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Protests in Rome lead to clashes, arrests

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Demonstrators clash with policemen during a protest against austerity measures in downtown Rome April 12, 2014.
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By NewsGram Staff Writer

Two people were arrested and 15 policemen were injured on Friday when far-right activists and local residents held a protest over a new centre for asylum-seekers outside Rome.

The protesters tried to block the access road to the reception centre as the first group of 20 migrants arrived by coach and allegedly hurled stones at the police and set fire to bales of hay along the roadside.

The centre’s first residents are asylum-seekers from Bangladesh, Somalia and Etritrea.

Members of the neo-fascist organization Casa Pound Italia on Friday joined the protest against the centre by neighbourhood activists in Casale San Nicola, on the northern outskirts of Rome.

The local activists have been camping outside a former school since May 7 to protest against plans to turn it into a reception centre for about 100 migrants.

“We are not going to move from here. Casale San Nicola must remain in Italian hands. We will defend to the end,” said a deputy leader of the group, Andrea Antonini.

After police forced their way through the blockade, the activists vowed to continue their protest “in a legal and wholly peaceful manner”.

An investigation is due to be opened into Friday’s clashes, sources said.

Rome Prefect Franco Gabrielli — a top interior ministry official who authorised the opening of the migrant centre — said there will be no change of plan. “We will not take any steps back,” Gabrielli said.

Local authorities announced that 101 asylum-seekers being accommodated in an apartment complex in Quinto di Treviso would on Friday be rehoused in a disused military barracks after protests this week by residents in the small town 30 km north of Venice.

“No more refugees will be arriving,” the surrounding Veneto region’s Governor Luca Zaia announced.

Between Wednesday night and Thursday, locals stole furniture from apartments reserved for migrants and set fire to it. Forza Nuova, another neo-Fascist organisation, staged a sit-in in their support.

Italy currently hosts 93,700 refugees, about one per 1,000 inhabitant, against more than 200,000 each for Germany and France, 117,000 for Britain and 142,000 for Sweden, according to the United Nations refugee agency UNHCR, which has condemned recent acts of intolerance.

In Italy, where the economy remains persistently weak, anti-migrant sentiment is on the rise amid a surge in the number of asylum seekers arriving in the country, most of whom are fleeing conflict and persecution in Africa, the Middle East and Asia.

(With inputs from IANS)

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Italy School Restrict Kids Due to Incomplete Immunization

A measles epidemic flared up in Italy beginning in January 2017. Almost 5,000 people were infected and four died, the Health Ministry said.

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Immunization against highly contagious diseases such as measles, polio, and rubella were made mandatory for kids aged up to 16 years.
Italy flag, Pixabay

School authorities in Italy’s Piedmont region have banned several children from attending kindergarten because their parents failed to comply with a government immunization deadline, media reports said.

The children belong to four different families, Italian news agency ANSA has reported.

Immunization against highly contagious diseases such as measles, polio, and rubella were made mandatory for kids aged up to 16 years. The number of vaccination went up from four to 10, Xinhua news agency reported.

School authorities in Italy's Piedmont region have banned several children from attending kindergarten because their parents failed to comply with a government immunization deadline, media reports said.
Immunization necessary for Italy school, Pixabay

Completing these vaccinations are a pre-requisite for children to attend school.

Italy has seen a drop-off in immunizations in the midst of highly organized “no-vax” campaigns claiming that vaccines cause autism.

The populist Five Star Movement and the rightwing League, the two winners of Italy’s March 4 general election, have endorsed “no-vax” positions in the past and oppose mandatory immunizations.

A measles epidemic flared up in Italy beginning in January 2017. Almost 5,000 people were infected and four died, the Health Ministry said.

Also Read: Exposure to Traffic-Related Pollution Poses Threat of Asthma in Kids

Of the measles cases, 92 were children under five years old and 28 were infants under 12 months old, while 91 per cent of those affected had not been vaccinated, according to the Superior Institutes of Health (ISS).

Measles, a leading causes of childhood mortality, has the potential for large outbreaks wherever immunization coverage has dropped below the necessary threshold of 95 per cent of the population, the World Health Organization said. (IANS)

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