UN: Pandemic could push tens of millions into chronic hunger

ROME (AP) — The United Nations says the ranks of the world’s hungry grew by 10 million last year and warns that the coronavirus pandemic could push as many as 130 million more people into chronic hunger this year.

The grim assessment was contained in the latest edition of the State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World, an annual report released Monday by the five U.N. agencies that produced it.

Italy: World hits coronavirus milestones amid fears worse to come

ROME (AP) — The world surpassed two sobering coronavirus milestones Sunday -- 500,000 confirmed deaths, 10 million confirmed cases -- and hit another high mark for daily new infections as governments that attempted reopenings continued to backtrack and warn that worse news could be yet to come.

“COVID-19 has taken a very swift and very dangerous turn in Texas over just the past few weeks,” said Gov. Greg Abbott, who allowed businesses to start reopening in early May but on Friday shut down bars and limited restaurant dining amid a spike in cases.

Pope moves against Polish bishop accused of hiding predators

Rome, Jun 26 (AP/PTI) Pope Francis has ordered a Polish bishop to leave his central diocese and let someone else run it while he is under investigation for covering up cases of sexual abuse that were featured in a second clergy abuse documentary that has rocked Poland's Catholic Church.

Francis on Thursday named the archbishop of Lodz, Grzegorz Rys, to temporarily take over as head of the Kalisz diocese.

Italy, China Rice Export Deal Seen As Sign Of Strengthening Ties

ROME, June 20 (NNN-XINHUA) – A deal for Italy to export two kinds of special rice to China is seen as a sign of continued strengthening of ties between the two countries, as it does about the popularity of Italian rice-based cuisine.

Italy’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, announced recently that, the two countries finalised a deal that will allow Italy to export Arborio and Carnaroli rice to China. The agreement is one of the latest commercial deals between the two countries.

Italy, EU partners sign contract to pre-buy up to 400-mln doses of COVID-19 vaccine

ROME, June 15 (Xinhua) -- Italy, along with some European partners, signed a contract with AstraZeneca pharmaceutical company for buying up to 400 million doses of a potential coronavirus vaccine, a top health official confirmed on Monday.

The contract with the British-Swedish pharmaceutical followed a deal agreed between Italy, Germany, France, and the Netherlands in the previous days in order to ensure the availability of the vaccine in the European markets, once ready.

Pope Francis appeals for end to Libyan civil war

VATICAN CITY, June 15 (NNN-AGENCIES) — Head of the Roman Catholic church, Pope Francis appealed for an end to the civil war taking place in Libya.

Warring factions continue to battle for control of the country since the overthrow and death of former leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

Pope Francis appealed to both warring sides to seek peace and end the fighting that has led to the death of many and displaced thousands.

The Pope was speaking at the St. Peter’s Square, where he took special interest in the Libyan crisis.

COVID-19 cases down as Italian PM opens high-profile dialogue on economic relaunch

ROME, June 13 (Xinhua) -- Italy recorded 346 new cases of infection from the novel coronavirus in a 24-hour period, but total active infections decreased to 27,485, down from 28,997 a day ago, officials said Saturday.

This came 10 days after the last remaining restrictions under a nationwide lockdown were lifted and Italians were again free to travel within their own country, beginning on June 3. It also came one day after total active infections dipped below the 30,000 mark for the first time since March.

Italy PM presses on with much-maligned economic pow-wow

13 June 2020; AFP: EU leaders are set to join Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte on Saturday for talks on jumpstarting the nation's economy, but opposition figures shunned the hastily organised -- and roundly criticised -- initiative.

Despite a bevy of A-list political speakers, Italians such as far-right leader Matteo Salvini planned to sit out Conte's conference, casting it as a media stunt designed to boost the premier's profile.

Italy lifts national and European travel ban as pandemic slows down

ROME, June 3 (Xinhua) -- People in Italy will be allowed to move freely within the country from Wednesday and the travel restrictions were also eased the same day with travelers from European Union (EU) and Schengen countries, as well as the United Kingdom, Andorra and Monaco being allowed to visit the country without subjecting to quarantine.

"A month from May 4, when we reopened our manufacturing and construction sectors, we can say the numbers are encouraging," Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said in a nationally televised press conference on Wednesday evening.

Europe-Based Airlines Start To Resume Services As Countries Try To Revive Tourism

ROME/BRUSSLES, June 3 (NNN-AGENCIES) – Europe-based airlines are starting to resume services step by step, as countries try to revive tourism, as a way to bring their economies, battered hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, back to life.

Alitalia, Italy’s flagship airline, formally launched long-haul flight from Rome to New York on Tuesday (yesterday), a day before the country opens its borders to other Schengen countries. The eight-hour flight will run twice a week.

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