Archive for the ‘Italy’ Category

Berlusconi: Not Guilty in Teen-Sex-for-Hire Case

July 19, 2014

Berlusconi: Not Guilty in Teen-Sex-for-Hire Case

Billionaire septuagenarian, football team ownerBunga-Bunga Party host, one-time cruise ship crooner and disgraced 3-time former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has been acquitted of having sex with an underage prostitute, This decision by an Italian appeals court cancels the penalties of the sentence, 7 years in prison and a lifetime ban from politics. But don’t look for Mr. Berlusconi in Parliament just yet. He was expelled from the Italian Senate due to an earlier tax fraud conviction, so it looks like the Italian Government will remain Berlusconi-free for the foreseeable future.

More:

“Berlusconi Underage Sex Conviction Overturned By Italian Court,” Scott Neuman, NPR

“Italy appeals court clears Berlusconi in sex trial,” Ilaria Polleschi and Silvia Aloisi, Reuters via Chicago Tribune

“‘Bunga bunga’ showgirl incredulous at Silvio Berlusconi’s acquittal,” Nick Squires, Daily Telegraph

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Image (“Berlusconi Seraglio, after Fernand Cormon”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Nutella at 50

July 5, 2014

Nutella at 50
Sugar, palm oil, hazelnuts, cocoa, skim milk, reduced minerals whey (milk), lecithin as emulsifier (soy), vanillin: an artificial flavor. Yum. Nutella turns 50 this year.

More: 

“Nutella: How the world went nuts for a hazelnut spread,” Dany Mitzman, BBC Magazine

“Spreading the Nutella wealth: Italy’s sweet success at 50,” Philippe Ridet, The Guardian

“Mom ‘shocked’ that Nutella isn’t healthy, wins lawsuit,” Melissa Breyer, Mother Nature Network

“8 Things You May Not Know About Nutella,” Jessica Bloustein Marshall, Mental Floss

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Image (“Still Life with Pewter Jug and Nutella, after Cezanne”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Silvio Berlusconi Returns to Private Life

November 30, 2013

Silvio Berlusconi Returns to Private Life

The Italian Senate expelled billionaire septuagenarian, football team ownerBunga-Bunga Party host, one-time cruise ship crooner and disgraced 3-time former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi from membership last week so he could spend more time with his attorneys and under-aged females. The proximate cause: Mr. Berlusconi’s recent tax fraud conviction. For the first time in two decades, the Italian Government is Berlusconi-free.

Private Citizen Berlusconi has problems. There are new charges that he and his lawyers paid off trial witnesses to his notorious “bunga bunga” sex parties. The 77-year- old’s 28-year-old showgirl girlfriend has appealed to that great champion of morally challenged billionaires, Pope Francis, to clear Silvio’s name.

Update:

“Berlusconi, The Perils of Not Knowing When to Say Goodbye,” Marcello Sorgi, La Stampa via Worldcrunch

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Image (“Berlusconi Seraglio, after Fernand Cormon”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Berlusconi: Guilty, Guilty, Guilty.

August 3, 2013

Berlusconi: Guilty, Guilty, Guilty.

Appearing on television after an appeals court upheld his conviction on abuse of office  sex offences  bribery tax fraud, one of his many convictions, billionaire septuagenarian, football team ownerBunga-Bunga Party host, one-time cruise ship crooner and disgraced former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi claimed he is being harassed by vengeful political enemies:

“Today’s sentence confirmed my belief that a part of the judicial authorities has become irresponsible”

“I have never been anyone’s silent partner, I have never devised any system of fiscal fraud, there have never been false invoices in the history of Mediaset, just like there are no hidden funds abroad that are linked to me or my family.”

“In exchange for the commitments I have made for my country over almost 20 years and now as I am coming to the end of my public life, I have been rewarded with accusations and a verdict that is founded on absolutely nothing, that takes away my personal freedom and my political rights.”

“Is this the Italy that we want? Is this the Italy that we love? Absolutely not.”

Uh huh.

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Don’t Stop!

July 10, 2013

Nu te Fermare (“Don’t Stop!”)

“You’ve graduated, but there’s no work
you have a masters, but there’s no work
and you’re left with only your imagination
wanting to buy a house, it’s agony, wanting a family, it’s crazy
but if you stop, there’s melancholy
Get up, find a way, keep on going, don’t stop
find a way, take a chance, your voice is strong, make it heard.”

– Mauro Durante

More:

“Canzoniere Grecanico Salentino and Music to Exorcise Financial Demons in Europe,” Betto Arcos, PRI’s The World

(VideoCanzoniere Grecanico Salentino)

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Berlusconi: Guilty

June 25, 2013

Berlusconi

On Monday a Milan court found Silvio Berlusconi — billionaire septuagenarian, football team owner, former Italian Prime Minister, Bunga-Bunga Party host, and one-time cruise ship crooner —  guilty of having sex with an underage prostitute and abusing his public office in an attempt to cover it up. Mr. Berlusconi was sentenced to seven years in prison and banned from public office for life. He recently lost an appeal of an earlier tax fraud conviction.

Mr. Berlusconi, owner of a vast media empire, insisted that he is innocent — on his Facebook page.

More:

“Berlusconi Is Sentenced to Seven Years in Sex Case, but Can Still Appeal Verdict,” Rachel Donadio and Elisabetta Poveledo, New York Times

“Berlusconi: ‘Sentenza violenta, io resisto alla persecuzione,'” ANSA

“Processo Ruby, condannato Silvio Berlusconi. 7 anni e interdizione perpetua dai pubblici uffici,” La Repubblica 

Update:

“Berlusconi, The End Is Near,” Marcello Sorgi, La Stampa via Worldcrunch

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Cell Phones & High Blood Pressure

May 18, 2013

Cell Phones & High Blood Pressure

The highlight of the 28th Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Society of Hypertension this week was a study suggesting that mobile phone calls may raise your blood pressure. The study, conducted at Northern Italy’s Guglielmo da Saliceto Hospital, found that subjects talking on their telefonini had a significant rise in blood pressure, from 121/77 to 129/82. Frankly, we wonder if BP rose because subjects were irritated when their phone calls were interrupted by blood pressure tests.

More:

“New research shows what raises and lowers blood pressure: Cell phones, salt and saying om,” EurekaAlert

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Image (“Cell Phones & Blood Pressure, after Adriaen Brouwer”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Berlusconi Big House Bound?

May 8, 2013

Berlusconi Big House Bound?

A Milan appeals court upheld the October tax fraud conviction of former Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi, which carries a four year prison sentence. Wednesday’s appellate court ruling also upheld the lower court’s decision barring Mr. Berlusconi from public office for five years and from management  of any company for three years.

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A Pope From Argentina? Practically Italian.

March 14, 2013

Argentina? Practically Italian.

The Papal conclave has elected Pope Francis. He’s from Argentina, and since 217 of the previous 265 pontiffs have been Italian, this is a big deal, right?

Not as much as you might think. The new Holy Father, born Jorge Mario Bergoglio, is the son of Italian immigrants. He is italo-argentino, like 60 percent of Argentina’s population.

More:

“Pope Francis feted in Italian ancestral village,” Antonella Ciancio, Reuters

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Short Link: http://wp.me/p6sb6-gcX

Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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Berlusconi Big House Bound?

March 9, 2013

Berlusconi Big House Bound?

Silvio Berlusconi, billionaire septuagenarian, football team owner, former Italian Prime Minister, Bunga-Bunga Party host, and one-time cruise ship crooner, was convicted in a wiretap leak trial and sentenced to a year in prison. Actually, under Italian law, old farts don’t have to serve sentences of under two years in prison. His 63-year-old kid brother Paolo, editor of Il Giornale, may not be so lucky; he was sentenced to two years and three months.

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