Police baton-charge protesting trade unionists

Good, close-up reporting by TG2000 of the demonstration on October 29th when police laid into demonstrating steel workers. The affair has led to calls for the resignation of Matteo Renzi’s interior minister, Angelino Alfano, and claims from trade unionists that the government in trying to provoke a showdown with organised labour.

Uproar in Italian parliament

Violent scenes in the Italian lower house after the speaker cut short a filibuster by deputies of Beppe Grillo’s Five Star Movement (M5S). One of Grillo’s followers said an MP from the governing majority had struck her during the disorder — a claim he denies. Judge for yourselves.

Debt collection with attitude

A security camera video shows with extraordinary clarity the attempted murder of two men in Reggio Calabria, apparently in connexion with an unpaid debt. Astonishingly, since 11 shots were fired, neither of the two men — one standing outside the shop and the other inside — was hurt.

Ho, ho, ho indeed!

Albania police spent the Christmas holiday searching for four Santa Clauses who held up a jewellery store in the capital, Tirana. In a slick operation lasting less than three minutes, the Kalashnikov-toting robbers emptied the loot into their Father Christmas sacks and made off in a waiting Mercedes. Police said they had formed a special unit to hunt down the gang.

Police side with demonstrators

This is the video at the centre of furious controversy this morning. Italian cops in full riot gear remove their helmets in what was taken to be a sign of solidarity with the so-called ‘Pitchfork’ protesters – a heterogeneous group that includes farmers, lorry drivers and unemployed workers that on December 9 staged demonstrations, some of them violent, in numerous Italian towns and cities. It’s not quite as it seems because the protest had a distinctly right-wing flavour. One of the ‘Pitchfork’ demonstrations was joined by ‘Ultras’ (organised and often far-right football fans).

A big, BIG departure from normal

What is it about Rome and elephants right now? This is the second time in a month that an elephant has got out of a circus and roamed around on the outskirts of the capital. The last one wandered into a market and helped herself to a bunch of bananas off a fruit and veg stall.

Hot Cop!

As Italy’s most august court was considering its ruling on Silvio Berlusconi’s appeal, a lonely Carabiniere in full ceremonial regalia was left in charge of the court. But what he did not know was that the cameras installed to broadcast the verdict were rolling …

Italian revenue guards intercept smugglers in the waters of the Adriatic

Better than James Bond … an Italian revenue guard patrol boat cuts off a high-speed cigarette smuggling launch from Montenegro and forces it into an ever-tighter spiral. This video was taken from a plane at night. The launch was eventually boarded and two men — both Italians — were arrested.