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Iran Foreign Minister Heads to Rome ahead of Nuclear Talks

Iran's foreign minister left for an brief official visit to Italy Tuesday morning, Iranian media reported, before he travels to Geneva where he will represent Tehran in nuclear talks with world powers.

In a stopover in Rome that will last for "a few hours," Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif will meet his Italian counterpart Emma Bonino to discuss bilateral, regional and international issues, Iranian media said.

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Pope Francis to Address Situation in Lebanon, Middle East during Catholic Patriarchs Summit

Pope Francis is expected to tackle the situation in Lebanon and the Middle East during a summit for the leaders of the Eastern churches in the Vatican, al-Joumhouria newspaper reported on Tuesday.

A source at the Vatican said in comments published in the daily, that the final statement that will be issued by the attendees will reflect the fears of Christians in the region amid the ongoing conflicts.

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Al-Rahi Urges Christians to Play 'Conciliatory Role' in Country's Political Crisis

Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi criticized the country's rival leaders for paralyzing state institutions and reiterated his call for Christians to play a pivotal role in resolving the country's political crisis.

In remarks at Rafik Hariri International Airport before heading to Rome, al-Rahi said: “We should not paralyze the state just because we have joined regional-international axes.”

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Hi-Tech Aqueduct Explorers Map Rome's 'Final Frontier'

Armed with laser rangefinders, GPS technology and remote control robots, a group of speleologists is completing the first ever mapping of the aqueducts of ancient Rome on archaeology's "final frontier".

They abseil down access wells and clamber through crevices to access the 11 aqueducts that supplied Rome, which still run for hundreds of kilometers (miles) underground and along stunning viaducts.

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Housing Protesters Stay Camped Out in Rome

Hundreds of people said Sunday they would stay camped out in central Rome in an unsanctioned protest to call for an end to austerity and evictions and for more affordable housing.

A delegation of protesters was set to meet Transport and Infrastructure Minister Maurizio Lupi on Tuesday to discuss their demands.

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Police Gear Up for New Demo after Thousands Rally against Austerity in Rome

Italian police cracked down on alleged militants and confiscated potential weapons on Friday on the eve of an anti-austerity protest in Rome amid fears that the demonstration could turn violent.

Saturday's protest was expected to be bigger than a peaceful march on Friday in which thousands of people took to the streets as partial transport strikes across the country canceled dozens of flights and snarled buses and trains.

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Italian PM Shores Up Support before Confidence Vote

Once loyal supporters of Italy's Silvio Berlusconi spoke out against him as Prime Minister Enrico Letta worked on Tuesday to shore up support on the eve of a crucial confidence vote in parliament.

"Making the government fall would be a mistake," Fabrizio Cicchitto, a senior member of parliament from Berlusconi's People of Freedom (PDL) party, was quoted as saying by the La Repubblica daily.

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Alitalia Plane Skids Off Runway at Rome Airport

A plane belonging to Italian flagship carrier Alitalia skidded off the runway after landing at Rome's Fiumicino airport on Sunday during a thunderstorm, Italian news agency ANSA reported.

The plane's landing gear failed to deploy but no one among the 151 passengers on board was injured in the incident, the report said.

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Italy Rules Out Armed Action in Syria without U.N.

 Italy on Tuesday ruled out taking part in any type of military intervention in Syria without U.N. Security Council approval, saying there was no alternative to "a negotiated political solution".

"Italy will not take part in any military solutions without a U.N. Security Council mandate," Foreign Minister Emma Bonino told parliamentarians in Rome.

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Rome Diverts Traffic to Protect Colosseum

The city of Rome from Saturday barred private vehicles from using the main road to the Colosseum in order to protect the iconic monument that has been blackened by pollution and is in a poor state.

From 0300 GMT Saturday, cars, lorries and other private vehicles were barred from using the last trunk of the avenue Via dei Fori Imperiali, which links Piazza Venezia to the Roman amphitheatre.

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