Today in History:
Today in Science and Inventions:
The number of Italian beaches to be awarded the prestigious Blue Flag award for clean water and pristine sands has risen this year, the international Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) said. Italian seaside resorts awarded with a Blue Flag in 2013 were 135, four more than last year, for a total of 248 top beaches.
Some 86% of last year's Blue Flag beaches were confirmed this year while nine new entries included resorts in Carrara, Tuscany, Francavilla al mare in Abruzzo and a lake beach resort in Levico Terme, in the northeastern Trentino-Alto Adige region. The northwest coastal region of Liguria has the cleanest beaches in Italy, 20, two more than last year, followed by the central Marche region with 18 and Tuscany with 17, one more than last year.
Among Italian islands, Sardinia, known worldwide for its crystalline waters and luxury Emerald Coast resorts, received an added Blue Flag for a total of seven while Sicily lost one, for a total of four Blue Flag beaches.
Blue Flag looks at sustainable development employing strict criteria on water quality, environmental education and management, safety and services. Blue Flag has worked with the United Nations' Environment Programme and analysed beaches and marinas worldwide since 1987 to monitor quality and cleanliness.
Death of a Soloist
An Italian bank robber dubbed 'the machine-gun soloist' because he kept his gun in his violin case died in Milan. Luciano Lutring, 75, carried out a string of bank robberies in the 1960 and '70s and became a hero to some because of his daring and glamorous lifestyle.
He was arrested in Paris in 1965 and served 12 years of a 22-year-sentence, becoming an acclaimed painter and corresponding with future Italian president Sandro Pertini before France pardoned him. The pardon was confirmed by Italian president Giovanni Leone in 1977, allowing Lutring to return to his native Milan and carry on painting and writing.
Alain Delon played him in a film based on his autobiography, 'Lo Zingaro' (The Gypsy).
Police arrested four Italian members of the international 'hacktivist' network Anonymous for allegedly hacking into computer systems of the government, parliament and the Vatican. The four also allegedly got into the systems of key infrastructure and major firms but police have not yet said what damage they did.
Raids were carried out "across Italy", police said. "The group carried out a series of attacks against the computer systems of critical infrastructure, institutional sites and important companies". Police also said the four were a 43-year-old man from near Lecce, in southern Italy, a 20-year-old from Bologna, in central Italy, a 28-year-old from the province of Venice and a 25-year-old from the province of Turin.
"They acted under the cover of Anonymous", police said. Anonymous, a digital activism umbrella group linked to numerous high-profile cyber attacks worldwide, has stepped up a campaign in Italy over the last two years. In April hackers from the group brought down the home pages of the Italian interior ministry, the police and the Carabinieri. Hackers under the same moniker successfully took down the Vatican home page twice in March.
The cell was accused of carrying out attacks on the Italian Senate, House and central government, as well as targeting other Italian organizations such as AGCOM, the national communications regulatory body; energy giants ENEL and ENI; state broadcaster RAI; and Mediaset, the country's largest commercial broadcaster, owned by Premier Silvio Berlusconi.
Anonymous came to world prominence in December 2010 when thousands of supporters downloaded its attack software to defend WikiLeaks, the whistle-blowing website founded by Julian Assange.
Support this site, tell a friend !
Established in 2004 - Suggested browser: Firefox, 1024 x 768
Italian Audio Books
Make Your Wish
In Italy with Joy
A View from Heaven
last update May 23
Saint of the day:
A New Career