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Defiant Rome mayor welcomes gay marriage in the Vatican's shadow

Rome - The issue of gay marriage in Italy has been brought to the forefront by Rome's feisty mayor, Ignazio Marino, who registered 16 gay marriages that had been officiated abroad.

Italian lovemakers get stuck together in the surf

Porto San Giorgio - Most people know that dogs tend to get stuck together when doing what comes naturally, but it seems even humans can experience this rather uncomfortable phenomenon. An Italian couple actually had to be hospitalized to get them apart.

Ukraine-Russia peace hopes rise as gas deal edges closer

Milan - Ukraine and Russia both signalled progress towards settling their festering row over gas, raising hopes of an EU-backed resolution of the broader conflict embroiling the Soviet-era allies.

Putin calls on Europe to help Ukraine pay gas debts  

Milan - Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday called on Europe to help Kiev cover its gas debts with Russia following talks with his Ukrainian counterpart, Petro Poroshenko.

Kremlin dismisses EU hopes of Ukraine progress

Milan - European leaders expressed hope Friday of solving the bloody Ukraine conflict following "positive" talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin, only for the Kremlin to berate them as out of touch with reality.

Italy PM 'really positive' after Putin, Poroshenko Ukraine talks

Milan - Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said he was "really positive" on the prospects for a solution to the Ukraine conflict after talks between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Ukrainian counterpart Petro Poroshenko.

Vatican backs away from 'welcoming homosexuals' stance

Rome - Despite Pope Francis saying homosexuals have "gifts and qualities to offer to the Christian community" and a push by LGBT rights groups for a more accepting Catholic Church, the Vatican has backed away from its "Welcoming Homosexual Persons" stance.

Italian nurse who took selfies with dead patients accused of murder

Rome - An Italian nurse who took photographs of herself with dead patients has been accused of murdering one of them and may be behind the deaths of dozens of others, according to Italian media reports.

Putin warns Europe on gas supplies ahead of Ukraine talks

Milan - Russian President Vladimir Putin warned Europe Thursday its gas supplies could be at risk as he prepared for talks with Ukraine counterpart Petro Poroshenko at an Asia-Europe (ASEM) summit overshadowed by the crisis.

Europeans schedule unprecedented soft landing on comet

Trying to unlock part of the mystery of life on Earth, the European Space Agency revealed Wednesday where it will attempt an unprecedented soft landing on a comet.

Converse files suit over infringement of Chuck Taylor shoes

Brooklyn - United States shoemaker Converse has filed suit against more than two dozen companies alleging those businesses have copied the design of the popular Chuck Taylor shoe.

Breaking Bad parody: Breaking Balsamic (Video)

Modena - American travel blogger, Turner Barr, decided six years ago to travel the world while performing 80 unusual jobs. His latest was in Modena, Italy, where he learned how to make the traditional balsamic vinegar, which inspired him to make a funny video.

Nurse accused of killing 38 patients who 'annoyed' her

Lugo - A nurse working at a hospital in northeastern Italy has been arrested as part of an investigation into the mysterious deaths of 38 patients. Authorities say she may have injected the patients with potassium chloride because they were "annoying."

Vatican synod: Gays have 'gifts, qualities' to offer Christians

Rome - In what is being described as a "pastoral earthquake," the two-week synod of bishops called by Pope Francis to consider issues of "family life" released Monday a document with a radically new liberal tone, saying gays have "gifts and qualities to offer."

Youthful passion fuels 'Madama Butterfly' Special

Toronto - Puccini’s “Madama Butterfly” has been accused of racism, misogyny, and gross stereotyping. But at its heart, the opera is really about the passion of youth, and the consequences of choice.

Video: Spectators escape death, injury as car crashes into crowd

La Thuile - Video footage of a spectacular crash during a Rally Car race in Italy shows spectators somehow managing to escape death as they scatter when a car loses control and crashes into an embankment.

Italy marks year after deadly Lampedusa migrant disaster

Rome - Italy marked the first anniversary Friday of its "Mare Nostrum" operation with no let-up in its rescue of migrants making the perilous Mediterranean crossing, saying its navy had scooped 2,000 more from the sea in just two days.

Sex, drink, food, and trouble: Verdi's Falstaff lives large Special

Toronto - Canadian opera singer Gerald Finley says the timing’s right to make his debut as one of opera’s biggest and most beloved party boys.

ECB holds key rates steady amid anti-austerity demos

Naples - The European Central Bank held its record-low interest rates unchanged at its regular monthly policy meeting on Thursday, amid fierce street clashes between anti-austerity demonstrators and police outside the Italian venue.

Tide of tragedy in Med still rising, year on from Lampedusa

Rome - A year after more than 360 Africans perished on a burning, sinking ship off Lampedusa there is no end in sight to the stream of migrant tragedies in the Mediterranean, or the political row over how to stop them recurring.
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