Italy’s fascinating All Souls’ Day traditions

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Italy's fascinating All Souls' Day traditions
A man visits Rome’s Verano cemetery. Photo: Filippo Monteforte/AFP.
In Sicily, children hunt for treats left by loving relatives no longer around. In northern Italy people leave their homes empty in case the dead want to visit. All over the country, Italians set an empty place at the table for people who no longer sit there.

They’re all part of Italy’s centuries-old tradition of taking November 2nd to remember the dead. In Italy as in many other Christian countries, the day after All Saints’ Day is All Souls’ Day – and here it’s celebrated with prayers, flowers and, of course, food.

For many Italians, the most important act of remembrance is visiting loved ones’ graves. Cemeteries see an influx of visitors on or around November 2nd, when it’s time to tidy up the family plot and decorate tombs with candles and fresh flowers.

Chrysanthemums are traditional funeral flowers in Italy. Photo: Fir0002/Flagstaffotos via Wikimedia Commons.

The traditional choice of bloom is brightly coloured chrysanthemums: the autumnal flowers are at their peak around All Souls’ Day and Italians associate them with mourning.

Far from being a sombre affair, for many people the graveside vigil is an occasion to thank their ancestors, a celebration of their lives and a chance for adults and children alike to chat to them as if they were still here.

In Rome there was even a custom to eat a picnic at the graveside, a way of sharing a meal with dead loved ones.

Visitors to Rome’s Verano cemetery. Photo: Filippo Monteforte/AFP.

If the living get closer to the dead on All Souls’ Day, it’s also the time for the dead to get closer to the living.

Some believe that the spirits of those departed return to earth on this day. To welcome them, one common Italian tradition was to set an extra place at the table or even put out a tray of food for invisible visitors.

In parts of Piedmont, families traditionally go to the cemetery in the evening without clearing the dinner table, so that spirits can come and help themselves without being disturbed.

In other regions people leave lanterns lit and fires burning overnight, while in Cremona in Lombardy it was customary to get up early on All Souls’ Day and make the bed to allow wandering souls to find rest.

Visitors to Rome’s Verano cemetery. Photo: Filippo Monteforte/AFP.

In Sicily, those who return bring something with them. Children who’ve been good and remembered dead relatives in their prayers all year long are rewarded with gifts of toys and sweets, sometimes hidden around the house on the morning of November 2nd.

Elsewhere it’s customary for the living to give gifts. In Sardinia children go from house to house on All Souls’ Day collecting treats of cakes, nuts and dried fruit in exchange for a prayer for the deceased. And in Emilia Romagna the poor are entitled to “carità di murt”: charity in the name of the dead, in the form of donated food or money.

Fave dei morti from Perugia. Photo: Cantalamessa via Wikimedia Commons.

Italy doesn’t celebrate anything without food, and All Souls’ Day is no exception.

Each region has its own variation on dolci dei morti, sweets of the dead, treats meant to sweeten the bitterness of death. Usually simple white biscuits, they’re typically baked in the form of a bone as an edible memento mori.

Another variation is fave dei morti, beans of the dead, small ground almond cakes in the shape of a bean. They’re sometimes given as gifts between lovers on All Souls’ Day – either as a comfort or a pledge to be faithful “’til death do us part”.

A more savoury tradition is a special stuffed bread seasoned with chilli, which some southern Italians would take to be blessed at All Souls’ Day mass before eating it. The spicy filling was supposed to allow whoever ate it to take on burning punishment on behalf of souls suffering in purgatory, thereby offering them some relief.


Source :  The Local Italy

Court releases Ukraine Interior Minister’s son on personal recognizance, orders to wear ankle bracelet

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The Solomensky District Court of Kyiv on Wednesday, November 1, ruled to release on personal recognizance Oleksandr Avakov, the suspect in an embezzlement case, who is the son of Ukraine’s minister of internal affairs.
Snapshot from Radio Svoboda's YouTube video

The suspect was also obliged to wear an ankle bracelet at all times, turn in his travel passport, and report to the law enforcement agencies at first call. As UNIAN reported earlier, on October 31, agents of the National Anti-Corruption Bureau raided Oleksandr Avakov’s apartment. Later, the anti-graft watchdog announced it had detained three persons as part of an investigation into embezzlement of over UAH 14 million in backpack procurement deals signed by the Interior Ministry. The detainees included an ex-deputy interior minister Serhiy Chebotar and a representative of the firm that won a procurement bid.

Both Avakov Jr. and Chebotar were notified of suspicion of committing a crime under part 5 of Art.191 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine (misappropriation, embezzlement of assets or their seizure though abuse of office). Ukrainian Interior Minister Arsen Avakov claimed his son was not guilty. “Neither my son nor the firms founded by him get or got a single penny from the budget of Ukraine. And Oleksandr Avakov will go through the [legal] procedure and prove it in court … For all those who want to use this situation for publicity purposes, for their own political ambitions or solution of own situational tasks – I’ll answer once again: ‘It won’t work.’ I’m not going to trade my own principles for personal comfort and the ease of being,” the minister wrote on Facebook on Tuesday, October 31.

He also stressed that NABU and the Specialized Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office (SAP) “should be the agencies that are free from the influence of political groups and interests.”

Source :  UNIAN

Ukraine testing anti-aircraft guided missiles in Kherson region (Photo)

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On November 2, test launches of anti-aircraft guided medium-range missiles started at a temporary military site near the village of Oleksandrivka in Kherson region, the Air Force Command of UA Armed Forces wrote on Facebook.

The drills involve crews of military aviation, units of anti-aircraft missile defense, e-warfare and communications troops, as well as an unmanned aircraft of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.

It is noted that combat units of anti-aircraft missile forces will work out practical tasks with combat (and simulated) launches of anti-aircraft guided missiles focusing on aerial targets.

Source :  UNIAN

Reuters Exclusive: Ukraine hit by stealthier phishing attacks during BadRabbit strike

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Hackers tried to access confidential data in powerful but stealthy phishing attacks launched in parallel with an eyeball-grabbing ransomware strike called BadRabbit last week, the head of the Ukrainian state cyber police said on Thursday, according to Reuters.


The BadRabbit attack mainly affected Russia but also hit the headlines in Ukraine – a frequent victim of cyber strikes – by causing flight delays at Odessa airport on the south coast and disrupting electronic payments in the Kyiv metro, Reuters said in an exclusive material on November 2. “During these attacks, we repeatedly detected more powerful, quiet attacks that were aimed at obtaining financial and confidential information,” cyber police chief Serhiy Demedyuk told the Reuters Cyber Security Summit in Kyiv. The discovery suggests Ukraine may have been a key target of last week’s attacks, despite the higher incidence of BadRabbit victims in Russia.

Demedyuk said it was a kind of “hybrid attack” that is becoming increasingly common. “There is an open, let’s say instantly obvious attack, while underneath there is a hidden, fairly well-thought-out attack, to which nobody pays attention.” “The main theory we’re working on now, is that they (the perpetrators of both attacks) were one and the same,” he said. “The goal was to get remote and undetected access.” The parallel attack targeted users of Russian-designed software called 1C with phishing emails that appeared to be from the developer, Demedyuk said. 1C’s developer did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Reuters. A distributor of 1C in Ukraine, who asked not to be named, confirmed that customers had been targeted and said it had warned users to take extra precautions as a result. Demedyuk said his department learned of the hack when about 15 companies reported that they had been compromised. He said it was not yet possible to say how many people or firms or people had been affected in total, but 1C products, which include accounting software, are widely used in Ukraine.


Another virus, dubbed “NotPetya,” also targeted users of accounting software in June. It took down thousands of computers in Ukraine and spread around the world, disrupting shipping and businesses. Security researchers and cyber experts believe the NotPetya and BadRabbit attacks could have been carried out by the same group as they share a key piece of code. Demedyuk said Ukrainian authorities had prevented five other major attacks on financial institutions and strategic infrastructure since June, declining to name the targets. In one of the attacks, police managed to block the transfer of 10 million hryvnia ($371,277) out of a company’s account. He also said hackers have been exploiting so-called “back doors” that were installed by hackers during the NotPetya attack.

Source :  UNIAN

Turkey warns Greece over illegal military exercise

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Turkey warned Greece on Thursday for conducting an illegal joint military exercise with Egypt at the Greek island of Rhodes.

In a written statement, Turkey’s Foreign Ministry said it learned that Greece and Egypt are conducting a joint amphibian attack exercise from Oct. 30 – Nov. 4 at Greece’s Rhodes island according to information received from Turkish military sources.

The statement said the 1947 Treaty of Paris prohibits any kind of military education activities on Rhodes island, which was transferred to Greece from Italy after World War II on the condition of being disarmed.

“Therefore, this military exercise conducted on Rhodes is an open breach of international law,” the statement stressed.

The statement said they have conveyed warnings to the Greek Embassy in Ankara and reminded them of the importance of avoiding one-sided acts that will increase tensions in the Aegean Sea.

“In this framework, we stress our expectation from Greece to avoid hostile acts and acts against international law, and we invite third parties not to be partners to these kinds of violations of Greece,” the statement added.

Rhodes island is located in the southeastern part of the Aegean Sea and is close to the Turkish coast.


Source  :  Daily Sabah

Number of tourists up 60 pct in first-class resort city of Antalya

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Number of tourists up 60 pct in first-class resort city of Antalya

Often called Turkey’s tourism capital, Antalya saw a 60 percent increase of tourists in the first 10 months of this year, welcoming around 9.48 million via Antalya Airport, compared to the same period last year, according to the Antalya Airport Administrative Authority.

The city was visited by about 444,507 Russian tourists from Jan. 1 to Oct. 31 last year, but saw a 724 percent increase, with around 3.66 million Russians coming in the same period this year out of the nearly 9.5 million tourists who came to Antalya.

For October, around 982,441 tourists came to the city, an increase of 24 percent compared to the same period last year.

Russian tourists visiting the city in the said period constituted 63 percent of the total number of tourists.

In October, Antalya welcomed around 361,251 Russians, an increase of 96 percent when compared to the same month last year when around 183,000 Russian tourists arrived. Russian tourists constituted 36.7 percent of all tourists in October.

The number of tourists from Germany, one of the countries with the highest number of tourists in Antalya in previous years, was below 2016 figures. Around 1.579 million German tourists came to Antalya in the first 10 months of this year, a decrease of 16 percent compared to the same period last year.

In October, the number of tourists from Germany decreased 17 percent compared to the same month last year, falling from 296,000 to 247,000.

Germans constituted 27 percent of the total number of tourists in the 10-month period and 25 percent in October.

The Ukrainian market, which has risen sharply since last year, saw to rise this year. The number of tourists from Ukraine, which was the second-most popular market along with Russia, saw an increase of 25 percent in the 10-month period, reaching 710,000.

In October, around 49,961 tourists came from Ukraine, which ranked third after Russia and Germany, the countries that have the highest number of tourists coming to Turkey, an increase of 28 percent compared to the same month last year.

Antalya also saw a 7 percent increase in tourists from the U.K. in the first 10 months of the year, reaching 350,000, while in October, there was an increase of 27 percent, reaching 45,000, compared to the same month last year. The British constituted 6 percent of all tourists in the country.


Source  :  Daily Sabah

Leader of FETÖ-linked Turkish Air Forces officers detained in Ankara

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emAA file photo/em

AA file photo

Gürdal T., the leader of Gülenist terror group (FETÖ)-linked officers embedded in the ranks of Turkish Air Forces, was detained in Ankara late Thursday, police sources said.

FETÖ, led by U.S.-based Fetullah Gülen, orchestrated the July 15 failed coup attempt and infiltrated Turkish state institutions, especially the military, police apparatus and judiciary, with the ultimate aim of creating a parallel state.

The attempt was prevented by military troops loyal to the government, along with police units and millions of Turkish citizens in favor of democracy. A total of 250 people, consisting of mostly civilians, were killed by pro-coup soldiers, while over 2,000 people were injured.

In the wake of the deadly coup attempt, tens of thousands of public sector personnel, including civil servants, teachers, police, judges and prosecutors have been removed from their jobs.


Source  :  Daily Sabah

Deputados querem debater segurança em Minas com ministro da Justiça

Crédito: Assessoria Deputado Sargento Rodrigues

O caos na segurança de Minas Gerais ditou o tom da reunião da Comissão de Segurança Pública da Assembleia Legislativa de Minas Gerais (ALMG) na manhã desta terça-feira (31/10). Além debater a situação de uma escola estadual da capital mineira que acumula mais de 60 boletins de ocorrência por assaltos, furtos e depredações, a comissão aprovou requerimentos para discutir a segurança no interior. Também foi apresentado requerimento para debater a situação do estado com a presença do ministro da Justiça Torquato Jardim.

De autoria dos deputados Sargento Rodrigues e João Leite, o requerimento apresentado para a audiência pública com o ministro deve ser votado na próxima reunião. De acordo com o deputado João Leite, diante da insegurança no estado – diariamente noticiada – o próprio ministro demonstrou interesse em vir à Assembleia para debater o assunto.

“Estamos passando por situações lastimáveis na segurança pública de Minas. Faltam investimentos, o sistema prisional está à beira de um colapso com a saída dos agentes contratados, equipamentos estão sucateados. Mandamos nossos policiais para as ruas com coletes que não oferecem mais segurança de tão velhos. Policiais esses que estão recebendo seus salários parcelados e atrasados. Sofrem nossos agentes da segurança e sofre toda a população. Essa audiência, com a presença do ministro, se faz necessária. Esse governo não age. Precisamos fazer tudo que podemos”, frisou o deputado João Leite.

Dados divulgados pelo Fórum Nacional de Segurança Pública na última segunda-feira (30/10) mostram que Minas está ocupando uma posição assustadora nas estatísticas de criminalidades. Em 2016 foram registrados 4348 óbitos intencionais no estado, o que dá uma média de 12 pessoas assassinadas por dia, uma morte a cada duas horas no estado. No cenário nacional, Minas é o quinto estado mais violento e o quarto estado com maior número de homicídios.

Em outro ponto, os dados do documento do Fórum Nacional reforçam o que a oposição vem apontando: os investimentos ligados à segurança caíram drasticamente. Entre 2015 e 2016 os gastos do governo de Minas com informações e serviços de inteligência caíram 64%, com policiamento a redução foi de 32,4% e nas ações de Defesa Civil os recursos foram reduzidos pela metade.

Escola sob ameaças
Durante o debate sobre a insegurança a que estão sujeitos os alunos e professores da Escola Estadual Professor Magalhães Drumond, localizada no Bairro Nova Cintra, em Belo Horizonte, chamou a atenção a ausência da diretora da escola Ana Maria Ramos Goulart, uma das pessoas mais empenhadas em buscar soluções para os recorrentes atos de violência que a escola vem sofrendo.

Já foram registrados mais de 60 boletins de ocorrência na escola, que variam entre roubo de equipamentos e mobiliário, assaltos de alunos e funcionários, depredações, pichações e outros. De acordo com informações recebidas pelo deputado Sargento Rodrigues, a diretora não compareceu à Assembleia porque a Secretaria de Estado de Educação (SEE) marcou uma reunião com ela para o mesmo dia e horário da audiência. Vale frisar que o governo não enviou representantes – nem da SEE e nem da Polícia Militar.

“As artimanhas deste governo de acobertar a gravidade da situação que estamos enfrentando no estado não param. E não podemos ficar só assistindo o crime fazer isso com uma escola, implantar o medo onde o estado tem o dever de oferecer segurança. Não vamos parar de denunciar, debater e buscar soluções. A cada dia a verdade se sobrepõe à maquiagem que esta gestão tenta vender, com o marketing de investimentos que nunca chegaram à nossa segurança. Precisamos mais do que nunca nos movimentar, informar aos prefeitos, aos vereadores, à população do estado o que estamos enfrentando e exigir a atenção do governo à Segurança Pública”, reforçou o deputado Sargento Rodrigues.

Assessoria do Bloco Verdade e Coerência 


Site Minas de Verdade

O PT quebrou Minas Gerais-Base do governo quer encobrir calote do ICMS nos municípios

Resultado de imagem para nota de 100 reais


Atrasos nos repasses continuam. Mais de R$ 44 milhões que deveriam ter sido transferidos no dia 31 não foram pagos pelo governo petista

Os deputados da base de Fernando Pimentel na Assembleia Legislativa, empenhados em encobrir o calote que o governo está dando nas prefeituras, impediram a realização de uma audiência pública para debater os constantes atrasos nos repasses do ICMS devido aos municípios. Na manhã desta quarta-feira (01/11), eles rejeitaram o requerimento de autoria dos deputados Gustavo Valadares e Tito Torres que solicitava a presença do secretário de Fazenda, José Afonso Bicalho, para explicar o motivo dos atrasos e discutir uma solução para o prejuízo causado aos municípios.

Ontem (31/10), o governo petista deveria ter transferido R$ 44,7 milhões para os 853 municípios mineiros, mas o depósito não foi realizado. O repasse referente ao dia 17 de outubro só foi integralmente pago após 10 dias em atraso, de acordo com dados da Associação Mineira de Municípios (AMM). Os juros e correção monetária sobre o valor pago com atraso ainda não foram quitados e também estão pendentes R$ 217,6 milhões da cota-parte do Fundeb, o equivalente a 64,40% do total que deveria ter sido transferido também no dia 17 de outubro.

“A derrota desse requerimento para cobrar explicações e solução representa uma derrota para os 853 municípios de Minas. Estamos diante de um calote inédito. As prefeituras nunca antes ficaram sem receber esses recursos. Agora, na gestão do PT, os atrasos têm sido constantes. Levarei esse requerimento em outras comissões até encontrar deputados que tenham a sensibilidade de entender a importância desse assunto. Isso está acima de qualquer interesse político. Estamos falando do planejamento dos municípios, de investimentos em saúde, educação, segurança e infraestrutura. Estamos falando da melhoria da qualidade de vida do cidadão”, explicou Valadares.

De acordo com a legislação federal (Lei Complementar nº 63/1990), o Estado tem o dever de repassar para os municípios os 25% do ICMS arrecadado até o segundo dia útil de cada semana, geralmente na terça-feira, exceto em caso de feriados.


Os deputados do bloco de oposição protocolaram no final de outubro uma ação popular no Tribunal de Justiça para garantir o repasse semanal e integral da cota-parte do ICMS para as prefeituras. O objetivo é cessar os atrasos e impedir novas retenções do dinheiro por parte do governo de Fernando Pimentel, como tem ocorrido nos últimos meses.

Em 2017, 20% das transferências semanais do ICMS foram feitas com atraso. A primeira retenção foi em março, quando o depósito deveria ter sido feito no dia 14, mas somente foi realizado três dias após (17). De acordo com dados do Sistema Integrado de Administração Financeira (Siafi), também houve atrasos nos meses de maio, junho, agosto, setembro e agora, em outubro. Houve duas semanas, em junho e setembro, que o governo sequer pagou a parcela semanal como prevê a legislação.

Assessoria de Imprensa do Bloco Verdade e Coerência 


Site Minas de Verdade