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Giant cruise ships to be diverted away from Venice's historic centre – but there's a catch

Giant cruise ships to be diverted away from Venice's historic centre - but there's a catchAfter years of see-saw debate between Venetians and the tourism industry, giant cruise ships are to be banned from sailing past St Mark’s Square, the Italian government announced. Passenger liners are currently allowed to pass within a few hundred yards of St Mark’s Square and Venice’s historic centre on their way to the lagoon city’s international passenger terminal. Campaigners have long argued that the huge vessels, which carry up to 5,000 passengers and crew, dwarf Venice’s cupolas, spires and palaces, while eroding canal banks with the waves they create as they churn down the picturesque Giudecca Canal. Under the new plan, they will be diverted well away from the World Heritage city and will have to dock at a terminal in the industrial port of Marghera on the mainland – a far cry from the romance of St Mark’s and the Grand Canal. Passengers will then be ferried to Venice in smaller boats, or in coaches, along the narrow land bridge that connects the city to the mainland. The new navigation route will involve big cruise ships entering the Venetian lagoon from the Adriatic through an inlet far to the south of the one currently used.  Graphic: The new routes Smaller cruise vessels – those of 55,000 tonnes or less – will be allowed to continue to use the present route. But there is a catch – the new measures will not come into effect for three or four years. The move was announced by Graziano Delrio, the transport minister, after a meeting of a governmental committee tasked with protecting Venice’s delicate cultural heritage. “After years of study, we have found a viable solution for a sustainable route through the lagoon, without penalizing the tourism industry, which is so important for Venice,” the minister said. Luigi Brugnaro, the mayor of Venice, hailed the plan as a sensible compromise that would satisfy the cruise ship industry whilst addressing the concerns of locals and preserving the lagoon environment.  “We want it to be clear to Unesco (the UN’s cultural heritage body) and the whole world that we have a solution,” he said.  “This takes into account all the jobs created by the cruise industry, which we absolutely couldn’t afford to lose, and we can start to work seriously on planning cruises.” Gianni Berengo Gardin, an Italian photographer who takes striking black and white images of cruise ships looming over Venice's canals and churches, said he was cautiously optimistic about the plan. "It worries me that it is going to take three or four years, because in that time they may change their minds. "But it at least seems possible that in future we will no longer see huge ships pass along the Giudecca Canal and in front of St Mark's Square," he wrote in a front page opinion piece for La Repubblica newspaper. The debate over the impact of big cruise ships has been going on for years in Venice. Credit: AFP In an informal referendum organised by a campaign group in June, nearly 99 per cent of the 18,000 Venetians who took part voted in favour of banning giant cruise ships from the city’s lagoon altogether, saying they disgorge too many tourists and damage the environment. They were asked: “Do you want big cruise ships to stay outside Venice’s lagoon and no new shipping channels dug inside the lagoon?” The organisers of the referendum support an alternative plan which would involve the construction of an entirely new cruise ship terminal at one of the three entrances to the lagoon. Called Venice Cruise 2.0, the terminal would consist of a 2,000ft-long pier capable of accommodating four large ships at a time.   Passengers would then be transferred to smaller boats which would take them to Venice.



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Can the Hennessey Venom F5 blow away the competition?

Can the Hennessey Venom F5 blow away the competition?“[We expect the F5] to be the first road car capable of achieving more than 300mph and have worked closely with Pennzoil to get us across the finish line,” said John Hennessey of the new car. The biggest automotive obstacle to overcome will be the Bugatti Chiron. Like the Venom, it has yet to make a run at setting an ultimate top speed but in early tests the car, which has a 16-cylinder, 8-litre 1500hp engine, can comfortably hit 261mph.



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Clinton Campaign, Democrats Funded Trump Dossier After Unknown Republican Stepped Away

Clinton Campaign, Democrats Funded Trump Dossier After Unknown Republican Stepped AwayPrepared by a former British spy, the 35-page document alleges the Trump campaign colluded with the Russians, and includes uncorroborated, salacious allegations about Trump himself.



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Stolen dog missing for three years found 1,700 miles away

Stolen dog missing for three years found 1,700 miles awayA missing dog has finally been returned to its rightful owner, three years after it was stolen and taken 1,700 miles away. Staffordshire Terrier Ladybird was taken from a resident at a Texas living facility by a homeless man after she passed away. The woman had already asked her friend, Sharon Henderson, to look after Ladybird in the event of her death. She told Fox 7 Austin: “The neighbour in the living facility called this other homeless guy and he came and took Ladybird in the middle of the night knowing that her wishes were that he now have her.” The man hitchhiked with the dog all the way to Portland, Oregon, with Ms Henderson adding that the “whole trip must have been horrendous for her”. Three years later, a malnourished Ladybird was found wandering the streets alone following the death of the man who took her. The canine was in a terrible condition, with Ms Henderson explaining: “She hadn't eaten in so long, so had no jaw muscles, her head muscles had atrophied and she couldn't even chew. Her ribs were sticking out and she couldn't even go up two stairs with falling backwards.” Ladybird was eventually reunited with her rightful owner thanks to the address stored on her microchip. “I want her to enjoy the rest of her life in the lap of luxury she’s never known and have a family,” her owner said. Smiling dog faces losing new home after adoption selfie alerts police



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How Harvey Weinstein got away with it for so long

How Harvey Weinstein got away with it for so longOnly a small percentage of sexual assaults result in criminal charges, and even fewer with convictions. As a result, many victims don’t even bother filing complaints. And powerful men, from the president on down, face few lasting consequences.



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Iran: If U.S. Walks Away, the Nuclear Deal is Over

Iran: If U.S. Walks Away, the Nuclear Deal is OverNBC News' Ali Arouzi has early reaction from Iran to President Trump's decision to decertify the Iran nuclear deal.



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What Every Employee Can Take Away From Public Sexual Harassment Scandals

What Every Employee Can Take Away From Public Sexual Harassment ScandalsThe news of decades of sexual harassment allegations made against film executive Harvey Weinstein has shocked and appalled many ― and for good reason.



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Mormon Church Apostle Passes Away

Mormon Church Apostle Passes AwayThe New York City native was chosen as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, a high-level governing body of the Mormon Church, in 1994 and received his call as a general authority in 1975.



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US to Americans: Stay away from Cuba after health 'attacks'

US to Americans: Stay away from Cuba after health 'attacks'WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States delivered an ominous warning to Americans on Friday to stay away from Cuba and ordered home more than half the U.S. diplomatic corps, acknowledging neither the Cubans nor America's FBI can figure out who or what is responsible for months of mysterious health ailments.



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Elizabeth Thomas Update: Teen Says She Doesn't Regret Running Away With Teacher

Elizabeth Thomas Update: Teen Says She Doesn't Regret Running Away With TeacherTennessee teen Elizabeth Thomas spoke with a reporter about her alleged abduction in March by her high school teacher and said she doesn't regret it.



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