EU: ‘Recovering food, places and people’

Reducing food waste in Europe

Our mothers often told us to finish our meal, reminding us that there are people less fortunate who don’t have enough to eat. Europe is trying to take that admonishment to an institutional level by establishing a system that can bring surplus food to those who need it.


Milan moves to grab post-Brexit business

Milan Stock Exchange

Italian Finance Minister Pier Carlo Padoan, Foreign Affairs Minister Angelino Alfano and Milan Mayor Giuseppe Sala are headed to a roadshow in London to further promote Milan as a business hub in post-Brexit Europe.

Their sights are set on the European Medicines Agency. Milan is also bidding to become home to the European Bank Authority, the regulator of the EU’s banking system.


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.


Ranking: Italy the most healthy country

Med diet

Using data from the United Nations, the World Bank and the World Health Organization, the latest annual study by Bloomberg News ranks Italy as the healthiest country on earth.

The 2017 Bloomberg Global Health Index of 163 countries said Italy supplanted last year’s top ranked-country Singapore for the No 1 spot as the Asian nation fell to No. 4. Rounding out the top five were Iceland (2), Switzerland (3) and Australia (5).


At 110, Sister Candida is the world’s oldest nun

World's oldest nun

The world’s oldest nun celebrated her 110th birthday on Feb. 20 with members of her order, the local TV station, a birthday cake and a message from Pope Francis.

Born in 1907 to a humble family in Verona as the third of 10 daughters, Sister Candida Bellotti has actually lived through 10 popes including Francis, who she met in 2014 in Rome.


Trump team keen for Papal audience: reports

Trump and the Pope

The U.S. has not made a formal request for President Donald Trump to have an audience with Pope Francis when he travels to Taormina, Sicily for a G7 summit in May, Vatican sources told the ANSA news agency on Feb. 14, but widespread reports say back-channel efforts are underway.

Trump is reportedly keen to meet with the Pope, but he could have bridges rather than walls to build beforehand.


Gentiloni signs agreement to stem flow of Libyan refugees

Migrant trafficking ring busted

On a day Italy rescued even more refugees from the Mediterranean Sea, Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni signed an agreement with Libya’s new Prime Minister Fayez Serraj to combat “illegal migration, human trafficking and contraband”.

But facing such a daunting task ahead, Serraj said the €200 million earmarked by Europe for Libya “is very small”.


Police arrest 18, bust migrant trafficking ring

Migrant trafficking ring busted

Italian state police have arrested 18 people for running an immigrant smuggling ring that trafficked refuges into France with the goal of reaching northern Europe.

Police said they “found a large criminal association that for payment facilitated the entry of non-EU citizens from Syria, Egypt, Eritrea and Sudan”.


Central Italy on high avalanche alert

Avalanche rescue

Rescue teams are still digging through the ruins of a luxury hotel and compacted snow after an avalanche swept down a steep mountainside at 100 km/h on Jan 20 and buried clients and hotel staff inside. At last report, 14 bodies had been recovered, 15 people remain missing and 11 have been pulled from the shattered building alive.


Trial in absentia for most-wanted mafioso

Matteo Messina Denaro

Nearly 25 years after he helped organize bomb attacks that killed famed anti-mafia prosecutors, fugitive Matteo Messina Denaro will be tried in absentia in Caltanissetta, Sicily beginning March 13.

Long one of Interpol’s most wanted men, Denaro has not been seen in public for more than two decades.


Court: Once-fearsome mafioso could be released

UNESCO Peace Prize for Lampedusa Mayor Nicolini



Effervescent Prosecco: Record wine exports to U.S.

Italian Prosecco wine country

Italian wine exports to the United States hit an all-time high of €1.8 billion last year led by a 28.5 percent surge in Prosecco sparkling wines, according to industry analysis company Nomisma Wine Monitor based in Bologna.

But without the wildly popular champagne-like vintages, Italian wine exports to America would have grown just 1 percent.


Record trade surplus in 2016, Padoan vows more reform

Italian news in English: Ferrari profit

Italy’s trade surplus hit a record 51.6 billion euros in 2016, according to figures from the Italian National Institute of Statistics released on Feb. 16, the highest since it started tracking the number in 1991.

The report was released just a few days after the OECD projected a modest 1 percent recovery in the Italian economy in each of the next two years.