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ANSA. Sanremo. Reclusive Italian singing legend Mina is to open this year's Sanremo Song Festival with a video tribute to Italian music. ''It won't be a commercial release but a huge tribute to the history of Italian music,'' festival artistic producer and presenter Paolo Bonolis said Monday at a press conference on the February 17-21 event. (Read article)

In "The Journey of the Italians in America," a thick, coffee-table book, Vincenza Scarpaci documents vibrant immigrant communities that flourished in the early 20th century. (Read the Article by Katie Schneider)

ANSA.The Vatican has shelved plans to put up a statue to Galileo Galilei, the Italian astronomer famously forced to recant his discovery that the earth moves around the sun. (Read the article )

Joseph Nicolas Robert-Fleury "Galileo Galilei in front of the Inquisition in the Vatican 1632"

THE SPECTATOR. The number of American visitors to Italy has fallen about 20 percent in the past year, according to tourism agencies. That is a painful slide for a country that saw American tourism shrivel after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in the United States and never fully rebound.
(Read the article )

ANSA. A charity founded by the U2 vocalist Bono is set to inject a dose of Hollywood glamour into the Sanremo Festival (Read the article )

From Boston.com. The state's first Italian-American speaker, who will be replaced by fellow-ethnic Robert A. DeLeo, has a long record of legislative achievements. According to The Boston Globe DeMasi "was instrumental in crafting Massachusetts's healthcare reform legislation, which advocates have hailed as a national model. He also helped kill a 2007 referendum to defeat gay marriage and orchestrated the failure of Governor Deval Patrick’s plan to license three resort casinos." However, the paper continues, DiMasi's long political career

"may ultimately be marred by the ethical questions that triggered multiple investigations and may have prompted his resignation. His friend and former accountant, Richard Vitale, was accused last month by Attorney General Martha Coakley of using his influence with DiMasi to push for a bill that would benefit his client, the Massachusetts Association of Ticket Brokers."

From NowPublic. Just days after Pope Benedict XVI welcomed four controversial priests, excommunicated in the 1980's for denying the Jewish holocaust, back to the Catholic church another priest has made shocking comments about Nazi extermination of the Jews during WWII.

Claiming that the gas chambers existed to "disinfect" and not to kill, Father Floriano Abrahamowicz drummed up controversy and directed more criticism toward the Vatican for reinstating holocaust denier Bishop Richard Williamson and 3 other controversial excommunicated priests.

In this 2006 clip taken from Annozero, an investigative program of the Italian public television RAI, Father Floriano Abrahamowicz tells his followers that a good christian should be prepared to "fight in arms" against Islam. He also shows a book he is reading, the autobiography of Erik Priebke -- a Nazi official who participated in the massacre at the Ardeatine caves in Rome, on March 24, 1944, where 335 Italian civilians were killed in retaliation after a partisan attack had claimed the lives of 33 German SS. He tells the journalist that retaliation is "one of the saddest aspects of war" and that Priebke did that "with regret".

(Read the article by Tina Kerr)

BLACKBOOKMAG. Five-time Oscar winning director, producer, writer, hotelier, pasta-company owner, publisher, restaurateur, and winemaker Francis Ford Coppola on getting wrapped up in the wine business, how Facebook is changing the industry and his new film, out in April, Tetro. (Read the aricle by Marcy MacDonald)

 

AFP. Italy's prince Emmanuel Filiberto of Savoy is entering the fashion business with a clothing line branded "Prince of Italy" and bearing the arms of his royal family, he told the gossip weekly, Di piu. (Read the article)

AFP. With a background in Big Macs and designer handbags, Mario Resca did not seem the obvious choice to become the chief adman for culture in the nation that gave us Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci. (Read the article)

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