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food / travel

For Upcoming G7 Summit, Sicily's Sketchy Photo Is Awful PR

Bella Italia?
Bella Italia?

TAORMINA — This picturesque seaside Sicilian town has the honor to host next month's crucial G7 summit of top global leaders, which will also be the first major world gathering for newly installed U.S. President Donald Trump.

It is also a unique opportunity, as then Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi pointed out last October, for the entire island of Sicily to revamp its sometimes troubled image as the birthplace of the Mafia and highlight its history as a unique cradle of civilization and high culture. Apparently someone forgot to mention that to the public relations office of the summit.

Rome-based daily La Repubblica reports Tuesday that the photograph accompanying the digital press accreditation for foreign journalists for the May 26-27 meeting features a shady-looking young man in a traditional coppola hat, with a cigarette dangling from the corner of his mouth and a sideways look fixated on a young woman under a parasol.

"G7, controversy over photo of man with coppola (hat)"

Giovanni Ardizzone, president of the Sicilian regional assembly, called for the immediate removal of the image. "Feeding the usual stereotypes about Sicilians serves no one, especially an Italy that is looking to relaunch itself." By late Tuesday, the image had been removed.

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Geopolitics

The Trumpian Virus Undermining Democracy Is Now Spreading Through South America

Taking inspiration from events in the United States over the past four years, rejection of election results and established state institutions is on the rise in Latin America.

Two supporters of far-right Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro dressed in Brazilian flags during a demonstration in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.

Bolsonaro supporters dressed in national colours with flags in a demonstration in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, on November 4, 2022.

Ivan Abreu / ZUMA
Carlos Ruckauf*

-Analysis-

BUENOS AIRES — South Africa's Nelson Mandela used to say it was "so easy to break down and destroy. The heroes are those who make peace and build."

Intolerance toward those who think differently, even inside the same political space, is corroding the bases of representative democracy, which is the only system we know that allows us to live and grow in freedom, in spite of its flaws.

Recent events in South America and elsewhere are precisely alerting us to that danger. The most explosive example was in Brazil, where a crowd of thousands managed to storm key institutional premises like the presidential palace, parliament and the Supreme Court.

In Peru, the country's Marxist (now former) president, Pedro Castillo, sought to use the armed and security forces to shut down parliament and halt the Supreme Court and state prosecutors from investigating corruption allegations against him.

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