Eritrean soccer players who defected say they live in fear
PALERMO, Italy (AP) — Soccer gave Mewal Tesfai Yosief hope in an authoritarian nation, a job in a country of forced military conscription and, possibly, freedom at last.
Balotelli: I have zero fear of failing
After a nomadic career of controversy, Mario Balotelli has gone back home.
Balotelli has signed a "multi-year contract" with newly promoted Brescia after his deal with Marseille expired, and...
PALERMO, Sicily (AP) — Jil Teichmann of Switzerland beat top-seeded Kiki Bertens in straight sets to win the Palermo Ladies Open on Sunday.
The eighth-seeded Swiss triumphed 7-6 (3), 6-2 to...
PALERMO, Sicily (AP) — Top-seeded Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands beat Jasmine Paolini on Friday to reach the semifinals of the Palermo Ladies Open.
Bertens beat Krunic to reach Palermo quarterfinals
PALERMO, Sicily (AP) — Top-seeded Kiki Bertens of the Netherlands beat Serbian Aleksandra Krunic on Thursday to reach the quarterfinals of the Palermo Ladies Open.
Friedsam upsets No. 2 seed Cornet in Palermo
PALERMO, Sicily (AP) — Unseeded Anna-Lena Friedsam of Germany rallied after she was broken in the opening set to upset No. 2 seed Alize Cornet in the second round of the Palermo Ladies Open on...
Bertens drops only 1 game in Palermo opener
PALERMO, Sicily (AP) — Top-seeded Kiki Bertens rolled to a 6-0, 6-1 win over Ekaterine Gorgodze in the opening round of the Palermo Ladies Open on Tuesday.
Zidansek wins opening match of Palermo Open’s return
PALERMO, Sicily (AP) — Fourth-seeded Tamara Zidansek beat Lara Arruabarrena 6-2, 6-3 in Monday's opening match of the Palermo Ladies Open, which is marking its return after a five-year...
ROME (AP) — Italian police and FBI agents have cracked down on a Palermo-area Mafia clan with ties to the U.S.-based Gambino crime family.
Police said that around 200 officers including FBI...
Italian court says wrong Eritrean accused of trafficking
ROME (AP) — A court in Palermo, Sicily, ruled Friday that the wrong Eritrean man was arrested and tried as a migrant smuggling kingpin and ordered him released from jail, a ruling cheered by...
Palermo still waiting to see where it will play next season
MILAN (AP) — It's not quite as easy as ABC for Italian soccer club Palermo.
With the regular season over and the promotion playoffs looming, Palermo is waiting to see if it will compete for...
ROME (AP) — Palermo has been relegated to Serie C because of financial irregularities, ending its hopes of securing promotion to Italy's top division.
Italy arrests 7 more in bid to keep Sicilian Mafia down
MILAN (AP) — Italian police have arrested seven suspected members of the Mafia, as part of an ongoing operation to prevent the Sicilian Mafia from re-establishing a new hierarchy following the prison death 14 months ago of the last boss of bosses.
The arrests Tuesday in Palermo came a month after authorities announced they detained 47 people and dismantled the reassembled upper echelons of the Mafia.
Police: Upper ranks of Sicilian mob dismantled with arrests
ROME (AP) — Italian authorities said Tuesday they had dismantled the rebuilt upper echelons of the Mafia in the Sicilian capital by arresting 46 people, including the man presumed to have taken over as provincial kingpin after the death of "boss of bosses" Salvatore "Toto" Riina.
UN heartened by Libya commitments ahead of 2019 conference
PALERMO, Sicily (AP) — The U.N. envoy for Libya said Tuesday he was encouraged by support from Libyan factions and the international community for a national conference planned for early 2019 to chart a path to greater stability and elections in the lawless country.
Ghassan Salame praised the "louder sound of unity" among key regional players and "a much higher level of conviviality" between Libyan rivals that he sensed during a two-day meeting in Sicily.
Pope pays tribute in Sicily to priest slain by Mafia
PALERMO, Sicily (AP) — Pope Francis appealed to Mafiosi to renounce their quests for power and money as he visited Sicily on Saturday to honor a priest slain by mob henchmen for trying to protect youths from the evil clutches of organized crime.
Pope says populism should serve people, not stir up quarrels
PALERMO, Sicily (AP) — Pope Francis is recommending a Christian kind of populism after being attacked by Italian politicians for defending migrants.
Francis told a crowd of 100,000 at an outdoor Mass on Saturday that "the only possible populism" is a Christian one that "listens to and serves the people without shouting, accusing, stirring up quarrels."
Police say Sicily gangsters crushed limbs in insurance fraud
ROME (AP) — Sicilian gangsters dropped 25-kilo (55-pound) cast-iron weights on the limbs of drug addicts, alcoholics and other vulnerable people to obtain insurance payments for fake car accidents worth hundreds of thousands of euros, police said Wednesday after making 11 arrests in the case.
Among those arrested was a nurse at a Palermo hospital who Italian police allege procured mild anesthetics from her workplace to tamp down the pain.
FROSINONE, Italy (AP) — Frosinone beat Palermo 2-0 in a playoff to earn promotion back into Serie A on Saturday after a two-year absence.
Raffaele Maiello scored early in the first half and Camillo Ciano sealed it in added time by finishing off a counterattack.
Frosinone, which is south of Rome, advanced on 3-2 aggregate after Palermo won the first leg of the Serie B playoff final 2-1.
Costly gelato: Palermo fined 10,000 euros for thrown cone
ROME (AP) — A cone of gelato thrown by a fan at the referee has resulted in a fine of 10,000 euros ($12,000) for Serie B team Palermo from the league's disciplinary judge.
The incident occurred in the second half of Palermo's 2-1 home loss to Foggia on Monday.
As the referee showed a red card to Palermo midfielder Igor Coronado, he was hit by the gelato cone on his right arm.
4-year-old’s legacy was pushing frontiers of medicine, Minnesota law
Elisa Rose McCann smiled through her pain.
A touch, a kiss or a cuddle could tear Elisas fragile skin and raise blisters that hurt like third-degree burns. But she loved, and was dearly loved, every day of her short life.
She died at home in St. Paul on Jan. 12, a few weeks shy of her fifth birthday. In those years, she and her family helped push the frontiers of medical research and Minnesota law.
For the 2nd time in a week Italy nabs women on mafia charges
ROME (AP) — Italian authorities have arrested four women related to a notorious Camorra mobster, in the latest crackdown on females who often take over running mafia businesses when their men are serving time.
Citing Naples police, Italian news agency ANSA said the four included the sister of Casalesi clan boss Michele Zagaria and the wives of Zagaria's brothers. They were accused of receiving mafia-sourced salaries.
Notorious Mafia ‘boss of bosses’ Toto Riina dead at 87
ROME (AP) — Cosa Nostra's "boss of bosses," who was serving 26 life sentences as the convicted mastermind of dozens of murders of rivals for power on his Sicilian turf as well as prominent anti-Mafia heroes, died Friday in an Italian hospital prison ward.
Salvatore "Toto" Riina's passing, a day after his 87th birthday, is likely to trigger a scramble for power among Mafia clans in Palermo, the traditional hub of the crime syndicate's leadership.
Italian minister OKs family visits for ailing top Mafia boss
ROME (AP) — One of Sicily's most notorious Mafia bosses may have bedside visits from family members at the hospital where he is in a coma and still a prisoner serving more than two dozen life sentences, Italy's justice minister decided Thursday.
Justice Minister Andrea Orlando authorized relatives of Salvatore "Toto" Riina to see him at a hospital in the northern city of Parma. Ministry officials said Riina, who turned 87 on Thursday, is in a medically induced coma.
Palermo lives up to the Italy of popular imagination
PALERMO, Sicily (AP) — For many travelers, Italy is seen as romantic, mysterious and a bit chaotic, with torpid heat, gorgeously rich colors and irresistible food.
In reality, of course, every region has a distinct culture and identity. But Palermo, the ancient capital of Sicily and jewel of the Mediterranean, lives up to the Italy of popular imagination. It's joyful and colorful, rich in art and cuisine, but also disorganized, unable even to reliably collect the garbage.
600 migrants rescued; fears rise of new surge from Libya
MILAN (AP) — Some 600 migrants rescued at sea arrived Friday in Sicily — one of the biggest influxes since Italy struck a deal with Libyan authorities to limit migrant smuggling — raising concerns of a renewed surge on the Libyan human trafficking route.
The migrants, including many unaccompanied minors from sub-Saharan Africa, were rescued in seven operations over 36 hours, and transported Friday to Palermo by the German non-governmental organization SOS Mediterranee.
Eritrean tells court he’s not migrant smuggling kingpin
MILAN (AP) — An Eritrean man accused of being a kingpin of a migrant smuggling ring has told a court in Palermo that his is a case of mistaken identity.
The suspect's lawyer, Michel Calantropo, said his client made the declaration as the trial for human smuggling reopened Tuesday in a new court and was combined with a parallel trial.
A road trip through Sicily is a trip across centuries
PALERMO, Italy (AP) — Sicily sits at the toe of Italy's boot, just 2 miles (3.2 kilometers) from the mainland, at its closest point, and a short ferry ride from the town of Messina. But our gateway to Sicily was on the other side of the island, flying into the capital Palermo.
ROME (AP) — Authorities in Sicily say they don't believe terrorism was at play when a young Sudanese passenger grabbed the steering wheel of the bus he was riding in and tried to pull the vehicle off the road.
Palermo chief prosecutor Francesco Lo Voi says personal motives appear to be behind the incident on the bus, which was heading from Trapani to Palermo on Tuesday. Off-duty military officers on board the bus prevented the man from doing any harm, the ANSA news agency said.
PALERMO, Sicily (AP) — Recently relegated Palermo has announced a change in ownership, with American-born Paul Baccaglini to take over the Sicilian club from Maurizio Zamparini by the end of the month.
A statement on Palermo's website says Baccaglini and Zamparini met Tuesday and closed the deal following a positive outcome of due diligence.
The club says "therefore the change in ownership, given the banking delays, will occur by June 30."
ROME (AP) — Authorities in Sicily say they have detained 15 people accused of running a high-end migrant smuggling racket that planned to bring to Italy even people sought by Tunisian authorities for alleged links to jihadist groups.
A statement from the Palermo border police says none of the passengers actually transported were such "dangerous" suspects. But it said such trips were planned.
FIFA fines Albania $100,000 for fan disorder in Italy
ZURICH (AP) — FIFA has fined the Albanian soccer federation 100,000 Swiss francs ($100,500) for improper conduct by fans who forced a World Cup qualifying match in Italy to be stopped.
Play was delayed for nine minutes in Palermo last month when Albania fans threw flares on the field despite warnings earlier in the game.
Albania's fine announced on Thursday by FIFA is its fourth for fan incidents at five World Cup qualifiers.
Italy, which won the game 2-0, was fined 15,000 Swiss francs ($15,075).
Paulo Dybala signs new 5-year contract at Juventus
TURIN, Italy (AP) — Juventus forward Paulo Dybala signed a five-year contract extension with the Serie A champions on Thursday.
The Turin-based club said Dybala had renewed his contract until June 30, 2022, topping off a fantastic week for the Argentina international, who scored two goals in Juve's 3-0 win over Barcelona in the first leg of the Champions League quarterfinals on Tuesday.
GIJON, Spain (AP) — Spain and Italy both scored early on their way to comfortable home victories that extended their lead in Group G of European qualifying for the 2018 World Cup.
Spain defeated Israel 4-1 in Gijon, while Italy beat Albania 2-0 in Palermo in a match halted for nearly nine minutes after Albania fans threw flares onto the pitch.
PALERMO, Sicily (AP) — The World Cup qualifier between Italy and Albania was suspended for nearly nine minutes after Albania fans threw flares onto the pitch during Friday's match in Palermo.
The match was stopped in the 57th minute and the referee sent both teams into the dressing room, with Italy winning 1-0.
The referee had already stopped the match for around a minute in the first half when flares were thrown onto the pitch after Italy was awarded a penalty.
Juventus beats Palermo 4-1 to go 10 points clear in Serie A
TURIN, Italy (AP) — Paulo Dybala orchestrated his former side's destruction as Juventus beat relegation-threatened Palermo 4-1 to move 10 points clear in Serie A on Friday.
Dybala, who also hit the post, scored two and set up another against the side that brought him to Italy from Argentina. The 23-year-old didn't celebrate after his goals.
Juventus, which is marching towards an unprecedented sixth successive Serie A title, extended its lead over second-placed Roma, which hosts Torino on Sunday.
Tiger escapes from circus, takes to the road in Sicily
ROME (AP) — A tiger escaped from a circus in Sicily, running along the road in a town near Palermo before being recaptured.
Monreale Mayor Piero Capizzi said at first he thought someone was joking when he was told a tiger was on the loose Saturday.
But local traffic police indeed found the tiger on the run. The animal was re-captured after being coaxed to go inside a series of increasingly smaller cages. It was taken back to the circus.
Palermo hires Diego Lopez as 4th coach this season
PALERMO, Sicily (AP) — Palermo has hired its fourth coach of the season.
Diego Lopez has signed a contract to June 30, 2018, and the Uruguayan's first match in charge will be at third-place Napoli on Sunday.
The 42-year-old Lopez, who has previously coached Cagliari and Bologna, replaces Eugenio Corini, who resigned on Tuesday after guiding Palermo to only one win in seven matches.
Corini resigns as coach of relegation-threatened Palermo
PALERMO, Sicily (AP) — Eugenio Corini resigned as Palermo coach Tuesday after guiding the Sicilian club to only one win in seven matches.
The move came two days after Palermo was beaten 1-0 at home by Inter Milan.
"This is a decision that I've taken with integrity and lucidness, which makes me feel great pain, but which seems the fairest and most logical option right now," Corini said, according to the ANSA news agency.
Palermo makes 2nd coaching change of season after Cup loss
PALERMO, Sicily (AP) — Palermo has fired its coach for the second time this season, replacing Roberto De Zerbi with Eugenio Corini after getting eliminated from the Italian Cup by second-division Spezia.
Spezia beat Palermo 5-4 on penalties following a 0-0 draw Wednesday.
Palermo is also last in Serie A, with only one win and six points from 14 matches.
De Zerbi had replaced Davide Ballardini two matches into the Serie A season.
Fofana scores 2 as Udinese beats Palermo 3-1 in Serie A
PALERMO, Sicily (AP) — French midfielder Seko Fofana showed both his speed and accurate shooting to grab two late goals — his first in Serie A — as Udinese won 3-1 at Palermo on Thursday.
Having joined from Manchester City in July, the 21-year-old Fofana put Udinese ahead in the 74th by curling a shot into the top corner then finished off a swift counterattack with one touch five minutes later.
Torino moves up to 4th in Serie A with 4-1 win at Palermo
PALERMO, Sicily (AP) — Torino moved into fourth place with a 4-1 win at Palermo on Monday, ruining the Sicilian hosts' celebration of their 1,000th Serie A match.
After Bulgaria midfielder Ivaylo Chochev put Palermo ahead early, Torino responded with two goals from Adem Ljajic and one each from Marco Benassi and Daniele Baselli.
Extending its unbeaten run to five matches, Torino moved level on points with Napoli but ahead on goal difference.
Premature twins in hospital after rescue from boat off Libya
PALERMO, Sicily (AP) — Two Eritrean baby boys were recovering well at a hospital in Palermo on Wednesday, a week after they were born prematurely in Libya and then — at only 5 days old — put on a cramped boat headed to Europe's shores.
The twin boys were lucky survivors of a dangerous voyage across the Mediterranean that has claimed more than 3,000 lives to date this year, a journey that many continue to take in a desperate effort for a better life.
Inter draws 1-1 with Palermo in Serie A home opener
ROME (AP) — Inter Milan showed signs of improvement in a 1-1 draw with Palermo on Sunday in its home opener at San Siro.
The Nerazzurri's preparations for Serie A were slowed by the departure of Roberto Mancini less than two weeks before the season started and new manager Frank de Boer had a rough start with a 2-0 loss at Chievo Verona last weekend.