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When "Bufala" Whoppers Roam Through the News

In Italian the word "bufala" means, not mamma buffalo, as in "mozzarella di bufala," but a "whopper" or, in today's jargon, fake news. No less than anywhere else, bufala whoppers are roaming through the news ranges of Italy.

In Latest Polls, Salvini's Lega Bests the Five Stars

It is no surprise that anti-immigrant rhetoric is a vote getter. Latest opinion polls show that the Lega of Matteo Salvini, just now threatening to expel the Romani ethnic people, or Roma, has overtaken Luigi Di Maio's Movimento Cinque Stelle, even though in national general elections only three months ago the Five Stars won 15% more than the Lega.

The Acquarius and The Recurrent Cycles of Human History

For the past 25 years, on my first day of an introductory history course, I ask students why they hate history. At first, they are surprised and even astonished by my question. But they soon lose their reticence and offer all the usual answers: “history keeps repeating itself;” “we never learn from history;” “history has no importance in our contemporary world or my life.” As professional historians, we have perhaps failed in our duty to fully engage the public with the past. I can’t help thinking of this failure as we witness hour-by-hour the fate of 630 human beings literally adrift at sea in the Mediterranean. Their lives hang in the balance because of the political choices and poisoned culture of contemporary Italy.

Standoff on Migrants Splinters the EU

When 629 migrants were en route by sea to Italy on June 10, Interior Minister Matteo Salvini declared that no Italian port could accept them. "Saving lives is a duty, but turning Italy into Europe's refugee camp, no," he stated. Spain is to take them in, but the EU is splintered on this.

Foreign Affairs Upstage Policy, Stir Up a Hornet's Nest

In a globalized world it is hardly surprising that foreign affairs occupy more political space than ever before. In particular, the new Italian government's overture to Putin's Russia stirs up a hornet's nest.

Your Message in the Bottle. It Takes a Network!

The magazine you’re holding in your hands is a special edition that celebrates our first five years, with a selection of the best of our articles, interviews, and reporting. The pieces you see here, are almost all print versions of our television stories shown on our “i-Italy TV” program, now also five years old, which airs every Sunday on NYC Life. And our web portal, i-Italy.org, turns 10 in May.

In the Eye of a Hurricane: Political Italy

The current political, fiscal and constitutional crisis in Rome, the most serious since the murder of Aldo Moro forty years ago, can only gather steam with the calling of new elections. With the collapse risk of its Palace of Justice and the results of the last administrative elections, the city of Bari in the meantime becomes the mirror of the current Italian political plight. The new elections set for June 10 will be a test of things to come.

Awaiting That Final Decision: Approval of a New Government

Final ratification of a new government requires the approval of President Sergio Mattarella and then a vote in Parliament. Meanwhile, a close reading of the Constitution spells out a new premier's responsibilities.

Populist Government may Save Italy From Hasty new Elections

Until lunchtime Wednesday Italy seemed to be plunging into the year's second round of national general elections. But in a surprising turnabout, Silvio Berlusconi dropped his opposition to a populist government of the Five Star movement and the Lega. The irony is that "what couldn't be done in two months was in a couple of hours."

No Government in Sight 60 Days After Elections

Sixty days after national general elections in Italy, no government is in sight despite long and tense negotiations among the parties. As the politicians' tempers flare, the long-suffering President Sergio Mattarella is left to seek a way out of the impasse.

One Artist's Opinion: The Politicos as Cardsharps

President Sergio Mattarella appoints Senate President Maria Elisabetta Casellati to conduct exploratory negotiations for a new government. By way of light relief, in a street art cartoon copying Caravaggio's famous painting politicians are satirized as cardsharps.

Battle over US - China Tariffs May Have Fallout for Italy

Experts here disagree over whether the escalating trade war between the U.S. and China will have an effect on Italy and its economy, and to what extent. In particular, if U.S. wine exports to China decline because of higher tariffs, Italian wine sales may rise even further.

Risk of New Elections Loom Over Quirinal Talks

On Thursday, the second day of formal consultations in the Quirinal Palace, the risk of new elections continued to cast a shadow over the talks guided by President Sergio Mattarella. And in a changing Italy its youthful new Parliament just may prove unpredictable.

Center Stage: Luigi Di Maio for the Five-Star Movement

Despite his party's resounding lead over every other party in Italy, Di Maio's M5S failed to achieve the 40% necessary to gain control of the government -- at least not yet. But on Friday the newly installed 630-member Parliament and 315-member Senate begins electing their presidents, in a notable show of horse-trading and power.

Macerata Shootings Cast Shadow Over General Elections

The Macerata shooting of immigrants casts a dark shadow over the forthcoming national general elections, less than one month distant.

Finding the Right Words?

A few days ago, while watching Al Jazeera, or was it the dreaded Russian Television Network during lunch, I was not at all surprised to hear that the most-articulate-ever President of the United States of America, or POTUS as some refer to him, had embarrassed us, the Suffering People of the United States, or SPOTUS, again. Unlike his Kenyan-born Muslim presidential predecessor, there is never any doubt that he alone among all others truly says what he means. This time, he was heard muttering something scatologically unmentionable about “depressions into which manure is deposited.”

President Mattarella and Italy - Plunging into 2018

In his New Year's speech President Sergio Mattarella praised Italy's politicians for having the legislature last the regulation 5 years. But in national general elections that take place in just 60 days, those with "institutional responsibilities" must each do his share, he said.

Christmas. When I Was Nine

Postwar Christmas in America. The memories of a nine-year-old boy raised in a household of Italian immigrants in New York

Italy's Grand Old Man

Born in Naples back in 1925, at ninety-two former Italian President Giorgio Napolitano is vital and surprisingly sturdy intellectually and physically, as his latest interview show