TIME Italy

The Costa Concordia Makes Its Final Voyage

Two and a half years have passed since the cruise ship Costa Concordia ran aground outside of Giglio, Italy, killing 32 people and leaving the ship partially submerged in shallow water. Salvage crews worked tirelessly to re-float the wreck last week, filling steel boxes with air to serve as pontoons. Other boats will now tow the ship on its 240-kilometer (150-mile) journey to Genoa, Italy.

The Costa Concordia operation is the largest salvage attempt to date, with the ship weighing in at 114,500 tons. Dismantling the vessel on the reef was not an option. “It’s far more dangerous to the environment to leave it where it is than to tow it away,” Italy’s civil-protection chief Franco Gabrielli told Giglio residents.

The floatation and salvation project is expected to cost more than $2 billion. TIME takes a look at the Costa Concordia’s journey so far.

TIME privacy

Italy Gives Google Deadline to Change Data-Use Policies

Google must present a game plan in September

An Italian data-regulation official told Google it has 18 months to change how it stores users’ information.

Italy is one of several European countries that have been jointly investigating Google’s consolidation of 60 different privacy policies into one last year, Reuters reports. The Italian watchdog said in a statement that Google’s disclosures about data use were insufficient, despite the company’s efforts efforts to abide by local laws.

A spokesperson for Google said the tech company has consistently cooperated with the inquiry and will continue to do so after it reviews the watchdog’s latest decision.

Google has a year and a half to, among other demands, start asking for users’ consent to profile them based off their data for commercial purposes. The official also asked Google to follow through on users’ requests to delete their personal data within two months.

In addition to the 18-month deadline, Google must also present in September a detailed plan for how it intends to meet the regulator’s demands. If Google ultimately does not comply with the regulator, it could face fines.

France and Spain have already fined the company for violating local data-protection laws. A Dutch regulator is still deciding whether to take steps to enforce changes following similar legal breaches in the Netherlands.

[Reuters]

TIME Italy

It’s Make or Break for the World’s Biggest Marine Salvage Operation

The Costa Concordia salvage operation has entered its next, most dangerous phase

It’s a record attempt in heavy lifting that nobody wishes to ever be matched. On Monday, the operation to raise and refloat the capsized 114,500-ton cruise ship Costa Concordia was finally started. If all goes well, the vessel will be towed away to the Italian port city of Genoa, where it will be decommissioned. However, after more than two and a half years on the sea floor, experts fear the delicate maneuver will rupture the prone ship’s hull, spewing out its toxic load — including fuel and dangerous chemicals — into the pristine Tuscan archipelago.

The Costa Concordia veered off course and ran aground outside the island of Giglio in January 2012, killing 32 people and leaving the enormous liner partially submerged in the shallow waters. In tandem with a legal process against the ship’s captain, a salvage operation of unparalleled proportions was commenced. All but one of the victims’ bodies have been recovered, and in a massive September 2013 exercise, the ship was turned upright (parbuckled) and secured on an artificial platform.

Now begins the final phase. Giant tanks welded to the sides of the 290-m-long wreck will be emptied of water, slowly raising it out of the water. Every floor surfaced will be cleaned of debris and potentially harmful substances that could spill into the sea. They will also be surveyed for signs of Russel Rebello, the Indian waiter who remains missing.

“I strongly believe they will find the body of my dear brother,” writes Russel’s brother Kevin in a Facebook post.

Weather conditions have delayed the operation on several occasions, but even though the forecast still isn’t ideal, the salvage crew has pushed ahead, since the hulk would unlikely survive another winter. In fact, it could already have deteriorated too badly for the refloating procedure and subsequent 240-km tow to Genoa. The first 2 m of the raising are the most dangerous, and the hull will constantly be monitored for possible cracks and fissures.

Cutting up the ship in place is not an option. “It’s far more dangerous to the environment to leave it where it is than to tow it away,” Italy’s civil-protection chief Franco Gabrielli explained to Giglio residents. With luck, they could bid farewell to their unwanted, view-spoiling neighbor in just a couple of weeks. Refloating Costa Concordia and moving it into open waters is estimated to take between five and seven days, tugging it to safety another four to five.

TIME World Cup

FIFA Denies Luis Suarez’s Appeal for Chiellini Bite

World Cup Luis Suarez
Luis Suarez of Uruguay reacts after biting Giorgio Chiellini of Italy during a 2014 FIFA World Cup match on June 24 in Natal, Brazil. Shaun Botterill—FIFA/Getty Images

This was Suarez's third career biting incident

sportsillustrated

By Paul Palladino

Uruguayan Luis Suarez’s appeal of his suspension has been denied by FIFA, soccer’s governing body announced on Thursday.

Suarez was suspended last month for biting Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini during a World Cup match on June 24. He was banned for nine of Uruguay’s matches in addition to a four-month ban from all soccer-related events, meaning he will have to sit out matches for his club, Liverpool

Brazil’s Nightmare Gets Worse: Argentina to Play for World Cup Title

It was the third biting incident in Suarez’s career. He was also suspended eight matches and fined $63,000 for racist remarks on the pitch in 2011.

In Suarez’s absence, Uruguay lost in the round of 16 to Colombia in the 2014 World Cup.

This article originally appeared on SI.com.

WATCH: Argentina Ousts Dutch, Sets Up Final vs. Germany

 

TIME Italy

Entire Italian Village for Sale on Ebay

eBay

Here's your chance to buy a slice of Italy

If you ever wanted a little slice of Italy, here’s your chance. An entire alpine village is up for sale on eBay. The auction for the town of Borgata Calsazio, just a few ski runs away from Turin, is real, with a “Buy it Now” price of a mere $333,057.

But it’s also a fixer-upper. The National Union of Mountain Communities, which is assisting the town’s few remaining inhabitants in the sale, told La Repubblica newspaper that any buyer would have to restore the stone and wood homes under a master plan provided by the organization.

Read more at NBC News

TIME Appreciation

Turtle vs. Dog Is the Best Soccer Match You’ll See During the World Cup

You’ll never guess who wins the closest thing the World Cup has to the Puppy Bowl

The World Cup this year has been even more packed than most with high-intensity, hair-raising games, but none of them holds a candle to this matchup for the ages: turtle v.s. dog.

Posted to Facebook under the title “Italian soccer :) ( a.k.a. also a turtle and a dog can manage …” by Valeria D’Innocenzo Carlantoni in Civitavechia, Italy, a small town near Rome, this 1:17-long clip features some surprisingly cheeky touches and fancy footwork. The aggressive tackle at the end is exceptional, though it’s a miracle no one got carded.

If you’ve been rooting for the U.S., soothe your broken heart (which should still be celebrating the OMG-mind-blowingly awesome performance of U.S. goalie Tim Howard) with this clip.

Try and watch this video without, at least in your head, narrating the action in a game announcer voice. This needs to be the World Cup’s version of the Puppy Bowl.

TIME World Cup

Suarez Bite Victim Calls Penalty ‘Excessive’

Italy's Giorgio Chiellini shows his shoulder, claiming he was bitten by Uruguay's Luis Suarez, during their 2014 World Cup Group D soccer match at the Dunas arena in Natal, Brazil on June 24, 2014.
Italy's Giorgio Chiellini shows his shoulder, claiming he was bitten by Uruguay's Luis Suarez, during their 2014 World Cup Group D soccer match at the Dunas arena in Natal, Brazil on June 24, 2014. Tony Gentile—Reuters

Less than a week after being bitten during a World Cup match by Uruguay forward Luis Suarez, Italian defender Giorigo Chiellini appears ready to move on.

“Now inside me there’s no feelings of joy, revenge or anger against Suarez for an incident that happened on the pitch and that’s done,” Chilleni wrote on his Facebook page Friday. “I have always considered unequivocal the disciplinary interventions by the competent bodies, but at the same time I believe that the proposed formula is excessive.”

The bite, viewed live by millions of viewers worldwide, provoked a wide range of opinions, including many who argued for harsh penalties. FIFA, the organization that oversees international soccer, ultimately banned Suarez from competition for four months and fined him more than $100,000.

MONEY Odd Spending

Betting on a Luis Suarez Bite: 167 Gamblers Cash In

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ASSOCIATED PRESS

The odds were 175 to 1 that Uruguay's Luis Suarez would bite somebody during the World Cup. Some 167 gamblers were a lot happier than Italy that Suarez couldn't keep his mouth shut

World Cup news on Tuesday was dominated by an incident in the Italy-Uruguay match, in which the notorious star Uruguay striker Luis Suarez—known for making racist remarks and more than one biting episode on the pitch—apparently bit Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini, a split second before Suarez himself took a pathetic dive, pretending to be hurt.

The bite unleashed a stream of inevitable memes on social media, and even some of the world’s big brands jumped into the action. Snickers, for instance, suggested that its candy bars are “More Satisfying Than Italian” on Twitter, while a Bud Light Tweet showed a Suarez-like set of teeth biting off a cap on the bottle of beer with the words “Relax, they’re twist off.”

The minor league Fort Worth Vaqueros soccer team, meanwhile, has announced a Luis Suarez “Fangs Night” for its match on Sunday, June 29. The first 50 fans that show up to the barbecue before the game receive a free set of plastic vampire fangs—and anyone who arrives with their own fangs gets free admission.

More than 150 gamblers are cashing in on the controversy in a more direct way. It turns out that among the many weird and quirky prop bets concerning the World Cup, one involved the likelihood of Uruguay’s Luis Suarez biting someone during the course of the tournament. A gambling site based in Norway called Bettson offered 175-to-1 odds on Suarez taking a chomp out of an opponent (or perhaps even a teammate, I suppose).

And according to ESPN, 167 gamblers took that bet. One Norwegian showed a photo of his bet on his smartphone: The wager of 32 kroner (a little more than $5) paid off to the tune of 5,600 kroner ($912). The biggest winner came away with roughly $3,300, thanks to Suarez’s apparent inability to control his hunger in the match.

TIME World Cup

The Bite Heard ‘Round the World

Uruguay's star striker Luis Suárez isank his teeth into opponent Giorgio Chiellini during a World Cup match that sent the Italy team home in defeat. The chomp was not even Suárez's first during professional play

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