"Che bel tempo!" Welcome to the place where we believe you CAN make something from nothing...like empty tomato sauce bottles, "Only In Italy!"
Speaking of tomatoes, we just cracked open our first bottle of sauce. Hmmm...not bad. The pasta dishes will help get over this Godforsaken winter that will hit us Sicilians soon. Mah...
Enjoy the issue, keep writing and Grazie!
Rome - September 21, 2010 - Italian jails are spilling over with almost 24,000 inmates more than they were built to hold, prison warders' union UILPA said Tuesday.
UILPA put the prison population at 68,340, some 23,764 more than the nominal capacity of 44,756. Almost all, 65,346, of the inmates are male and 2,994 female.
The most overcrowded region is Emilia Romagna whose jails hold 4,444 inmates, almost double the official capacity of 2,393. This gives the region an inmate-to-capacity ratio of 85.7%.
Puglia comes next with 80.9%, followed by Friuli Venezia Giulia with 62.8%, Val d'Aosta with 59.1%, Liguria with 55.8% and Sicily with 55.1%.
Veneto and Calabria were also far above the nationwide average of 53.3%.
UILPA chief Eugenio Sarno said the figures showed how "serious" the situation was and complained that prison staff were 6,000 short despite a government pledge to hire 2,000 warders.
The government has announced an ambitious building program to bring the prison population within capacity over the next two years, but the bill has been held up in parliament.
"Eh allora?" We must be missing the point as to why this made the news because here at the office we're still giving each other confused looks.
"Cacchio", are the complaints possibly originating from the adorable inmates themselves?
"I am not enjoying myself, Signore Giudice. I must say jail has been very negative. There is no room for my yoga and meditation. They would boss me around and inhibit my freedoms!" Well, that's why they call it "prigione" or jail. "Cornuti", you're supposed to get hassled in jail!
We've said it before. We believe that some inmates in Italy are innocent of the crimes they have been convicted for but...they're guilty of something! They were on their way to doing something before they were wrongfully arrested.
"Porca di quella trota", are we the only ones who realize we're not safe anywhere in Italy! We need metal detectors at the entrance of the leaning tower of Pisa and the Sistine Chapel. We need cops waiting in the monumental fountains with skin diving outfits, "cazzo!"
"...and Sicily with 55.1%." The reason why Sicilian prisons are not so overcrowded compared to other regions is because we prefer to take care of situations and people within the privacy of our homes.
Polizia: "Buon giorno, we're here to arrest your son, Pino, who participated in a robbery at a sheep farm last night."
Rome - September 21, 2010 - Vatican Bank Chairman Ettore Gotti Tedeschi is under investigation for suspected failure to observe Italy's money-laundering laws, police said Tuesday.
Another top executive of the Istituto per le Opere Religiose (IOR) bank is also under investigation, they said, without naming him.
Currency police have impounded, as a precautionary measure, some 23 million euros the IOR has deposited at the Credito Artigiano SpA, a private bank that is part of the Credito Valtellinese group. It is the first time such action has been taken against the IOR, which, as the Bank of Italy recalled Tuesday, is to be considered a non-European Union bank.
The probe was opened by Rome magistrates to determine whether a 2007 Italian law on transparency in regard to the identity of account holders was violated.
The possibility that the Vatican accounts violated this law was raised by the Bank of Italy special 'financial intelligence' unit, which on September 15 suspended two transactions ordered by the IOR from its account with the Rome branch of Credito Artigiano because they were deemed suspicious. These involved 20 million euros sent to the German bank J.P.Morgan Frankfurt, and three million sent to a central-Italian bank, Banca del Fucino.
The IOR is said to hold 28 million euros at the Credito Artigiano branch.
On November 25, investigators were also said to be focusing on one or more accounts IOR opened with Unicredit, Italy's biggest bank, through which some 60 million euros has transited over the past three years. The accounts were opened at a branch of Unicredit, then Banca di Roma, located on the avenue which leads into St Peter's Square, via della Conciliazione, in Italian territory.
Judicial sources said the probe was centered on clarifying the "opaque screen" which hid the identity of the person, persons or organizations that had actual control over the IOR accounts.
Investigators were also said to be trying to discover the beneficiaries of checks and bank drafts issued from the IOR accounts and who ordered them.
Oh, got to love that Vatican! These religious individuals who were chasing chickens before they received the Savior's calling are obviously not aware they are supposed to be role models for Italian society and Catholicism. Therefore, we think there are many people like us who would like to know where our Sunday Mass donations of 15 to 75 cents are being laundered to.
What do Italians think of this umpteenth scandal? "Niente" (Nothing). We're used to it.
Read carefully (and try not to get into a hissy fit): Lawlessness is closely related to the Catholic Church. "Si-si", it is.
There’s a confessionalism in which it doesn't matter what you're up to, whether you're good or evil, as long as you respect the "club rules", as long as you acknowledge your intention to improve yourself sooner or later. Don't worry, there's no rush. You can even wait to do so when you're on your death bed.
Italian Catholicism is so lovely and all-embracing. Did you know the origin of the word, "katholikos", means exactly that. Everyone is incorporated...which means that everyone is forgiven.
We might be criminals, everyone may even acknowledge as much, but it doesn't matter. Everything is exonerated. Everything is forgotten.
So, onwards to the next money laundering operation, my brothers and sisters!
Rome - September 22, 2010 - A Rome crime gang swindled a man out of thousands of euros by convincing him he was buying the building of the city's police headquarters before the fraud, loan-sharking, money-laundering and extortion ring was busted.
Over 200 police officers broke up the ring with a series of arrests in the early hours of Wednesday.
Investigators said the gang convinced their victims they had contacts at Rome courts handling the auctions of foreclosed properties to defraud them with fake real-estate deals. A lawyer and an accountant have been arrested for allegedly conniving in this.
The gang managed to trick a 50,000-euro deposit out of one person with the bogus sale of the police HQ. They also conned other victims into thinking they had bought the old homes of former AS Roma defender and Brazil captain Cafu and of former Lazio chairman Sergio Cragnotti.
Investigators added that even a number of police officers had fallen prey to the loan-sharking side of the operation, and the victims' shame at their plight had made it harder to dismantle the ring.
They said former members of the notoriously ferocious Banda della Magliana Roman gang of the 1970s and 80s were involved. Victims were beaten and threatened with firearms to make them to pay extortionate interest rates on loans, police said after an operation code-named 'The Game Is Up'.
"The fact that the Banda della Magliana still manages to have an influence on our city must make us reflect," said Rome Mayor Gianni Alemanno.
"It's remarkable that even today members of the gang manage to have a role in criminal organizations".
Police said figures from Naples crime gangs may have had a role too.
"Mamma mia, che figura di merda!" They deserve to be bilked. Maybe they'll be less stupid.
We say the gang who perpetrated this scam deserve a medal not jail time. They deserve a medal for locating stupid people. They're doing us a favor. Now, we can identify all of them, flush them out and make sure they don't breed again.
Century 21 della minchia:
Gang member: "Ah, this building belongs to my family for generations. I rent the building to the city's police for an extraordinary amount of money.
Gang member: "Si si! And I even collect a percentage of the drug money that is sequestered from raids."
Roman sucker: "Quanto vuoi, how much?!"
Gang member: "Eh, eh, eh, aspetta! I'll need a cash deposit of two-thirds immediately. After all, I have other people coming today to look at it.