October 8th, 2013
01:00 PM ET

More remains found on Costa Concordia

Divers have found what they believe are human remains on the wrecked Costa Concordia cruise ship, the Italian Civil Protection agency announced Tuesday.

The bodies of two people from the 2012 wreck have never been found: Russel Rebello of India and Maria Grazia Trecarichi of Sicily have been missing but presumed dead. Their bodies have long been believed to be either trapped beneath or inside the ship.

Italian authorities also said two weeks ago that divers found what they thought were human remains on the ship's Deck 4. But they later determined that the remains were animal.

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Filed under: Italy • Travel
October 3rd, 2013
01:31 PM ET

Italy shipwreck: Scores dead

A boat carrying as many as 500 people capsized and caught fire off the Italian island of Lampedusa, the nation's coast guard told CNN on Thursday.

The official death toll stood at 93 down one from earlier reports but that did not include an estimated 20 newly discovered bodies that remain in the water, the coast guard said.

At least 151 people had been rescued in the ongoing operation, the coast guard said.

Lampedusa, not far from Sicily and the closest Italian island to Africa, has become a destination for tens of thousands of refugees seeking to enter European Union countries and such deadly shipwrecks are all too common.

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Filed under: Italy
Berlusconi's fury at Italian high court
August 2nd, 2013
04:53 AM ET

Berlusconi's fury at Italian high court

Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has lashed out at a ruling by the country's high court that upheld a prison sentence for him in a tax fraud case.
In a nine-minute video on Thursday, an indignant and defiant Berlusconi vented his anger over the court's decision.
"In exchange for the commitments I have made over almost 20 years in favor of my country and coming almost at the end of my public life, I receive as a reward accusations and a verdict that is founded on absolutely nothing, that takes away my personal freedoms and my political rights," he said.

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Filed under: Crime • Italy • Silvio Berlusconi • Strippers • World • World Update
Body of Sopranos star awaits autopsy
June 20th, 2013
08:21 AM ET

Body of Sopranos star awaits autopsy

James Gandolfini probably died of a heart attack, according to the head of a Rome hospital's emergency department where the actor was taken.

The body of the actor was transferred to a hospital morgue in Rome early Thursday, where it awaited an autopsy.

By law, medical examiners in Italy are required to carry out the postmortem 24 hours after the body's arrival in the morgue, a hospital spokesman said.

Before Italian authorities can release his remains for transport back to the United States, the U.S. Embassy in Rome must issue a death certificate.

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Filed under: Entertainment • Italy • New Jersey • New York • TV • U.S. • World • World Update
April 5th, 2013
07:51 PM ET

Triple suicide linked to recession

An Italian couple burdened by their country's economic downturn hanged themselves, and the woman's brother - after learning of their deaths - threw himself into the Adriatic Sea and died, CNN affiliate RAI reported Friday.

Romeo Dionisi, 62, and his wife, Annamaria Sopranzi, 68, were found by neighbors in the coastal city of Civitanova Marche, and police told RAI that the family's financial difficulties led to the suicides.

Rescuers pulled Joseph Sopranzi, the woman's brother, from the water but could not revive him, according to RAI.

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Filed under: Economy • Italy • World
April 2nd, 2013
03:30 AM ET

Indian court lifts travel ban on Italy envoy

The Indian Supreme Court on Tuesday lifted its foreign travel ban on the Italian ambassador following Rome's recent decision to send two marines back to New Delhi where they face trial over the killing of two fishermen last year, a lawyer said.

The court barred Italian Ambassador Daniele Mancini from leaving India last month because of Rome's refusal at the time to return the two marines, who had been allowed to go home temporarily to vote in national elections.

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Filed under: India • Italy • World
March 28th, 2013
04:33 PM ET

Italian leftist fails to form government

With Italy mired in post-election gridlock, Pier Luigi Bersani told Italian President Giorgio Napolitano on Thursday that he has been unable to form a new government, state news agency ANSA reported.

Bersani fared the best in the February elections by leading a leftist coalition to a small majority in the lower house of parliament. But he was unable to win a majority in the Senate.

Instead, power in the Senate was divided between Bersani and the center-right coalition of his rival, former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, which is anchored by his party, Popolo della Liberta, or People of Freedom.

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Filed under: Italy • Silvio Berlusconi • World
March 26th, 2013
01:23 AM ET

Amanda Knox to face new murder trial

[Posted at 9:53 a.m. ET] Italian Supreme Court judges ruled Tuesday that U.S. citizen Amanda Knox should stand trial again for the death of her former roommate in Italy.

Knox, who returned to the United States in 2011 and has been living in Seattle, was not in court for Tuesday's ruling. She vowed Tuesday to fight with her head "held high" to prove her innocence.

Knox said it had been "painful" to hear the news that the court had ordered a retrial, in a statement issued through the family's PR spokesman, David Marriott.

[Posted at 1:23 a.m. ET] Italian Supreme Court judges are expected to announce Tuesday whether American Amanda Knox should stand trial again for the death of her former roommate.

The judges concluded a hearing over the question Monday and were expected to announce their decision by midday Tuesday.

Knox spent four years in prison before an appellate court overturned her murder conviction in the 2007 death of Meredith Kercher. She returned to the United States in 2011. Prosecutors say despite the appellate decision, they still believe Knox and her former boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, are responsible for the death.

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Filed under: Crime • Italy • Justice
Inauguration of the new pope
March 19th, 2013
07:18 AM ET

Inauguration of the new pope

Pope Francis officially became the Catholic Church's pontiff Tuesday, in a ceremony that the Vatican said ahead of time would be short in keeping with the spirit of simplicity exuded by the new Holy Father. We live-blogged the event below. You can read the full story here

[Updated at 10:21 a.m. ET] That's all for the live blog of Pope Francis' inauguration as the Catholic Church's 266th pontiff. Tens of thousands of people listened from St. Peter's Square in Vatican City as Francis called for the protection of the weakest in society during his homily.

For more on today's event, check out our full story. Also, see a number of select photos of the event.

[Updated at 7:18 a.m. ET] U.S. Vice President Joe Biden greets Pope Francis.

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Filed under: Catholic Church • Italy • Religion • Vatican
February 28th, 2013
08:54 AM ET

Vatican: Phone taps might have been OK'd

Vatican magistrates may have authorized the tapping of two or three telephone lines during the investigation into leaks from the pope's private apartments, a Vatican spokesman said Thursday.

The Rev. Federico Lombardi was responding to a report in the Italian weekly magazine Panorama claiming that there had been a large-scale wiretapping and surveillance operation during the investigation. He denied there had been "a massive" operation on the scale reported by the magazine, saying there was "no foundation" for the article.

If there was any wiretapping or surveillance, "it's a very small process," Vatican spokesman the Rev. Thomas Rosica said. Both spokesmen denied that the operation had been ordered by the three cardinals commissioned to write a report into the scandal, saying that if it had happened, it was ordered by magistrates.

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Filed under: Catholic Church • Italy • Religion
February 26th, 2013
06:21 AM ET

Italian election rattles world markets

World markets retreated Tuesday as a big vote for anti-austerity parties in Italy's elections left the eurozone's third biggest economy in political deadlock, sparking fears of a revival of the region's debt crisis.

European stock markets were sharply lower, led by a 4% plunge on Italy's index of leading shares. Italy's borrowing costs increased, as the yield on its 10-year bond moved up towards 5%, triggering similar moves in other weaker eurozone states such as Spain and Portugal. The euro fell to just above $1.30.

Final results showed the center-left coalition of Pier Luigi Bersani winning by a very slim margin in the lower house of parliament but unable to control the Senate after a strong showing by former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and a protest movement led by comedian turned politician Beppe Grillo.

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Filed under: Economy • Italy • Politics
February 25th, 2013
10:43 PM ET

Center-left wins Italy's Parliament elections

The center-left coalition headed by Pier Luigi Bersani appears to have won a narrow victory in elections for Italy's lower house of parliament, according to final figures released by the Interior Ministry.

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Filed under: Italy
February 24th, 2013
03:03 AM ET

Pope Benedict delivers final public blessing, says he will take up life of prayer

Pope Benedict XVI delivered his final public blessing on Sunday to a crowd of thousands at St. Peter's Square in Vatican City.

"Thank you for your affection," the pope told the crowd as he appeared at the window of his apartment overlooking the square.

He told the crowd that he will take up a life of prayer and meditation "to be able to continue serving the church."

After the brief sermon, he chanted the Angelus, a common Catholic prayer, with the crowd.

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Filed under: Italy • World
February 24th, 2013
02:11 AM ET

Bersani leads Berlusconi in polls as Italy votes for new parliament

Italy's parliamentary elections kick off Sunday, with polls suggesting the center-left - led by Pier Luigi Bersani - is on track to defeat controversial three-time prime minister Silvio Berlusconi.
But Berlusconi's rise in the polls in recent weeks, combined with widespread public disillusionment, means that nothing about the race is a foregone conclusion.
The two-day election is a four-horse race between political coalitions led by Bersani, Berlusconi, outgoing premier Mario Monti, and the anti-establishment movement led by ex-comedian Beppe Grillo.
Polls are banned within two weeks of the elections, but the most recent ones had Bersani holding onto a slender lead over Berlusconi. Grillow was a distant third.

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Filed under: Italy • Silvio Berlusconi • World
November 24th, 2012
05:01 PM ET

Report: Train slams into vehicle in southern Italy, killing 6

Six people died after a train slammed into a vehicle early Saturday evening in southern Italy, the nation's official news agency reported, citing investigative and other sources.

Photos taken in Rossano showed what had once been a Fiat Multipla impaled against the front of the train - mangled and largely unrecognizable - as firefighters walked along the track.

A rescuer described the scene as "appalling," according to the official ANSA news agency.

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Filed under: Italy
Ex-Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi sentenced to 4 years in prison
Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is expected to appeal a sentence that a court in Milan handed down.
October 26th, 2012
10:20 AM ET

Ex-Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi sentenced to 4 years in prison

[Updated at 10:35 a.m. ET] Italy's flamboyant former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi was sentenced Friday to four years in prison for tax fraud.

Berlusconi is likely to appeal the sentence handed down by a court in Milan, Italy. The case involved his Mediaset group and the purchase of TV rights. Berlusconi, 76, resigned as prime minister in November over his country's debt crisis, bringing to an apparent end an 18-year era in which he dominated Italian politics. For more details about the case, check out this story.

 

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Filed under: Italy • Silvio Berlusconi
October 25th, 2012
10:18 AM ET

Man who leaked pope's papers heads to jail

If Paolo Gabriele ever does get the pope's pardon, it won't be before he serves some jail time.

Gabriele, a former butler to Pope Benedict XVI, will start his 18-month sentence in a Vatican cell Thursday for taking secret papers from the pope's personal apartment and leaking them to an author who included them in a best-selling book, the Vatican said.

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Filed under: Catholic Church • Christian • Italy • Religion • The Vatican
October 23rd, 2012
01:40 AM ET

Scientists aghast after colleagues convicted of manslaughter over Italy quake

Earthquake experts around the world say they are appalled by an Italian court's decision to convict six scientists on manslaughter charges for failing to predict the deadly quake that devastated the city of L'Aquila. They warned the ruling could severely harm future scientific research.

The court in L'Aquila sentenced the scientists and a government official Monday to six years in prison, ruling that they didn't accurately communicate the risk of the earthquake in 2009 that killed more than 300 people.

The trial centered on a meeting a week before the 6.3-magnitude quake struck. At the meeting, the experts determined that it was "unlikely" but not impossible that a major quake would take place, despite concern among the city's residents over recent seismic activity.

 

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Filed under: Earthquake • Italy • Natural Disasters • Science
Port Authority to cruise ship captain: 'Get on board, damn it'
There were 32 people killed in Costa Concordia cruise ship disaster.
October 15th, 2012
10:07 AM ET

Port Authority to cruise ship captain: 'Get on board, damn it'

The captain of an Italian cruise ship that wrecked in January, killing 32 people, entered court Monday to hear evidence against him as a dozen survivors looked on.

It was the first time that passengers who made it through the Costa Concordia disaster saw Francesco Schettino face-to-face.

He faces allegations of manslaughter, causing a shipwreck, abandoning ship, failing to report an accident to the coast guard and destroying a natural habitat, a prosecutor said earlier this year. The ship struck rocks and turned on its side off the Italian island of Giglio on January 13.

Schettino was released from house arrest in July.

Below are several transcripts of recordings between authorities and the captain published following the disaster and translated by CNN's Hada Messia. They give insight into the mindset of the captain as well as rescuers. The first calls came in right after midnight.

Livorno Port Authorities: "Concordia, we ask you if all is OK there."

Concordia: "All is well."

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Port authority: "Concordia, We ask you if all is well there."

Concordia: "All is well. It is only a technical failure."

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Port authority: "How many people are on board?"

Schettino: "Two-three hundred"

Port authority: "How come so few people? Are you on board?’

Schettino: "No, I’m not on board because the ship is keeling. We’ve abandoned it."

Port authority: "What? You’ve abandoned the ship?"

Schettino: "No. What abandon? I’m here."
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October 15th, 2012
09:46 AM ET

Captain in Italian shipwreck disaster faces survivors in court

The captain of an Italian cruise ship that wrecked in January, killing 32 people, entered court Monday to hear evidence against him as a dozen survivors looked on.

It was the first time that passengers who made it through the Costa Concordia disaster saw Francesco Schettino face-to-face.

He faces allegations of manslaughter, causing a shipwreck, abandoning ship, failing to report an accident to the coast guard and destroying a natural habitat, a prosecutor said earlier this year. The ship struck rocks and turned on its side off the Italian island of Giglio on January 13.

Schettino was released from house arrest in July. He was fired last week by the Costa Crociere parent company, Italian news agency ANSA reported.

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