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How Italian media censorship works

ROME, Italy — Prior to regional Italian elections that many say will amount to a referendum on the government of Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, three of the country’s most important television networks have been free of political analysis.

Italian police anticipate Vatican unrest

ROME, Italy — As Catholics around the world prepare to celebrate Palm Sunday, a drumbeat of scandal in the church seems incessant and increasingly focused on the pope himself.

Italians debate whether "gay" is an insult

ROME, Italy — Is it an insult to call somebody gay?  That is the question Italians are pondering as they await a pivotal court decision on gay marriage expected this week. Last week, in an unrelated case, one of Italy's highest courts issued a ruling that states calling someone gay can be an insult if it’s done with the intention to denigrate. The ruling sparked a debate among the country’s homosexual community: Will the decision, which aimed to protect gay rights, hurt not help?

Italy's sandwich snafu

ROME, Italy — Italy’s biggest party, Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s “People of Freedoms” (PdL), might be left out of Rome's upcoming regional elections because of one fatal mistake.

Is the pope his brother's keeper?

VATICAN CITY — The two Ratzinger brothers have always stood together. They were both ordained as Catholic priests the same day in the same small German town where they came of age. And they both rose up through the German hierarchy of the Catholic Church, with Joseph eventually joining the Roman Curia and elevated as Pope Benedict XVI, and his brother Georg Ratzinger named a Monsignor.

Violence erupts in a Rome detention center

ROME, Italy — The alarm went off at Rome’s detention center for undocumented migrants. Tunisian migrant Badis Barhumi, who had tried to escape, hurried back inside to hide. The chief police officer on duty found Barhumi among other migrants and beat him down with a baton. “We yelled at him to stop,” said Mustafa, one eyewitness who denounced the violence to a local radio station, “but he kept going.”

Opinion: Greek debt crisis a hazard for EU

WASHINGTON — The Greek membership of the eurozone has never been easy. While other EU countries either adopted the euro or chose not to do so, Greece was the only EU country that wanted to join the common currency area at the outset, but could not. The Greeks were keen to jettison the drachma because of their past experience with inflation and devaluation. Giving monetary authority to the European Central Bank would eliminate those two problems.

An Italian tailor trains a new generation

Poor, Poor Europa

At each stage of the seemingly endless expansion and integration of the European Union, the world is promised a more rational system will be installed for important functions like foreign policy, trade and setting interest rates. Yet each expansion added primarily fog to these processes, and now a crisis looms that may for the EU to look its hydra-headed self squarely in the mirror.

Exploring Italian craft beers

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