Italy

Italy begins strict Easter lockdown

All regions are now in the "red zone" - the highest tier of restrictions - as the country battles a third wave, with about 20,000 new cases a day.

Non-essential movement is banned, but people are allowed to have an Easter meal in their homes with two others.

Churches are also open, but worshippers are being told to attend services within their own regions.

For the second year, Pope Francis will deliver his Easter message to an empty St Peter's Square.

Wales thrash Italy in Six Nations meet

Wayne Pivac's side, fresh from sealing the Triple Crown against England, made short work of the error-plagued Azzurri and will clinch a stunning Grand Slam if they beat France in Paris next weekend.

Wales sit top of the table with 19 points, while second placed France lost 23-20 to England at Twickenham.

France and England have 10 points with the French having a game in hand against Scotland.

The French will need to win both of their remaining games to have any chance of winning the title.

Covid: Italy 'blocks' AstraZeneca vaccine shipment to Australia

The decision affects 250,000 doses of the vaccine produced at an AstraZeneca facility in Italy.

Italy is the first EU country to use the bloc's new regulations allowing exports to be stopped if the company providing the vaccines has failed to meet its obligations to the EU.

The move has been backed by the European Commission, reports say.

AstraZeneca is on track to provide only 40% of the agreed supply to member states in the first three months of the year. It has cited production problems for the shortfall.

'Extraordinary’ ceremonial chariot unveiled in Pompeii

The four-wheeled carriage was found near a stable where three horses were uncovered back in 2018.

Experts believe it was probably used in festivities and parades, with the find described as "exceptional" and "in an excellent state of preservation".

Pompeii, engulfed by a volcanic eruption from Mount Vesuvius in AD79, is an archaeological treasure trove.

The volcanic eruption buried the city in a thick layer of ash, preserving many of its residents and buildings.

Italy fines Apple €10m over iPhone water-resistance claims

The national competition authority, AGCM, found Apple's claims did not hold up under real-world conditions.

Instead, the water resistance claims were valid only with pure water in laboratory conditions.

AGCM also said Apple not covering water damage under warranty, despite claims of water resistance, was an "aggressive" practice.

The advertising at issue promised iPhones were water resistant at a depth of up to 4m (13ft) for 30 minutes.

The claim was made for a range of phones across several years, from the iPhone 8 to the iPhone 11 and their variations.

Deadly flooding hits Sardinia after heavy rains

Dramatic footage posted on social media shows rivers of mud flowing through the town of Bitti in Nuoro province.

Italian media say the three who have died there include an older man who drowned at home and a man killed in his vehicle.

Strong winds and rain have battered the island since Friday, cutting off power and forcing some people to evacuate.

Andrea Soddu, mayor of the province's main town of Nuoro, warned of "particularly heavy" rainfall in the area and asked citizens to exercise "maximum caution" in a post on Facebook.

Twenty-nine members of Fiji rugby tour test positive for Covid-19

The decision was taken after the squad underwent a new round of Covid-19 testing on Monday.

In a statement, tournament organisers Six Nations Rugby said they remain in constant contact with the Fijian squad to address the situation.

"The main priority at present is the welfare of all players and management."

The Fiji squad, which includes 32 players and the management staff, is currently self-isolating in their hotel rooms at their tournament base in Saint-Galmier.

Floods and landslides hit France and Italy

Named Alex, the storm brought fierce winds and torrential rain.

A number of villages north of Nice in France suffered serious damage from floods and landslides, with roads, bridges and homes destroyed.

In north-western Italy, flooding was described as "historic". A section of a bridge over the Sesia river collapsed.

French Prime Minister Jean Castex has deployed the army and released emergency funds to tackle the worst floods for decades in south-eastern France.

Up to 20 people are either missing or have not checked in with relatives.

Italy death toll tops 30,000, highest in EU

It reported 243 new fatalities on Friday - down from 274 the day before - taking the total to 30,201.

The daily number of confirmed new cases fell slightly to 1,327, bringing the total number of infections to 217,185.

Restrictions have begun to ease around the county, but one doctor described the city of Milan as a time "bomb," according to local media.

Italy has the third highest number of officially recorded coronavirus deaths in the world, after the United States and the UK - which is no longer a member of the EU.

Russia brings army doctors home from Italy

Defence minister Sergei Shoigu said the teams would start to leave on Thursday, according to Interfax news agency.

Russia sent equipment and 100 soldiers in March as the outbreak threatened to overwhelm northern Italy.

The deployment provoked controversy in Italy, as many saw it as a big propaganda move by Russia and questioned its practical use.

However, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte approved the operation - dubbed "From Russia With Love" by Moscow - after speaking with President Vladimir Putin.