AP Top Stories May 20 P

Here are the top stories for Wednesday, May 20th: Trump threatens Michigan and Nevada over voting by mail; Pompeo defends firing of IG; Floodwaters threaten Michigan city.; Italian woman wins Picasso painting.

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EU coordination “essential” for opening borders, says French interior minister | AFP

France’s interior minister Christophe Castaner says it is “essential” to coordinate decisions on the reopening of borders within Europe, regretting this has not been the case following recent Spanish and Italian decisions. SOUNDBITE

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Italy probes Islamophobic threats against freed aid worker | AFP

Italian investigators are probing Islamophobic threats against a humanitarian worker who converted to Islam during a kidnapping in Kenya and returned to Italy following her release.

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‘Like the first time’: Italian surfers return to the waves after lockdown eased | AFP

Italian surfers return to the waves in Ladispoli, in the Rome region, where professional and amateur surfers are enjoying getting back to their sport after the world’s longest nationwide lockdown restricted outdoor exercise. “The fact of being able to immerse yourself and be in the waves felt like I was doing it for the first time,” local surfer Piero Capannini says.

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AP Top Stories May 10 P

Here’s the latest for Sunday, May 10: Chile cemeteries closed on Mother’s Day due to virus; Seoul mayor closes bars after infections tied to clubgoers; kidnapped Italian aid worker released; unusual, orange-plumed pelican rescued by Israeli vets. (May 10)

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Italy kitesurfers fly again as lockdown loosens | AFP

For these Italian kitesurfers, the taste of freedom on the waves is even sweeter as they take to seas for the first time after two months of lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic. While some local authorities have yet to lift all confinement measures, in Ladispoli, some 40 kilometres from Rome, the beach has reopened, much to the joy of the kiters.

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In Milan, beauty salons are ready and eager to reopen | AFP

bMargherita Borgo is the owner of a beauty centre in Milan, a profession that has not yet been allowed by the Italian government to resume its activity.

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Coronavirus: Italian pasta producers reopen despite ‘severe’ damage | AFP

Famous for their high-end and traditional pasta, producers in the Gragnano area of Naples are slowly restarting their production after the coronavirus halted activity. ‘A lot of clients, abroad as well, have cancelled their orders as a result we found ourselves with a full warehouse, cancelled orders and sometimes some payments were cancelled’ explains Antonino Moccia, who works at the family-run La Fabbrica della Pasta in Gragnano. He anticipates at least a 40% loss in revenue this year as long as ‘there aren’t any new negative developments’.

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Romans fly flags and sing ‘Bella Ciao’ from windows to mark Liberation Day | AFP

Residents of a building in Rome wave Italian flags and sing along to ‘Bella Ciao’ to celebrate Liberation Day. The national Italian holiday commemorate the end of Nazi occupation during World War II and the victory of the Resistance in Italy. IMAGES

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Italy: the Lombardy region starts conducting antibodies tests | AFP

The Italian region of Lombardy, one of the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, starts conducting serological tests on people, aiming to detect antibodies against the novel coronavirus. Lombardy is betting that the science about “herd immunity” derived from the blood tests will help the prosperous industrial region return to work faster and safer. as Italy slowly eases its lockdown restrictions. IMAGES

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In Paris, an Italian actress sings for confined neighbours | AFP

Deprived of performing because of the COVID-19 pandemic, actress of Italian origin living in Paris, Carla Bianchi, sings for her neighbours every night from her window in the 12th arrondissement. After the applause, she dedicates the songs to caregivers. France announced it had become the fourth country worldwide to register over 20,000 deaths from the novel coronavirus, after recording 547 new fatalities in the epidemic.

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Crops rot as Italian farmers hit by virus, drought | AFP

Italian farmers are being brought to their knees by a six-week lockdown aimed at stopping a deadly epidemic in its tracks. They are also suffering a drought caused by the driest spring in more than half a century.

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Italian bookshops reopen after weeks of lockdown | AFP

Italian bookshops are gradually reopening their doors, imposing certain safety rules on their customers such as social distancing and the use of hydroalcoholic gel when entering. IMAGES

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As Romans are confined, birds are thriving in Italy’s capital | AFP

The coronavirus has emptied the streets and parks of Rome, leaving space for birds to thrive. An ornithologist takes AFP on a visit to the Villa Borghese, in the heart of the Italian capital.

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Italian doctor fights coronavirus to save lives

For two days this month, AP photographer Domenico Stinellis captured the life of Dr. Giovanni Passeri as he tried to save lives and care for patients infected with the novel coronavirus. The disease has claimed more than 21,000 lives in Italy. (April 16)

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Coronavirus: Millions watch Andrea Bocelli sing in empty Milan cathedral | AFP

Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli performs a solo Easter concert from an empty Milan Cathedral streamed live to millions of people around the world in coronavirus lockdown. The “Music for Hope” performance, which was streamed on YouTube from Milan’s Duomo cathedral, has been watched more than 25 million times so far. Accompanied by an organist, Bocelli sang four songs inside the magnificent Gothic building and ended with a rendition of “Amazing Grace” from the cathedral steps with a montage of images showing the empty streets of Paris, London and New York.

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Italian priest grieves, holds mass in empty church

Parish priest Rev. Angelo Riva is conducting a mass at an empty church in Carenno, northern Italy. The circle of contagion around him couldn’t have been tighter, the pain of watching those near him fall to the virus. (April 10)

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ONLY ON AP Italian centenarian recovers from virus

A 103-year-old Italian woman has recovered from COVID-19, inspiring others in the hard-hit country. (April 9)

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Italian nurses describe fight against coronavirus

Two senior nurses on the frontline in Italy’s battle to save lives describe what it is like to work in the main hospital of Bergamo, located in the region that has been hit hardest by the outbreak of the new coronavirus. (April 8)

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