Italy team's plane hit by lightning

Plane-LightningRome, March 21: Italy's national football team survived a scare when its plane was hit by lightning Thursday.

A bolt of lightning struck when the plane was landing at Geneva airport. Fortunately there were no injuries nor serious damage to the plane, which was able to land safely, but the passengers were clearly shaken by the incident, reports Xinhua.

Italy will take on Brazil in a friendly in Geneva Thursday night. (IANS)

Conte one of the best coaches in Europe: Buffon

Gianluigi-Buffon.Rome, March 20 : Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon feels their head coach Antonio Conte is one of the best coaches in Europe.

Conte has guided the Turin outfit to Serie A title last season, and has every possibility of repeating it this season. His team also reached the final eight of the Champions League, where they will face Bayern Munich.

Buffon insisted that the 43-year-old will have the team in superb shape as they prepare to face the German club, Xinhua reports.

Napoli's Cavani priced at 60 million pounds

Edinson-CavaniRome, March 19 : Napoli striker Edinson Cavani has been priced at 60 million pounds by the Naples foobtall club.

The 26-year-old Uruguay international, who scored 29 goals in 35 games for Napoli, has become one of the most sought-after players in Europe, Xinhua reports.

He has been linked with Manchester City, Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain, but Napoli club president De Laurentiis has warned any potential suitors that Cavani will not come cheap.

"We included a very high buy-out clause in his contract as we want him to stay," he said.

Anelka targets two trophies with Juventu

Nicolas-AnelkaRome, March 19 : Former French international Nicolas Anelka hopes he could end the season with the Italian league title (Scudetto) and the Champions League trophy with Juventus.

The former Chelsea striker joined the Turin giants in January and is hungry for honours, reports Xinhua.

"I'd like to end my career here as that would mean that I have done well in this experience," he said.

"But what I would really like is to do the double of winning the championship and the European Cup.

Bolt to run 100 metres in Rome

Usain-BoltRome, March 19 : Jamaican sprint star Usain Bolt will run the 100 metres at Rome's Golden Gala in June, organisers announced Tuesday.

The six-time Olympic champion will race June 6 in the opening European meet of this year's Diamond League.

Bolt has also committed to run the 200m in Oslo, Norway, June 13; the 4x100m relay in the Czech city of Ostrava June 27; and the 200m again in Paris July 6, as part of his preparations for the World Championships.

The world championships will take place Aug 10-18 in Moscow.(IANS)

Pope Francis explains choice of name

Pope Francis explains choice of nameVatican City, March 17 : The newly elected pope has explained what inspired him to pick the name Francis, which has never been used in papal history before.

Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires, who was elected the 266th Pope, said during an audience with journalists that Brazilian Cardinal Claudio Hummes had told him not to forget the poor when the conclave voted in his favour.

"He (Hummes) hugged me. He kissed me. He said don't forget about the poor. And that's how in my heart came the name Francis of Assisi," the Pope said.

One mn people expected for Francis's inauguration mass

One mn people expected for Francis's inauguration massRome, March 16 - Over a million people are expected in Rome for the enthronement of Pope Francis next week, the Italian capital's top government representative said.

"We are taking measures to accommodate over a million people next Tuesday (March 19) for Pope Francis's enthronement," said Giuseppe Pecoraro, the prefect of Rome.

March 19 is the day when Catholics celebrate the Feast of St. Joseph to honour Jesus's father on earth, the carpenter Joseph. It is also Father's Day in Italy.

Mass for inauguration of Pope Francis March 19

Mass for inauguration of Pope Francis March 19Rome, March 15 - The Mass for the inauguration of new Pope Francis will be held March 19, Vatican spokesman Rev. Federico Lombardi said.

Lombardi said, "the Mass for the inauguration of the Petrine Ministry will be held March 19th, the feast of St. Joseph, at 09.30 Rome time", the Vatican Today news website reported.

Argentina's Jorge Mario Bergoglio, 76, known as "Padre Jorge" among his faithful in Buenos Aires, was elected by cardinals from across the world as the new, 266th, head of the Roman Catholic Church.

Italian police seize 33kg cocaine

Italian police seize 33kg cocaineRome, March 12 - Thirty three kilograms of cocaine was seized at the port of an Italian town Monday, Xinhua reported.

According to ANSA, the drugs worth about five million euros was hidden in a container on a motor vessel, supposed to carry fruit from Colombia to Spain.

With the aid of a digital scanner and canine unit, police discovered the narcotics subdivided in 30 cellophane-wrapped cakes of about one kilogram each. (IANS)

World food prices stable

FAORome, March 8 : World food prices remained mostly unchanged in February compared to January, though a rise in rice prices was offset by drops in prices of other key cereals, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said in its monthly report.

The overall index averaged 210 points in February, the same as in January, and reflecting trading in a small band between 210 and 212 points since November, reported Xinhua.

The four-month period with stable prices is in contrast to a long period with price volatility earlier last year.

Parish priest sets ablaze Benedict XVI's photo

Pope-Benedict-XVIRome, March 5 : A parish priest near the Italian port city of Genoa stunned members of his congregation when he held up a photo of emeritus pope Benedict XVI and set it alight during Sunday mass, a media report said.

Andrea Maggi said he did not regret his behaviour, Italian daily Repubblica reported.

He likened Benedict to Francesco Schettino, the Italian captain who abandoned his sinking cruiseliner off the Tuscany coast in January last year, after allegedly causing the shipwreck in which 32 people died.

New holography device could aid fire-fighters

firefightersRome, Feb 27 : A cutting-edge imaging technique will help fire-fighters see through flames, and thus locate and rescue people trapped at the spot, say scientists.

Called infrared digital (IR) holography, the device addresses the biggest challenge that fire-fighters face -- seeing through thick columns of smoke and walls of flame to find people who need immediate rescue.

Holography is a means of producing a 3-D image in such conditions.

Gucci's fall-winter collection is all about sensuality

Gucci's fall-winter collection is all about sensualityRome, Feb 22 : Italian fashion house Gucci unveiled a collection at Milan Fashion Week that evokes romance and feminine sensuality using silk, patterns and dark tones.

The legendary fashion house's long dresses, combined with bare backs, will be out for the next fall-winter season.

The collection is aimed at women with refined tastes who want to make a statement wearing military-style boots with high heels that accent their femininity.

ESA’s satellite spots Arctic sea-ice loss

Arctic-sea-ice-lossRome, Feb 13 : An international team of scientists has discovered that Arctic sea ice volume has decreased by 36 percent during autumn and 9 percent during winter between 2003 and 2012.

Satellite records showed a constant downward trend in the area covered by Arctic sea ice during all seasons, in particular in summers.

The past 6 years have seen the lowest summer ice extent in the past 30 years, reaching the lowest last September at about 3.61 million sq km European Space Agency reported.

Malesani new coach of Palermo

Alberto-MalesaniRome, Feb 6 : Alberto Malesani has been officially appointed as the new head football coach of Palermo following the sacking of Gian Piero Gasperini.

The former Inter boss was relieved of his duties at the Rosanero after the club's 1-2 loss to Atalanta left them bottom of Serie A, reports Xinhua.

And the Sicilian side finally confirmed Tuesday that the 58-year-old Malesani will become their third coach of the campaign.

Fiat's merger with Chrysler expected in 2014: CEO

Fiat's merger with Chrysler expected in 2014: CEORome, Feb 4 - Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne has said that he expects to
complete the merger of the Italian carmaker with its US partner
Chrysler in 2014.

"We will succeed in doing it," Marchionne said in an interview Sunday with the chief editor of La Repubblica national newspaper.

"With Veba (the United Auto Workers union retiree health benefits fund,
a Chrysler shareholder) we have different opinions on the value of
Chrysler but will solve the problem in 2014," he added.

Balotelli to leave Manchester City for AC Milan

Balotelli to leave Manchester City for AC MilanRome, Jan 30 : Manchester City and AC Milan reached an agreement that will send Italian international Mario Balotelli home to play for the Rossoneri, the acquiring club said Tuesday.

"Transfer agreement for Balotelli signed with Manchester City. Medicals tomorrow in Milan, then personal terms until 2017," club director Umberto Gandini said on Twitter.

AC Milan will pay a transfer fee of 20 million euros ($26.92 million) to Man City, where the talented but volatile Balotelli was supposed to play through 2015, Italian media said.

Buffon signs extension with Juventus

Buffon signs extension with JuventusRome, Jan 24 : Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon has signed a contract extension with Juventus till 2015.

The deal was a compromise after Buffon, 34, had sought a 12-month extension whereas the club was after a three-year contract, the Turin club announced Wednesday.

"I would have turned down any offers from other clubs anyway," Buffon said.

Delneri sacked by Genoa

Delneri sacked by GenoaRome, Jan 21:Gigi Delneri has been sacked as coach of Genoa after his side lost 0-2 to fellow strugglers Cagliari in the Italian football league Serie A at home.

Since his appointment in October, Delneri, 62, has led Genoa to a poor run, just two wins in his 13 matches in charge. Their loss to Cagliari Sunday, their ninth loss under his guidance, left them three points above the relegation zone, reports Xinhua.

Davide Ballardini has been appointed as Delneri's replacement, to be the fourth coach at the club since the end of last season following the earlier sackings of Alberto Malesani and Luigi Di Canio. (IANS)

Inter beat Bologna in extra time

/inter-milan-vs-bolognaRome, Jan 16 : Inter Milan scored a last-gasp winner in extra time to beat Bologna 3-2 and reach the semifinals of Coppa Italia football tournament.

Inter defender Andrea Ranocchia headed in the decisive goal seconds before the end of extra time to give the Italian giants a narrow win Tuesday, reports Xinhua.

Fredy Guarin put Inter 1-0 ahead in the 34th minute, and Rodrigo Palacio doubled their lead in the 78th minute.

But Bologna refused to give in and battled back to regain parity through Alessandro Diamanti and Alberto Gilardino in the dying minutes of the second half.

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