Sardinian residents buried their dead on Wednesday as family and friends demanded an explanation at a devastation that could have been prevented in their community. Around 16 people were confirmed dead as the Cyclone Cleopatra uprooted and destroyed homes, displaced vehicles and burst open riverbanks on Monday.
Among the 16 dead, one person had been reported missing.
At least 1,000 people crammed inside and outside the Sardinian town Cathedral of Tempio Pausania mourning a husband and wife who died with their relative after a mudslide had submerged their vehicle.
According to locals, the local devastation could have been prevented if authorities only paid attention to the proper maintenance of their roads. Flooding and landslides were highly common in the mountainous areas of Italy. However, because of reckless construction, many lives were lost and put at stake.
The Cyclone is now pummelling Rome and will make its way out of the country in one and a half days.
Sardinia was one of the worst hit in Italy along with the 50,000 populated town of Olbia. People from the town swam through their houses to escape the wrath of the cyclone.
According to experts, the local government were building too much infrastructure on top of areas exposed to floods and landslides. According to a study, more than 5,000 – 8,000 municipalities in Italy face hydro-geological risks.
Former German SS Officer Erich Priebke was denied a funeral as protesters against the act successfully blocked giving him a proper burial. The funeral block marks the 70th anniversary where Roman Jews were deported from their living spaces in 1944.
The former SS Officer’s crimes were punished with a life sentence under house arrests. He was part of the officers involved in the killing of 335 Jews in the caves near Rome, which was one of Italy’s worst wartime massacres.
The Roman Synagogue’s head Riccard Pacifici drew loud applause as he praised the public and the mayor of Albano Laziale for pushing to block the funeral of Priebke. He said that he felt proud to be a Roman because of the public’s decision to give rightful justice. The event marked the Nazi’s deportation of 1,000 Jews from Roman Ghettos into Auschwitz, the infamous concentration camp that only left 16 Jews surviving the ordeal.
According to Pacifici, he does not want to mention Priebke’s name in the Synagogue and claims the former SS never repented for his actions.
According to Italian President Giorgio Napolitano, the anniversary and the event showed great bond between all religious sects including Catholics, Muslims, Jews and even those who did not belong to any religion.
However, some groups defended that Priebke should be given a Christian funeral regardless of his sins. They said that it was an act of racial hatred and anti-semitism not to give a Christian his due redemption.
Financial Ombudsman Chief Natalie Ceeney said that banks are still “dragging their feet” in addressing PPI claims as 266,388 PPI compensation claims came in the first and second quarter of the year. The 26% increase from the number of complaints last year indicates that banks and financial companies are still not cooperating with customers and authorities in refunding customers.
PPI is an insurance product that can repay your loan or credit card in case you get sick or have an accident. However, because of the manner it was sold, many customers were not eligible for the insurance. Those who could not make use of their PPI could get refunded through the help of a PPI Calculator UK claims companies often provide.
Alarmed by the figures shown by the Financial Ombudsman, the Financial Conduct Authority had investigated 18 financial companies ranging from high-street to starting lenders. The FCA revealed its results last month and found that only 6 out of 18 UK financial institutions followed the procedures. One financial company was referred for enforcement action.
Ceeney said that she is very disappointed with banks who had failed or continue to refuse the example set by the FOS. The independent organisation pointed out that 80% of the PPI complaitns rejected by banks were in favour of customers.
In the event you find difficulty in making your claims, it is advised that you seek help from claims management companies who could help you with a loan or mortgage PPI calculator to estimate your total PPI refunds.
Italy’s Giglio island was in the world’s sights Tuesday as the Costa Concordia cruise ship, which capsized and sank as it approached the island on January 13, 2012 because of jagged rocks tearing a hole on its side was finally removed from the island. The 19-hour operation allowed Italian salvage crews to pull the 114,500 ton ship from its side to an upright position. Jacks and cables had the ship lowered to the underwater platforms in the sea bed.
Observers said that it was one of the most complex and expensive maritime operations the Italian salvage team ever attempted. The operation was concluded around 4AM local time without any problems.
Cheering residents and locals welcomed the news from Italy’s Civil Protection Authority regarding the progressing removal of the ship from the island.
The large Costa Concordia that sank one and a half year ago took around €600 ($800 million) to remove from the island. It would be refloated and is bound to be torn apart to be compiled for scrap.
Its captain, Francesco Schettino, is facing multiple charges due to misjudgement which led to the loss of 32 lives during the accident from the 4,000-passenger cruise ship. Experts said that it is one of the biggest maritime wreck recovery in history.
An Italian business owner made headlines in Italy when he argued that Italy had many jobs to offer, yet there were thousands of vacancies in different occupations amidst high youth unemployment. Plastics manufacturer Giovanni Pagotto said that the Italian youth today were not “hungry” enough for the position.
Pagotto related the Italian youth population’s “laid-back” approach to the job market to his own experience from starting his own career in a factory until he owned his own business. His comments and arguments sparked the anger of trade union leaders and young people.
However, some see that he has a point. Italy’s unemployment rate had reached beyond 12% and the ratio of 5:1 exists as five kinds of jobs exist for unemployed young people in their 20’s. However, different Italian industries, from pizzerias, industrial and construction, craftsmen and even sales said that they couldn’t find enough applicants.
According to the Nord Est Foundation director Daniele Marini, the Italian youth expects a lot from his or her education to land her a good professional future. However, it also indicated that the Italian educational system had failed to prepare the youth for this reality and apprenticeships in the different trades were not enough.
The Studi Consuleti Foundation estimated that 150,000 jobs existed in the United Kingdom but many unemployed youth just shrug off the available jobs in tailoring, baking and construction.
Italy’s high court convicted Ex-Prime Minister and media tycoon Silvio Berlusconi of creating a “slush fund” worth $400 million with Mediaset, which Berlusconi also owns. The sentence did not include the five-year political ban that might end Berlusconi’s career.
Italy’s highest court investigated Berlusconi’s fraud accounting and tax evasion counts. The two sentences delivered this weekend is just the first in the two dozen cases filed against the media giant. Included in Berlusconi’s accusations is corruption and the hiring of underage prostitutes for mansion parties.
A seven-year-old amnesty law granted Berlusconi one year jail term instead of a four-year jail term, which he might serve under house arrest or community service.
The public received the sentence with criticism. Some hoped that it was the last time they will see Berlusconi ascend to politics. But the sentence made it clear he could still return at any time. Some critics pointed out that Berlusconi was like a “fly that always gets away”.
Political analysts pointed out that Berlusconi’s coalition may walk out of the government and cause a collapse if the political ban was handed to Berlusconi. However, because of the sentence, the coalition will continue to back the fragile Italian government.
According to Bank of Italy officials, the Vatican’s own Institute for Works of Religion, which serves as its offshore national bank, had allowed organised criminals and other high-profile scoundrels to launder money easily inside the Vatican. A Vatican official said that the legal separation between Italy and the Vatican was breached for the first time by the said incident.
Italian tax police arrested an Italian accountant, Nunzio Scarano, who worked as a senior accountant inside the Vatican’s national bank. A financial intermediary and an Italian Secret Services Agent was also arrested for conspiracy with the earlier two for money laundering. The three’s plot attempted to bring €20 million in cash from a wealthy shipowning family from a Swiss bank to Rome via private plane.
The case was pending for years and because of the Vatican’s diplomatic immunity and exemption from international banking rules, had Italian prosecutors delayed by having virtually no information about the offshore bank. Scarano’s arrest proved to the Vatican that corruption is “eating at its core” and that the Vatican will fully collaborate with Italian justice authorities.
Scarano came from Salerno and was employed by a big Italian commercial bank before he became a priest. Pope Francis himself understood the secrecy of the Vatican bank and its operations.
The Institute for Works for Religion housed the funds of cardinals, bishops, priests, Catholic charities and religious orders all over the world. It was established in 1943.
Thousands of young Italians are leaving Italy searching for employment elsewhere as the recession-hit country continues to tread in record-high unemployment. Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta personally apologized to the Italian population in general because of the ensuing “brain drain” in the country.
Prime Minister Letta said that he was apologising not just because of the administration’s lack of work regarding Italy’s unemployment problems, but because he was part of a political class that pretended not to understand that through its words and actions it let passion, sacrifice and competence go to waste.
Letta also apologised for the country’s growing debt, which the youth of Italy would shoulder in the future because of the failure of today’s leaders including himself.
Italy’s unemployment rate has now reached a total of 12%, with youth unemployment increasing to 40.5% having at least 656,000 Italians from 15 to 24 years old looking for work. Last year, it is estimated that at least 316,000 young Italians had emigrated in the past decade to different countries, notably Germany, France, Britain and the United States.
Along with his apology, Prime Minister Letta had pushed the government to make local companies to hire the younger unemployed and to support education and innovation. Letta had pointed out that the current Italian government vows to change the fate of the Italian youth.
Newly-elected Catholic Pope Francis condemns Mafia and mobsters for enslaving people and exploiting them and calls for them to repent and believe in God once again.
Pope Francis spoke the statement right after his weekly blessing in St. Peter’s Square in Rome. He said that the people “must pray to the Lord to make the Mafiosi convert back to Catholic beliefs. The pope also said that he shares the grief and pain of the mafia victims.
The Pope said his comments after he beatified Don Giuseppe Puglisi, who was murdered by the mafia in Sicily in 1993. The ceremony brings Puglisi closer to becoming a prominent saint of the Catholic Church.
Pope Francis’ statements show the Church’s defiance against mafia and mobster crime in Italy. Pope Francis said that he feels the great pain suffered by men and women who become slaves, become part of prostitution rings, drug circles and social pressures. He said that “our brothers cannot be slaves.
He beatified Father Puglisi and he addressed the priest as a martyr and an exemplary priest.
Throughout history, Italy is renowned for its powerful mobsters and Mafioso who deal underground. These gangs own properties as much as €450m in vehicles, real estate and other dealings.
Newly-elected Pope Francis promises friendship, respect and open communications with other religions leaders on Wednesday between orthodox Churches. He describes that he finds the affinity between Catholics and Jews as very special and he gives his gratitude to Muslim leaders.
Pope Francis says that only through healthy communication and interaction with different men and women of religious traditions could the Catholic Church find true peace. He is out to promote the friendship and respect between men and women of different religious traditions.
Orthodox Christians Spiritual leader Bartholomew I, representatives from different Protestant denominations, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Sikh, Hindu and Jainist faiths were greeted by Pope Francis at the Clementine Hall inside the Apostolic Palace of the Vatican. Bartholomew I said to Pope Francis that he has “an enormous responsibility and task before God and before men”.
Pope Francis is well-known to Christian devotees as a humble and simple Pope who sets this tone everywhere he goes. He had the Chief Rabbi of Rome Riccardo di Segni for a “renewed collaboration”. While the Rabbi said that conflicts are inevitable he said that “the will to resolve these problems and the good intentions are the most important”.
Many religious leaders, such as Imam Yahya Pallavicini, vice president of the Italian Islamic Religious Community, presented the Pope with a book about the different dimensions of Islam. He mentioned that he was “touched” about Pope Francis expression of gratitude for the presence of Muslim Leaders. He genuinely believes the Pope can improve the relationship between Catholics and Muslims.
Source: New York Times