Italian prime minister-designate Giuseppe Conte arrives to speak with media at the Quirinal Palace in Rome on Wednesday. Photograph: Alessandro Bianchi/Reuters

The man nominated as Italy’s prime minister on Wednesday may be respected in the legal and academic realms, but he is far removed from the complex, me(...)

“Anna” and her dog Cucciola. “The costs to cure our little friends are very high, and not everyone can pay it.”   Photograph: Lav animal advocacy group Facebook page

An Italian dog owner who wanted paid time off to care for one of her dogs offered her bosses a simple explanation: “They are my family.” It worked. (...)