HOST NATION NEWS

* The U.S. Army Garrison Italy Public Affairs Office provides this courtesy summary and translations of local news to our community for situational awareness. The views expressed in this news summary are of Italian news organizations and do not reflect the official viewpoint of USAG Italy or the U.S. military.

COVID-19 NEWS

16 JUNE 2021 |  Giornale di Vicenza and Corriere della Sera

Media report that 1,255 new coronavirus cases were registered in the last 24 hours (they were +903 Monday), with 63 more victims (they were +36 on the previous day).  Sicily is the region with the highest number of new cases (+200), followed by Lombardy (+182), Puglia (+169), Campania (+136), and Lazio (+118).The positivity rate is down to 0.5% from 1.1% to 0.6%.

Intensive care cases have fallen by 32, and hospital admissions by 132.

Italy has reported 4,247,032 million cases to date and the death toll is 127,101. That is the second-highest toll in Europe behind Britain and the eighth-highest in the world.

Newspapers widely report that cases of the Delta (Indian) variant of COVID-19 have fallen in Lombardy in June. Of the 81 cases of the variant so far detected in the northern region, two were in April, 70 in May and nine so far in June. The variant is very small as a percentage of all variants. It represented 1.20 percent in May and 1.1 percent so far in June, according to media reports.

Papers highlight that Italian medicines agency AIFA has approved giving people younger than 60 Pfizer or Moderna vaccine for their second dose, after they had their first jab with AstraZeneca.

Dailies continue to report that the government decided to stop using the AstraZeneca jab with under-60s, after links to bloods clots in younger people and the death of 18-year-old woman who received AstraZeneca during an open-day vaccination event in Liguria.

Several papers quote Guido Rasi, former director of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and current advisor to COVID Commissioner General Figliuolo, noting that according to clinical studies, the change in vaccine presents no danger, and actually strengthens the immune system response to the virus. Papers note the growing confusion created by different regional approaches to the mix of vaccines, adding the government asked regions to apply the new guidelines.

The Italian authorities had already recommended AstraZeneca be only given to over-60s, but this was not an outright ban and many regions had been giving it to younger people on a voluntary basis “not to waste any single dose,” as urged by the COVID Commissioner General Figliuolo.

The open-day vaccination events, often held during evenings and weekends, were partly aimed at preventing AstraZeneca doses going to waste amid widespread reports of older people refusing this particular product and cancelling their vaccination appointments.

Local media report that the Vicenza Health Agency ULSS 8 Berica is re-planning the vaccination campaign in line with the new guidance received from the government. 36,000 people aged over 60 are those who received their first dose with AstraZeneca in the Veneto region. Media note that for the third consecutive day, there were no COVID-related death in the region.

As of today, Italy has administered more than 43.2 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines overall, with 14.4 million people fully vaccinated (which represent 26.6 percent of the Italian population aged over 12), according to the latest official data https://www.governo.it/it/cscovid19/report-vaccini/.

As of June 16, the Veneto region has distributed 3,474,980 doses of vaccines, 93.9 percent of the supply received.

VICENZA TOP NEWS

MATURITY HOUR: ITALY’S HIGH-SCHOOL STATE EXAMS, FIVE YEARS IN 60 MINUTES
16 JUNE 2021 |  Giornale di Vicenza  
The last hour starts today. Sixty minutes to fill in with five years of lessons and teachings to prove that a students is finally “mature” to graduate. This year’s state exam comes after almost two years of distant learning. For the second year in a row, the state exams follows the revised format mandated by the COVID emergency. The special oral exam consists of four parts, starting with the presentation of a dissertation that each student must present on a topic previously approved by the teachers: an “enhanced oral exam” lasting about 60 minutes. The examining board judges consist of six teachers, members of the class council, and an external president. The president of the committee is the only external examiner. Students’ marks will be determined by the work candidates have done so far, so there is reason to sit the exam without too much anxiety. In Italy, approximately 490,000 students will take the final exam, comprising internal and external candidates. At all events, this exam is a milestone in the passage from adolescence to adulthood, awaited with anxiety and concern by all students. It remains imprinted in the memory of many Italians, and sometimes resurfaces in the dreams (or nightmares) more than any other exam people may have taken in their life.


HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS FOLLOW COVID PROTOCOLS FOR GRADUATION EXAMS
15 JUNE 2021 |  Giornale di Vicenza
Almost eight thousand high school students of the province start their graduation finals tomorrow (June 16) and will be experiencing their graduation after five years of study, ending during the pandemic. For the second year in a row, the final tests will be different than in the past. The difference is that they will do the final exam in person, after attending most of the year in distance learning. The examination will be taking place after mandatory entry and exit routes from buildings, keeping a two-meter distance, wearing masks provided by the school and students will take the mask off only during their presentation in front of a committee made up of their own teachers and supervised by an external chairperson. The contents of the exam are based on the discussion of a text of Italian literature, on the analysis of a topic chosen by the commission, and on a final presentation produced by the candidates. If candidates get sick they will have to take the exam in September (date to be determined), or if they are in quarantine, they will be able to do their verbal test via videoconference.


SQUARE DEDICATED TO FOIBE VICTIM NORMA COSSETTO
16 JUNE 2021 |  Giornale di Vicenza
Yesterday, the Polegge neighborhood of Vicenza inaugurated its new square dedicated to Norma Cossetto, a young Istrian woman raped and killed by Tito's partisans in 1943. Finally a reality, the new 2400-square meter urban space is built on a private area that was given for free to the Municipality in 2017, and is poised to become the reference point for the activities of the neighborhood. It cost 250 thousand euros, and will be finished shortly. In recent months, the naming had generated controversy, with the Anpi (Italian Partisan Association) speaking of "an attempt to rewrite history by the Italian neo-fascist right," accusation firmly rejected by Mayor Rucco, who at the ceremony yesterday reiterated the need "to dedicate a space to the memory of a historical moment, because for so many years the history of the Foibe and the actions of the Communist partisans who killed thousands of people were hidden.” Diana Cossetto, daughter of Norma’s first cousin, said that "Remembering Norma is remembering thousands of other victims and turning on a light on this." President of the Vicenza provincial committee of the Venezia Giulia and Dalmazia Association Coriolano Fagarazzi, "Cossetto is the emblem of the scourge of armed conflicts, in which women became strategic targets. Memory belongs to all of us Italians and must not be manipulated by ideologies condemned by history."


ITALIAN COMPANY SECURES MAXI ORDER FOR HIGH-SPEED TRAIN IN THE US
16 JUNE 2021 |  Corriere del Veneto
Webuild [an Italian building company based off in Milan] took home a $ 16 billion contract in the US to build the first high-speed railroad in America. To date, in the States there are no systems that run at more than 250 kilometers per hour. The contract will allow a "bullet train", modeled on the Japanese Shinkansen, to connect Dallas and Houston, traveling at 320 kilometers per hour and thus covering the distance between the two cities in 90 minutes. The agreement signed with the Texas Central company - for an amount among the largest in the history of American infrastructures - provides for the design and construction of all the civil installations of the railway line, with viaducts for about half of the route, platforms, buildings and services for maintenance, for the storage of trains and for the storage of materials, and three passenger stations: Houston, Dallas, and the only intermediate one that is Brazos Valley, location of the largest Texan university. Satisfaction from Ceo of Webuild Pietro Salini: "The signing of the contract represents the culmination of 4 years of activity."


NEW LAW NEEDED AFTER LOCAL MAYOR FOUND GUILTY FOR DAMAGED SIDEWALK
15 JUNE 2021 |  Corriere del Veneto
The case of Renzo Segato, Mayor of Quinto Vicentino, becomes a topic of discussion at the national level. Due to a trivial accident involving a woman who had tripped over a small rise in a sidewalk of the town back in 2016, the justice of peace sentenced the mayor to pay a fine of 300 euros. The pronunciation came 5 years after the fact. The Mayor was found responsible of causing personal injuries because current legislation foresees that personal responsibility is not connected to personal negligence, but rather to the role in which a mayor serves. Senator Daniela Sbrollini joined the choir of many elected officials who voiced their protest against the current legislation. Segato received support and solidarity also from EU parliamentarian Alessandra Moretti and Senator Antonio De Poli. Nearly fifty mayors from the Vicenza area signed a letter to voice their indignation following the news of the incident involving their colleague Segato. "It is time to raise our voices and show not only solidarity with the mayor - a respectable person and for many years engaged in promoting the common good as administrator - but to condemn this state of affairs that sees local administrators take on enormous responsibilities, without having the necessary resources to be able to secure every corner of the territory they are called to manage," reads the document released yesterday. Local Vicenza politicians also asked for interventions by the legislator. The case of Mayor Segato recalls the recent one in the town of Crema (Lombardy), where the mayor was investigated after a child crushed his fingers on the door of a kindergarten. The mayor of Quinto Vicentino, who said he was shocked by the judge’s decision, filed an appeal.

 

BICYCLE HIGHWAY PROJECT TO CONNECT VICENZA AND PADOVA
15 JUNE 2021 |  Il Giornale di Vicenza
On June 14, an agreement was signed in the town hall of Grisignano di Zocco to launch an analysis for the construction of the Superciclabile Padova-Vicenza, a bicycle-pedestrian bike-path of about 30-kilometer. If it is built, this unique sustainable infrastructure will connect Padua to Vicenza, also crossing the six municipalities of Torri di Quartesolo, Grumolo delle Abbadesse and Grisignano di Zocco, in addition to Veggiano, Mestrino and Rubano in the Padua province. The mayors of the towns involved in the potential project were all present to sign the document. According to Francesco Rucco, who is both mayor of Vicenza and chair of the province, “the future is the development of bicycle systems.” Rucco also highlighted the importance of this as a pilot project for the whole region. After being approved, the next step will be focusing on financing the project, whose cost may be approximately 50 million euro. If completed, the path will be the first to be built in the Veneto region and one of the few in Italy.

LIVORNO TOP NEWS

VISIT FROM THE USA FOR PEDIATRIC ONCOHEMATOLOGY
15 JUNE 2021 | Pisa Today, Qui News Pisa and Il Tirreno
Pisa hospital pediatric oncohematology and pediatric department children enthusiastically participated in a brief visit by Camp Darby Deputy Garrison Manager and the American Fire Department this morning. The head of pediatric oncohematology, Dr. Gabriella Casazza, the Director of the Hospital Pharmacy for medical devices, Dr. Domenica Mamone with her staff of trainees, Caterina Mangano, Amelia Bellizzi and Federico Carbone, received the American guests. Among them the Director of the Base Robert Chartier, Lt. Colonel Miguel Flores Rivera, Commander of the 405th Army Field Support Battalion Africa, and the Commanders of the Fire Brigade, Chief Bryant Benitez and Chief Brent Collins with firefighter Antonio Salsedo. Also present was Dr. Mojgan Azerdegan representing the Medical Department of the Presidium. The goal of this day, strongly desired by Doctor Mamone following various meetings with the US  delegation that took place on the occasion of donations of personal protective equipment and medical devices by the United States Government, was to offer a diversion to young people who are severely tested by their disease and in a particular way who suffer from the isolation of the last year due to the pandemic. The children were able to witness the "dressing" of a firefighter and received a bag with small gadgets aimed to raise fire prevention awareness. The strong bond of friendship and solidarity between the United States Government and Italy just had a further confirmation today. "We are grateful that we had the opportunity to be here today," said Chartier. "It is a great honor for us to be here today, we live in your area and we are grateful for all that we have learned from these guys today, and we are also grateful for the incredible support that the hospital in Pisa has always provided to our staff.  Flores wanted to share his experience as a cancer survivor with the children hospitalized in Pisa.  With the example we set, our determination, strength, a big smile and with every little sign that we leave in this world, we will be able to face any difficulty, no matter how hard we will have to fight, said Flores. "Dr. Mamone underlined how with union and friendship we all come together in a common struggle, where the main protagonists and masters of life are these young people who are faced with such harsh trials and set an example for us all.   Dr. Casazza, on the other hand, underlined the difficulties encountered in this last year. "We had to favor immediate and necessary care at the expense of a deeper human relationship with a great psychological impact," said Dr. Casazza. "Today helps us to slowly return to normal after a long time, and we are thankful for our American friends."

 

THE MILLE MIGLIA (THOUSAND MILES) PASSES THROUGH PISA AND PAYS HOMAGE TO SAN RANIERI TOMORROW THE RACE WILL CROSS THE ARNO RIVER DURING THE STAGE FROM VIAREGGIO TO ROME TODAY THE "FERRARI TRIBUTE" AT THE PORT OF BOCCADARNO WHICH WILL THEN MOVE TO TIRRENIA
16 JUNE 2021 | Il Tirreno
PISA. A stop in Pisa for the 39th edition of the Mille Miglia, the historic auto-mobile event born in 1927. The passage of vintage cars in the shadow of the Tower will take place in two distinct moments: tonight the coast will host the collateral event of the “Ferrari Tribute to 1000 Miglia "with the roaring engines which will stop at around 8pm, for about forty minutes, on the squares of the Port of Pisa and then in Tirrenia, while the second stage will pass Viareggio-Rome with. vintage cars that will pass along the city's riversides and again on the coast. Yesterday at Palazzo Gambacorti (City Hall) the presentation of the event with the councilor for tourism Paolo Pesciatini, Francesco Bianchi, director of Aci Pisa, and Alessandro Novi in representation of the municipal Police. "After the success of the Endurance we continue to bring sporting events of national and international importance to Pisa - said Pesciatini -. This year's edition of the Mille Miglia will hold great surprises: our city, and for the first time the Pisan coast, will be a sensational setting for the "most beautiful car race in the world ” As Enzo Ferrari defined it. It is the sign of a restart in grand style for our entire tourist sector which in fact will welcome the passage on the lungarni, the heart of our city, of an event famous all over the world and which knows how to combine tradition, innovation and Italian elegance.

 

TRADE CHALLENGES:  NEW PIZZERIA IN THE CENTER OF CALCI "BEAUTIFUL SIGN OF TRUST" RIBBON CUTTING FOR "UNCLE TONY" WHO OPENED ITS DOORS IN PIAZZA CAVALLOTTI THE OWNER DEL GALDO: "I WAS LOOKING FOR AN OPPORTUNITY, WITH THIS TOWN IT WAS LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT"
16 JUNE 2021 | Il Tirreno
CALCI Ribbon cutting for the "Uncle Tony" pizzeria, a new activity that enriches the historic center of Calci and a new adventure for Antonio Del Galdo, 45, a restaurant with a long experience in many places in the province. «We offer our best compliments to an entrepreneur who has chosen to invest and undertake a new path in such a difficult time - says Federico Pieragnoli, director of Conf-Commercio Provincia di Pisa -. A beautiful sign of hope and trust in view of the summer season and for the future. "" We welcome with pleasure this new activity that has created the area of Calci and its potential. This new  place is set up with care and attention and contributes to creating a new service for the community, adding further quality and professionalism to the offer of restaurant services and public establishments in the town ", the best wishes from the Confcommercio Province of Pisa territorial manager, Luca Favilli.  Enthusiastic Antonio Del Gal-do: "I had been looking for an opportunity for a long time to start a new business and with the town of Calci was love at first sight. As soon as I saw the availability of the venue in Piazza Cavallotti, I tried to open as soon as possible and I'm happy to be able to do it before the beginning of the summer ". The highlight is the Neapolitan pizza "to be enjoyed in an intimate setting, with space both outside and inside. As far as raw materials are concerned, I focus on Tuscan and Italian products: in these years of experience I have understood how important quality is to have a good product and in addition to work in the field I always try to stay up-to-date with training and specialization courses, for example on mixing techniques and alternative flours ». 

 

SAFE DRIVING LESSONS AND TIRE REPAIR IN THE PARKING LOT OF THE SPORTS FIELD SATURDAY IN BIENTINA
16 JUNE 2021 | Il Tirreno
BIENTINA. Saturday from 9 to 18 in the parking lot of the sports field in via Leo-nardo Da Vinci in Bientina, the local police of the Valdera Nord territorial command (Buti and Bientina), the Municipality of Bientina and the Autoscuola Gerardo will organize an event aimed at road safety, open to all and completely free. This is the second edition of the "Safety driving day" which last year was addressed only to youth enrolled in the Gerardo driving school to contain the influx of people in compliance with the Covid-19 rules; but the initiative has aroused so much interest that it convinced the organizers to replicate the event. The course includes driving a vehicle equipped with a "skid" (a tool that simulates poor grip on slippery surfaces), emergency braking on a wet surface, rejecting an obstacle, all with double vehicles commands and qualified driving instructor. Great interest also in the practical demonstrations provided by the GianCarlo Pneumatic Company of Bientina which, in addition to providing useful information on the use of tires in any circumstance, will show how a punctured wheel is replaced and how snow chains are assembled. In addition, the local police led by the territorial commander Andrea Trovarelli will provide a driving simulator for children not yet licensed and will address the problems of alcohol use while driving with the use of special glasses that simulates its effects. For registration, it is preferable to connect to the link indicated on the page of the autoscuola Gerardo or the Municipality of Bientina, or directly in via Da Vinci on Saturday; registration via web will be given precedence. "The" Safety driving day "initiative - guarantee the organizers - will be held in compliance with the anti-Covid-19 measures".