[PHOTOS] Fredrico Fellini’s ‘La Dolce Vita’

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Roberto Rossellini: Viaggio in Italia, ‘Journey to Italy’, Ingrid Bergman, 1954

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Russian Government Officials Told To Immediately Bring Back Children Studying Abroad

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In Europe, when it gets serious, you have to lie… at least if you are an unelected bureaucrat like Jean-Claude Juncker. In Russia, however, when it gets serious, attention immediately turns to the children.

“On the one hand, this is all part of a package of measures to prepare the elites for some ‘big war’ even if it is rather conditional, on the other hand – this is another blow to the unity of President Putin with his own elite”

— Political analyst Stanislav Belkovsky

Which is why we read a report in Russian website Znak published Tuesday, according to which Russian state officials and government workers were told to bring back their children studying abroad immediately, even if means cutting their education short and not waiting until the end of the school year, and re-enroll them in Russian schools, with some concern.

[Read the full story here, at Zero Hedge]

The article adds that if the parents of these same officials also live abroad “for some reason”, and have not lost their Russian citizenship, should also be returned to the motherland. Znak cited five administration officials as the source of the report.

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“People note the hypocrisy of having a centralized state and cultivating patriotism and anti-Western sentiment, while children of government workers study abroad. You can not serve two gods, one must choose.”

The “recommendation” applies to all: from the administration staff, to regional administratiors, to lawmakers of all levels. Employees of public corporations are also subject to the ordinance. One of the sources said that anyone who fails to act, will find such non-compliance to be a “complicating factor in the furtherance of their public sector career.” He added that he was aware of several such cases in recent months. Read the rest of this entry »


The Assassination of Saint Peter: Axe to the Head, Dagger to the Chest, 1252

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Taddeo Crivelli (Italian, died about 1479, active about 1451 – 1479) Saint Peter Martyr, about 1469, Tempera colors, gold paint, gold leaf, and ink on parchment Leaf: 10.8 x 7.9 cm (4 1/4 x 3 1/8 in.) The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles

Saint Peter was assassinated with an axe to the head and a dagger to the chest in 1252 and was then canonized as a saint only 11 months later, making this the fastest canonization in history.

Source:


Vegan Baby Found Malnourished, Parents Lose Custody 

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MILAN A baby has been removed from its parents in Milan, Italy, after their baby was found to be severely malnourished due to a vegan diet, according to hospital staff.

The Telegraph reported that the 14-month-old was taken to a hospital by his grandparents July 2.

Blood tests showed the baby had “the minimum (calcium level) needed to survive.”

The Local Italy reported July 10 doctors found the baby weighed as much as an average 3-month-old.

The hospital reported the case to police and the baby has been removed from his parents.

Doctors believe the child’s calcium level may have exacerbated a heart condition, which caused him to undergo emergency surgery. Read the rest of this entry »


Viaggio in Italia, 1954: Roberto Rossellini Cross-fades


Thomas Sowell: Socialist or Fascist

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What President Obama has been pushing for, and moving toward, is more insidious: government control of the economy, while leaving ownership in private hands. That way, politicians get to call the shots but, when their bright ideas lead to disaster, they can always blame those who own businesses in the private sector.

Thomas Sowellthomas_sowell writes: It bothers me a little when conservatives call Barack Obama a “socialist.” He certainly is an enemy of the free market, and wants politicians and bureaucrats to make the fundamental decisions about the economy. But that does not mean that he wants government ownership of the means of production, which has long been a standard definition of socialism.

“What socialism, fascism and other ideologies of the left have in common is an assumption that some very wise people — like themselves — need to take decisions out of the hands of lesser people, like the rest of us, and impose those decisions by government fiat.”

What President Obama has been pushing for, and moving toward, is more insidious: government control of the economy, while leaving ownership in private hands. That way, politicians get to call the shots but, when their bright ideas lead to disaster, they can always blame those who own businesses in the private sector.

01 Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini during Hitler's 1938 state visit to Italy

“The left’s vision is not only a vision of the world, but also a vision of themselves.”

Politically, it is heads-I-win when things go right, and tails-you-lose when things go wrong. This is far preferable, from Obama’s point of view, since it gives him a variety of scapegoats for all his failed policies, without having to use President Bush as a scapegoat all the time.

[Read the full story here, at TownHall.com]

Government ownership of the means of production means that politicians also own the consequences of their policies, and have to face responsibility when those consequences are disastrous — something that Barack Obama avoids like the plague.

socialism-fascism

Thus the Obama administration can arbitrarily force insurance companies to cover the children of their customers until the children are 26 years old. Obviously, this creates favorable publicity for President Obama. But if this and other government edicts cause insurance premiums to rise, then that is something that can be blamed on the “greed” of the insurance companies.

[Order Jonah Goldberg’s book “Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, From Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning”  from Amazon]

The same principle, or lack of principle, applies to many other privately owned businesses. It is a very successful political ploy that can be adapted to all sorts of situations.

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One of the reasons why both pro-Obama and anti-Obama observers may be reluctant to see him as fascist is that both tend to accept the prevailing notion that fascism is on the political right, while it is obvious that Obama is on the political left.

“Mussolini, the originator of fascism, was lionized by the left, both in Europe and in America, during the 1920s. Even Hitler, who adopted fascist ideas in the 1920s, was seen by some, including W.E.B. Du Bois, as a man of the left.”

Back in the 1920s, however, when fascism was a new political development, it was widely — and correctly — regarded as being on the political left. Jonah Goldberg‘s great book “Liberal Fascism” cites overwhelming evidence of the fascists’ consistent pursuit of the goals of the left, and of the left’s embrace of the fascists as one of their own during the 1920s. Read the rest of this entry »


Italian Poster for Hitchcock’s ‘The Wrong Man’, by Luigi Martinati

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Amanda Knox Cleared of Final Remaining Bogus Charge: ‘Slandering Italian Police Officers and Prosecutor’

Ollie Gillman reports: Amanda Knox has been cleared of slandering police officers and a prosecutor in Italy.

Knox, who was cleared last year of murdering British student Meredith Kercher, was charged with slandering police in Perugia by claiming they interviewed her under duress.

The 28-year-old, who shared a student house with Miss Kercher when she was killed, said she was yelled at, slapped and threatened by police.

A judge in Florence threw the case out on Thursday after ruling that her comments were not slanderous.

Italian media said lawyers for Knox, who returned to the U.S. after her successful appeal and is now working as a journalist in Seattle, said she was ‘very happy with the acquittal’.

If she had been found guilty she would have had to pay each of the seven officials 15,000 euros ($16,300).

Knox was charged with slandering the officers back in 2011, when she was being questioned on charges of separately slandering Congolese bar owner Patrick Lumumba.

He spent two weeks in jail in 2007 after Knox accused him of murdering Miss Kercher, which was found to be untrue.

Her conviction for slandering Mr Lumumba is the only one that still stands against her name, with today’s hearing the last in her lengthy and highly documented legal tussle with Italian prosecutors. Read the rest of this entry »


Francesco Cabianca: Deposition of Christ, 1711

Deposition of Christ

CABIANCA, Francesco
Deposition of Christ
1711
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Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari, Venice

 


1953 Ferrari 340/375 MM Berlinetta ‘Competizione’ by Pinin Farina


Renaissance Art: Maria Maggiore, Rome


A Dagger Through the Heart of Liberal Europe

Paris 2014: Jihadist Attackers Strike the Softest of Soft Targets.

Peter Foster writes: The Paris attacks that killed at least 128 people on Saturday night will put renewed pressure on Europe Schengen agreement and threaten the “very essence” of the European way of life, as far-right parties seek to capitalise on the attacks, analysts have warned.

With Paris now enduring this second major terror bloodbath in under a year, questions are now being asked about how much longer both Europe’s open border system and vision of a tolerant, multi-cultural society can survive.

“With Paris in lockdown and France closing its borders, we can see all too clearly that what is at stake here is the very essence of our way of life in Europe,” said Davis Lewin, the deputy director of the Henry Jackson Society, a conservative think-tank.

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Attacks threaten viability of Schengen agreement and the vision of tolerant, multi-cultural society that is ‘essence’ of Europe, analysts warn.

Designed to facilitate the free movement of goods and labour that is the economic life-blood of the continent, the Schengen system has also enabled the easy transfer of both weapons and, potentially jihadist fighters, across those same borders.

Following the attacks, Francois Hollande, the French President also re-imposed border controls in a bid to ensure that none of the Paris terrorists or their support network in France were able to escape, as occurred after the Charlie Hebdo atrocity.

Even before the Paris attacks, Donald Tusk, the EU president, had warned that Europe faced a “race against time” to save the 20-year-old system, which is seen as one of the Union’s most concrete achievements.

Police and customs officers control vehicles on November 14, 2015 at the France-Belgium border at Neuville-en-Ferrain

Police and customs officers control vehicles at the France-Belgium border at Neuville-en-Ferrain

In the last few months Germany, Austria, Slovenia, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Slovakia have all re-introduced some form of border controls in order to try and regulate the flow of migrants – many from Syria and Iraq – as they flooded into Europe.

The security risks posed by open borders were highlighted by both the Charlie Hebdo attack and the botched Thalys train attack earlier this year, when in both cases the weapons used in France had been smuggled in from Belgium. Read the rest of this entry »


llustration by Gino Boccasile

tHair care advertisement with llustration by Gino Boccasile

Hair care advertisement with llustration by Gino Boccasile

 


Europe’s Refugee Chaos: Hungary’s Army Authorized to Use Rubber Bullets, Tear Gas

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Hungry’s parliament has authorised its army to shoot rubber bullets, pyrotechnical devices, (flashbangs), net guns and tear gas grenades at migrants.

They say that the use of the so-called non-lethal weapons will help Hungary’s military handle the migrant crisis.

As Hungary rushes to finish building a fence along its border with Croatia, Prime Minister Viktor Orban said that the police needed the army’s help to secure Hungary’s borders with Serbia and Croatia.

“The migrants are not only banging on our doors but they are breaking them down. Not a few hundred, not a few thousand but hundreds of thousands, even millions besiege the borders of Hungary and the European Union,” said Orban before lawmakers voted on the controversial measures. “We cannot see where the end is. There are plenty more coming, millions are setting out on the journey.”

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Amnesty International said in a statement that “Hungary is violating the human rights of refugees by blocking their access to a meaningful asylum procedure on its territory. Amendments of the law criminalizing the ‘illegal’ entry of refugees and migrants and intended to shift Hungary’s responsibility towards those in need of international protection must be repealed.”

Meanwhile, in a bid to stop the flow of migrants, EU member state Croatia has blocked trucks from entering from neighbouring Serbia. Read the rest of this entry »


35 Million Migrants Heading to Europe, Says Hungary as it Builds Second Fence

Estimates predict up to 35 million refugees could head for Europe due to hugely unstable situations across the world.

Rob Virtue and Agnes Kegel report:The huge figure was revealed today by Hungary’s minister for foreign affairs and trade Peter Szijjártó.

Speaking as the country begins work on its second fence to stop migrants heading across its border he predicted the current crisis will continue for years.

Mr Szijjártó told the Hungarian Times: “The name of the fence is ‘Temporary Security Border Fence’ but I think there is no question that in this case temporary means years.

“It’s a self delusion to call this situation a migration crisis; it is a massive migration of nations, with inexhaustible reserves.

“I don’t think that the analysis results, stating that 30-35 million people out there could possibly become migrants, would be an exaggeration.

“Libya, Yemen, Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan are all countries with a huge population and an extremely unstable situation.”

The Hungarian government also defended itself from criticism over its fences.

It comes as a ten-year-old migrant boy with a severe lung condition died in Hungary.

His mother and siblings successfully made the journey to Germany but his father stayed behind with the poorly youngster, who was buried on Friday.

The first barrier was put up at its border with Serbia but, after migrants changed their route, they have now begun erecting a 41 kilometre fence at Croatia. Read the rest of this entry »


La Dolce Vita

La Dolce Vita


Italy’s Top Criminal Court: Amanda Knox Murder Case Showed ‘Stunning Weakness’

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The court cited an ‘absolute lack of biological traces’ connecting the alleged killers to 21-year-old Meredith Kercher. Prosecutors did not even have proof that Knox and Sollecito were in the room where Kercher was fatally stabbed.

Jason Silverstein reports: The murder case against Amanda Knox had such “stunning weakness” and a lack of evidence that prosecutors should be ashamed of themselves, Italy’s top criminal court said Monday.

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Knox, 28, did not comment on Monday’s final ruling, but in March, she told reporters: ‘I am so grateful for the justice I have received. I am so grateful to have my life back.’”

The Supreme Court of Cassation — which declared Knox and her then boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito blameless in the death of Knox’s roommate in 2007 — put an epilogue on the saga with a 52-page report that basically accused prosecutors and investigators of incompetence.

The court cited an “absolute lack of biological traces” connecting the alleged killers to 21-year-old Meredith Kercher. Prosecutors did not even have proof that Knox and Sollecito were in the room where Kercher was fatally stabbed.

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‘Dalla Vedova said his client was happy, though not completely. ‘She is very satisfied and happy to read this decision,” he said. “At the same time, it’s a very sad story…because Meredith Kercher is no longer with us.’”

The pair ended up being found guilty in 2009 despite “stunning weakness,” “investigative bouts of amnesia” and “blameworthy omissions of investigative activity” in the case, the report says.

[Read the full text here, at the NY Daily News]

That conviction was overturned before the pair was convicted again in 2014. In March, Italy’s highest court cleared the former lovers again, forever preventing further legal action. Read the rest of this entry »


Movie Poster: Frederico Fellini’s 8 1/2

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[PHOTO] William Klein: Rome 1962

Rome-1962

William Klein  Rome 1962


Samantha Cristoforetti: First Italian Woman in Orbit, Brewing the First Espresso in Space

First Espresso in Space

“To boldly brew….”

More…

New York Times


[VIDEO] Manuela Mesco: How Migrants’ Ordeal Turned Into Tragedy at Sea

Migrant Bodies In Mediterranean Tragedy Arrive in Malta

An Italian coast guard ship brought the bodies of 24 victims of what could be the Mediterranean’s deadliest migrant tragedy to Malta on Monday, according to the Maltese army. Mark Kelly reports.

Overloaded and listing boat collided with rescue vessel; captain and crewman detained

CATANIA, Italy — Manuela Mesco reports: Last week, people smugglers near Tripoli loaded almost 900 Africans and Middle Easterners onto a rickety, wooden fishing boat, turning away as many as 200 others who had hoped to board and make the passage to Italy. The migrants had endured weeks or months of deprivation, with some detained and beaten for months by the smugglers.

Tunisian skipper Mohammed Ali Malek, left, seen Monday on board an Italian Coast Guard ship at the port of Catania, was detained on suspicion of multiple counts of murder. Photo: Tullio M. Puglia/Getty Images

Tunisian skipper Mohammed Ali Malek, left, seen Monday on board an Italian Coast Guard ship at the port of Catania, was detained on suspicion of multiple counts of murder. Photo: Tullio M. Puglia/Getty Images

“We had to literally slalom among the corpses. They were everywhere.”

— Enrico Vitiello, a 22-year-old medical assistant who was aboard one of the rescue vessels

Their ordeal became a tragedy as the ship sank on the weekend, leaving an estimated 850 people dead in what now appears to be the gravest single episode in the mass exodus of migrants across the Mediterranean to Europe.

“Only 28 people—all male—were pulled from the water alive, along with 24 bodies. One young man managed to save himself because he had learned how to swim not long before departing for his journey.”

The 66-foot boat was dangerously overloaded, with many on board—especially women and children—squeezing into the lower decks for the journey. Mohammed Ali Malek, a 27-year-old Tunisian, took the helm and headed for Italy.

The migrant boat’s captain, Mohammed Ali Malek, left, and Mahmud Bikhit, two of the survivors of the boat that overturned off the coast of Libya, are being detained by Italian police. Photo: Alessandra Tarantino/Associated Press

The migrant boat’s captain, Mohammed Ali Malek, left, and Mahmud Bikhit, two of the survivors of the boat that overturned off the coast of Libya, are being detained by Italian police. Photo: Alessandra Tarantino/Associated Press

On Saturday, about 60 miles from the Libyan coast, the boat issued a distress call—possibly in a true emergency, possibly using a common practice for drawing rescue vessels to take migrants to Italy. Officials at WO-AW189_MIGRAN_16U_20150419181205the Italian Coast Guard command center in Rome, consulting a giant screen that tracks the location of all private and official vessels in the area, immediately ordered the King Jacob, a Portuguese merchant ship, to the scene.

 “We found a man waving and screaming. Then we found another one in the water. We didn’t know if he was dead or alive. When we pulled him onto the boat, he just started to cry.”

— Giuseppe Pomilla, a doctor on the scene

As it approached, according to Coast Guard officials, the migrants rushed to one side of their decrepit boat, making it list dangerously. Around the same time, the two vessels collided and the migrants’ boat quickly tipped over, according to accounts from survivors and Italian prosecutors. It sank so quickly that hundreds of people crammed into the lower decks had no chance to escape.

The Italians quickly dispatched 17 other vessels, including Coast Guard cutters, Maltese Navy ships and fishing boats, to the scene to search for survivors. They found wooden fragments, floating life jackets, an oil slick, and many bodies.

“The deaths, if confirmed, further establish the Mediterranean as the most lethal migrant route in the world. “

“We had to literally slalom among the corpses,” Enrico Vitiello, a 22-year-old medical assistant who was aboard one of the rescue vessels, said on Tuesday. “They were everywhere.”

[read the full text here, at WSJ]

Giuseppe Pomilla, a doctor, reached the scene around 1 a.m. on Sunday to hear “desperate screaming” from people in the water. “We found a man waving and screaming,” he said. “Then we found another one in the water. We didn’t know if he was dead or alive. When we pulled him onto the boat, he just started to cry.” The survivors had spent hours in the water before being rescued, he added.

“An estimated 3,200 died in the crossing last year, and this year’s toll has already reached 1,600.”

Only 28 people—all male—were pulled from the water alive, along with 24 bodies. One young man managed to save himself because he had learned how to swim not long before departing for his journey, according to statements he gave to workers at the International Organization for Migration. Four of the survivors were minors, two from Somalia and two from Bengal, said aid group Save the Children. Italian prosecutors estimate that about 850 others drowned, about half of them Eritreans, the rest Syrians, Somalis and others. Read the rest of this entry »


Kirsten Powers: ‘If a Christian mob on a ship bound for Italy threw 12 Muslims to their death for praying to Allah, does anyone think the president would have been so disinterested?’

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Western leaders — including Obama — will be remembered for their near silence as this human rights tragedy unfolded

Kirsten Powers writes:

What do you call it when 12 men are drowned at sea for praying to Jesus?

Answer: Religious persecution.

Yet, when a throng of Muslims threw a dozen Christians overboard a migrant ship traveling from Libya to Italy, Prime Minister Matteo Renzi missed the opportunity to label it as such. Standing next to President Obama at their joint news conference Friday, Renzi dismissed it as a one-off event and said,  “The problem is not a problem of (a) clash of religions.”

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“Obama was mute on the killings. He failed to interject any sense of outrage or even tepid concern for the targeting of Christians for their faith.”

While the prime minister plunged his head into the sand, Italian authorities arrested and charged the Muslim migrants with “multiple aggravated murder motivated by religious hate,” according to the BBC.

 “If a Christian mob on a ship bound for Italy threw 12 Muslims to their death for praying to Allah, does anyone think the president would have been so disinterested?”

As Renzi was questioned about the incident, Obama was mute on the killings. He failed to interject any sense of outrage or even tepid concern for the targeting of Christians for their faith. If a Christian mob on a ship bound for Italy powers-bookthrew 12 Muslims to their death for praying to Allah, does anyone think the president would have been so disinterested?

[Order Kirsten Powers’ upcoming book “The Silencing: How the Left is Killing Free Speech” from Amazon.com]

When three North Carolina Muslims were gunned down by a virulent atheist, Obama rightly spoke out against the horrifying killings. But he just can’t seem to find any passion for the mass persecution of Middle Eastern Christians or the eradication of Christianity from its birthplace.

“Pope Francis has repeatedly decried the persecution and begged the world for help, but it has had little impact. Western leaders — including Obama — will be remembered for their near silence as this human rights tragedy unfolded.”

Religious persecution of Christians is rampant worldwide, as Pew has noted, but nowhere is it more prevalent than in the Middle East and Northern Africa, where followers of Jesus are the targets of religious cleansing.  Pope Francis has repeatedly decried the persecution and begged the world for help, but it has had little impact. Read the rest of this entry »


BREAKING: Hundreds of Mediterranean Migrants Feared Dead After Boat Capsizes

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Hundreds of people are feared to have drowned after a boat carrying up to 700 migrants capsized in the Mediterranean Sea

A major rescue operation is under way after the vessel carrying “between 500 and 700 migrants” capsized at midnight local time, south of the Italian island of Lampedusa.

So far 28 people have been rescued.

Earlier this week, four hundred people are feared to have drowned when their vessel capsized north of Libya.

Passing ship

Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said that many people were feared dead.

Italian ships, the Maltese Navy and commercial vessels are all involved in the rescue operation in Libyan waters.

The Times of Malta newspaper reported that the migrants fell overboard when they rushed to draw the attention of a passing merchant ship.

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New migrants emergency – 28 rescued, many corpses found as boat with 700 capsizes

Twenty-eight migrants have been rescued but hundreds are feared dead after a boat carrying as many as 700 migrants capsized last night.

The incident happened in an area just off Libyan waters, 120 miles south of Lampedusa.

The emergency was declared at about midnight when the migrants are believed to have moved to one side of the boat, capsizing it, when a merchant ship approached.  

The incident bears similarities to another case last week when some 400 migrants are believed to have perished. Only some 150 were rescued. 

A number of bodies were washed ashore in Libya. 

Mark Micallef, a journalist with the paper, told the BBC such incidents were “not at all uncommon”.

“We have seen this sort of scenario happen all over again, where a boat gets capsized right at the moment of rescue. Read the rest of this entry »


Vintage Movie Poster: ‘Il Sengo di Zorro’

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Italian Release Poster for ‘Phantasm’

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Statements from Amanda Knox and Her Family

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Statements from #AmandaKnox and her family

Statement from Amanda Knox:

“I am tremendously relieved and grateful for the decision of the Supreme Court of Italy. The knowledge of my innocence has given me strength in the darkest times of this ordeal. And throughout this ordeal, I have received invaluable support from family, friends, and strangers. To them, I say: Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Your kindness has sustained me. I only wish that I could thank each and every one of you in person.”

Statement from Amanda Knox’s family:

“We want to express our profound gratitude to all of those who have supported Amanda and our family. Countless people – from world-renowned DNA experts, to former FBI agents, to everyday citizens committed to justice – have spoken about her innocence. We are thrilled with and grateful for today’s decision from the Supreme Court of Italy. And we are grateful beyond measure for all that so many of you have done for her.”

King5.com


[VIDEO] Amanda Knox Murder Conviction Overturned by Italy’s Highest Court

Los Angeles (AFP) – American Amanda Knox expressed “tremendous” relief Friday after Italy’s top court cleared her of the 2007 murder of British student Meredith Kercher, drawing a line under the eight-year legal saga.

“I am tremendously relieved and grateful for the decision of the Supreme Court of Italy,” Knox said in a statement shortly after Italy’s Court of Cassation cleared her and Italian ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito.

Amanda Knox waves to supporters as she makes her first appearance at SeaTac Airport after arriving in Seattle following her release from prison in Italy on October 4, 2011 (AFP Photo/Kevin Casey)

Amanda Knox waves to supporters as she makes her first appearance at SeaTac Airport after arriving in Seattle following her release from prison in Italy on October 4, 2011 (AFP Photo/Kevin Casey)

“I am tremendously relieved and grateful for the decision of the Supreme Court of Italy.”

Knox, convicted with Sollecito for a second time last year for taking part in the brutal knife slaying of Kercher, has always vehemently maintained her innocence.

“The knowledge of my innocence has given me strength in the darkest times of this ordeal.”

“The knowledge of my innocence has given me strength in the darkest times of this ordeal,” Knox said.

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“And throughout this ordeal, I have received invaluable support from family, friends and strangers. To them, I say: Thank you from the bottom of my heart.”

“And throughout this ordeal, I have received invaluable support from family, friends and strangers. To them, I say: Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

“Your kindness has sustained me. I only wish that I could thank each and every one of you in person.”

“Your kindness has sustained me. I only wish that I could thank each and every one of you in person.”

A separate statement from Knox’s family expressed “profound gratitude” to those who had championed the former student’s innocence. Read the rest of this entry »


‘Perfect: As Italy Continues to Hound Amanda Knox and Rafael Sollecito For a Brutal Murder They Didn’t Have Anything to Do With, They Release Rudy Guede, The Actual Murderer, from Prison’

MK_RudyGuede2

The DNA results from the crime scene come in. It turns out there’s lots and lots of DNA at the crime scene. Unfortunately, not a speck of it is Knox’s or her boyfriend’s. Not. A. Speck.

Incredible.

Ace of Spades HQ writes:

Let me explain what happened. Under pressure to solve a brutal murder quickly — in a sleepy college town where such things were rare — Italian prosecutors fixated early upon Amanda Knox and her boyfriend Rafael Sollecito as Meredith Kercher’s murderers. They also thought a third man, a black nightclub owner with no criminal history, was involved, because Amanda had texted “See you later” to him on the night of the murder, but in Italian. Amanda worked at this guy’s bar, and the night wasn’t busy, so he had told her not to bother coming in, and she said “See you later,” literally translating the English phrase.

They thought this literally meant “see you later,” rather than “Until next time.” Or as the Italians would say it, arriverdercci.

I say he’s black because it’s relevant. I’ll explain later.

They interrogated Knox almost nonstop for three days, telling her that the killer was this black nightclub owner and they knew it, and that she was a coconspirator so why didn’t she just admit it before she went to jail for life?

[Read the full text here, at Ace of Spades HQ]

Finally, they asked her to envision what it would have been like to see this black nightclub owner at the murder scene, and she wrote out a statement speaking of herself “having a vision” of the man at the scene.

Case closed, they say in a dramatic press conference, in which very high ranking members of the Italian prosecutor corps and police are all flanking the main prosecutor. They then drive Amanda and Rafael around the town of Perugia, doing laps with them in the back of the squad car like Achilles dragging Hector behind his chariot, as the town cheers.

And bonus, they can lock up this black nightclub owner with no possible motive to kill Kercher and no history indicating he’d be interested in killing anyone at all.

Yeah one problem with that: The black nightclub owner was at his bar all night and at least nine witnesses could put him there all night.

So, the prosecutors decide their theory is still sound, but now they just need a different third man.

See, their theory has just been completely refuted, but no sweat, it just needs to be tweaked.

Well, after a few days, the DNA results from the crime scene come in. It turns out there’s lots and lots of DNA at the crime scene. Unfortunately, not a speck of it is Knox’s or her boyfriend’s. Not. A. Speck.

However, there is a ton of DNA material identified as that of one Rudy Guede, a drifter with a prior background of breaking into homes for petty theft while armed with a knife (on a previous burglary, he merely warned the startled occupant of the home away with the knife, rather than killing him).

He only casually knew Amanda Knox because he occasionally played basketball with Knox’s downstairs neighbors, some Italian boys. They had merely been present in the same room when the girls and Guede were watching tv with the downstairs boys.

Guede had murdered Kercher with a frenzied attack with the knife, and had cut himself on the hand with the blade (as happens). He had a cut on his hand when arrested. Read the rest of this entry »


BREAKING: ITALIAN COURT RULES NOT GUILTY, AMANDA KNOX ACQUITTED

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Amanda Knox’s conviction overturned by Italian court. She will not be sent back to prison

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Italy’s top court orders acquittal of Amanda Knox in Meredith Kercher murder case

ROME — Italy’s highest court overturned the murder conviction against Amanda Knox and her ex-boyfriend Friday, bringing to a definitive end the high-profile case that captivated people on both sides of the Atlantic.

‘‘Finished!’’ Knox’s lawyer Carlo Dalla Vedova exulted after the decision was read out. ‘‘It couldn’t be better than this.’’

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The decision by the supreme Court of Cassation is the final ruling in the case, ending the long legal battle waged by Knox and Italian co-defendant Raffaele Sollecito. Both Knox, who was awaiting the verdict in her hometown of Seattle, and Sollecito have long maintained their innocence in the death of British student Meredith Kercher.

The supreme Court of Cassation overturned last year’s convictions by a Florence appeals court, and declined to order another trial. The decision means the judges, after thoroughly examining the case, concluded that a conviction could not be supported by the evidence.

Their reasoning will be released within 90 days.

The case has aroused strong interest in three countries for its explosive mix of young love, murder and flip-flop decisions by Italian courts…(read more)

Boston Globe

TIME reports: The Italian Supreme Court overturned Amanda Knox’s conviction Friday for the 2007 murder of her roommate Meredith Kercher.

Knox and her then-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito were convicted as co-conspirators in Kercher’s murder in the apartment they shared as exchange students in Perugia in 2009. But that conviction was overturned in 2011 and in 2014, after prosecutors argued that evidence had been omitted in the appeal, the original guilty verdict was reinstated.

But Italy’s Supreme Court ruled Friday afternoon to finally acquit the American of the long-hanging charges over her. She had faced extradition to Italy if the conviction had been upheld. Read the rest of this entry »


Still Waiting for Ruling in Amanda Knox Case

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ROME – Italy’s highest court was expected to decide Friday whether to uphold the murder convictions of Seattle resident Amanda Knox and her Italian ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito. But by noon Seattle time — 8 p.m. in Italy — nothing had been heard from the justices.

While Knox is watching what is happening from Seattle, Sollecito is in Italy. His lawyer made a last-ditch appeal to overturn the pair’s convictions for the 2007 slaying Meredith Kercher, Knox’s British roommate.

Attorney Giulia Bongiorno began her defense of Sollecito by offering what she called a “little sampling” of the errors and contradictions of “colossal proportions” in the 2014 Florence appeals court verdict that convicted her client and Knox.

Bongiorno noted, for example, that trial documents indicate that there were “no traces of Sollecito in the room” where Kercher, 21, was sexually assaulted and fatally stabbed.

A one-hour warning will be given before the verdict is read. Read the rest of this entry »


Déjà Vu: U.S.A. vs Italy ‘Double Jeopardy’ Extradition Fight on Horizon as Italy’s Highest Court to Rule in Amanda Knox Case

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Italy’s high court set to rule on Amanda Knox case

Italy’s highest court on Wednesday took up the appeal of Amanda Knox’s murder conviction, more than seven years after the American was accused in the brutal killing of her British roommate in Perugia.

The decision is likely to spark a U.S. versus Italy extradition battle that would call into play the American legal system’s “double jeopardy” rule.

“To date, the high-profile legal saga of Knox and Sollecito has produced flip-flop guilty-then innocent-then guilty verdicts, polarizing observers in three nations.”

The court will consider the fate of a “very worried” Knox, according to her attorney, as judges decide whether the former undergraduate student’s convictions and 28 ½-year sentence should stand. The court also will decide on the 25-year sentence of Knox’s ex-boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, who was also convicted in the murder of  21-year-old British student  Meredith Kercher.

“Knox has been portrayed alternately as a victim of a botched investigation and shoddy Italian justice, or a promiscuous predator who falsely accused a Congolese bar owner of the murder.”

Kercher was found dead Nov. 2, 2007, in the apartment she shared with Knox in the idyllic hillside town of Perugia, where both women were studying. Her throat was slashed and she had been sexually assaulted.

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“Amanda is innocent.”

— Luciano Ghirga, attorney for Amanda Knox

Suspicion quickly fell on Knox and Sollecito, who were arrested in the days after the murder. The couple denied involvement and said they had spent the evening at Sollecito’s place watching a movie, smoking pot and making love.

They were found guilty by a trial court in Perugia in 2009, but freed in 2011 after an appellate court overturned the convictions.

They found themselves back in an appellate court after the Court of Cassation vacated the acquittals in 2013 in a harsh rebuke of the Perugia chief appellate judge’s reasoning.

APTOPIX Amanda Knox_Cham

“Some legal experts say the U.S. Constitution’s ‘double jeopardy’ ban on being tried twice for the same offense after an acquittal would stand in Knox’s favor, and that U.S. courts would frown on her having been tried in absentia.”

To date, the high-profile legal saga of Knox and Sollecito has produced flip-flop guilty-then innocent-then guilty verdicts, polarizing observers in three nations. Knox has been portrayed alternately as a victim of a botched investigation and shoddy Italian justice, or a promiscuous predator who falsely accused a Congolese bar owner of the murder.

Now, Italy’s highest court could decide to confirm the convictions, throw out the convictions and order a third appeal trial or, less likely, it could overturn both convictions without ordering a retrial, which would be tantamount to an acquittal.

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“Others argue the very existence of an extradition treaty implies that the United States accepts the Italian justice system, strengthening the case for extradition.”

A decision by the judges to confirm the convictions would then raise questions of extradition for Knox since she is free in the U.S. That verdict would then divert attention from Italy’s judicial process to a matter of diplomatic ties. Read the rest of this entry »


Even Jihadists Get the Blues: Ferrero-Rocher Loving Jihadi Tweets About His Lonely Life

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A.B. Sanderson reports: He may have managed to find a few of his favourite Ferrero-Rocher chocolates, but from his twitter account it seems that former Morrisons security guard turned jihadi is not being spoiled.

Omar Hussein, who left home where he lived with his mother, his having real difficulty living the life of a jihadi fighter – struggling even to take care of his personal admin let alone join front line fighters in trying to bring about a repressive, violent Islamic caliphate, the Daily Mail reports.

“Chocolate can do wonders when ur feeling lonely, lol.”

— Omar Hussein

His social media timeline demonstrates that while others are engaged in a fight to the death in the terrorist occupied lands, Hussain is struggling to even wash his own clothes and admits in one tweet it took him almost an hour to peel potatoes for his dinner.

The hapless Hussein moaned that he was too tired after his monumental task of peeling tatties to even chop them:

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The updates show a bored, lonely man who doesn’t go anywhere near the front line, but just scrounges off the others.

He has shown off his attempts at cooking, saying he was ‘what the Oxford dictionary defines as, a Chef! Tuk! (sic) before posting a photo of some brown slop and telling his followers is took him 27 minutes to make two servings.

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Most recently he has struggled washing his clothes, saying he gets flustered when it begins to rain and his washing is still out on the line.

But it’s not all domestic drudgery: he has also posted a picture of a local gym he once visited as well as photos of himself sunbathing by a pool in Syria.

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And the chocaholic was delighted when he managed to find himself a Ferrero-rocher, saying ‘chocolate can do wonders when ur feeling lonely, lol. And he was delighted when he managed to secure himself a packet of jaffa cakes, saying he hadn’t had one in a year. Read the rest of this entry »


[PHOTOS] This Road in China Got Covered in Almost 15,000 Pounds of Live Catfish

Thousands Of Kilograms Of Catfish Scatter In Kaili

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We’re back with more catfish! I discovered and posted a link to small item about this here, yesterday, but was disappointed to not find any additional reporting on it, but most of all, disappointed to find no photos. Thankfully, images are coming in. A story about a gigantic catfish-in-the-streets catastrophe is obviously a lot less fun without pictures.

ChinaFotoPress—Getty Images

ChinaFotoPress—Getty Images

When the door of a delivery truck in the southern Chinese province of Guizhou swung open, 15,000 lb. of catfish came spilling out, covering the road in a flopping, scaly mess.

Remarkably, with the help of community members and the local fire department, a two-hour rescue effort was undertaken and the shipment was not wasted, according to the Shanghaiist. Their task was arduous but simple — workers basically sprayed the fish with water to keep them alive while others picked them up and returned them to the truck…(read more)

TIME  –  Shanghaiist

ChinaFotoPress—Getty Images

ChinaFotoPress—Getty Images


Bardo Museum Attack: ISIS Claims Responsibility for ‘Killing and Wounding Dozens of Crusaders and Apostates’

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 and  report: ISIS today claimed responsibility for the Wednesday massacre at the Bardo Museum in Tunisia that killed 22 people, many of them Western tourists, and the two attackers.

“The blessed immersing operation led to killing and wounding dozens of Crusaders and apostates, and the failed security forces did not dare to approach but after the two heroes ran out of ammunition.”

— From an audio message disseminated on twitter accounts associated with ISIS

In a 3 minute, 10 second audio message disseminated on twitter accounts associated with ISIS, the terror group said that the two dead gunmen, who it named Abu Zakaria al-Tunisi and Abu Anas al-Tunisi, “launched and were heavily equipped with machine guns and hand grenades to target Bardo Museum.”

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“The blessed immersing operation led to killing and wounding dozens of Crusaders and apostates,” the message said, “and the failed security forces did not dare to approach but after the two heroes ran out of ammunition.”

“Four of the arrests were directly related to the attack, and five others were made under strong suspicion of relation to the attack.”

— Aida Klibi, a spokeswoman for the Tunisian presidential office

ISIS also threatened more attacks to come, saying “what you have seen today is the first drop of the rain, Allah permitting. You will not enjoy security nor be pleased with peace while the Islamic State has men like these who do not sleep amidst grievances.”

The museum is a major attraction in Tunisia

The museum is a major attraction in Tunisia

The unverified claim, which is being analyzed by U.S. officials for authenticity, came after Tunisian authorities said they had arrested nine people in connection with the attack. Read the rest of this entry »


Valerio Cioli: Tomb of Michelangelo

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Valerio Cioli c. 1564

Tomb of Michelangelo (detail)


Love Blooms: Amanda Knox Engaged

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SEATTLE — Amanda Knox, the Seattle woman who was convicted of murder, freed from prison on reversal and then re-convicted by Italian courts of killing her roommate in 2007, is now engaged, the Seattle Times reported Wednesday.

Knox, 27, is engaged to Colin Sutherland, also 27, a musician from New York who recently moved back to Seattle and whom she’s known since middle school, according to Times editorial columnist Jonathan Martin.

Amanda Knox waves to supporters as she makes her first appearance at SeaTac Airport after arriving in Seattle following her release from prison in Italy on October 4, 2011. US student Amanda Knox arrived home a day after she was acquitted of murder and sexual assault charges and freed from jail in Italy, after a four-year ordeal.

No date for the wedding has been set, according to Martin.

On Nov. 2, 2007, Knox’s roommate, Meredith Kercher, of Britain, was found slain at their flat in Perugia, Italy. Knox was there for her junior year of college abroad.

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Knox and her Italian boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, were later convicted of murder in the case. Their convictions were reversed on appeal in 2011 and they were freed from prison. But the prosecutors appealed that decision and they were both re-convicted last year. Read the rest of this entry »


[PHOTO] Women of the Antifascist Forces During the Liberation of Milan, 1945

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The Apocalypse Tapestry

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The Apocalypse Tapestry is a 14th century French work commissioned by the Duke of Anjou. In over 90 scenes it portrays the apocalypse as described by John in the New Testament book of Revelations. Allusions to the 100 years war with England are also present. The Anjous held the tapestry for a century before gifting it to Angers Cathedral. During the French Revolution the tapestry was stolen, cut into pieces, and used for functional purposes ranging from floor mats to insulating stables. During the 19th century a canon of the cathedral located the pieces (all but 16 were successfully recovered) and began restorative work. After World War II the tapestry once again moved, this time to Chateau d’Angers. In order to preserve the 300 foot masterpiece a special gallery with dim lighting and custom ventilation was built within the castle where it remains on view today.  


Vintage Movie Poster: Fredrico Fellini’s 8 1/2

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