Bylines and collaborations

A collection of bylines and collaborations for which I worked as fixer and additional reporter, travelling to Sicily. These assignments were based on my knowledge of organised crime and investigative skills.

Italy hunts for ‘Years of Lead’ killers in French refuge

The sign on the front gate of Narciso Manenti’s modest two-storey house on the outskirts of Châlette-sur-Loing, in the Loire valley, lists the various services offered by his business, from gardening and minor repairs to plumbing and electrical work. His website is full of testimonials from clients praising his seriousness and professionalism. Yet Manenti’s past is not that of an ordinary handyman. Convicted in absentia of the murder of a policeman in his native Italy in 1979, the 61-year-old ...

Black Axe gang uses voodoo to snare migrant women in Italy

Palermo flying squad officers thought they had heard it all when it came to mafia oaths, rites and blood ceremonies. They had not counted on voodoo. But there are newcomers in the narrow streets where Cosa Nostra once ruled, members of a Nigerian mafia called the Black Axe. They have changed the traditional map of organised crime, profiting from human trafficking, drug trading and rural slavery rackets thanks to the surge of illegal migration across the Mediterranean. The Sicilian mafia, weak...

Worboys parole: huge rise in number of suspects hunted by police

The number of offenders who are suspected of committing crimes after being released from prison early has ballooned, raising fresh fears over the imminent release of John Worboys, the “black-cab rapist”. In just three years, the Metropolitan police have recorded a doubling in the number of serious criminals wanted for “recall to prison” because they are believed to have committed further offences after being released on licence. Last year, Scotland Yard detectives were seeking 1,884 dangerous

More Human Rights & Reporting

Work in Italian and English looking at the impact of class, race and bereavement.

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Campaigning / SWWB AND SWAN CONDEM US IMMIGRATION POLICY —

Short Article by freelance journalist: ADRIANA URBANO from the Protest. The 13th of July 2018 saw a quarter of a million people took to the streets of London to express their disdain at Donald Trump’s official visit to the United Kingdom, in the biggest protest he has ever faced outside the United States. Despite the presence of countless causes at the “carnival of resistance”, it was clear that the rise of the far-right and racism were at the forefront of people’s mind. Whether it was Trump’s

IN PHOTOS: Italy and Black Lives Matter protests against racism police brutality

eaceful demonstrations took place around Italy last weekend as Italians joined people in the United States and around the world in protesting racism and police violence. Thousands of people took part in sit-ins in Rome, Milan, Florence, Turin, Bologna, Naples and other cities around Italy as part of the wave of Black Lives Matter demonstrations sparked by the death of African-American man George Floyd at the hands of US police.

'The Secret Mourners': Is The UK Letting Down Bereaved Children?

Every 22 minutes a child in the UK is bereaved of a parent. On average, this means one child in every classroom in the country. However, despite these shocking statistics, charities are warning that young people dealing with grief are “effectively invisible” to the government. With the NHS facing increasing cuts to its services, it is often up to overstretched charities to meet the needs for appropriate mental health care. It is hardly a trivial issue: healthcare is a human right. A report re

Podcast Production & Academia

Work from my time at the European University Institute, covering academic research and The Take-Away podcast, dedicated to the COVID-19 edition of the The State of the Union, the EU's annual high-level policy conference.

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The science of feedback: what does it take to be really inclusive?

Male, pale and rather stale workforces: is inequality lurking in your feedback? Professor Zeinab Aboutalebi’s research has shown that this is often the case. The microeconomist specialises in how the way we gather and disseminate information shapes organisations. Her latest focus has been the intersection of feedback and diversity. Her findings show that the feedback given to employees from less represented groups is often more reflective of inequality than the actual quality of their work.

Cyber-attacks and fake news: Russia's reply to America's push for democracy in post-Soviet countries

In her Max Weber Lecture at the European University Institute professor Valerie J. Bunce of Cornell University discussed the United States' and Russia’s intervention in each other’s elections – and said American efforts to promote democracy have produced paradoxical results. “Democracy promotion can promote authoritarianism, not democracy” - Professor Valerie J. Bunce’s theory might seem paradoxical, but it’s the result of years analysing the United States’ push for democracy in post-Soviet cou

The EUI Gender Project | A new identity for identity: Rethinking sex and gender with Anne Fausto Sterling

Professor Anne Fausto Sterling, Emeritus Professor of Biology at Brown University, delivered the 2019 Ursula Hirschmann Lecture on Gender at the EUI. In her talk, she laid out what she thinks developmental psychology is getting wrong and how we need to rethink gender and sex. Professor Anne Fausto Sterling has no doubts: when it comes to gender and sex ‘the standard way of doing science in regards to the body is flawed’. At the heart of the problem lies a false opposition between nature and nurture...

Human Stories

Incredible people and where to find them.

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Glenda Sluga appointed Joint Professor of International History and Capitalism

Professor Sluga will split her time between the Department of History and Civilization and the Robert Schuman Centre. Her work focuses on the intersecting challenges of economics, the environment, and Europe, bridging the gap between social scientists and historians. The Australian-Slovenian historian discusses re-writing women into history, and research from the periphery. The 'bad' girls in the footnotes They say the devil is in the details. However, for historian Glenda Sluga, it’s women w

EUI staff members brave COVID-19 as Red Cross volunteers

Andrea Sacchettini and Pauline Depierreux have no doubts: working with the Red Cross during the Covid-19 pandemic is an experience unlike any other. EUI Building Manager Andrea Sacchettini and Academic Service administrative coordinator Pauline Depierreux are among the Red Cross volunteers on the frontline of Florence’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Donning the flaming red suits of the Red Cross or fully decked out in protective gear, they volunteer on emergency ambulances, rescuing Covid-19 patients...

From midwife to politician: How Fatema Jafari is protecting the rights of women in Afghanistan

Fatema Jafari is a targeted woman. Yet, speaking from a café at the European University Institute she talks about her life with her trademark composure. Refugee, underground teacher, midwife, women's rights activist, politician and mother, the 38-year-old has worn many hats. However, it is her role as a politician that has put her in the Taliban's cross-hairs. Now a Policy Fellow at the European University Institute's School of Transnational Governance, Fatema is dedicating her time to underst

Sitting Down to Stand Up: The Incredible Story of Rosa Parks

“As I sat there, I tried not to think about what might happen, I knew anything was possible. I could be manhandled or beaten. I could be arrested.” “People have asked me if it occurred to me then that I could be the test case the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People (NAACP) had been looking for. I did not think that at all. If I had let myself think too deeply about what might happen to me, I might have gotten off the bus. But I chose to remain” It is with these word

Student Journalism

Student journalism, including my piece on the 2015 Paris terrorist attack, which was awarded the Best Feature Award by the Student Publications Association.

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Eyewitness in Paris: A first-person account of Friday 13th

Saturday, 14th of November 2015 – “Paris plus vague que l’Océan”. It is with these words that Madame Bovary expressed her idealistic yearning for Paris. But, now, Paris is anything but idyllic: it is silent, still, surreal. The beautiful architecture stands in stark contrast with the terror that has crystallized the city. The terrorist attacks, for which ISIS have claimed responsibility, have shaken us to the very core. So far, there have been 129 deaths, and around 352 injured. 99 of these inj

Is veganism cruelty free?

Deceived, enslaved, exploited, battered, raped: these are hardly the first words that come to mind when tucking into a salad, yet our fruit and vegetables can hide a disturbing past. The debate about our food industry is fixated on animal rights and environmental issues. However, a closer look at our food system shows that a vegan diet has no claim to the “cruelty free” label. The systematic exploitation of humans in harvesting remains a topic shrouded in deafening silence. July 2010. Temperatures...

Modern slavery: an interview with Faye Gould

It’s 2016 and the world has never had as many slaves as it does today. 35.8 million people are estimated to be living in conditions of slavery, often trapped in the underground world of forced labour. That world generates $31.6 billion of profit each year. The issue is by no means relegated to war-torn countries and underdeveloped nations – in Britain alone the Home Office has estimated that there are 13,000 slaves at any given time. This Monday, the 22nd of February, a Modern Slavery Forum wil

One Sicilian village’s lesson to Britain

We need to build a wall” – when Donald Trump uttered these words, the world lambasted this approach to tackling illegal immigration and crime from Mexico. Surely – we thought – we wouldn’t resort to such measures in Europe. Enter the “Great Wall of Calais” a 13 ft, mile-long wall that will run on both sides of the main road to Calais’ port, costing Britain £1.9m. Human rights associations have warned that this will lead to more extreme attempts to escape the Calais Jungle, described by volunteers as...
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