Italy's 5-Stars in chaos as Di Maio splits, forms new group
Italy Politics FILE - Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio delivers his speech during a ceremony to present the next Winter Olympics Milano Cortina 2026 to the Italian institutions at the Foreign Minister headquarters in Rome, Wednesday, June 8, 2022. Italy’s political landscape shifted Wednesday, June 22, 2022 after Di Maio formalized his departure from the 5-Star Movement, splitting with the movement he helped found over its Ukraine policy. Di Maio announced his departure after Premier Mario Draghi briefed the Senate on Italy’s continued commitment to helping Ukraine defend itself against Russia. The earthquake within the 5-Stars capped weeks of tensions in the movement fueled by differences over Italy’s Ukraine policy. “We had to decide which side of history to be on,” Di Maio told a late-night news conference.wftv.com
Live updates | Italy summons Russia ambassador over comments
(Ukrainian Presidential Press Office via AP) (Uncredited)ROME — Russia’s ambassador in Rome has been summoned to the Italian foreign ministry, following anti-Italy remarks by Russian government officials. The foreign ministry said in a statement on Monday that Ambassador Sergey Razov was summoned on instructions on Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio and “in concert” with the office of Italian Premier Mario Draghi. Last month, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov derided Di Maio’s peace plan, which had been relayed to the United Nations. The foreign ministry statement said Secretary General Ettore Francesco Sequi “firmly rejects accusations of amorality” aimed at some heads of Italian institutions and media. The fight in Ukraine is about honoring these veterans of World War II,” he said.wftv.com
G7 warns Russia of 'massive' consequences if Ukraine invaded
G7 Foreign Ministers G7 Foreign and Development Ministers pose for a group photo in Liverpool, England Sunday, Dec. 12, 2021. Russia should be in no doubt that further military aggression against Ukraine would have massive consequences and severe cost in response,” the statement said. Russia’s movement of weapons and troops to the border region dominated weekend talks among foreign ministers from the G-7 wealthy democracies in the English city of Liverpool. Moscow denies having any plans to attack Ukraine and accuses Kyiv of its own allegedly aggressive designs. Germany plans on getting gas from Russia soon through the contentious Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which bypasses Ukraine.wftv.com
The Latest: Last Italian flight with Afghan refugees arrives
Albania Afghanistan Afghan evacuees from Afghanistan sit in a bus after the arrival of the second flight with 95 passengers at the International Airport in Tirana, Albania, Friday, Aug. 27, 2021. (AP Photo/Franc Zhurda) (Franc Zhurda)ROME — Italy’s final evacuation flight of refugees from Afghanistan has landed at Rome’s Leonardo da Vinci airport. The Italian Air Force C-130J with 58 Afghan citizens aboard arrived Saturday morning, some 17 hours after it departed from the Kabul airport and after a planned stopover. Also aboard were Italy’s consul and a NATO diplomat who had coordinated evacuations at the Kabul airport. That air force flight went to Kuwait and the troops are due back in Italy early next week.wftv.com
The Latest: US strikes at IS in retaliation for bombing
The United States military has struck back at the Islamic State, bombing an IS member in Afghanistan less than 48 hours after a devastating suicide bombing claimed by the group killed as many as 169 Afghans and 13 American service members at the Kabul airport.
US hits 17 nations for not combating human trafficking
(AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia) (Gregorio Borgia)WASHINGTON — (AP) — The Biden administration on Thursday designated 17 countries as not doing enough to combat human trafficking and warned them of potential U.S. sanctions. The administration also called out several U.S. allies and friends, including Israel, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal and Turkey, for backsliding in their efforts. The designations came in the State Department’s annual “Trafficking in Persons” report, which cited the coronavirus pandemic as a cause for a surge in human slavery between 2020 and 2021. The report covering 188 nations and territories said the outbreak had put millions more people at risk for exploitation and distracted some governments from efforts to stem human trafficking.. Meanwhile, six valued U.S. partners and friends — Cyprus, Israel, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal and Switzerland — were downgraded from the top Tier 1 category to Tier 2.wftv.com
G-20 talks in Italy yields pledge to fight hunger in Africa
But there were also notes of discord, with Germany and China taking jabs at each other over vaccine policy for developing countries. Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio, who hosted the meeting, said the nations have a duty to battle hunger in Africa, arguing that assistance projects will also impact migration from the continent to Europe. “The G-20 has the duty to sustain Africa in emerging from a difficult period,” Di Maio told a closing news conference. The Italian minister announced that Italy would host a conference in October in Rome focused on Africa, which has “enormous possibility of growth.'' Some in the West believe China and Russia have been supplying their vaccines to poorer countries in order to bolster their power.wftv.com
Pandemic points to need to work together as Italy hosts G-20
Italy US Blinken Italy's Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio arrives at a G20 foreign ministers meeting in Matera, Italy, Tuesday, June 29, 2021. Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio cited both as areas where it’s imperative that countries pull together. He opened the gathering, attended by foreign ministers and development ministers from the Group of 20. “In an interconnected world, multilateralism and international cooperation are the only effective instruments in facing global challenges," Di Maio said. For Di Maio, “2021 is a crucial year to relaunch international cooperation,” on climate change.wftv.com
Pandemic points to need to work together as Italy hosts G-20
With the pandemic providing painful lessons on how interconnected the world is, ministers from nations accounting for more than half the world’s population were meeting in Italy on Tuesday to explore how to better cooperate, including on vaccines and climate change efforts. Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio cited both as areas where it’s imperative that countries pull together. “In an interconnected world, multilateralism and international cooperation are the only effective instruments in facing global challenges," Di Maio said.news.yahoo.com
US warns that Islamic State extremists still a world threat
US Italy Blinken Secretary of State Antony Blinken, accompanied by Italy's Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio, speaks during a news conference at Fiera Roma in Rome, Monday, June 28, 2021. Blinken and Di Maio urged representatives of the 77 other countries and five organizations that make up the coalition not to drop their guard. “We must step up the action taken by the coalition, increasing the areas in which we can operate,” said Di Maio. He called for the coalition to create a special mechanism to deal with the threat in Africa. Blinken also announced sanctions against Ousmane Illiassou Djibo, a native of Niger, who is a key leader of the Islamic State affiliate in the greater Sahara.wftv.com
US warns that Islamic State extremists still a world threat
US Italy Blinken Secretary of State Antony Blinken, accompanied by Italy's Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio, speaks during a news conference at Fiera Roma in Rome, Monday, June 28, 2021. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio co-chaired the gathering of senior officials from the seven-year-old, 83-member bloc. Blinken and Di Maio urged representatives of the 77 other countries and five organizations that make up the coalition not to drop their guard. “We must step up the action taken by the coalition, increasing the areas in which we can operate,” said Di Maio. He called for the coalition to create a special mechanism to deal with the threat in Africa.wftv.com
Nations chart future steps against Islamic State extremists
(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, Pool) (Andrew Harnik)ROME — (AP) — As the U.S. works on its military withdrawal from Afghanistan, members of the global coalition fighting the Islamic State group met Monday to plot future steps against the extremist group. The meeting came just a day after the U.S. launched airstrikes against Iran-backed militias near the Iraq-Syria border. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio were co-chairing the gathering of senior officials from the seven-year-old, 83-member bloc. “Daesh can still be a threat and attract support,” Di Maio said, referring the Islamic State by its Arabic acronym. “It just can’t persist indefinitely.”He also announced sanctions against Ousmane Illiassou Djibo, a native of Niger, who is a key leader of the Islamic State affiliate in the greater Sahara.wftv.com
Libyan official says EU help needed to tackle migrant route
Securing Libya's southern borders is a priority for the country's transitional government as it aims to stem the flow of illegal migrants setting off from its shores, Libya’s interim foreign minister said Friday. Najla al-Manqoush made the statements in a press conference following meetings with Foreign Minister of Italy Luigi Di Maio, his Maltese counterpart Evarist Bartolo and European Commissioner for Neighborhood and Enlargement Oliver Varhelyi who visited the country Friday, along with Libya’s Prime Minister Abdul Hamid Dbeibah.news.yahoo.com
UNHCR appeals to Italy not to impede migrants rescue boats
The head of the U.N. refugee agency says he has urged Italy not to unnecessarily impede NGOs that operate migrant rescue ships in the central Mediterranean, as warmer weather is expected to bring the usual seasonal uptick in the departure of smugglers’ boats from Libya.
In Italy spy story, Navy captain struggled with mortgage
A view of the Russian Embassy in Rome, Wednesday, March 31, 2021. Italy has ordered two Russian Embassy officials expelled and arrested an Italian Navy captain on spying charges after police caught the Italian allegedly giving classified documents to one of the Russians in exchange for money. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)ROME – Italy’s spy thriller took a decidedly mundane turn Thursday with indications that the Italian Navy captain accused of passing classified documents to Russia was desperate for extra money to pay his mortgage and support his four children. Walter Biot, an Italian Navy frigate captain most recently assigned to a policy position at the Defense Ministry, was being held at Rome’s Regina Coeli prison. He voiced concern that if his father receives a dishonorable discharge from the Navy, the family would face even more devastating financial problems.
Italy orders 2 Russian Embassy officials expelled for spying
A view of the Russian Embassy in Rome, Wednesday, March 31, 2021. Italy has ordered two Russian Embassy officials expelled and arrested an Italian Navy captain on spying charges after police caught the Italian allegedly giving classified documents to one of the Russians in exchange for money. The Russian observed with him, a member of the Russian armed forces stationed at the Russian Embassy in Italy, was initially detained but not immediately placed under arrest given his diplomatic status. AdHe was ordered expelled along with another Russian Embassy official allegedly involved, Di Maio told lawmakers. The Russian Embassy in Rome confirmed the detention of a diplomat who belonged to the military attache’s office but wouldn’t comment on the incident.
EU top diplomats in Libya to support interim authorities
German foreign Minister Heiko Maas speaks in Tripoli, Libya, Thursday, March 25, 2021. The European foreign ministers also called on mercenaries and foreign fighters to leave the country immediately. Ad“This (withdrawal) is indispensable so that Libya can regain its sovereignty and security,” said France’s Foreign Affairs Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian. “We have talked about the tasks ahead and about how we can concretely support (Libya) where there is a wish for it,” said Germany's Foreign Minister Heiko Maas. EU top diplomats also stressed the need to reopen the country's Mediterranean coastal road linking the east and the west.
US sanctions 24 China and Hong Kong officials ahead of talks
The U.S. sanctioned an additional 24 Chinese and Hong Kong officials over Beijing's ongoing crackdown on political freedoms in the semi-autonomous city, including a decision to overhaul Hong Kong's electoral system. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)HONG KONG – The U.S. sanctioned an additional 24 Chinese and Hong Kong officials over Beijing’s ongoing crackdown on political freedoms in the semi-autonomous city, just ahead of the Biden administration's first face-to-face talks with China. The planned changes to Hong Kong's electoral law give a pro-Beijing committee power to appoint more of Hong Kong’s lawmakers. Last June, Beijing imposed a sweeping national security law on the city and Hong Kong authorities have arrested most of the prominent pro-democracy supporters and outspoken critics. Starting last October, the U.S. had already sanctioned 10 officials including Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam and Deputy Director of the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office Zhang Xiaoming.
Italy presses UN for answers on envoy's slaying in Congo
The trip was undertaken at the U.N.’s invitation, according to Di Maio. The Italian embassy in Kinshasha, Di Maio noted, has two armored vehicles at the ambassador's disposal for moving around the city and the country. But for Monday's mission, to visit a WFP school food project in Rutshuri in eastern Congo, Attanasio was traveling in U.N. vehicles. Only hours earlier, Di Maio, flanked by Premier Mario Draghi, met the arrival of the bodies of the two Italians at a Rome military airport. Italy will reinforce its commitments to aid Africa, Di Maio said, calling that the “best way to honor the memory″ of the two slain Italians.
Congo, Italy, UN probe ambassador's killing amid questions
An Italian Carabinieri unit is expected in Congo Tuesday to investigate the killings of the Italian ambassador to Congo, an Italian Carabinieri police officer and their driver in the country's east. In the specific area of the attack, several armed groups are active including the FDLR, the Nyatura militia and remnants of the former M23 rebels. AdIt’s unusual for a top diplomat to be targeted in eastern Congo, but attacks have been rising, Pierre Boisselet, coordinator of the Kivu Security Tracker, said. “Usually violence by armed groups targets civilians,” or civilians are hurt amid clashes between armed groups and the army. More than 2,000 civilians were killed last year in eastern Congo provinces by armed rebel groups, according to U.N. reports last week.
‘Welcome back America!’ World celebrates Biden-Harris win
World leaders congratulated U.S. President-elect Joe Biden on his victory, cheering it as an opportunity to fortify global democracy and celebrating the significance of Americans having their first female vice president. Other leaders who sent congratulations included German Chancellor Angela Merkel, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi. Prime Minister Janez Jansa was the only world leader who congratulated Trump even before all the votes were counted, and showed support after Biden’s win was announced. His rival, Juan Guaido, also thanked Trump and Vice President Mike Pence for their “firmness and determination” in confronting Maduro. Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, who struck up a cordial working relationship with Trump, also avoided congratulating Joe Biden.
Turkey says will work with Italy for Libya peace, slams EU
Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, right, and Italy's Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio say goodbye by using their elbows after their joint press conference, in Ankara, Turkey, Friday, June 19, 2020. Turkey says the EUs naval operation dubbed Irini is focusing its efforts on the Tripoli-based administration and not enough on Hifters forces who launched an offensive in April 2019 to capture the capital. We will continue to work with Italy for a last peace and a solution-oriented political process, Cavusoglu told reporters, praising Italy for what he described as its balanced stance on Libya. He maintained that the operation ignores alleged constant arms transfers to Hifter by France.Cavusoglus comments come amid growing tensions between Turkey and France over Libya. He also defended the EU naval operation, describing it as balanced.The aim is to control the arrival of all armaments, Di Maio said.
Greece, Italy sign deal on demarcating maritime boundaries
Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias, right, and his Italian counterpart Luigi Di Maio asign an agreement following their meeting , in Athens, on Tuesday, June 9, 2020. Greece will lift all restrictions on Italian tourists entering the country gradually between June 15 and the end of the month, Greece's foreign minister said Tuesday. (Costas Baltas /Pool via AP)ATHENS ATHENS, GreeceGreece and Italy signed an agreement Tuesday demarcating their maritime boundaries, amid tension in the Mediterranean region over rights to natural resources. Greece and Cyprus in particular have been locked in a tense diplomatic standoff with Turkey over drilling rights at sea. Last November, Turkey signed a maritime boundary agreement with Libyas UN-backed government that was strongly opposed and considered illegal by Greece, Egypt and Cyprus.
'We need to stop the panic': Italy's prime minister calls for calm as virus spikes
NurPhotoItaly's prime minister has called for calm as the coronavirus spreads to other parts of the country, while lockdowns, closures and "fake news" provokes panic among the public. Italian media said that Lombardy had reported its first cases among minors, with four children infected with the virus. "It's time to turn down the tone, we need to stop panic," he said, according to Italian newspaper La Repubblica. Italian Health Minister Roberto Speranza and European Commissioner for Health, Stella Kyriakides, met in Rome Wednesday to discuss the outbreak. The extraordinary commissioner to Coronavirus emergency Angelo Borrelli with Italy's Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte arrive at the Civil Protection headquarters, for an emergency meeting on Coronavirus infections on February 23, 2020 in Rome, Italy.cnbc.com