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Italy Travel Ideas

Sunday, 14 June 2020

Italy. Double Coronavirus-Conspiracy Twist from Space

US President Trump talking with Italian Prime Minister Conte

By Enza Ferreri

This article was published here: Italy. Double Coronavirus-Conspiracy Twist from Space

Colonel Luca Parmitano, Italian Air Force officer with 25 years of service and 6 space missions behind him, engineer and astronaut of the European Astronaut Corps for the European Space Agency (ESA) since 2009, said he was aware of the pandemic danger posed by the new coronavirus as early as November. Parmitano, who is the commander of the International Space Station (ISS) since 2 October 2019, stated in a 25 April interview:
I already knew since November while I was in space. On board we have a daily connection with the events on Earth, we also have access to the internet and as early as November we had started to follow the first infections, initially only in Asian countries, then after my return the first contagions in Europe.
A couple of weeks later, in a second interview, Colonel Parmitano confirmed what he had already revealed:
Already in November we were aware of this probable pandemic and above all its seriousness that was spreading like wildfire in Europe just before my return.
These declarations have started a number of speculations, casting doubts and shadows on Italy's Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte (pictured above with Trump): how is it possible, then, that Giuseppe Conte, who also has privileged access to secret services' intelligence, knew nothing about it?

David Rossi on posed this rhetorical question, explaining that the Prime Minister in November couldn't possibly know less than the ISS commander.

How, therefore, did Mr Conte find himself so unprepared, even though he knew of the epidemic over three months before the moment it erupted in Italy? Why has he not taken precautionary measures, such as subjecting the soldiers who participated in the Wuhan games on 18-27 October to a medical examination? If he did, what were the results? If he didn't, why not?

All this fuelled in Italy the conspiracy theories - which, despite the common narrative that wants them to be fruit of mad or evil imagination, like all theories may be good or bad, true or untrue until further investigation - that knowledge of the coronavirus threat was kept secret.

Fast forward to the 25 May, when the ESA Italia Twitter account posted a "clarification by ESA astronaut @astro_luca regarding the recent media reports concerning him". In it Parmitano admitted to an error in his time reporting, due to the fact that on board the ISS they don't use a calendar. So, he confused months and what he thought was November was in fact February.

Immediately all the "fact-checking" websites, conspiracy-theory hunters and the general Left-wing brigade screamed: "Fake news!".

Not so fast. David Rossi on Difesaonline again pointed out something that didn't seem right in this explanation, for example:
Since 1965 Omega, now owned by the Swatch Group, has put on the wrist of astronauts in human participation missions the masterpieces of Swiss watchmaking excellence. One of them is the Speedmaster Skywalker X-33, especially designed for space explorers and tested and qualified by the European Space Agency (ESA).

It was developed to satisfy those who, like astronauts, use special functions such as: three different time zones, chronograph, timer, MET (Mission Elapsed Time), PET (Phase Elapsed Time), three alarm clocks and, last but not least, the perpetual calendar. The watch is clearly visible on the wrist of Colonel Luca Parmitano on the occasion of at least three interviews from space during the Expedition 61 mission.

The officer, however, in the ESA release (see link) states that "on board the ISS we do not use the calendar, but the Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). The year starts with day 1 and ends with day 365, and events are performed according to this schedule. Consequently, it is possible to confuse one month with another since we never refer to it, but we use the UTC day". Does it mean that he never looked and did not use the functions of his watch developed specifically for the needs of astronauts?

Colonel Luca Parmitano then says that on board the ISS he had access to "news agencies and large television networks". Did he really never notice that these brought him the news by indicating, in a corner, so-to-speak terrestrial dates and times, allowing him at every broadcast to easily link events to specific months?
Add to it that, while it's relatively easy to confuse days, it's much more difficult to confuse months; that he posted on Facebook as many as 35 times in November and 41 in December and it's hard to believe he never once noticed the date; that through all this there were the Christmas holidays, if he needed a reminder of the period of the year. Add all this, and the plot thickens.

David Rossi again:
How can one forget the wishes for a Happy Christmas and the thoughts "for those who are away from their family", expressed on board the ISS just before the Festivity? And the greeting video call to the singer Jovanotti at the end of December? And before that, didn't he get excited when talking to a big star like Paul McCartney in early December?

Maybe he did not get excited but surely he was proud when, at the beginning of NOVEMBER, he had a contact with our President who is also someone from his same region [Sicily], Sergio Mattarella?

Libero Quotidiano
Difesaonline: Is It Possible Conte Didn't Know?
Too Many Things Don't Seem Right
Services Warned USA, NATO Allies and Israel

Friday, 12 June 2020

Coronavirus, New World Order, Archbishop Vigano SOS

Tiepolo - Immacolata Concezione

By Enza Ferreri

This article was published here: Coronavirus, New World Order, Archbishop Vigano SOS

I tend to accept restrictions if they are justifiably motivated by serious health dangers.

I must admit, though, that an episode raised my alarm about the motivations of our political leaders when in Lombardy, in Italy, police tried to interrupt a Mass which was attended by 15 people in a large church where they could keep safe distancing, in addition to wearing face masks and gloves. One of them, explained the priest later in an interview, was a parishioner who had just buried his mother, without funeral due to the lockdown, and brought a few more unexpected people.

Compare that with a situation which arose a few days later, 25 April, that in Italy is called "Liberation Day" (Festa della liberazione) and celebrates the fall of fascism. In various parts of Italy marches, rallies and meetings were held which didn't respect the lockdown regulations. Nevertheless authorities on the whole turned a blind eye.

A clear example of double standard, which shows that probably health concerns are not as important for those who govern us as political and ideological considerations, not to mention questions of who has more power.

This is effectively expressed by the phrase: "Just wave a red flag, and everything becomes possible". Or, before the law some are more equal than others.

The New World Order

The New World Order is one of those concepts that the mainstream media consider a paranoid fruit of overactive imagination, particularly coming from the Right end of the political spectrum.

However, that the notion of a new global order has been developed and held by influential people over the last decades is amply documented. This is an idea that tries to undermine not only nation but also family, traditional ties, religion, moral values.

I’m choosing to reproduce here only a handful of quotations from sources that Leftists and so-called progressives, who are always hunting for “conspiracy theorists”, trust, but there would be many more.

Dr George Brock Chisholm, who served as the first Director-General of the World Health Organisation (WHO), a United Nations agency, from 1948 to 1953, according to Wikipedia ‘developed his strong view that children should be raised in an "as intellectually free environment" as possible, independent of the prejudices and biases (political, moral and religious) of their parents’.

I remind you that collective education of children in society is an old communist idea going back at least to Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, espoused by the latter in 1884 in the book The Origin of the Family, Private Property and the State.

Of Chisholm, who was a Canadian, the Canadian Encyclopedia also says that he “had attacked traditional morality and religious teachings for instilling guilt, fear and prejudice in children. In his view, these teachings produced immature adults incapable of free, rational thought and ultimately bound for war.”

And Edric Lescouflair writes about him in the Harvard Square Library in these terms: ‘Characteristically, Chisholm brought his message to a world audience by stating, “The world was sick, and the ills from which it was suffering were mainly due to the perversion of man, his inability to live at peace with himself. The microbe was no longer the main enemy; science was sufficiently advanced to be able to cope with it admirably. If it were not for such barriers as superstition, ignorance, religious intolerance, misery and poverty.”’ This is also in Wikiquotes.

Chisholm’s claim that the microbe was no longer man’s main enemy because science was able to cope with it admirably rings particularly risible, if not tragically sinister, in these times when a microbe, in the guise of a coronavirus, is keeping the human world under confinement and holding world economy to ransom.

Then we have US Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott writing in Time magazine on 20 July 1992 in an article headlined America Abroad: The Birth of the Global Nation: “I'll bet that within the next hundred years… nationhood as we know it will be obsolete; all states will recognize a single, global authority. A phrase briefly fashionable in the mid-20th century -- "citizen of the world" -- will have assumed real meaning by the end of the 21st.” You can also read it here.

And don’t let’s forget popular and celebrity culture, which in the modern world has got to the position of having an enormous impact, especially on young and vulnerable minds.

John Lennon expressed the mentality of our age by thinking he had surpassed God (remember his “We are more popular than Jesus Christ”?), and he translated the New World Order idea into a pop song format with Imagine : “Imagine there’s no countries.” And added the encouraging “It isn't hard to do”. It’s certainly easier now than then, thanks partly to people like him.

It goes on: “Nothin' to kill or die for. And no religion, too. Imagine all the people livin' life in peace. Yoo, hoo, oo-oo. It’s easy if you try”. Now that we are moving in his recommended direction, it doesn’t look like the paradise on earth that Lennon had imagined it to be, despite all his self-alleged God-like qualities, does it?

An Appeal

All of the above is my way of introducing an Appeal by the Italian Arc Mgr. Carlo Maria Viganò, Archbishop, former Apostolic Nuncio to the United States 2011 to 2016.

The document was published on 7 May and has been undersigned by almost 1,000, including Robert Francis Kennedy Jr, many Cardinals, Bishops and prelates, doctors, researchers and scientists, academics, intellectuals, associations, lawyers, authors and journalists.

It is open to be undersigned to everyone who agrees with its content.

Below is an extract from the Appeal:
We have reason to believe, on the basis of official data on the incidence of the epidemic as related to the number of deaths, that there are powers interested in creating panic among the world’s population with the sole aim of permanently imposing unacceptable forms of restriction on freedoms, of controlling people and of tracking their movements. The imposition of these illiberal measures is a disturbing prelude to the realization of a world government beyond all control.

We also believe that in some situations the containment measures that were adopted, including the closure of shops and businesses, have precipitated a crisis that has brought down entire sectors of the economy. This encourages interference by foreign powers and has serious social and political repercussions...

We ask the scientific community to be vigilant, so that cures for Covid-19 are offered in honesty for the common good. Every effort must be made to ensure that shady business interests do not influence the choices made by government leaders and international bodies. It is unreasonable to penalize those remedies that have proved to be effective, and are often inexpensive, just because one wishes to give priority to treatments or vaccines that are not as good, but which guarantee pharmaceutical companies far greater profits, and exacerbate public health expenditures. Let us also remember, as Pastors, that for Catholics it is morally unacceptable to develop or use vaccines derived from material from aborted foetuses.

We also ask government leaders to ensure that forms of control over people, whether through tracking systems or any other form of location-finding, are rigorously avoided. The fight against Covid-19, however serious, must not be the pretext for supporting the hidden intentions of supranational bodies that have very strong commercial and political interests in this plan. In particular, citizens must be given the opportunity to refuse these restrictions on personal freedom, without any penalty whatsoever being imposed on those who do not wish to use vaccines, contact tracking or any other similar tool. Let us also consider the blatant contradiction of those who pursue policies of drastic population control and at the same time present themselves as the savior of humanity, without any political or social legitimacy. Finally, the political responsibility of those who represent the people can in no way be left to “experts” who can indeed claim a kind of immunity from prosecution, which is disturbing to say the least.

We strongly urge those in the media to commit themselves to providing accurate information and not penalizing dissent by resorting to forms of censorship, as is happening widely on social media, in the press and on television. Providing accurate information requires that room be given to voices that are not aligned with a single way of thinking. This allows citizens to consciously assess the facts, without being heavily influenced by partisan interventions. A democratic and honest debate is the best antidote to the risk of imposing subtle forms of dictatorship, presumably worse than those our society has seen rise and fall in the recent past.

Finally, as Pastors responsible for the flock of Christ, let us remember that the Church firmly asserts her autonomy to govern, worship, and teach. This autonomy and freedom are an innate right that Our Lord Jesus Christ has given her for the pursuit of her proper ends. For this reason, as Pastors we firmly assert the right to decide autonomously on the celebration of Mass and the Sacraments, just as we claim absolute autonomy in matters falling within our immediate jurisdiction, such as liturgical norms and ways of administering Communion and the Sacraments. The State has no right to interfere, for any reason whatsoever, in the sovereignty of the Church. Ecclesiastical authorities have never refused to collaborate with the State, but such collaboration does not authorize civil authorities to impose any sort of ban or restriction on public worship or the exercise of priestly ministry...

…The civil duties to which citizens are bound imply the State’s recognition of their rights.

We are all called to assess the current situation in a way consistent with the teaching of the Gospel. This means taking a stand: either with Christ or against Christ. Let us not be intimidated or frightened by those who would have us believe that we are a minority: Good is much more widespread and powerful than the world would have us believe.

Monday, 8 June 2020

Coronavirus: Live Streaming Accents Latin Mass Glory

Rome, Santissima Trinita' dei Pellegrini Church - Latin Mass

By Enza Ferreri 

This article was published here: Coronavirus: Live Streaming Accents Latin Mass Glory 

Many Non-Catholics may not know that on 3 April 1969, under Pope Pio VI, a liturgical revolution occurred with the promulgation of a new form of Mass, known in Latin as Novus Ordo Missae (New Order of Mass), replacing the Vetus Ordo Missae, the Ancient Order. 

The latter was the Tridentine Mass (named after the city of Tridentum, Trent, in north-east Italy), the form of the Eucharistic celebration promulgated by Pope Pius V in 1570 at the request of the Council of Trent during the Counter-Reformation period and maintained, with minor modifications, in subsequent editions of the Roman Missal. 

Although called a “liturgical reform”, this represented a radical change of four centuries of worship. It followed and was promoted by the Second Vatican Council (Vatican II in short, 1962 - 1965), that at that time had recently been concluded and which did a lot to change the Catholic Church as had been known until then. 

While the Tridentine Mass is in Latin, the universal language of the Universal Church, the new Mass is in the vernacular, the local language. 

Many alterations were introduced, concerning the text and form of prayers, readings from the Scriptures, rites, use and type of music and more. 

A fundamental modification concerns the orientation of the celebrating priest, previously towards the altar, and after the reform towards the congregation. 

Why mention all this now? 

Because the coronavirus lockdown, with the impossibility of attending Mass in person, has put me in a position to watch it live-streaming in online videos. 

During the Easter Triduum I repeated that experience several times, always choosing the Ancient Rite, except once, when by mistake I watched a video of the New Mass. The close sequence of the two with a distance of a few hours between them gave me an opportunity to compare the two liturgical experiences in a way that I'd never come across before. 

And I saw differences that had previously escaped me. 

It’s two entirely diverse experiences. 

They were both from churches in Italy, the Latin Mass from the Church of Santissima Trinità dei Pellegrini, Rome (pictured above). 

One, the Tridentine Mass, worships God and the other celebrates man, reflecting the analogous change in outlook brought by Vatican II Council. 

The former brings you closer to the spiritual realm. 

I’m not the only one to have noticed this peculiar gift that, in all the mayhem and panic, the Covid-19 quarantine has given us. I’ve discovered that Catholic writer and philosopher Peter Kwasniewski has also published two articles about it. 

The celebrant’s ad populum orientation towards the people, which may seem a way to bring everyone together as a community and increase the participation of the faithful, is not the right thing for a Mass, where priest and congregation should not look at each other and focus on one another as if it were an assembly or meeting, but instead both should look at and focus on God. 

We’re not celebrating each other, we’re celebrating the Lord. 

Symbols and rituals have meaning. The sense of Mystery, Sacrifice and Communion with God must be there.

PHOTO CREDIT By Lumen roma - Opera propria, CC BY 3.0, Collegamento

Sunday, 7 June 2020

Coronavirus Italy. Prayer to Mary from Rome Rooftops

Coronavirus lockdown: Rome's prayer to Mary from a Parish Church's roof terrace

By Enza Ferreri

This article was published here: Coronavirus Italy. Prayer to Mary from Rome Rooftops

We've previously posted about how Coronavirus Italy consecrates many of its cities to the Virgin Mary.

And, when Italians in Coronavirus times were not allowed to go to church to attend religious services because of the self-isolation lockdown imposed on them, the church was going to them.

This is what the Parish of Santa Giulia Billiart in Rome has done.

In Tor Pignattara, a historic working-class – now rediscovered by the middle class - district (“borgata”) of South-East Rome whose origins started in the Early Middle Ages, every day at noon, bells ring and a Marian song rises from the Parish of Santa Giulia Billiart.

It is the signal, the “voice of Mary” calling the aerial congregation across the roofs to prayer. The windows open, small balconies fill up to join the Supplication to Our Lady of Pompeii from people’s own homes.

On the rooftop terrace of the parish church complex, surrounded by the apartment blocks above it, the three priests who guide the community in the Tor Pignattara area, don Manrico, don Eugenio and don Luca, appear.

Wearing the purple stole, they recite the prayer in front of a microphone that through speakers sends the invocation to the inside of apartments. Then a brief reflection. Follows the leave-taking, accompanied by greetings bouncing from one window to another, until someone asks his neighbour: "What have you cooked for lunch?"

Tor Pignattara is home to six thousand people, of whom one third are – you might have guessed it - Muslim. In recent years, like so many other European cities’ suburban areas, it has undergone a population replacement.

Since the mid-90s, Tor Pignattara has received many migrants, especially from Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, China and Africa. But the most numerous are the Bangladeshis, hence its nickname “Banglatown”.

This Christian service initiative in Tor Pignattara was born as a spiritual response to the “flash mobs” which in these lockdown times animate Italian balconies around 6pm, when Italians normally go out for a “passeggiata” in the main street, and which have been seen in the media around the world.

"In times of difficulty Rome has always turned to Our Lady and invoked her protection” says the parish priest, Don Manrico. Interviewed by Avvenire, the Italian Bishops’ Conference newspaper, he explains that the three priests asked themselves: "Why, alongside moments of relaxation to share together, not propose a collective religious rendezvous?" Hence the Marian noon prayer, the special hour of devotion to the Virgin, the 10-15-minute-long bridge between homes.

The parish priest says that they want to stay close to the community and not let people feel alone but allow them to express their faith in a simple but intense way.

The parish remains a point of reference for the neighbourhood: “We are almost a village within the metropolis. When the rumour circulated that Rome churches were closing, many told us that they felt lost. Our church is always open. And we priests are inside or in the churchyard. Even if few are those who enter, the community perceives it as a beacon in the midst of darkness.”

With thanks to Corrispondenza Romana

Saturday, 6 June 2020

Globalisation and Multiculturalism in Coronavirus Times

Germany Suhl Thuringia: Police storm migrants centre riot

By Enza Ferreri

This article was published on Italy Travel Ideas

Many European countries have been seriously affected by Covid-19.

The idea that the movement of great masses of people from their places of origin to new countries could not give rise to critical, not to say disastrous, consequences has now, with the new pandemic, been put to the test more than ever. And we know it has miserably failed the test.

First of all, without globalisation the spread of a virus or another kind of epidemic could have remained localised. The globalisation that is sought after by economic and political powers has made the current pandemic of Coronavirus possible.

Immigration between continents has macroscopically and starkly displayed all its risks and dangers - and not just for the migrants - even to those who’ve been obstinately refusing to see them.

But that’s not all. The response to a pandemic requires the fabric of a society to be compact: everyone is asked to impose restrictions on himself for the collective good, as well as his own.

What’s been happening in these days in Italy, France, Spain and Germany is showing that a society with large numbers of unassimilated, unintegrated migrants is not such a collective body that can count on reciprocal ties and a sense of belonging to the same community and sharing a sense of responsibility towards it.

In all the afore-mentioned countries, which have strict containment and isolation regulations for the whole population, there have been cases of immigrant neighbourhoods or groups who have rebelled against these rules, behaved as if norms of home confinement and of keeping at least one-metre distance between people when out of doors didn’t exist, and who finally became aggressive towards authorities who asked them to comply with the quarantine order, thus endangering everybody.

French commentator Eric Zemmour reported that his country’s migrant neighbourhoods have responded to the Coronavirus crisis by rioting and looting supermarkets, and he talks about addressing “the migrant community’s dangerous and violent refusal to cooperate voluntarily with measures to control the spread of contagion”.

Something similar is happening in Italy, where migrants have been seen crowding the streets deserted by Italians, who force themselves to remain indoors.

In Spain, migrants at the Immigration Centre of Aluche, Madrid, rioted against the confinement of Coronavirus. They climbed on the roof crying "freedom, freedom" and announcing the start of a hunger strike.

In Germany on 16 March, 10-20 residents of the centre for asylum seekers in Suhl in the state of Thuringia rioted, climbed over the perimeter fence, threw missiles at emergency services and police. They also removed manhole covers in an effort to escape and reach the city through the sewer system, and threatened to burn down the asylum seekers centre.

The next day, about 30 residents gathered near the main gate waving ISIS flags and tried to break down the gate, while they used children as human shields by placing them in the first row.

The over 500 residents of the facility as well as all staff had been quarantined since Friday 13 after a man in the centre tested positive for Coronavirus. The measures have led to several days of disturbances, according to the RTL broadcaster.

In Italy too there have been cases of migrants with Coronavirus infection in asylum seekers centres, for example in Milan and Bologna. In these areas many complaints have been recorded about migrants who, much more regularly than Italians, did not respect the confinement and quarantine regulations.

The current, unforeseen crisis also paints a clear picture: our European societies are not as strong, indestructible as we and the people who came here from the Third World thought. We may now discover that we don't have the resources to cope with this pandemic created by globalisation and worsened by uncontrolled and illegal immigration with all the social chaos that it involves.

France and Germany Coronavirus Norms Migrants Defiance
France Immigrant Districts Not Complying with Coronavirus Norms and Measures
Coronavirus Spanish migrants riot
Germany Immigrant Centre Riot
Police Video Conference of Germany Immigrant Centre Riot
Italy Bologna Migrants Centres Coping with Coronavirus
Italy Milan Infection in Migrant Centre
RAIR Foundation

Wednesday, 3 June 2020

Coronavirus, Meningitis Tell Us Without Borders We Die

Rome, deserted Spanish Steps during coronavirus lockdown

By Enza Ferreri

This article was published on Italy Travel Ideas

While all the attention is on Coronavirus, there is another illness that has been on the increase in Italy: meningitis, a disease of generally infectious origin.

Meningitis Risk from African Migration to Italy

Italian doctor Alessandro Meluzzi, while speaking on the topic of coronavirus, also said:
I want to remind everyone present of something that nobody remembers: the very strong growth of meningitis in Italy, especially in Tuscany, is related to the fact that the type C meningococcus [meningococcal type C bacterium], which almost did not exist in Italy, comes from the meningococcus belt. That is the Sahel, from which 90% of African migration to Italy originates.
He concluded by saying: “Let's try to tell that to the President of the Tuscany region. What I mean is that boundaries, like cell membranes, serve to survive.

"It is not a question of racism, this is not the problem, but that of stopping viruses and bacteria, otherwise we are delirious.

"Without borders we die. As cells need membranes and the immune system needs antibodies, borders are necessary for survival."

Meningitis Belt, in Africa Meningitis Belt, in Africa

Like Other Parts of the Natural World, We Are Not Interchangeable

Doctor Meluzzi is right.

The idea of a globalised, borderless world is a dystopian view, totally unrealistic and, if tried to put into practice - as many forces are trying at the moment, against people's will - it will lead to chaos and highly destructive consequences.

There is a reason why the various peoples, nations, ethnic groups have spontaneously formed and united themselves into separate societies.

Smaller polities are always easier to manage. This is why larger states are divided into federal states, then counties, provinces, regions and so on.

This is the way men naturally organise themselves, it is an organic process, not one dictated from above like the "one world" idea.

Nature doesn't exist just outside of us. It exists inside of us too.

We worry not to break the balance of non-human nature, what is generally known as the environment or the ecosystem.

But then, paradoxically or at least unreasonably, our culture's dominant ideology (although not shared by most people) holds that human beings are flexible and pliable to a fantastic point, for example holds that a person's sex can be chosen or changed.

Similarly, this powerful ideology maintains that the naturally-developed, organic human societies that have grown out of family and blood ties, together with a shared history, culture and, more importantly, religion, are not necessary and can be replaced by a global society with a world government.

In this view, humans are seen as pawns in a game of draughts or chess, which, being all the same, can move or be moved from one part of the world to another without any serious consequence.

A hypothesis that we are now experimenting on ourselves with disastrous effects.

Meluzzi: I confini servono a sopravvivere
Streets of Italy Deserted

Tuesday, 2 June 2020

Italy: How a Coronavirus Crisis Became a Disaster

Milan Duomo Cathedral Square deserted in coronavirus lockdown

By Enza Ferreri

This article was published on Italy Travel Ideas

Italy early in the coronavirus crisis was the first country in the world for number of Covid-19 cases, with its number of confirmed infections increasing very rapidly day by day, and the whole country was placed under lockdown, as is well known. It is important to understand what happened to provoke this exceptional crisis.

In a previous article we saw that, for fear of labels of racism, by not having quarantined all people coming from China, a measure recommended by the World Health Organisation and followed by many nations, the Centre-Left Italian government has opened the door to the epidemic.

Then we saw that the uncontrolled immigration that for a long time has particularly hit and shaken Italy among the countries of Europe, in addition to bringing security and crime risks posed by undocumented migrants' free circulation, has now turned into another possible dynamite waiting to explode: due to China-Africa close trade ties and the vast presence of Chinese in the continent, Africa can become an incubation venue and transmission channel for coronavirus, which means that lots of African immigrants to Italy may be carrying Coronavirus.

The migrants arriving in Italian ports may have the coronavirus without their knowledge - and without ours. And still without their knowledge they could contribute to spread it throughout Europe.

The consequences, in that case, would be potentially lethal given the absence of sanitary bulwarks in almost all African states.

The infection might spread to Europe through Africa perhaps via Italy.

African Countries at Risk

The director general of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, was very clear when he said that the "biggest concern", in addition to the epidemic itself, is that the virus may reach "countries with weaker health systems" least able to contain it, and the whole of Africa undoubtedly falls into that category.

Although, when news of the epidemic from China first started spreading, there were no confirmed cases of Coronavirus in Africa, there are now, and escalating fairly quickly.

Doctor Giovanni Rezza, specialised in hygiene and in infectious diseases, senior scientist at the Istituto Superiore di Sanita' (ISS) in Rome, and Director of the Department of Infectious, Parasitic and Immune-mediated Diseases, has confirmed that Africa could represent a problem: it is a very populous continent, he said, and has fragile and weak points in the health chain:
African states do not have the same network as European laboratories. And the various types of fever that people can get could be confused with other infections and not be recognised as Coronavirus. This is why international organisations should be on the alert.
Africa, except for a few specialised centres, does not even have the means to recognize this new virus.

Health authorities and researchers fear that the Coronavirus could circulate undetected in Africa, where less advanced health systems could quickly be overwhelmed by a local outbreak.

It's therefore necessary to close the Italian ports to migration.

La Gazzetta di Reggio

Wednesday, 27 May 2020

Coronavirus Exposes Open Ports to Africa Danger

Non-governmental organisation (NGO) ship transporting African migrants to Italy

By Enza Ferreri

This article was published in Italy Travel Ideas and is our second post on the subject, here's the first on Coronavirus and Italy.

Italian physician and psychiatrist Alessandro Meluzzi rightly described as paradoxical Italy's current policy of "closed schools and open ports", letting in migrants at such a time of emergency for Coronavirus (whose official name, which initially and temporarily was 2019-nCoV, has from early February become Sars-CoV-2, also adopted by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), while the disease it causes is called COVID-19).

If we don't close our borders others close theirs, Dr Meluzzi added.

This happened, in fact, and China itself was among the countries isolating Italy.

Dr Meluzzi was making correct predictions as early as 31 January, when he said in an interview:

"My feeling is that the Italian situation is already totally out of control".

He added that he considered with great concern the hypothesis of the spread of Coronavirus on the African continent:

"When the virus arrives in Africa, where countries do not have adequate health coverage to deal with the epidemic, this could spread in a potentially catastrophic way".

He referred to the great number of Chinese workers and companies in Africa, "which create a large flow of trade with China, especially with the industrial area from which the epidemic originated", concluding: "I dare not imagine what could happen in Africa."

From China to Europe via Africa

The African "bomb" became a later alarm about Coronavirus and its further spread in the world.

There are two factors that greatly elevate the potential risk of contagion: one is the thriving trade relations between China and Africa, the other is the uncontrolled immigration that from Africa regularly arrives in European countries overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, particularly Italy.

Let's be frank: when we say "uncontrolled", it is very literal. We know nothing of many, indeed probably the great majority, of people landing on our shores from smugglers' boats and NGO ships, since they have no documents or false documents. In a very high number of cases we don't even know their name, let alone their past history, criminal record and health status. The newspaper Il Giornale wrote:
Italy hosts immigrants at its own expense without having the slightest idea who they are. To know their stories, we rely on the stories given by them in front of the various commissions.

For their personal identities, we are satisfied with having them put their name and surname in writing the moment they disembark...

In Italy, in fact, thousands of people arrive who can carry with them cell phones but never a shred of an identification document.

Hardly Any of the Arrivals Are Refugees

There have been cases of fake refugees who disclosed to the media that they paid thousands of euros to obtain ways to claim asylum status.

For a long time Italy has been literally overwhelmed by would-be asylum seekers and migrants. A Nigerian interpreter and "cultural mediator", calling himself Uchenna, has explained how it works:
To judge asylum seekers there should be 4 people for each commission [called 'territorial commission'], who include representatives for the UNHCR (UN Refugee Agency), Italian police and local authorities. Now, there are only 1 or 2 left to follow the interview because there are several organisational problems... so many requests arrive that if they were all present at each interview, it would never end. The system is practically collapsing.
This means that in some cases the waiting times for obtaining the opinion of the commission can be extremely long. Meanwhile, Italy hosts many immigrants at its own expense, who will then never obtain refugee status. And they are a very high number. Says Uchenna: "The majority of those who are arriving on the Italian coast from Nigeria certainly do not run away from dangers: they are looking for money and success to be able to return home one day and strut the wealth achieved".

He explained that to do this, therefore, many times they invent stories of suffering and persecutions that they have never undergone: "I often hear the same identical story told by different immigrants".

Asked why everyone coming to Italy on the migrants' boats is undocumented, the interpreter answered: "Those who land in Italy say they never had a document or lost it in Libya. In Nigeria, falsifying documents and changing identity several times is normal. They do the same during recognition in Lampedusa".

But in Italy, he says, the 'poor thing' rule applies, explaining: "In the commissions we hear them say of every tale: 'Oh, what a poor man'. Yet these people often only tell lies."

Migrants, particularly those who seek asylum under false pretence, are also known for cutting, abrading and burning their fingertips to prevent identification.

Anna Bono, former University of Turin researcher in Africa's History and Institutions, who has long lived in Africa and has worked with the Italian Foreign Ministry, sums up the situation:
We now know with certainty that 95% of the foreigners who land in Italy are not refugees: they are not people exhausted from extreme poverty, they are not people who have escaped death threats, torture, deprivation of human rights.

They come from southern Nigeria, Senegal, Ivory Coast ... they are illegal immigrants. In 2016, 181,045 arrived, 123,482 of whom applied for asylum. The territorial commissions examined 90,473 requests, accepting 4,940 of them, namely 5.4% of the applications examined, 3.9% of those submitted and 2.7% of the total landings.
Prof Bono says that the vast majority of asylum seekers do not get asylum because they are not persecuted at home, nor are they fleeing wars.

However, not all applicants rejected over the years have left Italy. Many of both fake asylum seekers and illegal immigrants remained in Italy, escaping the control of the authorities and often disappearing. With the "residence permit for humanitarian reasons" many have been allowed to live in Italy in hiding, doing illegal jobs or illegal activities.

Therefore it's not surprising to know that 1 in 3 inmates in Italian prisons is foreign. This gives some indication of a serious problem of security in the country, a danger that has been in existence for a long time.

Yet again, it should come as no surprise that people with no official identity, no ties with the larger community that hosts them, generally no family (they are mostly young men of military age) and few opportunities for legal jobs should be enormously overrepresented in crime statistics.

Incidentally, this statistic is similar in other European countries. In Germany, for example, as reported by Free West Media: "In a sample of the 3930 prison population of Berlin 31 March 2018, 51 percent had no German citizenship. Of the individuals in pre-trial detention facilities, 75 percent had foreign nationality, the Berliner Morgenpost reported."

The epidemic of the new virus simply adds to this grave risk, and, paradoxically, it seems almost to offer an opportunity to examine it.

It's terrible, though: it shouldn't have been necessary to face a dangerous epidemic to be allowed to more openly discuss it.

We must also mention a well-known illegal trafficking of identity documents among immigrants across various European countries, including Italy, Germany, Greece, involving even people who have been recognised as refugees.

This Migration Phenomenon Is Not Good for African Countries Either

As we've described in this previous article “Young People, Don’t Emigrate” Say African Bishops, Italy, with 1 in 3 youths unemployed, has nothing to offer to migrants. African Cardinals and Bishops themselves have repeatedly and constantly exhorted their flocks to stay at home and help their countries.

Those who emigrate are usually the best equipped and qualified to help their own economies. They are richer, otherwise they wouldn't be able to pay the expensive people smugglers, younger, stronger, more skilled, with more initiative than the rest of their population that they leave behind.

And no-one in his right mind can seriously think that Africa's poverty problems - which have nevertheless diminished over the last few decades - can be solved by transferring the 1.2 billion Africans (rapidly increasing as we are counting) to the continent of Europe, the world's smallest.

And why don't we ever hear the same people who, for self-declared humanitarian reasons, worry so much about illegal immigrants equally condemn the most atrocious persecution of Christians all over the world? Why don't they beat their chest, similarly, for those Italians who commit suicide because their business failed and they can't support their families? While Italy is paying to host and keep thousands and thousands of fake refugees and illegal immigrants, what about the Italians who also need help?

The series of articles on Italy and Coronavirus continues.

Stop Censura
Researchgate: Fingerprint Alteration
Il Giornale: Gli immigrati raccontano bugie
Dei profughi non sappiamo nulla
La NuovaBQ: Io, falsa rifugiata
Un detenuto su tre e' straniero
Free West Media
Traffico di identita'

Il Primato Nazionale

Saturday, 23 May 2020

Italy: Racism Fear Stops Coronavirus Vital Quarantine

Coronavirus mask worn in an airport

By Enza Ferreri

This article was published in Italy Travel Ideas

Italy has been one of the world's most affected countries for the number of infections caused by the novel coronavirus.

Walter Ricciardi, Italy's representative at the World Health Organization and Professor of Hygiene and Public Health at the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in Rome, very clearly stated: "We [Italy] pay the consequences of not having immediately quarantined people who landed from China. We banned direct flights, a decision that has no scientific basis, and which did not allow us to trace the arrivals, because people were able to stop over and arrive from other places."

Professor Ricciardi was referring to the possibility left open to travellers of, for example, taking a flight from Beijing to Dubai, changing tickets and then heading to Rome or Milan.

Another authority on the subject, famous virologist Roberto Burioni, as early as 7 February was writing:

"The virus in China might be out of control, but it is not here yet. The only chance we have for not letting it in is only, and I repeat only, the quarantine of those who return. All, without distinction. It is not racism, but a simple and elementary measure of self-protection, which costs a little discomfort to the people who are isolated and provides us with infinite security, while avoiding hateful and unnecessary discrimination."

Dr Burioni later declared in an interview to Il Corriere della Sera:
Oh, I know, they called me an alarmist, even a fascist leghista [supporter of the centre-right Lega party], because from the beginning I claimed that isolating people from China was the only effective way to avoid the spread of the virus. I stress: people, not Chinese.
As you may have already noticed, the political climate in Italy has over time become excessively, paranoidly fixated against any supposed "fascism" or "racism", even when there is none, to the point of neglecting basic considerations of, as in this case, health and self-preservation.

Something similar happened in many other Western countries: see the example of the street distribution in Canada of bottles of hand sanitiser bearing the message 'Stop the Spread', referring not to Coronavirus but to xenophobia and intolerance. However, such attitudes of "the stigma is worse than the virus" in Italy have had more devastating consequences, due to the actions of the current government, which has been described as "the most unfit in the history of the Italian Republic".

On 31 January, the day after two Chinese tourists who had arrived from Wuhan to Milan Malpensa Airport were discovered as Italy's first two cases of the virus, the leader of the Lega party himself, Matteo Salvini, wrote on Twitter:

"Let me understand … The first two cases of Coronavirus in Italy apparently have quietly landed at Malpensa on 23 January and, without any control, travelled for days across half of Italy, until checking into a hotel in the centre of Rome.

"Is this how the government protects the health and safety of Italians? The Lega for days has been calling for quarantines, checks, blocks and information, but for Leftist politicians and journalists we were 'speculators' and jackals. Let us pray to God that there will be no disaster, but whoever has done wrong must pay."

He also tweeted: “Check every single entry. By sea, by air, by land. While other countries took immediate action, in Italy there was the impression that someone has been wasting time. And you can't play with the health of citizens."

Salvini's words, like Dr Burioni's, were welcomed by insults as well as totally ignored by the government.

Instead, a much more reasonable response came from a Chinese in self-isolation, married and mother-of-three Xia Weihong, 48: the Lega is right, she said to the Libero newspaper.

Italy's Centre-Left government was busy in fighting not an all-too-real virus but an imaginary risk of anti-Chinese racism, as if the highly-justified fear of contagion had been a symptom of dangerous xenophobia.

So we saw the President of the Republic Mattarella visiting a Rome's school attended by Chinese children to show his solidarity; initiatives like "embrace a Chinese" launched by Florence mayor Nardella; politicians and media people eating spring rolls in Chinese restaurants.

Except that, when a few cases of the virus were found in some parts of northern Italy, none of these personages went to embrace inhabitants of the Italian affected area.

Other posts on the subject will follow.

La Stampa
Medical Facts of Dr Roberto Burioni
Il Corriere della Sera
Malpensa 24
Matteo Salvini tweets
Canadian Hand Sanitiser

Thursday, 14 May 2020

Debunking Debunkers: Global Disinformation Index (GDI)

Global Disinformation Index

A useful exercise is to debunk the debunkers. I've done it before with the UK's fact-checker Full Fact .

It's particularly important in this coronavirus climate of frantic "fact-checking" and "information-correcting".

An article recently published on the website of the AAAS (American Association for the Advancement of Science) is about a physicist, Danny Rogers, who has co-founded and is Chief Technical Officer of the Global Disinformation Index, with the noble purpose of saving the internet from lies, errors, fake news and what have you.

The first disinformation service he should perform is against some of his own claims during the interview, for example: "QAnon has led to people’s deaths."

This is a wide and sweeping generalisation with no basis in reality. If it refers, as the only tenuous link, to the murder of alleged mob boss Frank Cali by Anthony Comello in March 2019, it is highly flimsy.

Apparently on the advice of his lawyer Robert Gottlieb, Comello pleaded not guilty, since Gottlieb is trying to defend his client as not guilty due to mental defect.

According to documents obtained by the New York Times, Comello wanted to perform a citizen’s arrest on Cali to help Trump, as he believed the Gambino crime family's presumed boss was part of the deep state and that he "was enjoying the protection of President Trump himself" to place Cali under citizen's arrest. When Cali didn’t comply, the documents say, Comello killed him out of fear that Cali would kill him.

What is unclear, among many things, is why Comello thought Cali belonged to the deep state.

The connection of this murder with QAnon, what Leftists call a "conspiracy theory" that Trump and his presidency have been under attack by the deep state, is at the very least dubious.

On the same grounds we could blame any political movement, in most cases with better reason, of "leading to people’s deaths". Many examples come to mind, for instance the 14 June 2017 shooting At Alexandria, Virginia, Congressional Republican Baseball Practice which only for the presence of a security detail by a miracle didn't kill anyone but could have been a massacre,

James T. Hodgkinson opened fire on GOP lawmakers and staffers with a rifle as they prepared for the annual summer baseball game between Republicans and Democrats, wounding several people.

Hodgkinson’s social media profile revealed he was a Left-wing Bernie Sanders supporter who believed President Trump was a “traitor.” In one Facebook post of 3 months before Hodgkinson wrote: “It’s Time to Destroy Trump & Co.”

The AAAS article goes on to say:
GDI’s [the above-mentioned Global Disinformation Index] system analyzes content and context flags which can help assess any domain’s risk of disinformation. It rates the disinformation risk for websites based upon variables that include overall credibility, whether they push sensationalism, whether they contain hate speech, and whether the company embraces sound policies regarding content.
Now, since the article is published by the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the "debunking" website with a high-sounding name it analyses is co-founded and headed by a physicist, we would expect some more precision in its chosen criteria than this. What objective characteristics does "overall credibility" entail?

And, even more importantly, how do you define "hate speech"? What does this concept mean? What role can it have in a science-led effort of exposing disinformation?

It's an impossible task to give "hate speech" a role in refuting falsehoods, for many reasons. First of all, hate is a sentiment, an emotion, a passion. As such, it's in the realm of the subjective, not the objective. What you consider hate another may consider simply justice, or telling the truth. There's no objective yardstick for definition, let alone measurement.

Furthermore, "hate" has been overused ad nauseam by the political and cultural Left to stigmatise, place beyond the pale and therefore silence (or at least the Left hopes) its adversaries.

So, this other "fact-checking" enterprise on the face of it seems to be, like so many of the same kind, Leftist propaganda masquerading as a quest for the truth.


Thursday, 7 May 2020

Covid-19 Fake News Is Real: a Direct Personal Experience

Fake news is real, especially in the mainstream media.

The tabloids may be the worst offenders, but are not the only ones.

And, in these times of coronavirus pandemic and great confusion about something new and not well understood, we need to be particularly careful about what the big newspapers and magazines, on which many rely for their news, information and opinions, publish.

This life experience reported by writer Victor Davis Hanson in the National Review well illustrates it.

After writing an article in which he advanced a few hypotheses, making it clear that they were only his layman's (not a doctor's) conjectures, on why California a month ago had not experienced the same level of Covid-19 cases as New York, he was "hit" by media as well as private enquiries about his ongoing “coronavirus antibody testing studies.”

Despite the fact that he never claimed to be a medical expert in his article or in any enquiry following it, and that he explained he never conducted a coronavirus study, he was repeatedly pursued for medical advice, even by Chinese media who were in search of "lab" confirmation that the virus spread started in the US (some Chinese go as far as saying that the origin of the disease was in Italy).

Hanson adds that the more he was denying any expert knowledge the more the media, including American ones, ignored his correction and continued asking him the same questions regardless.

He concludes that fake news is real, and it's interesting to hear it from someone who has experienced personally how easily and quickly it spreads.

A book could be written on how efficiently, without difficulty and terrifyingly the mass media can manipulate consciences.

Wednesday, 6 May 2020

UK, Coronavirus Lockdown Good for the Heart, Rest, Exercise

The lockdown is good for the heart.

In the UK there’s been a reduction of hospital admissions for cardiovascular problems, and not because of fear of coronavirus contagion. If someone has serious heart trouble, he is unlikely not to report it and to bypass hospital referral.

Staying at home, not worrying about going to work the next day, sleeping well are relaxing and therefore beneficial for cardiac activity.

It has a similar effect as having a holiday.

People working from home are more likely to take breaks and not sit for long hours without interruption.

In addition, more people, if for no other reason than just to have an excuse to go out, are taking more regular exercise, walking and cycling, and entire families do it together.


Monday, 4 May 2020

Negative Oil Prices, End of Environmentalists' Peak Oil Theory

Oil tanker

People who read my article Italy Coronavirus Lockdown, No Cars, Pollution Up were surprised to find out that, in the absence of car traffic during the pandemic lockdown, the air pollution all over Italy increased rather than decreasing as expected according to the current views.

But contra facta non valent argumenta, as the Latin expression goes, there are no valid arguments against facts. Perhaps the pet, fashionable ecologist theories consider only some causal factors and not others, they overestimate human activity to the detriment of natural phenomena, they focus too much on cars and industries and too little on the weather.

Indeed we should consider another case in which a theory long supported by the fans of Malthus has been debunked for the umpteenth time amid - but not because of - the coronavirus crisis.

Now, for the first time in history, oil prices have become negative. That means that oil producers and traders are paying market players to take oil off their hands. They got stuck between a gigantic oversupply of oil and an absence of places to store it.

The BBC blames it on coronavirus, but while the lockdown may have been a contributing factor, this historic low is not just the effect of the Covid-19 pandemic, as the oil price has been going down for years.

As Capital says,
it may prove to be the case that the coronavirus crisis accelerated and deepened a recession that was due anyway after a prolonged upswing.

...Finally, for all the talk of renewables and of carbon fuels being “stranded assets” that cannot be used, it is widely accepted that oil will remain one of the highest value cards in the energy deck, alongside gas and nuclear power.
A Colorado paper alerts: "Oil price: futures markets warn it won't recover after coronavirus".

You may have heard of the peak oil theory. It was one of the environmentalists' many neo-Malthusian ideas holding that, due to the fact that the earth's resources are finite, we'll get to the point that oil, after a "peak" of production, will become scarce and oil price will skyrocket.

In fact oil prices have gone down over time, and now they have even become negative. Peak oil theory has been repeatedly refuted again and again. But how could environmentalists, who supported a false theory, ever predict that? They foresaw exactly the opposite of what has happened. Similarly, those ecologist theories have turned out to be fallacious or at least doubtful about cars being the only or main cause of air pollution. This is what evidence and data show. Do we prefer fantasies instead?

Julian Lee on Bloomberg, declaring that the current crisis of negative oil prices is not an anomaly, has got closer to the explanatory cause much more accurately than those who blame the coronavirus lockdown:
If oil producers don’t cut supply, negative prices will come back to force them.

Crude oil's collapse into negative prices on Monday was a clear warning of just how scarce storage space for oil is getting. Prices below zero are the market's way of telling producers to stop pumping, now.

...with the world awash in oil, there was nowhere for them to store it. So they had to get rid of that obligation, at almost any price.
The situation has arisen because there is still simply too much crude being produced in a world that can’t use it.
The problem seems to be that oil producers are not cutting supply quickly and aggressively enough.

Compare this reality with the fiction of the greens' theory of peak oil that describes an enormous demand of oil confronting a very low and ever-decreasing supply.

What happened? Fracking happened, and electric cars. It's man's ingenuity and human choice, not geology, that governs.

This is what occurs when a theory, whether it is cars as a major responsible for air pollution or it is peak oil, is put to the test: this is the scientific method. Otherwise, it's pure ideology with no foundation.

Friday, 1 May 2020

Italy Coronavirus Lockdown, No Cars, Pollution Up

Rome, Italy, Coronavirus lockdown - deserted street

By Enza Ferreri

This article was published on Italy Travel Ideas

It’s so fashionable and radical-chic to blame man, what he creates and what he produces for any environmental disaster, real or imagined, these days. Pollution and anthropogenic climate change spring to mind.

During the coronavirus lockdown, which in Italy has strongly reduced car traffic in cities and country, these theories of how our air is affected by motor-caused pollution can be put to test.

And surprise, shock, maybe horror! It’s not what we thought.

Italy’s ARPA, Regional Agency for Environmental Protection, with control units located all over Italy monitors in real time the quality of the atmosphere and publishes the findings daily.

An almost incredible picture has emerged. In the overwhelming majority of Italian cities, the air quality deteriorated after ten days of "zero traffic" due to the lockdown imposed by the government resulting in an absolute lack of cars and reflected in images of deserted cities like in a post-nuclear bombing era seen in movies.

A world without one car, a test that could never have been carried out without an exceptional event such as the Covid-19 pandemic. Everywhere there is more or less the same picture, from Turin to Naples, going through Milan and Rome. All the pollutants under control by ARPA have not decreased, even during long periods without traffic. If anything, the pollutants have gone up.

Rome: Traffic Zero, Particulate Matter Up

Let’s start from Rome, certainly a unique city due to its perennial history of civilisation always, like the Arab Phoenix from its ashes, being born again, not to mention its immense heritage of architecture and art masterpieces.

The atmosphere is full of microscopic particles of solid or liquid matter suspended in the air called particulate matter (PM), which is a very insidious and dangerous pollutant due to its nano-dimensions. The level of PM is considered an important indicator of air pollution.

It was known that all these fine particles in the air are not caused only by human activity but are of natural origin. But the constant drumbeat of environmentalism has led to an overestimation of their human cause.

In the Eternal City, particulates, nitrogen dioxide and ozone in the last few days have had values significantly higher than those of the previous week. With cars completely eliminated, showing that much pollution is not due to car traffic. If vehicles stop circulating, the situation does not improve.

It was not possible to organise a total block of traffic for several weeks to really see what would have happened. Now the coronavirus pandemic has brought to a halt all activities, creating a gigantic open-air laboratory. A joy for scientists and researchers to get an unrepeatable scenario to analyse.

In Rome, a week after the total lockdown ordered by Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, the amount of fine dust in the air had increased.

After an accurate study of Rome district by district dated April 16 and covering more than a month in full lockdown, the Lazio Region section of ARPA published a 44-page report from which the experts’ embarrassment emerges. They couldn’t imagine this result: particulates don’t seem to care at all about what man does, they carry on regardless.

PM 10 is higher in March 2020 in every corner of the city than in March 2016 (the year most similar to 2020 from a meteorological point of view). In some recent days it has been almost double that of previous years.

The last four lines of the 44-page dossier, full of tables, are: «The particular situation generated by Covid-19 represents an event that has never occurred before, which will allow to deepen the study of air quality and will provide useful elements for the evaluation of the short and medium term measures that are adopted by the various authorities for the reduction of pollution ".

The hint is: if this is the reality, many things must be reviewed.

Milan and Po Valley: Data Deny the Anti-Pollution Effect of Lockdown

Milan, capital of the Lombardy Region, Italy's second city and industrial capital, has never been so car-free and yet the pollution level of its air has not changed.

The large amount of particulate matter (especially PM10) is due to the arrival of strong winds from the east, experts write. These are large-scale air masses from the Caspian Sea region that have brought great quantities of fine dust. Once they reached Italy they dispersed, while inside the Po Valley they were trapped by the Alpine and Apennine arches.

The reduction of air pollution that had been previously observed through photographs from the space in the Po Valley had deluded us: they had not detected the effect of the antiviral lockdown resulting in fewer cars and industrial activities but the effect of the wind from Central Europe while it was sweeping the smog away from the Po air.

Instead, before the lockdown started there was a clear and uncluttered atmosphere, the transparency of the air which the satellites photographed and we attributed to the effect of the anti-contagion restrictions.

What about the satellite images that convinced us of the best air quality in the days of the infection? They were photographs from space that had captured not the effects of the lockdown, since many satellite surveys had been taken in the days before the traffic stopped, but the effects of the weather.

The prime factor that thickens or disperses the polluting emissions of Northern Italy - of artificial or natural origin - is the weather. The wind and rain clean the air more than the confinement against the virus, or they bring the polluting dust of the deserts of Central Asia into the lungs of Lombardy, Piedmont, Emilia, Romagna and Veneto, as happened in the weekend of March 30 and 31 when from Venice to Turin, from Bologna to Varese, without the movement of a car, the air of the North was plagued beyond all limits.

All this this was revealed by a study by Arpa Lombardia, supported by data from the other regional agencies of Northern Italy, whose detection units measured increases in smog after the closure of activities, industries and road traffic imposed by health concerns. On Saturday 30 March, with the contribution of desert sands, the dust in Milan was 84.4 micrograms, in Venice 152, in Verona 125, in Bologna 98 micrograms of PM10 per cubic metre of air. The European air quality target indicates the limit of 50 micrograms, a limit exceeded generously everywhere in Northern Italy.

Nothing, therefore, suggests that the lockdown drastically helped the region.

The specificity of the Po Valley is confirmed once again. As a writer put it: “Milan is polluted for other reasons: because it is at the bottom of a windless basin called the Po Valley".

A Gigantic Open-Air Laboratory

Starting from 23 February, the progressive adoption of measures to contain the contagion from coronavirus has determined a uniquely faster alteration in human activities than in ordinary conditions.

This has allowed scientists to measure in reality the consequences of some measures aimed at improving air quality, and more crucially to test many theories and assumptions about what gives rise to air pollution that had been long accepted but not properly tested.

When the first results were known, the surprise and amazement of researchers was evident. How is it possible? Someone thought of an error: if cars stop, pollution can’t go up. But this mistaken, as it turned out, prediction was based on a wrong presumption on the main cause of pollution.

This is how science proceeds: if a proposition describing a future observable event is logically deduced from a hypothesis, and if the event predicted occurs, the hypothesis is confirmed, if not it is refuted (or debunked, as the neologism goes).

The scientists’ conclusions: "In fact, it has been observed that the drastic reductions of some sources [like road traffic, Editor's note] have not always prevented the limits from being exceeded, even though they contribute to reducing their size. This clearly highlights the complexity of the phenomena related to the formation, transport and accumulation of atmospheric particulates and the consequent difficulty of drastically reducing the values present in the atmosphere in ordinary situations".

In short: reducing pollutants in the atmosphere is not always possible, as it is influenced by a series of factors not always under human control, like weather influences.

Is It Worth It?

Environmentalist lobbies have a great power in our times over political decisions and media coverage influencing public opinion. But, before blaming cars for levels of pollution for which they are not responsible, think of this: due to the coronavirus pandemic and the fall in demand deriving from it, 14 million European workers risk losing their jobs, as explained by Eric-Mark Huitema, general manager of Acea, the association of European car manufacturers, who defines the coronavirus emergency as "the worst crisis ever" for its impact on the automotive industry.

Il sole 24 Ore
Il Messaggero
Il Gazzettino
A rischio 14 milioni di posti di lavoro

Tuesday, 28 April 2020

Coronavirus Italy Consecrates Itself to the Virgin Mary

Michelangelo's Pieta during Coronavirus Times

By Enza Ferreri

This article was published on Italy Travel Ideas

While you may have read about or seen videos of Italians in Coronavirus lockdown singing from their balconies to each other and to the rest of the world, different responses to the crisis have emerged in Italy.

From the North to the South of the country, many mayors have consecrated their towns and cities, starting with the Mayor of Venice Luigi Brugnaro, who on 13 March 2020 visited the splendid Basilica of Santa Maria della Salute on the Grand Canal, magnificently built by Baldassarre Longhena in memory of the relief provided by the Mother of God during the plague of 1630-1631.

Mayor Consecrates Venice to the Immaculate Heart Mayor Consecrates Venice to the Immaculate Heart

Luigi Brugnaro, in his role as Mayor, wearing the symbolic tricolour band of Italian mayors across his chest, in front of the altar of the Madonna recited the prayer to the Virgin composed by the Patriarch of Venice, Bishop Francesco Moraglia, saying: “We are consecrating to Your Immaculate Heart Venice and our Veneto lands”.

Immediately after that, a petition was launched by the website Radio Spada to ask mayors to follow Venice’s example, and many did.

Then it was Siena’s Mayor who, representing the city whose patron saint is the Blessed Mother, by giving Her the keys to the city entrusted the protection of Siena to the Madonna del Voto, as had been done many times before over the Tuscan town’s long and troubled history, during battles and sieges. The last time was in 1944.

Among the numerous other authorities who have responded are the mayors of Sassuolo, Giulianova, Nettuno, Ventimiglia, Tagliacozzo, Terni, Vanzaghello, Casole d’Elsa, Siracusa.

Coronavirus. Italian Police Entrusts Italy to Saint Michael the Archangel
Italian Police Entrusts Italy to Saint Michael

In Ascoli the keys to the city have been entrusted to St Emidio, in Lecco the mayor entrusted his city to St Nicolò, in Silvi to St Leo, in Citerna to the Virgin Mary and St Michael Archangel, and innumerable other towns followed suit. Throughout Italian cities votes were renewed, processions held, rosaries, novenas and prayers said, like in Naples where a week of novenas to St Gennaro is still being recited.

Even Italian State Police on its Facebook official profile posted: “At this difficult time, the State Police entrusts Italy to this force’s own patron saint and protector St Michael Archangel, who reportedly stopped the plague epidemic in Rome in 590 AD. May his protection forcefully guide us for the safety and health of every citizen.”

Above this post is the Pietà, Michelangelo's masterpiece, reinterpreted in these Coronavirus times by Como artist Mr. Savethewall (stage name of Pierpaolo Perretta), who shared it on his social profiles with the words "The thanks of all Italians to doctors, nurses, health operators, pharmacists and all those who are directly and indirectly putting all their energy into protecting our lives and that of our loved ones. You are more than heroes".

The Madonna wears a mask and has a stethoscope around her neck, while the body of Our Lord Jesus Christ is replaced by the Italian flag.

The artist is from Lombardy, in Northern Italy, the country's most affected region, with a total number at the moment of 42,161 cases, a number higher than any whole country in the world except the pandemic's top 6, included Italy, now tragically surpassed by the United States. Italy's total number of Covid-19 cases is now 101,739, with 812 deaths just in the last 24 hours.

The Como artist said:
You cannot explain in words the pain that a woman who loses a child can feel. Each of us feels the intensity of it in a different way based on our own experience, our personal experience. This is the strength of the image and of the profound value it brings.
But then he added:
I want the positive message to emerge just as strongly: this woman is the Blessed Mother and the tricolour is the body of the Son of God made man Who will rise again, just like Italy.
Radio Spada Petition
Radio Spada

La Repubblica
Messa in Latino
Polizia di Stato Italiana

Saturday, 25 April 2020

Pakistan Christians with No Food for Not Converting to Islam in Coronavirus Crisis

Coronavirus Pakistan Christians Left Starving

In these times of great concern and panic over the Coronavirus pandemic we cannot think about the plight of Christians persecuted in great numbers in the world.

Ah, wait a minute: even in times without any hint of Coronavirus, our supposedly, or at least historically, Christian societies never give persecuted Christians a thought.

It can't be because of Covid-19, then.

Oh well, ehm.

Anyway, in the egalitarian country of Pakistan they know how to deal with SARS-CoV-2, which is how they deal with everything else: there are two tracks, one for the Muslim majority and one for the Christian minority. And don't you ever forget that.

Like in other countries, so in Pakistan, with 11,940 total cases and 253 deaths, people must remain in lockdown at home until at least April 30th.

Due to the abrupt interruption of many jobs, a high number of communities found themselves with no food and means of subsistence. Both the government and private Muslim NGOs are helping the poorest, since one in two Pakistani lives below the poverty line.

But aid is not given to needy Christians. The US-based charity Emergency Committee to Save the Persecuted and Enslaved (ECSPE) reports: "Islamic foundations, which receive a lot of public funds, force Christians to convert to Islam. Otherwise, they don't distribute the food to them".

The Saylani Welfare International Trust, a Muslim NGO that hands out aid and meals to homeless people and seasonal workers, denies food to both Christians and Hindus.

This is perfectly in line with Islam's concept of charity. Farooq Masih, a 54-year-old Christian in Korangi, said that volunteers who distributed food rations in the neighbourhood purposely skipped Christian homes. As Asia News explains, "The reason for this is that Zakat, Islamic alms giving (one of Islam’s five pillars), is reserved for Muslims."

Robert Spencer on Jihad Watch comments:
Islamic apologists in the West routinely deny that this is the case, but here it is in action.

Anyway, if the reverse were true, this story would receive massive international media coverage. But no one will take any particular notice of this.
In fact, Zakat is not just for Muslims, generically. Zakat is partly for violent jihad .

While unfortunately Christian and Hindu minorities are used to discrimination in Pakistan, at school and at work, nevertheless they hoped that at least during a national emergency like the Coronavirus pandemic it could be different, but no, they still suffer extreme discrimination.

Another incident, reported by UcaNews, occurred in the Sher-Shah neighbourhood of Lahore, where the distribution of government food rations was announced by the speakers of the local mosque. However, when the Christians, identified through the identity card, showed up in line they were sent away.

Christians complained on Facebook of similar discrimination in a small village near Lahore.

In yet a further instance over 100 Christian families from the Sandha Kalan village, in the Kasur district of the province of Punjab, were excluded from the distribution of aid by the local mosque.