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08-May-15 10:35. By Giulia Lombardo | Comments (1)

Refugee crisis continues unabated

A few days ago Italy recorded the worst single death toll among refugees trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea. Up to 850 people died in a disastrous shipwreck while trying to reach the Italian coast. Concern has been expressed by the government and also by Pope Francis who appealed to the European Union and the international community to cooperate with Italy in facing up to this emergency. It is evident that the proportions of the phenomenon require a more extensive commitment at a European and international level. Italy is often the first European Union country where the migrants arrive. Most of them want to go to other countries but while their requests or appeals for asylum are processed, they are kept in reception centres, sometimes for too long.

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17-Apr-15 15:32. By Giulia Lombardo | Comments (1)

Italian Olive Trees under threat

A killer bacteria is affecting Italian olive trees. The region hit by the infection from the bacteria xylella fastidiosa is Puglia. Being Italy the second biggest producer of olive oil in the EU, after Spain, significant damage to the vegetation and the region’s economy is foreseen. The spreading of the disease could cause the cutting down of over a million trees. Italy has marked off an emergency area of 241,000 hectares (593,000 acres), that is at least 10% of some 11 million olive trees in the worst-affected Lecce area of Puglia. The infection causes the trees to wither away and die. Up to now there is no remedy.

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30-Mar-15 10:47. By Giulia Lombardo | Comments (1)

Pope Francis announces a universal Extraordinary jubilee

The much loved Pope Francis, on the second anniversary of his election, has just announced a universal Extraordinary jubilee. From the 8th of December (the day when Catholics celebrate the Immaculate conception) to the 20th of November 2016 , the “holy” door of St. Peter’s in Rome will be opened to all those who wish to repent their sins and be granted God’s pardon. The Holy Door of St. Peter’s Basilica had been opened for an universal Extraordinary Jubilee by the future saint, John Paul II, in 1983, to celebrate the 1950 years since the redemption carried out by Christ through his death and resurrection in the year 33.

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19-Mar-15 16:21. By Giulia Lombardo | Comments (1)

Football hooligans damage Rome - decency fighting back

The European League game between Feyenoord and AS Roma saw two days of street battle and serious damage to the “Barcaccia fountain” designed by Gian Lorenzo Bernini in 1627. On the 18th of February 7,000 fans of the Rotterdam football team Feyenoord arrived in Rome for the match. Shops were forced to shut down as the Dutch football fans took over the central marketplace known as “Campo de' Fiori” and left it a field of trash. Then hundreds of drunken Feyenoord supporters threw empty beer bottles at the baroque “La Barcaccia fountain” in Piazza di Spagna. The vandalism left the fountain chipped and splintered with broken marble fragments of up to 8 by 3.5 centimetres.

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05-Mar-15 12:29. By Giulia Lombardo | Comments (0)

Introducing Padre Andrea and Padre Giuseppe

Backhillonline had the pleasure of having a chat with Padre Andrea and the assistant priest, Padre Giuseppe, about their personal history and their achievements and aims for the future.

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23-Feb-15 10:28. By Giulia Lombardo | Comments (0)

Italy's new President - Sicilian Sergio Mattarella

Italy has a new President of the Republic: the Sicilian Sergio Mattarella, previously a constitutional court judge and a veteran centre-left politician.

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23-Feb-15 10:26. By Giulia Lombardo | Comments (3)

A declining breed? Lowest Italian birth rate since unification

Are Italians dying out? In spite of the Mediterranean diet, which has always contributed to the longevity of the Italians, it isn’t helping to increase the population. According to ISTAT, the Italian national statistic office, 2014 was the year with the lowest birth rate since the Italian unification (1861). The number of births last year was 509,000. That means 5,000 fewer than in 2013. A significant impact on birth decrease was given by a substantial fall in immigration which dropped to its lowest level in five years.

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09-Jan-15 12:28. By Giulia Lombardo | Comments (70)

Ferrari to leave Italy?

Do you think that one day the Coliseum could stand up and walk away? And maybe even leave Italy? hoping to be treated better? Being as historical Italian companies such as Fiat left the country and now also Ferrari is wanting to do the same, at least as far as paying the taxes is concerned, it would be a terrible blow to the image of made in Italy in the world. Thousands of Italians keep on leaving the country in search of employment and professional satisfaction.

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09-Jan-15 12:26. By Giulia Lombardo | Comments (120)

83% of Rome's municipal police reported sick on NYE

Scandal after scandal Italians saw off 2014. Also the new year came with an unpleasant surprise: half a million people gathered in Rome to celebrate the new year but there was a shortage of municipal police officers, as 83 percent of them declared to be sick. 600,000 people gathered around the Colosseum and some of them let off powerful illegal fireworks undisturbed by the security forces, due to the fact that there were too few of them.

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09-Jan-15 12:24. By Giulia Lombardo | Comments (61)

90% of worldwide fake euros produced in Naples

Money makes the world go round! But what if it is fake? Naples confirms its primacy in inventiveness also when it comes to crime. 90% of false Euros in worldwide circulation were produced in the Naples area. The Campania region is the hotbed of the Camorra mafia, which makes billions of pounds a year from drug trafficking, prostitution and the illegal dumping of toxic waste.

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