Ghost hunting enthusiasts invest large sums of money on equipment designed to detect potential hoaxing devices, read changes in air flow or energy fields, and even record electronic voice phenomena. A complete basic kit costs about $5,000 —more, of course, if you want the very best. Photographer Barbara Leolini has met Italy’s ghost hunters.
The massive influx is exhausting resources on the island of Lesbos+ READ ARTICLE
The Greek island of Lesbos is facing the worst migration crisis in all of Europe, a Medecins Sans Frontieres official told the BBC.
Around 15,000 migrants arrived on the island in June. Lesbos has a total population of just 86,000, and the BBC says the massive influx has exhausted most available resources and left officials scrambling.
The migrants often arrive on the northern tip of the island close to Turkey, and then walk over 25 miles to the other side of the island to apply for papers that let them stay in the country for up to six months.
The island’s chief of police told the BBC that 1,600 migrants arrived on Saturday alone. Police said they were working 24 hours a day to process the new migrants, but still only manage to get through between 300 to 500 a day.
An abandoned race track and the island’s only detention facility house the migrants, but have been stretched to more than full capacity, the BBC reports.
Over 63,000 migrants have arrived in Greece this year already, according to the BBC.
The total number of migrants arriving in Europe in 2015 has more than doubled since 2014.
It's seriously sweet
Alfa Romeo, the Italian luxury automaker owned by Fiat Chrysler, today unveiled the new Alfa Romeo Giulia, a luxury sedan the company hopes will boost the brand’s popularity in the United States.
The revamp of Alfa Romeo is at the center of the carmaker’s plan to boost global vehicle sales by 60% to 7 million vehicles by 2018. The company had forecast Alfa Romeo’s sales would multiply more than fivefold to 400,000 vehicles in 2018 thanks to a 5 billion-euro investment to add eight new models and ramp up production.
Last year, the carmaker’s total sales were just 68,000, according to the Associated Press.
CEO Sergio Marchionne said that Fiat’s merger with Chrysler has given the company the financial tools needed to reestablish Alfa Romeo as a player in the U.S. market. The brand had its first appearance in the U.S. last year after a two-decade absence.
The new car is made of lightweight materials, and the top-end version of it will go from 0 to 60 mph in less than four seconds, according to the car news site Jalopnik.
—Reuters contributed to this report.
But there's a catch (naturally)
In a move straight out of your European daydreams, the Sicilian mountain village of Gangi is giving away for free or at a steep discount many of the houses that line its ancient stone streets.
But there’s a catch, the New York Times reports. Anyone who takes the 13th century village up on its offer of a house has only a few years to restore it, and the buildings are often long abandoned and in advanced states of decay, requiring extremely costly renovations in order to become habitable.
Starting in the 1890s, Gangi experienced mass emigration, with much of its population leaving for the U.S. or Argentina. In the 1950s, the village had 16,000 residents, the town’s Mayor Giuseppe Ferrarello told the Times. Today the population is less than half that.
The result was a glut of empty homes, many of them traditional structures that hosted farm animals on the bottom floors and the family on the top. Their history and charm has lured interest from as close as Palermo and as far as Abu Dhabi.
There’s now a lengthy waiting list, allowing the village to choose applicants that will add something to the town. One Florence-based company, for example, acquired two free houses, and bought seven more. It plans on joining them together to make a hotel with historical character.
It’s all for the love of the town and its future. “We want our children to stay here and not leave,” Ferrarello said.
Alejandro Burzaco says he will provide information on the corruption scandal engulfing soccer's apex body
One of the South American businessmen implicated in the ongoing corruption scandal at world soccer’s governing body FIFA surrendered to police in Italy on Tuesday, two weeks after the U.S. issued a warrant for his arrest.
Alejandro Burzaco surrendered to authorities in the northern Italian city of Bolzano, the Wall Street Journal reported. He is the former chairman and chief executive of Argentina’s Torneos SA, a media company that won the rights to broadcast several tournaments including last year’s World Cup in Brazil and this year’s Copa America, which begins in Chile on Thursday.
The company fired Burzaco last week, soon after he was charged with racketeering, fraud and money laundering in an indictment by U.S. federal authorities and named in a “red notice” by Interpol. The 50-year-old was accompanied by three lawyers when he surrendered, and said he is willing to be extradited to the U.S. to provide information on the FIFA scandal.
“Alejandro Burzaco surrendered today so he could expedite his arrival in the U.S. to address the charges head on,” Sean Casey, a lawyer at Kobre & Kim in New York, also representing Burzaco, told the Journal in an emailed statement.
U.S. prosecutors are also seeking two other Argentine executives and a Brazilian executive in connection with the massive corruption scandal, which has implicated several top officials at one of world sport’s richest organizations and resulted in the resignation of FIFA chief Sepp Blatter earlier this month.
Warmer weather means more crossings on the Mediterranean
Thousands of migrants and refugees were rescued from smugglers’ vessels in the Mediterranean over the weekend, pushing the total number of arrivals in Europe this year to more than 101,000 as political leaders struggle with dividing the burden.
An estimated 101,900 migrants have made it to Europe since Jan. 1, the International Organization for Migration said Monday, including some 7,000 people who were rescued between June 6-8 in a maritime operation involving Britain, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Spain and Sweden. Italy and Greece have taken in the most, at more than 52,000 and more than 46,000, respectively.
The latest rescues illustrate the impact of warmer weather on the crossings, which received heavy attention earlier this year after the death toll from a number of shipwrecks between Italy and Libya—now a funnel into Europe for those fleeing conflict, poverty and persecution—quickly reached more than 1,800, well above the 425 recorded for the whole of 2014.
Broader search-and-rescue operations have been credited with the rising number of rescues, versus more deaths, as European Union member nations decide how is best to relieve the pressure of the influx.
Italian photographer Giulio Piscitelli has been documenting the crisis in the Mediterranean.
More than 1,800 migrants have died or gone missing attempting to cross the Mediterranean this year alone
A new wave of boats is attempting to cross from Libya to Italy, the International Organization for Migration warned Sunday, citing balmy weather and tranquil seas as the reasons behind the surge of migrants risking their lives in the Mediterranean.
Nearly 3,500 migrants were rescued on Saturday alone, with 1,000 more (including at least 10 pregnant women) on board relief vessels by mid-afternoon Sunday, CNN reports.
A team of ships from several European nations cooperated on a rescue effort, including the British, Irish, Spanish, and German navies and the Italian coast guard, which alone received 14 distress calls Sunday, many from wooden fishing boats and rubber dinghies. One of the biggest rescued vessels held 563 migrants.
Rescue ships planned to bring the migrants to various ports in Italy, including Palermo and Trapani in Sicily, Taranto in Italy, and the island of Lampedusa, a spokesman for Germany’s Bundeswehr Joint Forces Operation Command told CNN.
As of the end of May, the United Nations estimated that 90,000 migrants crossed the Mediterranean to Europe so far in 2015; of those, more than 1800 have died or are missing at sea.
They left Libya in 25 boats, and were picked up by vessels and aircraft from several European countries+ READ ARTICLE
The number of migrants rescued over the weekend while trying to cross the Mediterranean sea surpassed 5,000.
Italian authorities transported 454 to Sicily on Sunday, but 17 others brought ashore in Sicily died, while a European operation to rescue 500 more is still in progress, Reuters reports.
The migrants left war-torn Libya in 25 boats, and were rescued by vessels and aircraft from several European countries including Italy, Britain, Malta, Belgium, Germany, Denmark, Iceland and Finland.
“This is the biggest wave of migrants we have seen in 2015,” Fabrice Leggeri, executive director of the European Union’s border-control agency Frontex, said in a statement. “The new vessels that joined operation Triton this week have already saved hundreds of people.”
Triton, the Mediterranean rescue mission by the E.U. that replaced an Italian initiative called Mare Nostrum, was expanded after it came under criticism after more than 800 migrants drowned in one of the region’s biggest-ever disasters.
The question of how to deal with Europe’s growing refugee crisis, however, still remains a point of contention. Several countries within the E.U. are reluctant to share the responsibility that has primarily been undertaken by the Italian government thus far. Britain opted out of a plan that would have seen refugees sent there from Italy and Greece, while several other countries are reportedly calling for their involvement in rehabilitation efforts to be purely voluntary.
More than 40,000 migrants from Africa and West Asia have been rescued and rehabilitated in 2015 alone, a number that is sure to go up with more boats setting out as the weather gets warmer.
New findings cast further doubt
This shouldn’t come as a surprise, given extensive reports of lax standards and outright fraud in the olive-oil business. In fact, the findings are better than some earlier studies that indicated some olive oils were adulterated with other kinds of oil, such as soybean oil, or were made with olives from countries other than Italy, despite label claims of “Made in Italy.”
These practices were revealed in a widely shared New York Times interactive feature last year that was based on a couple of different studies.
The NCL’s testing comes with a load of caveats. It wasn’t a “study” so much as a more-or-less random bit of testing. Puzzlingly, while the NCL listed the five oils that passed the test, it didn’t name the six that didn’t.
That’s because the companies whose products failed the tests made “a huge stink” over the results, said Sally Greenberg, the NCL’s executive director. Those companies complained that only a single bottle of each variety was tested, and so the results were unfair, since occasionally a single bottle will go bad thanks to exposure to light or some other environmental factor. She said the NCL might test the same products again in “six or seven months,” using a different lab, and if the results are repeated, the NCL will reveal which products failed. “If it happens twice, well then maybe we’re on to something,” she said.
In 2011, the University of California at Davis found that about 69% of the olive oil sold in the United States is adulterated.
The NCL tested olive oil purchased in supermarkets in the Washington, D.C. area. None of the products they tested contained any oil that didn’t come from olives, but six of them, despite labels indicated the contrary, didn’t meet the standards for calling it “extra virgin.” The testing included lab analysis and tasting by experts.
“The results of our olive oil testing reveal that, while consumers are buying and paying extra for olive oil labeled EVOO, too much of the olive oil bought off the shelf isn’t the real deal,” said Sally Greenberg, executive director of the NCL, in a statement.
The five that did pass muster were:
California Olive Ranch Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Trader Joe’s Extra Virgin California Estate Olive Oil
Trader Joe’s 100% Italian Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Lucini Premium Select Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Nine photographers illustrate this year's World's Fair
On May 1, the Universal Exposition, also known as the World’s Fair, opened its door in Milan. Since its inception in London in 1851, the prestigious exposition has served as a platform for nations to showcase their innovations, fostering cultural exchange between countries.
This year, nine internationally renowned photographers were asked to take visitors on a “journey around the world in pictures” to illustrate the Fair’s theme: Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life.
The works are presented in nine clusters — a first for the World’s Fair — with countries grouped together based on a climate zone or a food ingredient, such as coffee, chocolate, grains or seafood, rather than their geographic location. “The initial idea was to document food-related issues through the work of exceptional photographers,” says Roberto Koch, founder of photography agency Contrasto, who was involved in the selection of the participating photographers along with Magnum Photos. “Little by little, [the project] evolved in a photography exhibition within the nine clusters, where each photographer covered a specific product or theme.”
With his iconic black-and-white pictures, Sebastião Salgado portrayed the sustainable production of coffee in 10 countries, including Brazil, Guatemala and Colombia, as a years-long collaboration with Illy, one of Italy’s main coffee’s producers and a sponsor of the Expo. The Swiss artist Irene Kung was assigned to the fruits and legumes cluster, and worked to deliver an optimistic image of the trade at a time of crisis. “The fruit trees that I photographed are a perfect symbol of productivity, fertility and life,” she said in a press presentation earlier this year.
Magnum photographer Alessandra Sanguinetti, assigned to the Islands, Sea and Food cluster, traveled through the Pacific Ocean, the Indian Ocean and the Caribbean Sea to portray the culinary traditions of the communities who live in the islands of Mayotte, Dominica and Vanuatu, while Ferdinando Scianna provided glimpses into the land, sea and family rituals for the Bio-Mediterraneum cluster.
Joel Meyerowitz, assigned to the cereals and tubers theme, curated still life images of different kind of bread from all over the world, while Alex Webb’s lens captured the vibrant colors of the “world of spices” along the ancient spice trade route and the markets in India. And, Gianni Berengo Gardin documented the history of rice cultivation and paddy fields through the work of farmers and their farmhouses.
“Each photographer has his own style and gave a personal, very fascinating version of how to relate to food,” says Koch. Some of the participants focused on the countries’ traditions, while others had a more consumerist approach, as in the case of Martin Parr who enthusiastically participated to the “food of the gods” – the cocoa and chocolate cluster.
“I went to Ghana, which is probably the biggest chocolate producing country in the world,” he tells TIME. “[There] I photographed with the aid of the Ghana Cocoa Board… They took me around for five days to different locations, it was very interesting.”
To explore the topic of agriculture and nutrition in arid zones, the fair called upon George Steinmetz, who spent the last 15 years flying over the world’s deserts using his ultra light aircraft. One of his photographs, taken in 1997 in Mauritania, depicts how locals protect their crops from the desert by creating grids. “They make fences in the sand to stop the sand from moving with the wind,” says Steinmetz. “They use a technique that was invented in China. They take a dead branch of a palm tree, they smash it and push it in the ground and it stops the wind.”
The clusters’ photography exhibit, which will remain open to the public until Oct. 31, is also accompanied by the catalogue 9 Photographers for the Planet, published by Contrasto.
Lucia De Stefani is a contributor to TIME LightBox.