Abortion Pill Row:
(ANSA) - Ancona, November 14 - A heated row over an abortion pill continued to rage in Italy on Monday, with Health Minister Francesco Storace accusing local governments who want to introduce the drug of encouraging women to abort .
"At a time when the government is trying to get families to have children, regional governments appear to be in a contest to see who can stop families having them," the minister said .
"The regions are in a race to see who can debase values and promote abortion," the minister said .
His comments followed a decision by three of Italy's 20 regions - Piedmont, Tuscany and Liguria - to introduce the RU486 abortion pill on an experimental basis .
Storace said on Monday that "a child's right to be born is not a religious issue but a right that concerns everyone." He also defended his controversial call for pro-life volunteers to be involved in the running of family planning clinics, arguing that Italy's abortion law is "designed to prevent abortion not just legalise it" .
"Catholics shouldn't be made to feel ashamed of living in this country," the minister said. Opposition MPs slammed the minister's stance on both the abortion pill and the family planning clinics, with some demanding his resignation .
They argued that the RU486 pill was safer than a surgical abortion and that it was a woman's right to have access to it .
They said the minister's plan to open family planning clinics to pro-life representatives amounted to "psychological terrorism." But the Catholic Church also weighed into the debate, with Italy's highest-ranking cardinal saying that abortion amounted to murder .
Lourdes Miracle for Italian Woman
(ANSA) - Paris, November 14 - The Catholic Church has officially recognised the 'miraculous' cure of an Italian woman who visited Lourdes more than 50 years ago when she was suffering from a lethal form of rheumatic heart disease .
Anna Santaniello, who is now 94 and lives in southern Italy, says her illness disappeared during a pilgrimage to the French shrine in 1952 .
The international Catholic committee which runs the shrine has now acknowledged the 'miracle', making Santaniello the 67th person to have officially been healed at Lourdes .
Four Arrested for Stealing Trevi Coins
(ANSA) - Rome, November 14 - Four people were arrested on Monday for stealing coins from the Trevi Fountain, the famous Roman landmark they had been hired to clean .
Every day thousands of tourists throw coins into Bernini's baroque fountain in the hope that this will ensure their return to the Eternal City, a legend made popular in the film 'Three Coins in the Fountain' .
The coins are regularly collected and then given to charity .
The four arrested, aged between 18 and 50, were employees of the firm sub-contracted to clean the fountain .
They were arrested soon after the job and were still in possession of some 1,200 euros in coins .