Demand has been on a constant rise for the prized white marble from the Italian town of Carrara, as orders of blocks and slabs have been increasing for the construction of new mosques and palaces in Gulf states. China’s newly prosperous magnates are also big clients. Mining of the Carrara quarries began more than 2,000 years ago. With advances in technology, extracting large quantities of the stone has become simpler than in past times. VOA’s Sabina Castelfranco visited the Carrara quarries.
Spain says it will allow a rescue ship carrying more than 600 migrants picked up in the Mediterranean to dock in the eastern port of Valencia, after Italy's new prime minister, who also leads the right-wing League party, ordered Italy’s ports to refuse entry to the rescue ship. The Aquarius rescue ship run by European charity SOS Mediterranee has been drifting in international waters with 629 migrants on board. More from Sabina Castlefranco in Rome.