Tom Kington
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/ 20 August 2007

Vatican plans airways to heaven

The Vatican may have territorial limits, its own post office and even a football tournament, but it has hitherto lacked what all real states offer: an airline. That will be put right this month as the Vatican launches its first charter flights for pilgrims from Rome to Lourdes, with some of the world’s top religious destinations to follow, including the shrine of Fatima in Portugal and the shrine of the Madonna of Guadalupe in Mexico.

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/ 3 July 2007

Sun, sea and cellulite

Italian women are flocking to the country’s first all-female beach: a short stretch of sand designed to let bathers relax away from prying eyes and football talk. Bathers arriving at beach number 134 on the 80km stretch of beach clubs linking Rimini to Riccione are greeted by a large sign featuring a crossed-out image of a man.

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/ 19 February 2007

Police impound town

Italian police have impounded an entire neighbourhood built illegally on the outskirts of Naples, part of an operation magistrates hope will uproot the mafia wealth hidden behind the day-to-day mob shootings that plague the city. In three raids this month, police sealed off with crime-scene tape 50 new buildings containing more than 300 flats.

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/ 19 January 2007

Malaria returns to Italy

Sandwiched between temperate Europe and African heat, Italy is on the front line of climate change and is witnessing a rise in tropical diseases such as malaria and tick-borne encephalitis, a new report says. Italy was declared free of malaria in 1970, but it is making a comeback, said the Italian environmental organisation Legambiente.