The leader of Italy’s popular populist party, Senator Matteo Salvini, has lost his legal immunity from a criminal investigation and potential trial over his 2019 treatment of a group of migrants. Salvini was accused of abusing his powers last July, when as interior minister he prevented 131 migrants from disembarking an Italian coastguard boat at the port of Catania, Sicily, as he waited for European Union states to agree to take them in.
Two people died and dozens were injured after a high-speed train derailed in Italy’s Lodi province early on Thursday morning, Italian authorities said. The crash happened in the town of Casalpusterlengo, some 30 miles southeast of Milan in the north of the country. The train’s two conductors were killed and 28 people were injured, according to the Italian fire brigade.
Around 54,000 people were evacuated from an Italian city as experts worked to defuse a British Second World War bomb, authorities have said. The evacuation in the southern Italian city of Brindisi on Sunday saw more than 60% of the city’s residents forced to vacate a “red zone” in a radius of 1,617 meters (5,305ft) from where the bomb was found.
Exceptionally high tidal waters returned to Venice on Friday, prompting the mayor to close the iconic St. Mark’s Square and call for donations to repair the Italian lagoon city just three days after it experienced its worst flooding in 50 years. The high tide peaked at 1.54 meters (5 feet) above sea level just before noon on Friday, flooding most of the historic center.
Two people have reportedly died as Venice was hit by its highest tide in more than 50 years, leaving much of the Italian city underwater. The flooding was the second highest in the city’s history, and the mayor blamed climate change. Officials said the tide peaked at 187cm (6.14ft) at 10.50 pm on Tuesday, just short of the 194cm seen in 1966.
Italy’s prime minister resigned on Tuesday after launching a blistering attack on his own interior minister, Matteo Salvini, accusing him of sinking the ruling coalition and endangering the economy for personal and political gain. Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, addressing parliament after it was recalled from its summer recess to decide the future of the 14-month-old government, accused the far-right League party chief Salvini of seeking to cash in on his rising popularity.
Matteo Salvini, Italy’s deputy prime minister and the leader of the far-right League party, has called for a snap election, urging the prime minister to reconvene parliament to confirm that the coalition government is no longer viable. The dramatic move on Thursday came after months of fighting between the League and its coalition partners, the anti-establishement Five Star Movement (M5S).
Anti-terrorism police in northern Italy have seized an air-to-air missile and other sophisticated weapons during raids on far-right extremist groups. Three people were arrested, two of them near Forli airport. Neo-Nazi propaganda was also seized. A police statement said the arrests were part of an investigation, started about a year ago, into far-right groups “who have fought in Ukraine’s Donbass region against the separatists”.
Pressure has mounted on Italy after the UN and the European Commission called on Rome to end its stand-off with a migrant rescue boat. The Sea-Watch 3 reached the Italian island of Lampedusa on Wednesday with 42 rescued migrants. But charity Sea-Watch says authorities have prevented it from docking and no other country has come forward to help. It comes as Italy’s ruling parties attempt to clamp down on migrant rescue boats entering Italian waters.
The remains of Genoa’s Morandi Bridge were blown up in a controlled explosion on Friday, nearly a year after the structure collapsed in a disaster that killed 43 people. 4,000 people were evacuated from their homes to clear the area, AFP reported, and explosives were attached to the legs and body of the bridge, which went down in about seven seconds in a flurry of smoke.