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Posts Tagged ‘Italy’

Italy helps My Son World Heritage restoration

In Uncategorized on December 24, 2010 at 4:36 am

Findings on ancient Cham bricks and mortar have contributed to the restoration and conservation of My Son World Heritage.

          My Son Sanctuary (Photo: Vnexpresss)

At a press briefing held in Hanoi on Dec. 21, Italian Ambassador to Vietnam Enzo Angeloni said the result of the second phase of the “Safeguarding of My Son World Heritage” project was attributable to the joint efforts of the Vietnamese and Italian scientists as well as the assistance of the Italian Government and UNESCO representative office in Vietnam.

The Italian diplomat said Vietnam’s heritage conservation projects are on the priority list for the Italian Government’s development cooperation in Vietnam. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) and the Italian Government will continue assisting Vietnam to implement the third phase of the project.

The project, financed by Italy through UNESCO, was carried out with non-refundable aid of 642,000 USD in the first phase from 2003 to 2005 and 453,000 USD in the second phase from 2006-2010.

Under the project, Italian, UNESCO and Vietnamese experts have conducted research activities and materials analysis and tested building techniques as well as provided vocational training for officials and management officers of the archeological area of My Son.

At the event, Italy introduced a draft manual on the restoration of heritages based on experience gained during the implementation of the project. This publication, in English and Vietnamese, will soon be available at national and international level.

The archeological area of My Son is one of the most important relics in Vietnam and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999.

Source: SGGP

Amanda Knox appeal starts in Italy sex-murder case

In Uncategorized on November 24, 2010 at 6:19 am

The appeal trial of Amanda Knox over the sex-murder of a British student in Italy gets underway on Wednesday, as prosecutors seek a harsher sentence and Knox’s family protests her innocence.

Knox, 23, was sentenced to 26 years in prison last year for killing Meredith Kercher in the cottage they shared in the medieval city of Perugia as part of what prosecutors described as a gruesome, drug-fuelled sexual assault.

“We believe that if the judges and the jury take a look at just the evidence and what we’re bringing up in the appeal it’s a no-brainer and they will let Amanda go,” her mother, Edda Mellas, said on British television this week.

File picture shows a weeping Amanda Knox (L) being helped during her murder trial in 2009 in Perugia, Italy.

Her father Curt Knox told channel ITV1: “I look at it as this is a point that is Amanda’s next chance to be found innocent, which she is.”

But Italian prosecutors have said they will seek a longer sentence for Knox if the conviction is upheld by the Perugia appeals court.

Knox’s then boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito, who was sentenced to 25 years for the 2007 murder, is appealing at the same time. An Ivorian man, Rudy Guede, who fled Perugia and was arrested in Germany, has also been jailed for the murder.

Wednesday’s hearing is expected to be technical in nature and the appeal trial proper is set to start next month, lasting possibly into next year.

Kercher was found on November 2, 2007, half-naked in a pool of blood with stab wounds to the neck in her room in the cottage she shared with Knox.

Knox, a Seattle native, has repeatedly protested her innocence and her case has continued to garner large-scale media attention, particularly in the United States where many people are convinced of her innocence.

Earlier this month she was indicted on additional charges of slander for claiming that police beat her during questioning soon after the murder. She said then that she had been in the house at the time of the killing.

Knox faces a separate trial on the slander charges on May 17 next year.

She has spoken in detail of her imprisonment in a book of interviews by Italian lawmaker Rocco Girlanda, president of the Italy-USA Foundation, who has taken a personal interest in the case and has visited Knox in prison.

Knox is quoted in the book as saying that she longs to live a normal life and hopes to one day become a mother and start a writing career.

“I want to live… I’m thinking about when I will be out of here,” Knox is quoted as saying during one of the visits in her cell in Perugia.

“Living here is like being in limbo,” she said.

Girlanda said he brought Knox numerous classic works of world literature during his visits, including works by Dostoyevsky, Hemingway and Kafka.

The case is also serving as the basis for a television film currently being shot in Italy called “The Amanda Knox Story,” starring US actress Hayden Panettiere as Knox. It is expected to screen in the United States next year.

Source: SGGP

Vietnamese documentary wins a prize in Italy

In Uncategorized on November 6, 2010 at 1:20 pm

Early elections in Italy could hamper recovery: president

In Uncategorized on August 13, 2010 at 11:22 am

ROME, Aug 13, 2010 (AFP) – Italy’s President Giorgio Napolitano said Friday he was against early elections after a rift opened in Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s government coalition, as they could hamper the economic recovery.

“We have seen recent positive and encouraging signs of a productive recovery and a return to growth in Italy even as the world scenario remains difficult,” Napolitano said in an interview published on left-wing daily L’Unita.

“But I wonder, what could happen to this country if we head towards a political void and towards a brutal electoral clash?” Napolitano asked.

Italy’s economic output grew by 0.4 percent both in the first and second quarter of 2010, and it is expected to grow by 1.1 percent by the end of the year.

Berlusconi, 73, lost his once-comfortable parliamentary majority last month when lower house speaker Gianfranco Fini ended a 16-year alliance with him, leaving the People of Freedom (PDL) party.

Fini’s supporters set up breakaway parliamentary groups of 33 deputies and 10 senators.

Napolitano acknowledged the “serious political conflict within the coalition that won the 2008 elections, within the government coalition” that has fueled speculation about possible early elections in November or in early next year.

Berlusconi has said his government will face a crucial test of strength in September in the form of a confidence vote.

If the vote brings down the government, Napolitano will poll parliamentary group leaders on the possibility of forming a transitional government, failing which he will dissolve parliament and call elections.

“My institutional responsibilities will come into play only when it becomes clear in parliament that the majority has dissolved,” Napolitano said.

The president also invited Berlusconi’s camp to stop calling for Fini’s resignation as lower house speaker.

“It is time to end the institutionally very de-stabilising campaign that aims to take away legitimacy from the president of a branch of parliament,” Napolitano said.

“It is the time to lower tones… and look at the country that needs answers to its problems rather than showdowns and threatening proclamations,” he said.

Il Giornale, a daily owned by the Berlusconi family, has questioned the propriety of the sale of a house in Monaco by Fini’s former party, the National Alliance, which merged with Berlusconi’s Forza Italia into the PDL in 2008.

On Friday, Il Giornale devoted its first seven pages to Fini’s involvment in the sale and said it had collected 50,000 signatures calling for his resignation.

Berlusconi and Fini have been at odds since a public spat in April — largely over legislation that would help Berlusconi avoid prosecution on corruption and tax fraud charges — ahead of their dramatic split late last month.

Source: SGGP

Italy funds technology transfer project

In Uncategorized on June 18, 2010 at 8:37 am

Italy funds technology transfer project

QĐND – Thursday, June 17, 2010, 20:57 (GMT+7)

Opportunities are open for Vietnamese small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to receive technology transferred from Italian partners in a 3 million Euro project funded by the Italian Government. 

The project, co-sponsored by the Enterprise Development Department under the Ministry of Planning and Investment and the UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), kick-started in 2009 to tap potential of enterprises from the two countries. 

Italian Ambassador Andrea Perugini said at a workshop in Hanoi on June 16 that Italian business circles have advantages in product designing and quality, as well as marketing skills and mastery of technology in various industries. Meanwhile, Vietnamese enterprises can offer abundant workforce and low-cost labour, he pointed out. 

These elements have revealed a prospect of win-win cooperation, said the Italian diplomat, adding that Italian enterprises would take this opportunity to effectively transfer technology and experiences to Vietnamese partners. 

Source: VOV


Source: QDND

Italy approves 24 billion euro austerity drive

In Uncategorized on May 26, 2010 at 1:22 pm

Italy bumble forward, clubs stumble, Inter dominate

In Uncategorized on December 21, 2009 at 3:59 pm

ROME, Dec 21, 2009 (AFP) – It has not been a great footballing year in Italy despite the world champions’ qualification for next year’s World Cup in South Africa.

England coach Fabio Capello, an Italian

In fact, probably the greatest Italian successes have been by expats.

Fabio Capello has turned England into genuine World Cup contenders and Giovanni Trapattoni took a hotch-potch Ireland team to the brink of the finals.

Carlo Ancelotti started his Chelsea career in excellent fashion and even unheralded pair Andrea Barzagli and Cristian Zaccardo helped VfL Wolfsburg win a first ever German title.

But back home, Italian football has been stagnating.

Italy did qualify for the World Cup but were far from impressive in doing so, despite winning their group.

They really had little in terms of comeptition with a Bulgaria team over-reliant on the inconsistent Dimitar Berbatov and an Ireland that can’t put out a team made up entirely of Premier League players.

Italy struggled to beat the likes of Cyprus and Georgia, although they did manage to do the double over both, and needed a last gasp equaliser in Dublin to secure their progress.

Their Confederations Cup campaign was an embarrassment with a 1-0 defeat to Egypt and a 3-0 thrashing at Brazil’s hands ensuring they did not even make it past the group stage.

This last year also saw Italian clubs record their worst ever performance in the Champions League since the European Cup was changed to allow non-champions into the competition.

Fiorentina didn’t even make it out of their group while Inter Milan, Juventus and AS Roma all crashed out in the second round — all to English opposition.

Not one Italian team in the quarter-finals was a first in Champions League history.

And they fared worse in the UEFA Cup as even AC Milan could not go very far, losing to Werder Bremen on away goals in the last 32, the same round that saw Sampdoria and Fiorentina exit to leave no Italian teams involved in Europe beyond the beginning of March.

So to domestic matters and it was a successful entry into Italian football for the self-styled ‘Special One’ Jose Mourinho.

Taking over from the sacked Roberto Mancini — for whom three straight Serie A titles proved inadequate — he made it four in a row for Inter but his failure to get the team beyond the second round in Europe saw him under pressure right from the off in his second season.

Inter have won only four out of 14 Champions League matches under Mourinho and although he guided them through the group stages again this season, having drawn Chelsea in the second round — a year on from pulling Manchester United out of the hat — his job is again looking slightly insecure.

But in Serie A they have been untouchable, winning the 2008/09 title by 10 points from Milan and Juventus, the three traditional powerhouses returning to the top three positions for the first time since the 2006 calciopoli match-fixing scandal that hit Milan and Juve hard.

It was helped too by AS Roma’s demise as the cash-strapped club consistently fail to find adequate replacements for the stars that leave.

The first half of the current season has been much the same. Hype and hope for Milan and Juve but in the end neither looks capable of pushing Inter to the wire.

Mourinho’s team head into the Christmas break with an eight-point lead.

The two highest-profile foreign players both left Italy in the summer heading for Spain in big-money moves.

Kaka left Milan for Real Madrid and Zlatan Ibrahimovic quit Inter for Barcelona, although Samuel Eto’o’s arrival in return has softened the blow, the Cameroon forward proving more prolific than the Swede.

The biggest arrival, though, was David Beckham on a half-season loan to Milan in January, a move he will repeat in 2010.

Beckham was largely a success, not least for his attitude and application, and brought some much-needed attention and glamour to Italy.

But even so, he didn’t help Milan’s results improve.

It all leaves little to get excited about in 2010. Once again a dreadful Champions League second round draw means that no-one will be surprised to see Inter, Milan and Fiorentina — Juve failed to even make the knock-outs — bite the dust.

There’s nothing either to suggest that the Serie A trophy need be taken out of its current cabinet and even at the World Cup, if Italy play to their form, they’ll do well to make the quarter-finals.

But that might just be the spark they need for a 2006-style stumble all the way to victory — Italy’s last two World Cup triumphs coming in the wake of turbulent build-ups.

Source: SGGP Bookmark & Share

Italy convicts 23 US agents in CIA kidnapping trial

In Uncategorized on November 5, 2009 at 10:08 am

MILAN, Nov 5, 2009 (AFP) – An Italian judge convicted 23 US and two Italian secret agents for the CIA’s kidnapping of an Egyptian cleric in 2003, as Washington expressed dismay over the ruling.

The CIA’s Milan station chief at the time, Robert Seldon Lady, was sentenced Wednesday to eight years in prison and the other Americans to five years, all in their absence at the landmark trial.

The two Italians were given three-year prison terms after the first trial involving the transfer of a “war on terror” suspect by CIA operatives thought to have sent scores of people to countries known to practise torture.

Italian judge Oscar Maggi reads on November 4, 2009 at a Milan’s court, the verdict at the end of the trial of the 26 US secret agents (AFP photo)

The CIA chief for Italy at the time, Jeffrey Castelli, and the then-head of Italian military intelligence SISMI, Nicolo Pollari, were protected by state secrecy rules, while two other American defendants benefited from diplomatic immunity, Judge Oscar Magi said.

US State Department spokesman Ian Kelly said that Washington was “disappointed by the verdicts against the Americans and Italians” in the trial.

“Our view is the Italian court has no jurisdiction over Lieutenant Colonel (Joseph) Romano and should have immediately dismissed the charges,” said Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell.

“Now that they have not, we will, of course, explore what options we have going forward.”

Prosecutor Armando Spataro hailed the ruling, saying the trial, which opened in June 2007, had demonstrated “the truth of the investigation.”

Spataro had sought a 13-year jail term for Castelli and Pollari, who was forced to quit over the affair.

Osama Mustafa Hassan, an imam better known as Abu Omar, was snatched from a Milan street on February 17, 2003 in an operation coordinated by the CIA and SISMI.

The radical Islamist opposition figure, who enjoyed political asylum in Italy, was allegedly taken to the Aviano Air Base, a US military installation in northeastern Italy, then flown to the US base in Ramstein, Germany, and on to Cairo, where he says he was tortured.

The “extraordinary rendition” programme was set up by the administration of then-president George W. Bush in the wake of the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States.

The imam’s captors failed to take many standard precautions, speaking openly on cell phones, leaving investigators to suspect that the Americans had cleared their intentions with senior Italian intelligence officials.

Sabrina DeSousa, a CIA spy sentenced to five years in an Italian prison for her role in the kidnapping plot, admitted Wednesday that she “broke the law” but felt abandoned by her superiors.

“And we are paying for the mistakes right now, whoever authorized and approved this,” DeSousa told ABC television, adding she felt “abandoned and betrayed.”

Human Rights Watch welcomed the court move, even though the two highest-ranking officials were not convicted.

“The Italian government was found responsible for collaborating with the CIA. It was a brave ruling for an Italian court,” the rights group’s Joanne Mariner told AFP.

The trial was delayed as successive Italian governments sought to have it thrown out as a threat to national security. Defendants argued that state secrecy rules prevented them from being able to prove their innocence.

The issue went before Italy’s Constitutional Court, which agreed that part of the investigation had violated state secrecy provisions but said the prosecution could use evidence obtained correctly.

Prosecutor Spataro lamented what he called the “twisted logic” behind an operation that broke the law as well as sending a suspect to endure torture.

“This only encourages the multiplication of terrorists,” said Spataro, who is known for his work against the left-wing militant group the Red Brigades that was active in the 1970s.

Source: SGGP Bookmark & Share

VN coffee makers seek out Italy

In Uncategorized on September 30, 2008 at 6:23 pm

ROME — Representatives from 11 leading Vietnamese coffee producers and exporters met with Italian businesses at a workshop in Rome last Friday to discuss market demand and seek Italian distribution partners.

The seminar was hosted jointly by the Vietnamese embassy in Italy and authorities of the Lasio region.

Viet Nam has increased its market share in Italy as the taste of its coffee has better met with Italian consumers’ requirements and palates, said Vincenzo Sandalj, President of the Coffee Association of Trieste city.

Italy, the fifth largest coffee importer in the world with an nnual growth rate of 6 per cnt, holds still more opportunities for Vietnamese businesses, he said.

Viet Nam is the second-largest coffee exporter in te world, holding a 20 per cent share of the world market with an average annual export volume of 840,000 tonnes, said President of the Viet Nam Coffee Corporaion (VINACAFE) Doan Dinh Thiem at the seminar.

Viet Nam stands second, following Brazil, in exports o coffee to Italy with an verage of 66,000 tonnes per year, though Thiem stressed that there is still substantial potential for further trade between the two countries.

Italy comes after Germany, the US and Spain for the biggest volume of coffee exported from Viet Nam.

Some of the largest coffee businesses in Italy have opened representative offices and commenced joint ventures in Viet Nam. —