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Italy

Italian Diplomat By Day, Fascist Rock Star By Night

CORRIERE DELLA SERA (Italy)

ROME – An Italian diplomat who was spotted last year performing on stage in a fascist rock band has been brought back from Japan, Corriere della Sera reported.

Controversy had erupted when Mario Vattani, visiting home at the time during his stint at the General Consul of Italia in Osaka, was seen singing the praises of the Italian Social Republic, the fascist regime led by Benito Mussolini. He also slammed the current Republic, which he is supposed to represent, saying the political system born in 1946 was "based on lies and cheatings' and founded by "Italian Mafiosi brought home by the Americans."

The foreign ministry employee, who was recorded on video praising the fascist regime, has to leave his position and has been suspended for a few months, but he keeps the same job rank within the administration, Corriere wrote.

The singer, whose stage name is Katanga, has filed an appeal against his suspension at the regional administrative tribunal.

Umberto Vattani, the father of Mario and himself a former ambassador, stood by his son, saying he was "the victim of a hasty trial."

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Geopolitics

Meet Brazil's "WhatsApp Aunts And Uncles" — How Fake News Spreads With Seniors

Older demographics are particularly vulnerable (and regularly targeted) on the WhatsApp messaging platform. We've seen it before and after the presidential election.

Photo of a Bolsonaro supporter holding a phone

A Bolsonaro supporter looking online

Cefas Carvalho

-Analysis-

SAO PAULO — There's an interesting analysis by the educator and writer Rafael Parente, based on a piece by the international relations professor Oliver Stuenkel, who says: “Since Lula took the Brazilian presidency, several friends came to me to talk about family members over 70 who are terrified because they expect a Communist coup. The fact is that not all of them are Jair Bolsonaro supporters.”

And the educator gives examples: In one case, the father of a friend claims to have heard from the bank account manager that he should not keep money in his current account because there was some supposed great risk that the government of Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva would freeze the accounts.

The mother of another friend, a successful 72-year-old businesswoman who reads the newspaper and is by no means a radical, believes that everyone with a flat larger than 70 square meters will be forced to share it with other people."

Talking about these examples, a friend, law professor Gilmara Benevides has an explanation: “Elderly people are falling for fake news spread on WhatsApp."

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