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Drilling starts for high-speed Alpine rail line

A six-metre-wide drill roared to life Tuesday in Chiomonte in northeast Italy and began boring a reconnaissance tunnel for a controversial fast train from Lyon, France to Turin, Italy. The latest phase in a project which has suffered years of delays kicked off with only Italian and French dignitaries as well as media informed about it to avoid potential violent demonstrations. "We have entered the drilling phase, the project is now more irreversible than ever," Turin's mayor Piero Fassino said.

Thousands protest Italy high-speed rail link

Thousands protested in northern Italy on Saturday against a high-speed rail link being built through the Alps, with lawmakers from a new radical party joining the demonstration. Environmental campaigners, trade unionists, students and lawmakers staged the protest in the Val di Susa, where work is under way on the rail line between Turin in Italy and Lyon in France. The lawmakers were from the Five Star Movement anti-establishment party led by former comedian Beppe Grillo, which made major inroads in elections last month.
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