Recently in International Category

Pompeii building collapsed

The House of the Gladiators in Pompeii collapsed on Saturday morning, said the Guardian (UK).

The collapse came as a shock to some, but it was a long time coming for others. Some blame recent rain for the collapse while others blame mismanagement by the government for the historic site's collapse.

There is a call from the private sector for privatization of Pompeii.

Italy's Culture Minister, Sandro Bondi, has urged the government to give Pompeii more funds as this collapse could be just the first of many according to the AP.

The Hobbit will begin filming next year

The Hobbit films will begin filming in New Zealand this February, said BBC.

Peter Jackson, who directed the Oscar-winning Lord of the Ring films, co-wrote the screenplays for The Hobbit and will be producing the films.

The two movies based on JRR Tolkien's book are budgeted to cost approximately $500 million, said the Telegraph.

No release date has been set.

Billboards "violate" historical buildings in Venice

Art and architecture experts from around the world are up in arms over the use of advertising on scaffolding on historic buildings in Venice reports the Guardian (UK).

Historic sites in Venice, such as the Bridge of Sighs, need to undergo renovation. Since 2008, these renovations have been paid for by advertisements placed on the scaffolding.

On Sunday, the Art Newspaper published a letter asking that such billboards be outlawed.

City officials say that the billboards are the only way to pay for the costly renovations, but the Guardian reports that Roberto Ciambetti, the regional authority's public spending assessor, put a new solution forward: sell off assets seized from mafia godfathers.

Fatal bus accident in Germany

Twelve people died and many more injured when a bus full tourist crashed in Germany on Sunday, according to CNN.

Seven passengers who were on the bus were in critical condition as this story went to press with an additional 27 injured according to CBS. Most passengers on board were believed to be Polish tourists, but that cannot be confirmed at this time.

German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said, "This accident doesn't just concern our Polish friends, it also affects us. Our deepest sympathies and condolences go out to the family and friends of those who died."

Quadruple amputee swims the English Channel

By Megan Maertz

The 42-year-old quadrouple amputee swam across the English Channel in 13 and a half hours acrording to the Gaurdian (UK) reports.

Philippe Croizon, who lost both of his arms and legs in an electrical accident 16 years ago, made the 21-mile journey with the aid of specially designed flippers.

"I did it, I'm happy, I'm so happy, I can't believe it, it's crazy," he told France-Info radio, and as was reported to CBS.

Croizon has not let his disability stop him from achieving his dreams. His memoir reflecting upon this is entitled J'ai Décidé de Vivre, which means 'I decided to live'.

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