Sicilian Scorcher

A different kind of black block hit Catania last week. It was not the anarchist group that went on a rampage through the streets of Genoa during the G-8 summit, but a fine ash that settled on everything in this city of 380,000 on the eastern coast of Sicily. Catania lies at the base of Mount Etna, and when the 3,300-m volcano begins to spew lava, gas and ash, as it did last month, residents are forced to take note.

The explosions and glowing lava provided spectacular evening entertainment for the curious in Catania. But they proved a...

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