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THE INQUIRER. Italian investigators have charged Google's global privacy counsel Peter Fleischer and three other Google executives with defamation and failure to exercise control over personal data. (Read the article by Ncik Farrell)

REUTERS. From do-it-yourself culinary websites to specialist shops, a growing number of Italians are catering to the growing taste for the miniature decorated sponge cakes popular in Britain and the United States. (Read the article by Eliza Apperly )

Guardian. Britain is facing the threat of a co-ordinated nationwide strike which could hit energy supplies later this week as the dispute over the employment of Portuguese and Italian workers escalates.
Gordon Brown has no regrets over using the phrase "British jobs for British workers".  (Read the article by Deborah Summers)

AAP. "Euthanasia is a false response to the drama of suffering, a solution unworthy of man". Pope Benedict XVI on Sunday rejected euthanasia as a "false" answer to suffering, saying those in pain should instead be helped to confront it. (Read the article)

Economictimes.indiatimes.com. NETTUNO, ROME. An Indian immigrant was beaten and set on fire Sunday near Rome. Police are investigating whether the incident was an anti-immigrant attack, but had not ruled out a robbery motive.   Hospitalised in a serious condition, the 35-year-old homeless man was sleeping in Nettuno train station south of Rome when several people beat him brutally before setting him on fire with a container of petrol, police told ANSA news agency.  (Read the article)

The Times. The drive to make Italians eat Italian  began in the town of Lucca this week, where the centre Right council banned any new ethnic food outlets from opening within the ancient city walls. Yesterday it spread to Lombardy and its regional capital, Milan, which is also run by the centre Right. The antiimmigrant Northern League party brought in the restrictions “to protect local specialities from the growing popularity of ethnic cuisines”.

Luca Zaia, the Minister of Agriculture and a member of the Northern League from the Veneto region, said: "We stand for tradition and the safeguarding of our culture. (...) I never ate Kebab.  I prefer the dishes of my native Veneto. I even refuse to eat pineapple." Massimo di Grazia, the city of Lucca spokeman, echoed him: "The ban intends to improve the image of the city and to protect Tuscan products. It targets McDonald’s as much as kebab restaurants". La Stampa, an Italian daily newspaper, defined the measure "a new Lombard Crusade against Saracens". Now imagine if the American government decided to "protect" US products and cuisine. Imagine NYC without "ethnic" Italian restaurants. (Read the article by Richard Owen)

Securitymanagement.com. The global recession may have hit Europe hard, but there's still one business that's thriving in these lean economic times: Italy's organized crime syndicates.

The Italian mafia's revenue for 2008 jumped 40 percent, reports Bloomberg.com. Sales increased to 130 billion euros ($167 billion), up from 90 billion euros in 2007, according to figures supplied by Eurispes and SOS Impresa, an association of businessmen to protest against extortion. (Read the article by Matthew Harwood)

Reuters. "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" (a film by David Fincher film featuring Brad Pitt iand nominated for 13 Oscars) got a little stranger Friday after an attorney representing Adriana Pichini, an Italian office worker, filed legal papers alleging that the screenplay was based on a story she wrote in 1994. Pichini said the film seems to be based on a story she wrote 15 years ago called "Il ritorno di Arthur all'innocenza" (Arthur's Return to Innocence). ... The story was officially registered with the proper Italian copyright authorities in 1994 and even sent to publishers in the U.S., but was never published.

(Read the Article by Eric J. Lyman)

ANSA. Venice. A new 'restaurant for pilgrims' is driving Venice prices down by offering cheap, quality lunches to visitors to St Mark's Basilica. The eatery, which advertises three-course lunches for a tidy 13 euros ($17), has yet to open but has already caused a flutter around the famously pricey square. (Read the article)

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)

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