Only in Italy is a daily news column that reports funny and weird news on Italy, the mafia, Italian culture and Italian travel.

Only in Italy is a daily news column that reports funny and weird news on Italy, the mafia, Italian culture and Italian travel.

Only In Italy is a daily news column that translates & reports on funny but true news items from legitimate Italian news sources in Italy.
Only in Italy is a daily news column that reports funny and weird news on Italy, the mafia, Italian culture and Italian travel.Only in Italy is a daily news column that reports funny and weird news on Italy, the mafia, Italian culture and Italian travel.
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April 2010
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"After 40 Years Vatican Decides to 'Let It Be' With the Beatles"



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"Bentornati!" Welcome to the only newsletter written by people who believe Italy needs another political party to protect the rights and interests of lifeguards and jellyfish, "Only In Italy!"

Thanks for the web site, Italian.About.Com.

I learned from a Greek woman in the early 90's, the Italian word "flusho", spelling, meaning fag. I checked the web site given and I could not find this word. In 1999, I visited Italy, my aunt gave me a gold wrist ban I did not want because I do not wear jewelry. She said, you want one of these earrings, I said I'm not a "flusho", they laughed and her son said you learned this word to. Giuseppe I.

Grazie Giuseppe for your great letters we receive every week! You see? We promised we would respond. HA!

By the way, your "flusho" is an fantastic word but the derogative for "gay" is "frocio". HA x 2!   

Enjoy the issue, keep writing and Grazie!

Tanti Saluti,             
"Only In Italy" Staff      

Italy Judge, "Google Violated Privacy For Profit!"

Milan - April 12, 2010 - Google profited commercially from a video posted in 2006 of an Italian teenager with Down's Syndrome being bullied in school, according to Judge Oscar Magi.

His statements were contained in the explanation of the guilty verdict Magi handed down February 24 in a landmark case against three Google executives for invasion of privacy.

According to Magi, the Internet is not a 'no man's land' where everything is permitted because "laws exist which govern behavior and which establish obligations. And if these obligations are not respected then they result in penal consequences".

"It is not what is written on a wall that constitutes a crime for the wall's owners, unless it is exploited commercially," the judge observed.

The conviction of the three Google executives drew criticism from the United States embassy in Rome which said that "the fundamental principle of freedom on the Internet is vital for democracy". A similar argument was used by Google when it announced it would appeal a sentence it saw as "an attack on the fundamental principles of freedom on which the Internet was built".

The trial was the first anywhere against executives of the Internet search engine company and was seen as having implications for the way Google operates in Italy and for the wider debate over freedom of speech and legal responsibility for Internet postings.

Former Google Italy president David Carl Drummond, now senior vice president, was given a six-month suspended jail term along with George De Los Reyes, a retired former Google Italy board member, and Peter Fleitcher, Google Europe's privacy strategy chief.

Under Italian law the three are entitled to two automatic appeals. The three, for whom prosecutors had asked a year's term, were found guilty of invasion of privacy.

At the time of the ruling, prosecutors said they were "satisfied" because "business freedom can never neglect safeguards for human dignity, as this trial demonstrated".

They argued that "this was never a trial on Web freedom as some (experts) said".

From the outset, Google expressed puzzlement over the case and said the decision to take it to trial was ''difficult to understand'' and it set a ''worrying precedent''.

In the smartphone footage, posted on September 8, 2006 and removed on November 7, 2006, the boy was seen being taunted, insulted and kicked by one student in particular as others looked on.

The location appeared to be a classroom and the people visible appeared to be about 16 years of age. The video was posted in Google Italy's 'Most Fun Videos' section and got 5,500 hits in its two months on the Web.

"Mamma mia", what extraordinary judicial work, Judge Oscar Mayer!

No words but simple brilliance! He single-handedly uncovered Google's devious backup plan for revenue in case 'Gmail' failed to come out of beta. Even the Italian 'Ironside' would have been left stumped.

"It is not what is written on a wall that constitutes a crime for the wall's owners, unless it is exploited commercially." What a stupid "cazzata!" What could the ad market possibly be for a video featuring a Down's Syndrome teen being bullied?

Google took the video down within hours of being notified by the Italian police. Google also worked with the local police to help identify the little rat bastards responsible for filming and uploading it. But the keyword here is 'hours'. Why is it that the Italian judiciary has been blacklisted by Amnesty International for its Sicilian snail's pace and peculiar decisions?

The irony is that Italy which is so painfully legalistic is as a result almost lawless. When you have over 350,000 laws, they can work wonders for you. You can twist them, rearrange them, rewrite them. In Italy, laws or facts are like playing cards: you simply have to shuffle them and fan them out to suit yourself.

"The three, for whom prosecutors had asked a year's term, were found guilty of invasion of privacy." Yes, si, "invasion della minchia!" We wonder if Judge Oscar Mayer has written consent from his 55+ friends, listed with full names and photos on the judge’s entirely public Facebook profile page.


The Fall Of An Italian Fashion Empire

Milan - April 9, 2010 - A Milan court on Friday declared bankrupt the holding company controlling the historic Milanese fashion house Mariella Burani Fashion Group (MBFG).

The liquidation of the Mariella Burani Fashion Holding (MBFH) was recently requested by the holding's liquidator, Luigi Giovanni Saporiti.

Saporiti was appointed to wind up the group last month.

Walter Burani, his two sons and another two members of Burani Designer Holding NV (BDH), the Dutch-registered company at the top of the group's pyramid, are under investigation for fraudulent bankruptcy. MBFG, which includes brands like Mandarina Duck and produces Vivienne Westwood under license, halted production in February and laid off its over 2,000 employees.

On February 11 an Italy court declared BDH bankrupt, triggering a domino effect on the whole family group.

Although registered in Amsterdam, the Milan court claimed jurisdiction over BDH because its operating headquarters and books were in Italy at MBFG offices.

In its ruling, the court said it was "totally evident" that BDH was insolvent because it had no means to pay 12.5 million euros in debts towards Deutsche Bank and 700,000 euros in debts towards creditor Natfood Srl, loans which expired on December 31 of 2008.

BDH is said to have debts totaling some 20 million euros, five million euros towards MBFG, which itself has 492 million euros in debt, and the remaining 15 million euros to Deutsche Bank and JP Morgan.

Mariella Burani, founded in the 1960s, was a fast growing luxury fashion house with double-digit growth over the past decade during which it acquired, and later sold, the historic Milanese luxury brand Mila Schon.

After years of financing its expansion through debt, in 2007 it shifted its focus to its leather goods and fashion jewellery operations, businesses characterized by higher margins, and sold its multibrand and international retail operations to a private equity fund.

The incredible Italian designs of "Mariella Burani" fashions. Coming soon to a Walmart rack of crap near you.

In a country where our police uniforms are designed by Armani, it isn't surprising our Italian women take dressing too seriously. They always look flawless no matter what they are doing like traveling, working, cooking and complaining.

The point is that looking good is an obsession to Italians and they truly believe you are treated according to how you look. Often times Italians are insecure about their own style of dress so to make things easier, they become unreasonable and assume they can achieve instant style success by wearing one of our overpriced designer labels.

But most women in Italy live better than Cleopatra. "Porca vacca", women from underdeveloped countries would give up their left breast to live like the women in Italy.

Italian women (including the married): "We love to look sexy and it is very important for men to notice us on the streets."

There is some truth in this lunacy. For example, shoes...

When Italian shoe designers create shoes it is quite funny to think they don't concern themselves with practicality. If they had, they would not have produced four-inch heels for streets paved with cobblestones. Then the fun begins for us men when women parade in these shoes: trying not to wince, not complain and pretending not to watch where they step as they avoid getting their heels caught between the stones. HA!

Si, si...we know. We'll stare at you anyway.


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After 40 Years Vatican Decides to 'Let It Be' With the Beatles

Vatican City - April 12, 2010 - The Vatican has finally made peace with the Beatles, saying their drug use, "dissolute" lives and even the claim that the band was bigger than Jesus are all in the past, while their music lives on.

Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano paid tribute to the Fab Four in its weekend editions, with two articles and a front-page cartoon reproducing the crosswalk immortalized on the cover of the band's album "Abbey Road." The tribute marked the 40th anniversary of the band's breakup.

"It's true, they took drugs; swept up by their success, they lived dissolute and uninhibited lives," said the paper. "They even said they were more famous than Jesus," it said, recalling John Lennon's 1966 comment that outraged many Catholics and others.

"But, listening to their songs, all of this seems distant and meaningless," L'Osservatore said. "Their beautiful melodies, which changed forever pop music and still give us emotions, live on like precious jewels."

It is not the first time the Vatican has praised the legendary band from Liverpool. Two years ago, Vatican media hailed the Beatles' musical legacy on the 40th anniversary of the "White Album." And last month the Vatican paper included "Revolver" in its semiserious list of top-10 albums.

Now, L'Osservatore says that the Beatles' songs have stood the test of time, and that the band remains "the longest-lasting, most consistent and representative phenomenon in the history of pop music."

Hey Pope! All you need is love!

It took the Vatican 522 years to admit "mea culpa" on the Spanish Inquisition, and 359 years to come around to admitting that Galileo was correct: It's the sun, NOT the Vatican, at the center of the universe and the Earth revolves around it.

Finally, we come to John Lennon and his "more popular than Jesus" comment. Did he really deserve 42 years of unforgiven condemnation? "Cacchio", who would have thought Sgt Peppers would be more popular than the Vatican?

Ringo Starr: "Didn't the Vatican say we were satanic or possibly satanic...and they've still forgiven us? I think the Vatican, they've got more to talk about than the Beatles." In other words, Ringo wants beatification to make up for this once he's gone.

But if the Vatican had to condemn someone you would think they would establish a MySpace Inquisition. "Porca oca", nothing like a social media site bursting with incredibly bad music by clueless and talentless musicians.

On a more important note...has the Vatican made peace with the Rolling Stones?
Will the Pope at least declare Keith Richard's survival a miracle?


Julian - Julius Caesar's cousin
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