More than 150,000 people arrived by boat on the Italian coast last year — many of them landing on the tiny Mediterranean island of Lampedusa. The Italian filmmaker Gianfranco Rosi has been documenting the lives of the local people on the island, as they watch what is unfolding around them.
The Etruscans lived in central Italy more than 2500 years ago. They were "the teachers of our teachers," the Romans. Yet we still can't be sure where they came from. The key to unlocking the Etruscan enigma may lie in genetics and linguistics.
On Friday, Pope Francis released Amoris Laetitia, a 256-page apostolic exhortation in which he writes about the matters of the family covering things from divorce to gay and lesbian members of the church.
Shukri Alassouli, a 33-year-old man from Gaza, was trying to find a better life for his young family in Europe. But their journey across the Mediterranean in smugglers' boats turned into what the UN called the deadliest accident of its kind, killing hundreds and losing Shukri's wife, daughter and young son at sea.
A wave of migrants from the Mediterranean meets a hostile reception from many Americans. The migrants are seen as alien in religion, culture, politics, law. So different in fact that some Americans argue that they can never be assimilated. They are the Italians, in the 1890s.
Elena Ferrante's Neapolitan novels have become global hits. They are rife with love and sex and the mob — and commentary about language. This week on the podcast we explore Italy's linguistic history and the tensions between Italian dialects and the lingua franca.
The Mafia has been part of Sicilian life for generations, and so has the battle by police to arrest its leaders. The elite unit that goes after them is called the Catturandi — from the word meaning "to catch" — one of its officers described the shadowy world in which he works, and how he kept his job hidden from his girlfriend until she recognized his bottom on TV.
A Dutch company is trying to organize a mission to Mars – four people on a one-way trip. Now, some Islamic clerics say people who go on the mission and die would face punishment in the afterlife. Plus "Tweaa" can no longer be said in Ghana's Parliament, and a work of art is trashed, literally, in today's Global Scan.
Europe has a long history of searching for and cataloging its indigenous species. But, surprisingly, a number of species still went undiscovered. Now, there's a renewed effort to find the insects and other small creatures previously unknown — before humans unknowingly force them into extinction.