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Italy

Ideas

How Italy’s New Draconian Bill On Surrogacy Twists The Meaning Of "Women's Dignity"

Italy’s right-wing politicians are trying to ban surrogacy, as the Pope pushes parents to have children and feminists are divided on the issue. On such a complicated issue, hard thinking and nuance have been in short supply.

-Essay-

After almost two decades away from Italy, I ended up moving back just after I found out I was pregnant in 2018.

We lived in a stone house among olive trees in the Umbrian countryside, just off a beautiful Medieval borgo called Montecastello di Vibio.

Even if I had tried, I could not have picked a better place for my pregnancy to be celebrated — and monitored publicly. With its aging dwellers slowly fading and younger families moving to the big cities, Montecastello was a perfect illustration of Italy’s falling fertility rates.

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The Real Estate Of Psychological Disorders

To each mental illness, its castle.

The bipolar patient builds castles in the air, and when depression arrives, no longer needs them and destroys them.

Instead, the psychotic has the castle built for him, and locks himself inside.

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A Cave Of One's Own

"Who am I to be horrified by poverty while I have no means to offer relief, no alternative to show these people?"

Picture a cave, complete with a vault and yellowed walls. Inside, a single room with a small table, a double bed and a bunk bed. And there, imagine three brothers living together.

"Excuse me," I said, "but where is the bathroom?"

"Outside, Dottoré.”

"And the three of you live here?”

"Of course. This is our house. Mom and Dad raised six children here."

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From Nigeria To Ukraine To Naples, Childhood Words We Can't Forget

The scenes of the welcoming of Ukrainian refugees in Italy have been deeply moving.

I was particularly struck by the choral embrace in a Naples elementary school classroom of a beautiful child, happy but also embarrassed because he did not speak Italian.

It brought me back to a story that Chiara, a young patient of mind born in Naples to Nigerian parents, once told me:

"On the first day of school, the mothers of the other children looked at me strangely. One of them said to her son, ‘If she's in your class, make sure you sit far away and don't bring any illnesses home, because these must be people who just got off the boats.’

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Economy
Yaroslav Zheleznyak

Rebuilding Ukraine: Lessons From Nations That Rose From The Ashes Of War

After two months of war, experts in Ukraine are starting to consider what plan could work to restore the local infrastructure and economy, looking at the experience of Germany, Japan and Italy — countries that went down in history for their economic miracles after being destroyed by war.

-Analysis-

KYIV — World history has many examples of post-war reconstruction. Since the end of World War II, there have been more than 30 major wars and more than 250 military conflicts in the world, involving at least 60 countries.

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But even with such a seemingly large sample, successful examples of recovery can be counted on the fingers of one hand. Each is unique and depends on many factors — from the banal availability of natural resources to the coincidence of circumstances in the region.

The case of Ukraine is unique. Our level of economic development, the presence of established state institutions and legitimate authorities, well-established production processes, and the stability of the financial system make the prospects for Ukraine's recovery significantly different from those of Afghanistan, Iraq, and Angola. Our country is closer to the examples of Europe, as well as some Asian countries after 1945.

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Dottoré!
Mariateresa Fichele

Something To Be Afraid Of

One day a patient, after listing all his phobias, asked me:

"Dottoré, be honest, who's worse off than me?"

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Dottoré!
Mariateresa Fichele

Bygone Tips: My Not So Great Depression

“Dottoré, the reason why I am depressed is simple. But to explain it, I need an answer first. How much did you use to pay for a coffee?"

"Over the last few years, it was 80 cents, then 90 cents, and now one euro.”

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Dottoré!
Mariateresa Fichele

Really, The Nerve Of These Women

If I were running a company I would never hire women.

At least once a month they are sick, and in the days leading up to it, there are endless complaints.

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Dottoré!
Mariateresa Fichele

One Flew Over

Putin talks like a paranoid. Biden like an atherosclerotic with frontal dementia.

At this point I’ve started thinking that to end this war, more than diplomacy, we need an entire psychiatric ward.

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Dottoré!
Mariateresa Fichele

Suspended In Time, Another Kind Of Wartime Mentality

We live as if suspended in time, cautiously looking toward the future with a polite apprehension that I’ve never experienced before.

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Italy
Mariateresa Fichele

In Troubled Times, What People Want

People don't give a damn about Putin, NATO, Ukraine, communism, democracy, freedom, gas, oil, national sovereignty, ideals. They don’t give a damn about each and every word, thought or opinion. People are just afraid of war. People want to live.

____________________________

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Dottoré!
Mariateresa Fichele

Treatment For Putin, A Psychiatrist’s Advice

Dear President Zelensky,

I am a psychiatrist, not a politician — though when it comes to the madmen of battle (in the fields of health, fortunately), I have fought more than you.

I would like to explain to you a fundamental aspect of my work: when it becomes necessary to convince a patient who refuses to get treatment. In these cases, it is crucial to never enter in symmetry with his madness. If he screams and is angry, if he commits brutal acts and threatens others, you as a doctor must try at all costs to do the exact opposite.

He must not perceive you as an enemy, but as someone firmly in command of his opinions and who doesn’t need to use such methods to pursue them.

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Dottoré!
Mariateresa Fichele

Requiem For A Stray Cat

At the mental health center where I work, we have always taken care of the area’s stray cats.

Birba had been around for a few years.

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Economy
Niccolo Zancan

Who Wants To Work For The Post Office? Snapshot Of Italy's Uncertain Future

Why are no locals in the northern Italian city of Verona applying for the once prized permanent job posting? The answer is found elsewhere.

Forget the myth of permanent employment, the secure job for life. In Verona, they are looking for postal workers, but can't find them. They can't find them in Bolzano or Turin either. There is a labor shortage in the post offices of Italy's northeast, and a shortage in the northwest.

The letter carrier's position has never been in such high demand as it is today. To tell the truth: few actual letters though many more packages to deliver. Postal workers are offered a one-year fixed-term contract at 1,100 euros per month, before having the opportunity to move up the ranks and secure a job for life within two to three years. A national contract, annual leave, health insurance and workers rights. Yet the last call for applications in Verona was almost completely empty.

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Geopolitics

Russia-Ukraine War Begins: 24 Newspaper Front Pages

Tensions culminated this week with Russian President Vladimir Putin launching a large-scale invasion of Ukraine, a move widely opposed by world leaders that made virtually every front page around the world.

"THIS IS WAR," reads the front page ofGazeta Wyborcza. Alongside the terse, all-caps headline, the Polish daily features a photo of Olena Kurilo, a teacher from Chuguev whose blood-covered face has become one of the striking images of the beginning of the Ukraine invasion.

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A day after simultaneous attacks were launched from the south, east and north of the country, by land and by air, some press outlets chose to feature images of tanks, explosions, death and destruction that hit multiple cities across Ukraine, while others focused on the man behind the so-called "special military operation": Putin.

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Dottoré!
Mariateresa Fichele

A 9/11 Memory, When Reality Takes Over

"Can't you see it's a movie? It's all fiction. Stop crying.”

In 2001, I was a young resident in psychiatry, and that afternoon of September 11 I was on duty in the Naples hospital ward, tired and hungry.

After finishing their meals, the patients were in the lounge watching television as usual, and I was about to leave. One of them came to me in tears and clung to my arm.

“Dottoré, Dottoré, have you seen how many people have died? They're attacking New York.”

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