Italy’s ex-interior minister faces possible charges for blocking migrants

Former interior minister and leader of the League Party Matteo Salvini attends a party rally in San Giovanni La Punta, near Catania, Sicily
Former interior minister and leader of the League Party Matteo Salvini attends a party rally in San Giovanni La Punta, near Catania, Sicily

Italy’s right-wing leader Matteo Salvini has appeared before a court in Sicily that will decide whether he will face trial for blocking 131 migrants for several days on a coast guard ship in 2019 when he was interior minister.

The hearing was adjourned until November 20, when Premier Giuseppe Conte has been summoned as a witness.

The court has also called foreign minister Luigi Di Maio, who was vice premier at the time of the standoff, as well as the current interior minister and the former defence and transport ministers.

Mr Salvini, who has largely faded from the public spotlight since being ousted as a minister, has turned the preliminary hearing into a political rally of sorts, staging days of events in a piazza in Catania to rail against Mr Conte’s government.

The League’s leader Matteo Salvini wearing a face mask, leaves after a hearing in court in the Sicilian city of Catania, southern Italy
Matteo Salvini leaves after a hearing in court in the Sicilian city of Catania, southern Italy (Mauro Scrobogna/LaPresse via AP)

The Senate voted in February to lift Mr Salvini’s parliamentary immunity, paving the way for a possible trial on charges of kidnapping and abuse of power.

The Gregoretti was stuck at sea for days in July 2019 until a judge approved its landing in Augusta, Sicily.

The Senate has also lifted his immunity in a second case, in which he is accused of refusing to allow 164 migrants off a rescue ship in Sicily.

A preliminary hearing in that case is pending.

During his 14 months as interior minister, Mr Salvini repeatedly denied ships carrying rescued migrants access to ports.

The policy resulted in numerous standoffs, leaving migrants stuck at sea for many weeks before European countries could identify a willing port or courts intervened.

Mr Salvini says he wants to face charges in both cases to clear his name.

Yet he fought to maintain immunity in a third case that was brought while he was still minister, winning protection from prosecution for not allowing 190 migrants off another coast guard ship in August 2018.

Mr Salvini remains the head of Italy’s most popular party, even if it has shed about 10 percentage points in opinion polls since the 2018 elections.

The slide began when he lost his cabinet post in a failed bid to topple the Italian government in August 2019.

Instead, the 5-Star Movement formed a new coalition with the centre-left Democratic Party, pushing Mr Salvini’s League into opposition.

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New York congressman condemns House leaders for blocking bipartisan coronavirus bill

New York Rep. Max Rose said he was disappointed to be a Democrat after House leaders blocked a bipartisan coronavirus stimulus package.



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Rose, a Democrat in a tough reelection race, criticized congressional leaders for blocking a proposal from the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus that included policies both sides support to provide a temporary stimulus to those suffering during the pandemic.

“It made me disappointed to be a Democrat,” Rose told CNN. “You saw all the reasons why people hate politics. Because they are rejecting a bold bipartisan measure outright and insinuating things are not in there when they actually are and just continuing to kick the can down the road over and over again.”

“It’s deeply frustrating,” he added. “It’s a charade. […] It’s stupid.”

The proposal from the Problem Solvers Caucus would have included $2 trillion in additional stimulus to address problems caused by the pandemic. The bill included another round of stimulus checks for citizens, additional unemployment benefits, and additional funding for elections, all of which have bipartisan support.

The legislation excludes the more controversial proposals that have the two parties split, including federal funding for states who are facing budget shortfalls.

The Democratic leaders in the House, however, said that the legislation did not go far enough. They claimed that the legislative package “falls short of what is needed to save lives and boost the economy.”

Senate Democrats also blocked a similar narrow coronavirus bill earlier in September that would have provided some temporary economic aid.

Rose has made a point of contradicting his party in recent weeks. He recently ran a campaign advertisement calling New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio the “worst” mayor in the city’s history. While he tries to gain the support of frustrated moderates, Republican super PACs have been pouring money into his district highlighting his support for the Black Lives Matter movement.

Tags: News, Nancy Pelosi, Congress

Original Author: Madison Dibble

Original Location: ‘Disappointed to be a Democrat’: New York congressman condemns House leaders for blocking bipartisan coronavirus bill

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This Kitchen Makeover Makes the Case for Bold Color Blocking

AFTER: The mint green wall balances the deep tones of the teal cabinets and the yellow shine of the brass backsplash and hardware.

So Camille and Carole set about reorganizing the space, focusing on relocating elements and circulation so that their client’s living-dining-cooking spaces flowed better and centered around an unexpected multifunctional feature: “two back-to-back benches, one for the dining table and the other for the living room,” says Camille. By placing the bench so that it serves both the kitchen/dining and living rooms, it also acts as a de facto divider between the two spaces. To further delineate this separation, they placed a partition with clear glass and a black frame that stretched from the top of the bench to the underside of the ceiling. The glass partition was a specific request from the client, drawing the eye up to the high ceiling while still maintaining views across the spaces.

The wall in the kitchen is painted with Farrow & Ball’s Teresa’s Green.

In the kitchen, Coci Studio further emphasized the ceiling height with two different strategies: “We extended the cabinets up to the ceiling along one wall, using the verticality of the space, and then along another wall only used lower cabinets. The two opposite strategies play with a single characteristic of the space,” explains Camille. When it came to deciding on a material palette, the idea was for the kitchen to be “a composition of elements in brass, marble, and light,” Camille says. A white marble countertop with undulating yellow-gray veining contrasts with a shining brass backsplash, cabinet hardware, and toe kick—all set against a mint background, free of upper cabinets that would clutter the space. The lower cabinets and an adjacent wall with full-height cabinetry were outfitted with wood doors, but rather than leaving them with a natural finish, Coco Studio selected a deep green stain that employed a dramatic color choice without totally masking the movement and organic nature of the wood.

The ash wood cabinets contrast with the Portuguese marble countertop, which has grooves cut into the countertop for drainage.

A key element of the kitchen was the ventilation hood, which Camille notes “is usually not the most attractive object in the kitchen. It’s often overlooked, camouflaged.” But, she determined, it has the potential to be a beautiful focal point, “giving character to a kitchen,” and so Coci Studio clad it in the same shining brass as the backsplash and gave it a strong, sleek geometrical form. It sits almost like a piece of sculpture on the wall, simple yet evocative.

The spice shelf was custom-made with hooks and a towel rack.

The table in the living area marries the marble of the kitchen counters and the metal of the glass partition.

In the living room, Camille and Carole continued elements found in the kitchen, designing a small coffee table with the rest of the marble from the countertop and continuing the same metal used for the glass partition frames. “We imagined this space

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