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Sylvia Poggioli

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Italy is launching some of the strictest anti-COVID measures. NPR's Sylvia Poggioli reports that starting in October, government and private workers will be required to show proof of vaccination against the virus or lose pay.

In the fight to slow the spread of COVID-19 and to vaccinate its population, Italy is making COVID-19 health passes mandatory for all workers — becoming the first European country to do so.

In a newly approved measure introduced Thursday by the Italian government, officials said digital vaccine certificates will be mandatory for all employees across the country.

TRIESTE, Italy — Tourists to Italy are likely to visit Rome, Florence, Venice — maybe even Naples and Sicily. Few venture as far as this city tucked in the country's northeast corner on the Adriatic Sea.

Once the flourishing port of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Trieste became a largely forgotten borderland after World War I. But today, those who visit find a blend of cultures and languages of Europe, with a rich literary legacy — a city that's lured great authors from Ranier Maria Rilke to James Joyce.

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CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy — At a time of growing diffidence toward some new scientific discoveries, the one and only Vatican institution that does scientific research recently launched a campaign to promote dialogue between faith and science.

It's the Vatican Observatory, located on the grounds of the papal summer residence in Castel Gandolfo, a medieval town in Alban Hills 15 miles southeast of Rome.

ROME — Pope Francis on Tuesday issued a major revision of Catholic Church laws regulating clerical sex abuse, fraud and the attempt to ordain women. It is known as an apostolic constitution with the title, Pascite Gregem Dei, or "Tend the Flock."

ROME — In a TV landscape where racial insensitivity is rampant, Netflix's Italian-language series Zero is a milestone: Italy's first TV series with a predominantly Black cast.

A superhero fantasy meets coming-of-age story of second-generation Italians, Zero stands out for depicting the country's increasingly multicultural society.

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The Vatican's top enforcer of doctrine has sent a warning to U.S. bishops about a potential proposal by some conservative clergy to deny communion to Catholic elected officials who support legislation allowing abortion.

The possible plan could affect President Biden, among other Catholic political figures.

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Three decades after the end of the Cold War, it appears the Italian capital Rome is reviving its role as "Open City" – a crossroads of international espionage and intrigue.

Italy today ordered the expulsion of two Russian embassy officials following the arrest of an Italian Navy captain on spying charges. The captain, identified by Italian media as Walter Biot, was reportedly caught Tuesday evening as he handed over allegedly top-secret documents to one of the Russian diplomats in exchange for money.

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Pope Francis celebrated Mass today in Baghdad. It's the end of his second day in Iraq.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

POPE FRANCIS: (Non-English language spoken).

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ROME — The second Roman Catholic president in American history is a devout man who makes no secret of the importance of faith in his life. President Joe Biden is a regular churchgoer, often quotes St. Augustine and carries a rosary that belonged to his late son Beau. In one of the first images released of him in the Oval Office, a photo was visible behind his desk showing him with Pope Francis.

Italians are used to hearing the words, "Once again, the government in Rome has collapsed." Now another Italian leader is resigning — but this time, it risks plunging the country into political chaos while still in the grips of the coronavirus pandemic and deep economic turmoil.

Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte handed in his resignation to the president on Tuesday following weeks of political uncertainty and a split in the governing coalition over his handling of the second wave of COVID-19 and recovery funds from the European Union.

Florence is one of the main stops on any art lover's European itinerary. At the Uffizi Galleries, visitors can have their fill of works by Renaissance masters Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo and Raphael.

Of course, none of these artists are women.

In 2009, a new nonprofit foundation in Florence started to investigate why.

When St. John Paul II died in 2005 after nearly 27 years on the papal throne, his funeral drew millions to St. Peter's Square. The crowd soon broke out into spontaneous chants of "Santo subito" — "make him a saint immediately."

Days later, John Paul was put on the fast track, becoming a saint a record nine years after his death.

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Editor's note: This story includes details some readers may find disturbing.

An unprecedented trial is underway this month at the Vatican, the result of a whistleblower going public.

A young priest is charged with sexually abusing an altar boy over a five-year period inside Vatican City walls. An older priest is charged with covering up the abuse.

It's the first criminal trial for sexual abuse to take place in the Vatican court.

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