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More U.S. troops in Iraq, Putin in Milan, Drunk chimps


The White House is readying to send 500 more troops to Iraq to train and support the Iraqi army in the counteroffensive against ISIS, The Wall Street Journal reports. The additional troops will be sent to a new military base in the Anbar province. This comes weeks after the terrorist group's capture of the strategic town of Ramadi and marks a strategy shift on Washington's part. Some 3,000 American troops are already on the ground. Read more from The New York Times.


A suicide bomber struck this morning in the Egyptian city of Luxor, near the ancient Karnak temple, the country's second most visited site, Al Jazeera reports. Unnamed officials also said the police foiled two other suicide attacks on the site. No tourists were reported injured.


The Bilderberg group and its guests are gathering in Austria for their annual conference, which begins on Thursday. More influential than the G7, this is "where the big guns go" according to The Guardian, with political leaders discussing behind locked doors with CEOs from banks, oil groups and arms manufacturers, among others. But don't expect to hear about what is said.


"There were no light drugs and there were no hard drugs, there were no prostitutes and no pimping. Have you gone crazy?" Oren Hazan, the Knesset deputy speaker, told Israeli media after having been suspended over allegations that he "arranged" prostitutes for gamblers and used hard drugs back when he was managing a casino in Bulgaria.


After the Russia-less G7 meeting in Germany, Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived Wednesday in Milan, where he toured the Expo 2015 with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi. Putin tried to ease tensions with the West in an interview with the Milan daily Corrierre della Sera.


Nobel Peace Prize laureate and Burma's opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi begins her first visit to China, where she'll meet with President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang. According to Xinhua, her trip "underscores a common wish of the two nations to improve ties" with bilateral relations between Beijing and the military-backed Burmese government having largely cooled amid border violence. Although she's technically barred from running for Presidency, Aung San Suu Kyi and her National League for Democracy party are expected to play an important role in the November presidential elections.


Get your 57-second shot of history here.


After five years of negotiations, the leaders of 26 African countries are gathered in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt, to sign an agreement creating a common market bloc of 625 million people and gross domestic product of more than $1 trillion, the Cameroon Tribune reports. As Le Monde notes however, it might be months before the Tripartite Free Trade Area becomes a reality and removes customs barriers between these countries. The 26 Parliaments have a maximum of 2 years to ratify the treaty.


The European Parliament has cancelled today's planned vote on the controversial and highly secretive free-trade deal with the U.S. over fears that the deal might be defeated, France's business daily Les Echos reports. Members of the Strasbourg-based legislature  have registered more than 200 complaints and amendments to the resolution in an attempt to establish clear "red lines" on areas ranging from food safety and environmental laws to national sovereignty. More than two million citizens opposed to the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership have signed a European-wide petition.


The remains of the 44 German passengers travelling on the Germanwings flight that was deliberately crashed by the co-pilot in March have finally returned to their homeland to be buried, Deutsche Welle reports. The bodies of passengers from Spain, Australia, Argentina and Japan will be returned to their families in the coming weeks.


After learning last week that chimpanzees possessed the cognitive skills required to cook, scientists published a new study revealing that a group of chimpanzees in southeastern Guinea have been enjoying quite a lot of alcohol.

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Not Your Grandma's Nonna: How Older Women In Italy Are Reclaiming Their Age

Women in Italy are living longer than ever. But severe economic and social inequality and loneliness mean that they urgently need a new model for community living – one that replaces the "one person, one house, one caregiver" narrative we have grown accustomed to.

Not Your Grandma's Nonna: How Older Women In Italy Are Reclaiming Their Age

Italy is home to many elderly people and few young ones.

Barbara Leda Kenny

ROMENina Ercolani is the oldest person in Italy. She is 112 years old. According to newspaper interviews, she enjoys eating sweets and yogurt. Mrs. Nina is not alone: over the past three years, there has been an exponential growth in the number of centenarians in Italy. With over 20,000 people who've surpassed the age of 100, Italy is in fact the country with the highest number of centenarians in Europe.

Life expectancy at the national level is already high. Experts say it can be even higher for those who cultivate their own gardens, live away from major sources of pollution, and preferably in small towns near the sea. Years of sunsets and tomatoes with a view of the sea – it used to be a romantic fantasy but is now becoming increasingly plausible.

Centenarians occupy the forefront of a transformation taking place in a country where living a long life means being among the oldest of the old. Italy is the second oldest country in the world, and it ranks first in the number of people over eighty. In simple terms, this means that Italy is home to many elderly people and few young ones: those over 65 make up almost one in four, while children (under 14) account for just over one in 10. The elderly population will continue to grow in the coming years, as the baby boomer generation, born between 1961 and 1976, is the country's largest age group.

But there is one important data set to consider when discussing our demographics: in general, women make up a slight majority of the population, but from the age of sixty onwards, the gap progressively widens. Every single Italian over 110 years old is a woman.

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