In Italy, authorities are reportedly evicting alt-right self-promoter Steve Bannon from the medieval monastery he'd planned to transform into a white supremacist radicalization academy, “after reports of fraud in the competitive tender process.”
Being evicted from his fancy Italian gladiator castle is a big setback for Bannon, who's trying to grow an alt-right empire in Europe. Read the rest
Vodafone discovered that the home routers that Huawei provided for its Italian residential broadband business had a "backdoor" -- an open telnet interface that could allow attackers to take over the router and surveil the user's network -- and after they complained to Huawei about it, Huawei released an update that they claimed removed the interface, but that this was a lie.
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In southern Italy today, a brazen highway robbery in which thieves used bulldozers to pry open an armored van on the road. Read the rest
Hacking Team (previously) was an Italian company that developed cyberweapons that it sold to oppressive government around the world, to be used against their own citizens to monitor and suppress political oppositions; in 2015, a hacker calling themselves "Phineas Fisher" hacked and dumped hundreds of gigabytes' worth of internal Hacking Team data, effectively killing the company.
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Venice, Italy was hit with a storm that put three-quarters of the city under water. Read the rest
When the EU voted for mandatory copyright censorship of the internet in September, Italy had a different government; the ensuing Italian elections empowered a new government, who oppose the filters.
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In this video, three reputable Italian chefs are subjected to severe moral injury by being forced to watch the top five 'how to cook carbonara' videos on YouTube. Their emotions range between outrage, disappointment, dour amusement and absolute horror in under 13 minutes. Be sure to turn subtitles on for this one before settling in.
The most interesting thing for me was how disappointed they were in the final video that they watched, which features Jamie Oliver showing off his carbonara chops. According to the chefs, they ain't great. Their chief complaint was that he failed to show the meat being properly sanitized before chopping it up and throwing it in a hot pan to fry. I'm sure the pig processing poop adds flavor, but Yuck.
Image via Wikipedia
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Italy’s Interior Minister Matteo Salvini is what you’d call a renaissance bigot: He’s equally comfortable refusing safe harbor to migrants in desperate need of medical care as he is whipping off statements about the left wanting to keep migrants in his country to use as slave labor. Looking for ways to push a cultural minority out of his country? He’s all over that shit, too. Earlier this week, Salvini said that he would order a census of the Roma people currently living in Italy and expel those without residence permits. When asked about naturalized Roma residing in Italy, he answered, classy fucker that he is “...and Italian Roma? Unfortunately, we have to keep them.”
Originating in South Asia, the Roma, migrated to Europe hundreds of years ago. While some have integrated into the societies where they live, most live a nomadic lifestyle and keep their own customs. Having suffered generations of brutal discrimination, these itinerant communities tend to shun the communities and cities that they live near, in favor of keeping themselves to themselves, for safety’s sake. This preference towards exclusivist living in the name of safety has led to many ugly stereotypes over the years: that Roma are all criminals, don’t pay taxes, and are a plague on a productive society. Such false claims were used by the Nazis as an excuse to herd Roma into concentration camps. These same excuses have been used more recently to create areas of segregation where Roma are permitted to set up camp – often far from essential services such as schools and medical aid. Read the rest
This past weekend, a woefully overloaded rescue ship operated by SOS Méditerranée and Médecins Sans Frontières made its way across the Mediterranean Sea from Africa to Europe, looking for a safe port in Italy. Many of the 629 migrants on board of the ship, all of which were fleeing the horrors of war in Syria and Libya and the exploitation that displaced individuals often endure in Africa.
Among the 629 passengers are 123 unaccompanied minors, 11 kids who made the crossing with family members and seven pregnant women. Some of the ship's passengers are said to be injured from beatings and torture endured in the home countries. By Sunday, there were only enough provisions to feed those on board for another 48 hours. Italy’s response to the vessel’s request to dock in the country?
Nah, fuck those guys.
According to the Globe and Mail, Italy’s newly elected populist government acted in a manner that may be familiar to those under the yoke of a populist government here in North America. In a xenophobic fervor, instead of rendering aid or shelter to a group of people who were in woeful need of it, they turned them away. Matteo Salvini, the governing party’s deputy prime minister and minister of the interior, gave the order to keep the boat-borne individuals from stepping foot on his country’s shores.
From the Globe & Mail:
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Since the start of the Syrian civil war in 2011, and the Libyan civil war three years later, Italy has absorbed more than 600,000 undocumented or illegal migrants, most of whom arrived by sea from North Africa.
Conan O'Brien and his show's associate producer Jordan Schlansky recently traveled to Italy together. According to Conan, Jordan is a "self-proclaimed expert of all things Italian," as he's traveled there before 30 different times.
Their road trip -- in a tiny red vintage Fiat, no less -- began in Florence and ended in Naples, the same route Jordan has driven many times sans his boss.
Now, in case you haven't seen their previous interactions, Jordan is the perfect "uptight straight man" to Conan's over-the-top "funny man" shenanigans. And there are definitely some over-the-top shenanigans on this road trip. For instance, while walking down a street, Conan starts yelling out pasta names as if they were legit greetings to random Italians, "Rigatoni!"
In the next segment, Jordan, not once cracking a smile, strips naked to pose for Conan's drawing class. You get the picture.
I've seen all of the Conan Without Borders (imo, it's the best work Team Coco creates), and I think this particular one is the funniest yet. The entire playlist for it is here and includes behind-the-scenes footage and a Q&A segment. Read the rest
So, there's this skeleton that archaeologists discovered in Italy during the mid-1990s. They reckon the man, who became the skeleton, was alive somewhere between the sixth and eighth century. Those were hard times. Life was short and seldom sweet. In the case of our man the skeleton, somewhere along the line, he lost his hand. Archaeologists say that it was taken off with a single blow. Maybe it was because he was involved in a war or being punished for a crime. It could have been removed for medical reasons. Anyway, BOOM, gone. It's amazing, in an era where antibiotics didn't exist, that someone would survive an amputation. Sure, it happened but it was rare. The recovery process must have been terrible. But did our pal from so long ago allow the lose of a hand and acquisition of a new stump get him down? Hell no. He did what I'd like to believe anyone of you reading this would do: HE REPLACED HIS LOST HAND WITH A FRIGGING KNIFE BLADE.
According to a paper published in the Journal of Antrological Sciences by Ileana Micarelli, Robert Paine, Caterina Giostra, Mary Anne Tafuri, Antonio Profico, Marco Boggioni, Fabio Di Vincenzo, Danilo Massani, Andrea Papini and Giorgio Manzi (something something Too Many Cooks.) Once the Middle Ages bad ass healed up, he found a way to lash a knife blade to his stump using a leather mount that he tied in place with his teeth. The paper makes for pretty dense reading, but Gizmodo's George Dvorsky does a great job of digging into it:
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Further analysis of the man’s bones points to the use of a prosthesis.
When Grey Heron surfaced this month selling anti-Signal and anti-Telegram surveillance tools at a UK trade show for cyber-arms-dealers, sharp-eyed journalists at Motherboard immediately noticed that the company's spokesman was last seen fronting for Hacking Team, a disgraced Italian cyber-arms-dealer that provided surveillance weapons to some of the world's cruelest dictators.
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A few weeks ago, the Italian people finally broke the political framework that dates to the end of World War II. The M5S Five Stars Movement, a party without a heritage, won the most popular votes. The M5S has been on a wave of growth since winning mayoral control of some Italian cities.
While bopping around Italy's Abruzzo National Park, zoologist Paolo Forconi witnessed a pack of three young wolves assaulting a garden variety house pooch. While it takes a few nips from the wolves, their young jaws, according to Forconi, weren't able to do much damage. Tthe dog was able to make its escape through a small hole in a fence. Read the rest
As Italy heads into a national election in which mass inequality and food poverty have disrupted Italy's always-shaky political equilibrium, La Republica publishes its analysis (Google Translate) of the Twitter followers associated with each of Italy's political superstars and finds some pretty intense inflation in the numbers.
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Parmigiano Reggiano cheese is a highly valued and tightly controlled commodity. This instructional video shows how to use specialized Parmesan cheese knives to cut the cheese by hand. Read the rest