the daily Milan newspaper cites intelligence sources that claim Romano is now the property of a local man, probably linked to the organisation holding her hostage.

30 Sep 2019
INSIDER NEWSDESK

 SIENA - The 27th annual Anglo-Italian conference has ended in an atmosphere of goodwill and cooperation, political sources report.

 The conference, held from Sept. 26 to 28 at the Certosa di Pontignano monastery near Siena, is organised by the British Embassy in Italy, British Council and Siena University.  In the words of British Council, the conference “brings together current and future leaders from the UK and Italy to address common challenges and develop networks and close relationships.”

30 Sep 2019
INSIDER NEWSDESK

 FLORENCE – Two Belgian brothers found dead in a hotel room are suspected to have succumbed to a powerful cocktail of drugs and alcohol, La Repubblica reported on Monday.

 The two half-brothers – Dries and Robbe de Ceuster, aged 26 and 20 respectively – were found in their room by their father on Sunday.

 Empty boxes of powerful analgesics along with wine bottles were found in their room, police said. 

 No evidence of violence was found on the bodies.

30 Sep 2019

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