"Buona Giornata" Welcome to the only news organization that still believes Fascism was meant as a practical joke, "Only In Italy!"
We just realized there's no flea and tick collar strong enough to protect yourself from the "Berlusconi".
Enjoy the issue, keep writing and Grazie!
Rome - September 20, 2010 - George Clooney and girlfriend Elisabetta Canalis flew to Sardinia this week to meet her parents Cesare a radiologist, and wife Bruna, a housewife.
On the first day of their visit, one of Elisabetta's uncles organized a family luncheon at his house in the coupleís honor, after which came a quick car tour of local scenic sites.
In evening, Clooney, Canalis and her parents went for a quiet dinner in a local restaurant known for Sardinian specialties, "La Rosa dei Venti".
Before his visit ended on the second day, Clooney patiently signed autographs and posed for photos with neighbors of the Canalises'. One of them even handed Clooney a baby for a picture.
"He looked rather awkward with the 7-month infant in his arms, but he posed politely and carefully handed the baby back," A local newspaper quoted one neighbor as telling a local journalist.
"One of the older women there shouted, "Ora tocca a te!" ("Now it's your turn!"). Clooney obviously didn't understand, but everyone turned to look at Elisabetta. She simply smiled," he added.
Elisabetta: "Mamma, Papa...this is Giorgio."
Hmmm...visiting the Family. Now, there's a surprise. We couldn't give a rat's "culo" about all his success (yes, we do) but if he really wanted to impress the Family, he should have worn traditional Sardinian garb: hat, shirt with silver and gold buttons, vest made of wool and velvet, white cloth trousers, and a short black skirt.
"Weh, Giorgio, dance in our honor!"
You know, we're curious if Giorgio knows Sardinia is the home to the most beautiful witches in the world. It's true. Every Sardinian village has a witch but visitors can never discover who they really are. That's because it's quite difficult to reach these villages for public transportation in Sardinia is folklore!
A Sardinian witch is a beautiful woman...eh, just like Elisabetta. While most sane Italian mothers pass their heirloom and favorite pasta recipes down to daughters, Sardinian witches pass their secrets down to only one of their daughters, starting from when the girl is very young. She works her magic by creating special chants and dispelling homemade potions, and is paid in household and farm goods...or accompanying a famous actor to the Oscars.
The "filtro di amore" (love potion) is what is most sought after, especially by ugly Italian women. The second most asked-for service is the removal of a "malocchio" (evil eye). This incredibly funny show is performed by dropping a stone into a glass of salted water. Somehow, as the stone sinks the curse is removed or maybe it's the way in which the stone sinks that removes the curse. Either way, it won't compare to the spectacle of the rocks in her head.
Another way a witch can remove a curse is to have someone (like Giorgio) give her some of his intimate apparel, preferably clean. She chants over it in secrecy, returns the clothing, and the curse is supposedly removed. If the curse is actually removed, then payment with a live rooster is happily accepted.
With all the curses that must have been flying in the direction of Elisabetta's house, we wouldn't be surprised if Giorgio left Sardegna with an enormous headache.
Rome - September 20, 2010 - Seventeen of the 30 European Union cities with the most polluted air are Italian, according to a survey out Monday.
Plovdiv in Bulgaria scored lowest for air quality, followed by Turin, Brescia, Milan and Sofia. At the other end of the European Environment Agency's scale, the best air is to be breathed in Tallinn in Estonia, followed by Stockholm, Lund and Malmo in Sweden.
The study looked at air quality between 2004 and 2008, in particular three indicators: the fine-particle pollutants Pm10, ozone and dinitrogen tetroxide.
Turin led the worst-offending air standings in 2004 and 2005. The Piedmont capital is still the worst in Europe for the presence in the air of tropospheric ozone, which impedes plant 'breathing' as well as damaging lungs.
Naples is top for concentrations of dinitrogen tetroxide, the main culprit in acid rain.
Of the capital cities in the 23 EU states viewed, Rome lagged at 181st in the rankings, which listed 221 cities in all.
"I can't (cough) breathe! Porca (cough) di quella (cough) mignotta! (COUGH!)"
Sadly, pollution caused by Italians is disturbing the delicate balance of nature and sanity in our country. We're overrun by slow city driving and diesel engines. Anyone who has ever visited Milan knows what we're writing about. The air pollution in this city is so thick, when it gets hit by a snowstorm, it takes 2 weeks before the snow falls to the ground! That's why the colors black and gray have dominated the Milan fashion runways for years. The filth and smog blends in perfectly with your ridiculously expensive Italian clothes!
Then there are the greenhouse gases like methane which comes from such sources as gas emitted by our livestock. This explains the dirty looks our news staff gets from our fellow "paisanos" when we go out and check up on our cows, chickens and sheep.
But we're compassionate (somewhat) and we like to give tips on how they can prevent the harmful effects of air pollution affecting them and their families:
- Cinzia, try to cut down going down to the post office to bad-mouth my family. Stay indoors as much as possible in the daytime. Usually the air (and your breath) indoors is less polluted than outdoors.
- Gaetano, if you cannot avoid cheating on your wife, try to do it in the early morning or after sunset. This is particularly important when there are high levels of ozone because sunshine triggers off the creation of ozone.
- Maria, easy with the curse words and calm down. When the pollution levels are high, try not to exert yourself. The harder you breathe, the more gas from our cows you inhale into your lungs.
Rome - September 20, 2010 - Disgraced Parmalat founder and ex-CEO Calisto Tanzi was stripped on Monday of the 'Knight of Labor' title he was given in June 1984 for his contribution to Italy.
President Giorgio Napolitano signed the act depriving him of the honor on a recommendation from the industry ministry.
Tanzi is on trial in Parma and Milan for his key role in the 2003 fraudulent bankruptcy of the multinational food conglomerate, considered the biggest financial meltdown in modern European history.
Tanzi is on trial in Parma, the seat of company headquarters, on various charges of fraud and related crimes while in Milan he is being tried for market-rigging and misleading the stock market regulators. He was given a 10-year sentence in Milan for market-rigging in December, a sentence which was then confirmed by an appeals court in May.
Tanzi's defense has always been that he was manipulated by banks which, while aware of the group's dire finances, forced him to make acquisitions and issue more bonds so they could recover their loans to the multinational. Parmalat was declared bankrupt in December 2003 after it emerged that four billion euros it supposedly held in an offshore Bank of America account did not in fact exist.
The case escalated, eventually leading to Parmalat's collapse amid debts of some 14.5 billion euros and a fraud scandal which rocked the Italian financial world.
Investigators found that from 1990 until 2002 Parmalat lost money every year except one but nonetheless reported uninterrupted profits and routinely forged documents in order to deceive banks and regulators.
The US Securities and Exchange Commission called the case "one of the largest and most brazen corporate financial frauds in history". Parmalat's bankruptcy - dubbed 'Europe's Enron' - left more than 150,000 investors with virtually worthless bonds.
Parmalat has since been put back on its feet by corporate turnaround expert Enrico Bondi who, first as government-appointed administrator and later as official CEO, shed the group's non-core activities, cut foreign activities and reduced staff.
"Ma vacagare!" You know, whenever I see Parmalat milk in a supermarket I put my hand over my wallet.
What honor could you possibly be stripped of in Italy? Hmmm? I know kids in Palermo who could reproduce the titles for Knights of anything for about 20 Euros, a "panino con la milza" (sandwich with fried cow spleen and cheese), and a beer.
The Parmalat Case: How all Italian hell broke loose in December of 2003:
- Doubts arise over Parmalatís debts, and Fausto Tonna, chief financial officer, resigns. "How much? Sta minchia, I'm out of here. Ciao!"
- Parmalat misses a 150 million Euro bond payment and it emerges that it cannot service its debts. (To the bankers): "Look, we can't service the debt but we can service you in another way. Did I ever show you a photo of my single sister, Calista?
- CEO Tanzi resigns. "I'm just going out for a quick glass of milk. I'll be right back."
- Bank of America says that a document showing 4 billion Euros in Bonlat's account is forged. "This document is signed by Julius Caesar."
- Parmalat declares bankruptcy, Tanzi is arrested and admits that the hole in Parmalatís accounts is several billions of Euros. "Ok, va bene. We don't have 4 billion. We've lost 8 billion. So sorry. Mi dispiace."
- Inquiry reveals that the real debt is 14 billion Euros. "It's 8 billion Euros, give or take 6 billion! Ok?! Vaffanculo!"
What a "disgraziato"! Calisto should be forced to drink powdered milk without water for the rest of his life.