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News, business and analysis

Falling birthrates challenge Italy – and Europe

Italy's falling birthrate

The population of Italy declined by 96,000 last year as the country’s birthrate fell below half a million for the second consecutive year, according to just released figures from the national statistics agency ISTAT.

Low birthrates have been making headlines for years as Italy battled a prolonged recession, but the trend actually began long before.


As US waivers, can Europe defend itself?

Growing security cooperation in EU

With Russia again a possible threat to European security and US President Donald Trump questioning some basic tenets of NATO, is Europe strong enough to defend itself?

Germany, France, Italy and Spain are working to develop more cooperative EU defense policies despite their national differences. The continent is trying to raise its game due to threats from the east, south — and in the heart of its cities.


Italy surprises with strong first-quarter growth

Surge in growth, Italy

Long lagging in recovery from the 2008 global recession, Italy’s economy surged in the first quarter of the year, growing faster than the U.S. and the U.K., according to recent figures from the national statistics agency ISTAT.

The increase comes on the heels of an encouraging Italian jobs report for April, which showed unemployment dropping to 11.1 percent from 11.5 the previous month.



The sound and the fury of Arturo Toscanini

Italy's Arturo Toscanini

Arturo Toscanini’s boisterous humanity comes alive throughout a new biography by eminent music historian Harvey Sachs. To mark the 150th anniversary of the legendary conductor’s birth, “Toscanini - Musician of Conscience” will come out in spring from Liveright Publishing Corp., a division of W.W. Norton & Co.


A coffee with: Brunello Cucinelli

‘King of Cashmere’ on life, compassion and fashion

Italy's Brunello Cucinelli

True to the tenets of St. Benedict, an Italian billionaire is translating the motto “Ora et Labora et Lege” — pray, work and learn — into action in the mountainous Umbria region north of Rome by making cashmere sweaters and other luxury sportswear in a very special way.