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Latest update : 2012-10-26

Italy's Ilva factory: your job or your health?

An Italian court has ruled in favour of closing Europe's biggest steel works on environmental and health fears. But the plant's managers are fighting to keep it open. Determined not to let that happen, citizens and workers have formed a united front.

The chimneys of the Ilva factory, in Taranto, in the Apulia region of Italy, can be seen for miles around. For a long time, they were the pride of the region. A third of Italy's steel output is produced here and it is the biggest steel works in Europe.

But there is a less glorious reality, which has long been hidden. The plant alone is responsible for 92% of the dioxin emissions in Italy and 9% of those in Europe. The air and soil of the town are contaminated by lead, nick and iron ore. For years, residents have been breathing in these toxic particles.

In Taranto, the mortality rate is 10 to 15 percent higher than the national average, while the cancer rate is over 30 percent higher. Cases of tumours, leukaemia and respiratory diseases are also abnormally high.

By Tristan Dessert

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2017-02-16 Asia-pacific

Thailand still mourning its beloved King Bhumibol

He was the world’s richest monarch – wealthier than Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II - and the longest-serving, spending 70 years on the throne. Thailand’s King Bhumibol Adulyadej,...

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2017-02-09 Africa

Rose Nathike: S. Sudan athlete’s race for a better life

For Rose Nathike, running is a way of life. First the South Sudanese athlete ran to flee the war in Sudan. Then she trained at her refugee camp in northern Kenya. Finally she...

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2017-02-02 jihad

Video: Jihad Sisters, French women bound for ISIS

France 24 brings you an exceptional documentary in partnership with French TV news magazine "Envoyé spécial", on the hidden women of the jihadist web, the "sisters" of the...

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2017-01-26 Asia-pacific

Flight MH370: Families of missing passengers search for the truth

It’s a unique case in the history of modern aviation. Nearly three years after its disappearance, Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, a Boeing 777 with 239 people on board, has still...

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2017-01-19 Burundi

Burundi: Fear and Exile

When Burundi’s President Pierre Nkurunziza announced he was running for a controversial third mandate in April 2015, he sparked a major crisis and many demonstrations. Since...

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