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Inquiry clears Malta's PM over migrant deaths

Rome - An investigation has cleared Malta's Prime Minister Robert Abela of any blame over the death of migrants at sea, his government announced Saturday.

Venice film fest a 'sign of hope' for world cinema

Venice - The decision to hold the Venice Film Festival despite the coronavirus pandemic is being hailed as a "sign of hope" for the movie world after months of closed cinemas, shuttered film sets and cancelled galas.

Virus-battered Italy faces worst recession since WWII

Milan - Facing its deepest recession since World War II and with business confidence collapsing, the coronavirus pandemic is hitting Italy's economy hard.

'Dark days' for Venice gondola makers

Venice - Already under threat, Venice's traditional gondola shipyards now lie silent apart from the gentle sound of canal water lapping at their doorsteps.

Italy unearths Roman mosaic after century-long hunt

Negrar - Archaeologists have discovered an exquisitely preserved Roman mosaic under a vineyard in northern Italy after a century of searching, the local mayor said on Thursday.

Italy's nearly deserted Pompeii reopens its ruins to public

Pompei - Italy's world-famous archaeological site Pompeii reopened to the public on Tuesday as the country's coronavirus lockdown lifted -- though guides outnumbered tourists at the ancient Roman city.

European pools and gyms slowly reopen but seniors wary

Rome - European gyms and pools began reopening Monday as the coronavirus lockdown eased in countries including Germany, Iceland, Italy and Spain, but some elderly patrons remained wary of taking the plunge.

'No nightlife' says PM as Italy starts to party

Rome - The sun is shining and it feels like summer. For many Italians, that means one thing -- Aperol spritzes at a terrace cafe with friends. But just days after most coronavirus lockdown restrictions were lifted, authorities are saying not so fast.

Learning to live again in Italy's first virus red zone

Codogno - It was the first town in Europe to be placed in lockdown over the coronavirus. Now life in Codogno is gradually returning to normal, but the scars left by the pandemic will be slow to heal.

More easing in Europe but virus hits hard in S. America, Africa

Rome - Restaurants and churches will reopen in Italy on Monday as part of a fresh wave of lockdown easing in Europe, but rising coronavirus death tolls in Brazil, South Africa and other parts of the world showed the worst is still to come in many countries.

Fashion, al fresco dining as cautious Italy reopens

Rome - Spaghetti carbonara, Gucci bags and trendy haircuts were back on the menu in Italy Monday, but only the bravest ate, shopped or styled-away their lockdown blues as the country attempted to return to normality.

Italy to reopen borders for EU tourists in early June

Rome - Italy will reopen to European tourists from early June and scrap a 14-day mandatory quarantine period, the government said on Saturday, as it quickened the exit from the coronavirus lockdown.

Under the sun, and threat of virus, Italy readies its beaches

Jesolo - Beach season is around the corner and all along Italy's vast coastlines, preparations have begun to attract sun-worshippers and their wallets while safeguarding against the lingering coronavirus.Most beaches throughout the country remain off-limits.

From opera to bread line: Italy's surge in the 'new poor'

Rome - Within 10 minutes, all the food was gone.For years, the Ronda della Solidarieta (Solidarity Patrol) charity has served up free dinners twice a week for Rome's needy, passed out at twilight in the shadow of the city's ancient ruins.

Italian rice puts pasta in the shade during pandemic

Robbio - Europe's top rice producer Italy has seen consumption of the staple rise throughout the coronavirus pandemic, putting even pasta in the shade.It's not just popular at home either -- China itself has even signed a deal to import Italian rice.

Italy tightens rules on mafia virus prison releases

Rome - The Italian government has tightened up conditions for the release of mafia mobsters from jail due to coronavirus fears after an outcry over the scheme meant to protect them against infection.

Police patrol after impromptu Milan aperitif gathering

Milan - Police patrolled a popular nightlife area of Milan on Friday, a day after hordes of young people gathered without protective masks during cocktail hour, flouting social distancing rules.

Can Italian infrastructure reboot post-virus economy?

Rome - A sleek new bridge in Genoa built in record time is being acclaimed in Italy as a model for rebuilding the economy by investing in major infrastructure projects.

Italy baffled by unexplained surge in deaths during virus crisis

Rome - Italy recorded almost 50 percent more fatalities in March than usual, according to new official data showing that the real coronavirus death toll could be far higher than the 29,000 reported.

Europe stirs back to life as lockdowns ease

Rome - Workers banged away at construction sites in Rome, police handed out masks in Madrid and older children returned to school in Vienna as Europe on Monday gingerly stepped out of its coronavirus lockdown.
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