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(ANSA) - Florence, April 24 - A mysterious anonymous artist has plastered streets in Florence and Rome with portraits of Dante Alighieri, Botticelli's Venus, Pablo Picasso and even Jesus Christ wearing scuba divers' masks on faces as part of a series entitled "Art can swim." The artist, who identifies himself only as "Blub" to protect his anonymity, recently added the late Latin American writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez to his series, naturally also depicted in a diver's mask. Blub also has posted up his esoteric portraits in Rome, including one of Pope Francis. He says he started painting...
(ANSA) - New York, April 24 - Pope Francis is "a moral leader in words and deeds," United States President Barack Obama said Thursday in a profile written for Time magazine on the 100 most influential figures in the world. The pope is the type of rare leader "who makes us want to be better people," writes Obama. Francis was Time's Person of the Year for 2013. The two leaders met last month when Obama travelled to Rome and Vatican City. In his Time magazine tribute, Obama praised the pontiff for his "message of inclusion" and his many acts of kindness. "His message of love and inclusion...
(ANSA) - Rome, April 24 - National carrier Alitalia's management has asked for meetings on Tuesday with its unions to discuss ways to lower labour costs, a condition for a investment by Etihad airline, sources said Thursday. However, Susanna Camusso, chair of the CGIL trade union federation, said no layoff plans are in the works for Alitalia employees. "As is well-known, there is an agreement in force on employment with the use of solidarity contracts and cassa integrazione (temporary state-subsidised lay-offs) by rotation," she said after talks this week with Gabriele Del Torchio, Alitalia...
(see related) (ANSA) - Rome, April 24 - Some 250 million euros in public money will go towards the rehabilitation of the industrial zone in the Tuscan city of Piombino, officials in Rome said Thursday. "The agreement foresees 150 million euros from the Region of Tuscany and 100 million from the government," Tuscan Governor Enrico Rossi said heading into a meeting with government officials to sign a industrial rehab agreement. The plan however will not keep a local steelworks that employs 2,000 workers from closing. Workers there staged a protest Thursday as the blast furnace was shut...
(ANSA) - Ascoli Piceno, April 24 - Swastikas were found Thursday in the city of Ascoli Piceno, sprayed on Defense Ministry posters marking the April 25 Liberation Day anniversary of the end of Nazi fascism and the Second World War, police said. A left-wing group said it would ask city council - which received a Gold Medal for its citizens' Resistance to Fascism in the Second World War - to seek civil damages from those who defaced the posters "for every regurgitation of Nazi-Fascist intolerance". "We propose also the founding of a big Festival of Memory whose partners should include the...
(ANSA) - Udine, April 24 - With the international premieres of 'Aberdeen', a bourgeois drama by Pang Ho-cheung, and 'Fuku-chan of FukuFuku Flats', a surreal comedy by Fujita Yosuke, the Far East Film Festival kicks off its 16th edition Friday in the northern Italian city of Udine. In all, the jamboree will feature 60 film entries "from the best popular Asian cinema" including 15 international, 23 European, and two world premieres, organisers say. Also included are "blockbusters, future cult movies, outsiders worth betting on and, as usual, the best auteur off-piste," add organizers. They...
Napolitano signs tax-cut decree - update
Thursday, April 24TH, 2014 by admin
(ANSA) - Rome, April 24 - Italian President Giorgio Napolitano on Thursday signed the government's decree bringing in 10 billion euros of tax cuts for low earners, ANSA sources said. Napolitano met Economy Minister Pier Carlo Padoan earlier on Thursday for clarification about aspects of the legislation. Opposition parties have expressed doubts about the financing of the cuts. Premier Matteo Renzi, on the other hand, said Wednesday that the cuts were the start of a "revolution in the relationship between citizens and the State". The government's income-tax cuts will put an extra 80 euros...
(See related) (ANSA) - Rome, April 24 - Pope John Paul II is not a saint, because only God can be considered holy and attempts to "deify a human being" are sinful, Ali Agca, the man who tried to assassinate the pope in 1981, said Thursday in an interview with ANSA. His comments come days before Sunday's double canonization of Polish-born John Paul II, pontiff from 1978 until his death in 2005, and Italian John XXIII, who was pope from 1958 to 1963. Agca, who was released from jail in 2010, said that he "definitely wanted to kill" John Paul II so it's a "miracle" the pontiff survived the St...
(ANSA) - Milan, April 24 - Silvio Berlusconi on Thursday reiterated that he was happy to do community service at a centre for the elderly, as judicial sources confirmed that the ex-premier is set to start work at a facility near Milan on Monday. Last week a court ruled the media magnate could serve the remaining year of a four-year sentence for a 370-million-euro tax fraud at his media empire by working at least four hours a week at a centre run by the Catholic Sacra Famiglia foundation at Cesano Boscone. "I don't think taking up a few hours of my time each week for people who are in need...
Berlusconi says Renzi turning into taxman
Thursday, April 24TH, 2014 by admin
(see related) (ANSA) - Rome, April, 24 - Three-time premier Silvio Berlusconi on Thursday said sitting Premier Matteo Renzi was turning into a taxman. "He started off as a nice demolition man," Berlusconi told Italian talk show Porta a Porta, referring to Renzi's nickname as a fast-moving reformer. "Now, little by little, he's transforming into a nice taxman". Berlusconi, whose center-right Forza Italia party is in opposition to Renzi's center-left Democratic Party, was aiming to discredit the premier's reputation after passing 10 billion euros in tax cuts for low-income earners.

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