As a teacher’s kid I grew up on a school campus. This was idyllic for children but, for dogs, it was utopia. Hounds roamed free. Leashes did not exist. And the dog community participated in every aspect of the school’s life.
One maths teacher had a beautiful Labrador who dutifully followed him around school wherever he went, including the classroom. As classes were taught, the Labrador would happily sleep up the front, content in the knowledge that he was on top of his subject having heard this lesson many times before.
An Afghan who lived near the oval loved athletics. During the season he would regularly join the final lap of the 800m and was responsible for many a school record as nervous kids found extra pace with a large dog literally nipping at their heels.
Latest 2 of 64 commentsView all comments
Moe Albanese is the last butcher standing in New York’s Little Italy. His father, Vincenzo, was a butcher from Polizzi Generosa, in Sicily. Moe’s mother, Mary, also of Sicilian descent, could speak some English.
“My father said to her, ‘You ask the customers what they want and I’ll cut the meat’,” says Moe, who was delivered by midwives at a home birth on this same block in 1925 and has never left the area.
Albanese Meats & Poultry on Elizabeth St is a relic of New York. It is now being crowded out by snappy boutiques and, just to the south, by Chinatown.
Latest 2 of 24 commentsView all comments
The party’s over and the place is a mess. A sober Mario Monti will be putting the house back into order, clearing the bottles away and scrubbing the carpet.
Over the next few weeks he’ll probably still be finding knickers down the back of the couch and noticing disturbing stains on the ceiling.
Italy’s financial crisis forced Prime Minister Silvio “Bunga Bunga” Berlusconi to step down - to save the country by delivering it into the safer hands of the credible economist “Super Mario” Monti, whom people have quickly dubbed the “anti-Berlusconi”.
Latest 2 of 119 commentsView all comments
The markets are melting down again. The ASX 200 fell $33 billion, or around 3 per cent yesterday, on the back of more European scares. As you’d imagine, people like CommSec Chief Economist Craig James were rather busy yesterday. But we managed to grab him for a few quick questions.
What’s the best case scenario?
The best case scenario is that the Italian Government comes out with concrete proposals to address its budget situation. Another positive proposition would be instead of calling elections for early next year the Government or the Prime Minister simply resigns and a new government is formed. So anything that would provide a degree of confidence to the markets – at the moment we’ve got nothing.
And the worst case scenario?
It could be anything. It could be countries deciding to exit the Eurozone. It could be continued silence from the Italian officials on dealing with the situation. One of the worst case scenarios could be a country actually physically defaulting on its obligations. So there’s a whole range of negatives out there. There’s no one specific bad scenario; there are a number.
Latest 2 of 61 commentsView all comments
They called it Tangentopoli. ‘Tangenti’ is one of the Italian words for ‘bribes’, and Tangentopoli summed up the idea that Italian politics had become a game of Monopoly fuelled by kickbacks.
I spent a lot of time in Italy in the 90s, starting with a story for ‘Foreign Correspondent’ in April 1993. Tangentopoli had convulsed the country, with magistrates uncovering vast swathes of corruption involving most of the leading political figures of the previous three decades.
My first encounter with the new reality came in a town in Abruzzo called Chieti. It was a sort of magnified microcosm of Italy, because almost every councillor on the local government had been arrested for corruption.
Latest 2 of 30 commentsView all comments
Italy joins the Allied forces and declares war on Germany today in 1943.
And it’s Wednesday at The Punch. What’s on your mind? Share it here.
Latest 2 of 28 commentsView all comments
Just how stupid are those Italians? I mean, not only are they gullible – they’re really, really dumb.
I mean, take a politician like Silvio Berlusconi, who all us foreign journalists know to be sleazy and dishonest… And what do millions of voters do? They elect him. Not just once, mind you. Three times.
You heard me. In three elections Italians have voted for a prime minister who’s a charlatan or – even worse – a 21st Century incarnation of Benito Mussolini. In 2008 he even won an absolute majority in both houses of parliament.
Latest 2 of 9 commentsView all comments
Italy seems as though it is in a perpetual state of political meltdown. Casually taking in news the average Australian, and indeed much of the Anglo world, is generally of the impression that Italy is a basketcase, but a friendly, charming and good looking basketcase nonetheless.
The miraculous Italy with its ability to survive and even thrive in this chaos is, after all, still one of the world’s largest eight economies, albeit strugling.
Now Italy is looking at the possibility of its President Silvio Berlusconi being ousted from office for the third time following a ruling by the high court that he could not be protected from prosecution.
Latest 2 of 5 commentsView all comments
TWO years ago, Veronica Lario did something extraordinary.
After marrying the now Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi in 1990, the former actress had maintained a low profile; rarely seen in public and avoiding the sort of official functions wives of national leaders do.
But on January 31, 2007 that changed when she bizarrely wrote a letter to the editor calling on her husband to apologise.
Latest 2 of 10 commentsView all comments
Read all about it
Up to the minute Twitter chatter
The latest and greatest
Good morning Punchers. After four years of excellent fun and great conversation, this is the final post…
I have had some close calls, one that involved what looked to me like an AK47 pointed my way, followed…
In a world in which there are still people who subscribe to the vile notion that certain victims of sexual…