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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May 2010
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"Burqa-Clad Woman and Ugly Sicilians Could Face 500 Euro Fines"



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"Eh, buona sera!" Welcome to the only newsletter that serves up humor with a pinch of irony and extra cheese, "Only In Italy!"

The worst thing about GM seeds (among the many you did not mention) is the fact is that it robs the farmers ability to harvest seeds from his crop to sow the next year. So, he has to buy new seeds every year whether he can afford it or not...many go bankrupt for this reason.

Also I would recommend that you watch the documentary "Food, Inc." before you support GM foods...our poor health is not because we lack nutritious options, but due to pesticides and the way foods are chemically processed and cured. 90% of the worlds seeds are now owned by three corporations.

Can't believe this guy is selfish enough to contaminate the crops in nearby farms. Cristala

Thanks for the very insightful feedback, Cristala. Humor aside, we will certainly take your recommendation regarding the documentary, "Food, Inc." and we sincerely hope our readers will do as well.   

Enjoy the issue, keep writing and Grazie!

Tanti Saluti,             
"Only In Italy" Staff      

Bored Italian Kids Set Fire To School

Rome - May 3, 2010 - A group of bored youths set fire to their school in a small northern Italian town on Sunday.

The seven youths aged 12-16 lit a fire in a storeroom under the dining room but neither the cafeteria nor any adjoining classrooms were damaged, police said.

The youths, who are known for disturbing the peace, told police they did it as "a prank to relieve the boredom of a Sunday with nothing to do".

The school at Bernareggio near Monza opened as normal Monday.

The Italian school system is offered "free" to all children in Italy regardless of nationality. Mind you the key word here is "free" therefore, the system's reputation is strongly associated with the definition of this cheap word.

Unfortunately, it tends to focus on routine memorization and obedience and, "mamma mia", God forbid an Italian teacher would give the slightest suggestion of introducing creativity in the classroom. That would be grounds for a psychiatric examination and possible suspension.

The grading system is quite simple, 1-10: 1 if the student is only capable of stating his/her name at the exam without breaking a sweat and 10 if the student is able to advise the teacher their father is a notable local politician.

Some of our stupendous Italian schools:

Liceo Classico (Classical High School): Lasts for five years and tries to prepare the student for university level studies. Italian literature along with meaningless subjects such Latin and Greek form the so-called important part of the curriculum. During the last three years philosophy and history of art completes the bland recipe of the "Minestrone of Liceo Classico".

Liceo Scientifico (Scientific High School): Lasts for five years with an emphasis on physics, chemistry and natural sciences. The program would seem promising for the future engineer or physician if it weren't for the requirement of learning the extinct language of Latin...and another modern language.

Liceo Artistico (Fine Arts High School): Studies can last four to five years and prepare for university studies in painting, sculpture or architecture. A very fulfilling and rich program if only the Vatican would consider hiring your son/daughter to redesign or repaint the Sistine Chapel.

Istituto Magistrale (Teacher Training School): Studies last for five years and prepare future primary school teachers. There is also a three year training course for nursery school teachers. Unfortunately, this inadequate diploma does not entitle students to then enroll at a university but at least they'll have the scholastic credentials to go and teach future generations.


Burqa-Clad Woman Faces 500 Euro Fine After Post Office Visit

Novara - May 3, 2010 - A woman visiting a post office in the northwest city of Novara could receive a 500-euro-fine for wearing a burqa after she was stopped by police under new local rules.

The foreign-born woman was swiftly identified by police but she is still eligible for a penalty under a city ordinance that took effect in January. The new regulation prohibits any clothing that prevents the immediate identification of the wearer inside public buildings, schools and hospitals.

The city police said the woman was stopped during a series of spot checks.

"The ordinance is being applied in the instant case because the woman was inside the post office at the time, which is a public building," said police chief Paolo Cortese.

The maximum fine for violating the ordinance is 500 euros but Cortese said his office was still assessing the circumstances of the incident and an appropriate penalty. The ordinance was introduced by Mayor Massimo Giordano, a member of the populist Northern League party that favors tougher immigration controls. It was issued under a 1975 national anti-terrorism law, which forbids any mask or clothing that makes it impossible to identify the wearer.

Cortese said the Novara ordinance had been sent to the Interior Ministry to ensure its compliance with the national law.

"The ministry commented on the technical aspects of the ordinance, limiting its application to schools, hospitals and public buildings," he said.

Commenting on the decision to fine the woman, Mayor Giordano said he had hoped issuing the ordinance would be sufficient to deter women from covering up.

"But unfortunately it is apparently not yet clear to everyone that clothes preventing the wearer's identification can be tolerated at home but not in public places, in schools, on buses or in post offices," he said.

"There are still some people that refuse to understand that our community in Novara does not accept and does not want people going around wearing the burqa".

The mayor described the ordinance as "the only tool at our disposal to stop behavior that makes the already difficult process of integration even harder".

Novara is not the first local authority in Italy to introduce such rules under the 1975 law. Fermignano in the Marche and Montegrotto Terme near Padua have both issued identical ordinances, while a burqa-clad woman in Treviso was taken to a police station in 2008 during a post office visit.

The current law permits exceptions for 'justified cause', which has been interpreted as including religious reasons in court rulings against local bans on the burqa.

However, a Northern League bill currently before parliament would amend the 1975 law to make specific reference to Islamic face coverings. The proposed wording would prohibit "the use of female garments common among women of Islamic faith known as burqas and niqabs".

Meanwhile, lawmakers in Belgium's lower house on Friday voted unanimously to prohibit women from wearing full face veils in public. If the bill receives a green light from the Senate, it would become Europe's first national 'burqa ban'.

The mayor described the ordinance as "the only tool at our disposal to stop behavior that makes the already difficult process of integration even harder". Integration? What a "cacasentenze"! This mayor is a member of the racist Northern League party that favors tougher immigration controls...even for Southern Italians.

So, we know how burqa-clad women, Eastern Europeans, Indians, Chinese, and polar bears feel. Their small and cramped racist minds get very annoyed that we don't understand that the point of living in Northern Italy is assimilation. In other words, we're supposed to be embarrassed by where we came from.

We wouldn't be surprised if the Northern League Party issues an ordinance that requires burqas to be worn by certified ugly Sicilians who visit the north.

Quite frankly, the Italian gov't shouldn't stop the inflow of these illegal aliens. Let them all in! Why not drain all the oceans in the world so that they could all walk over to Italy?

Our news staff firmly believes that if they can scratch their backs and pick their butts at the same time like the rest of us, then they should have the right to be considered Italians as much as we do! We also believe racial integrity and social harmony can ultimately be achieved if burqa-clad women would simply avoid our post offices.


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30 Indicted For Hospital Laughing Gas Deaths

Rome - May 3, 2010 - Some 30 people were sent to trial Monday on manslaughter charges in the 2007 hospital deaths of 8 heart patients in southern Italy mistakenly given laughing gas instead of oxygen.

Doctors, anesthetists, suppliers, technicians and local health officials will stand trial on July 2 for a pipe-fitting blunder that led to the deaths in a coronary intensive care at Castellaneta near Taranto in Puglia between April 20 and May 4, 2007. The defendants are variously charged with manslaughter, negligence, supplying mistaken materials and administrative violations.

The victims' families, who have yet to receive compensation for their loss, are standing as civil plaintiffs along with the regional government of Puglia, the Taranto health board and the citizens' rights organization Cittadinanzattiva.

Among the key defendants are staff and executives of the Puglia-based company Ossitalia, which specializes in the installment of medical gas equipment. Ossitalia lawyers stress that the Castellaneta gas system was finished and successfully tested in March 2005, when the hospital opened after 20 years of stop-start construction.

They say other firms were involved with the gas system between the 2005 testing and the coronary ward's opening two years later. The company has provided police with a copy of a letter it sent to local health officials in October 2005 disclaiming all responsibility for the proper functioning of the system because other firms had been called in.

Doctors say the patients' deaths initially failed to arouse suspicion because they were all elderly and in frail condition.

The case dealt a fresh blow to public confidence in Italy's health service, which have seen a string of errors and apparently avoidable deaths in recent years.

Laughing Gas?! "Ah, excuse me, Dottore. It appears that laughter isn't the best medicine, is it?...You grandissimo figlio di una mignotta."

A report recently presented to a congress organized by the Italian Association of Medical Oncology concluded that about 14,000 deaths a year occur in Italy's hospitals because of medical error. The association's general definition of medical error took in not only malpractice, but also flaws in Italy's health system such as lengthy waiting lists that led to patients being diagnosed too late to effect a cure.

However; we consider this to be a "cazzate" for most place the number of deaths around a mind-staggering 50,000. However, if 14,000 deaths a year do truly occur...that would be twice the death toll on Italy's roads. When you think about a statistic like this, you will realize that you have a better chance of surviving a car crash into the Roman Coliseum in a Fiat 500 with bad brakes than having your appendix removed in one of our outstanding medical facilities.

If you're a tourist walk into any Italian ER and your adventure will begin:

- The check-in desk is permanently empty.

- Most of the nurses know very little basic English therefore, you will get that blank stare. At that point you'll have to go through a series of dramatic gestures and miming in order for them to grasp a vague idea of your problem.

- While you are waiting for your doctor, you will notice people milling in and out and standing around with no one obviously in charge and no organization whatsoever.

- You will then be asked the most common question that Italian medical professionals learn on the first day of medical school. "Eh, are you diabetico?" They will repeat the question at least twice for confirmation.

- A doctor will write you a prescription for 3-4 medicines. You will go to the local pharmacy and realize none of them are pain medicines; they're anti-inflammatory which will not help you at all.

Get well soon!


Julian - Julius Caesar's cousin
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