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81st Academy Awards

The 81st Academy Awards ceremony, presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, honored the best films of 2008 and took place on February 22, 2009, at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, Los Angeles beginning at 5:30 p.m. PST / 8:30 p.m. EST. During the ceremony, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences presented Academy Awards in 24 categories; the ceremony was televised in the United States by ABC, was produced by Bill Condon and Laurence Mark and directed by Roger Goodman. Actor Hugh Jackman hosted the show for the first time. Two weeks earlier in a ceremony at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills, California held on February 7, the Academy Awards for Technical Achievement were presented by host Jessica Biel. Slumdog Millionaire won eight awards, the most of the evening, including Best Picture and Best Director for Danny Boyle. Other winners were The Curious Case of Benjamin Button with three awards, The Dark Knight and Milk with two awards, Departures, The Duchess, La Maison en Petits Cubes, Man on Wire, The Reader, Smile Pinki, Vicky Cristina Barcelona, WALL-E with one.

The telecast garnered 37 million viewers in the United States. The nominees for the 81st Academy Awards were announced on January 22, 2009, at 5:38 p.m. PST at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills, California, by Sid Ganis, president of the Academy, the actor Forest Whitaker; the Curious Case of Benjamin Button received the most nominations with thirteen. The winners were announced during the awards ceremony on February 22, 2009. Slumdog Millionaire was the twelfth film to win Best Picture without any acting nominations. Sean Penn became the ninth person to win Best Lead Actor twice. Best Supporting Actor winner Heath Ledger became the second performer to win a posthumous acting Oscar; the first actor to receive this distinction was Peter Finch who posthumously won Best Actor for Network two months after his death in January 1977. With its six nominations, WALL-E tied with 1991's Beauty and the Beast as the most nominated animated film in Oscar history. Winners are highlighted in boldface and indicated with a double dagger.

Jerry Lewis The following individuals performed musical numbers. Due to the declining viewership of the recent Academy Awards ceremonies, AMPAS had contracted an new production team in an attempt to revive interest surrounding both the awards and festivities. In September 2008, the Academy selected producers Bill Condon and Laurence Mark to co-produce the telecast. Nearly three months actor Hugh Jackman, who had emceed three consecutive Tony Awards ceremonies between 2003 and 2005, was chosen as host of the 2009 gala. Jackman expressed his anticipation of the awards in the few days preceding, had commented that he was thrilled with preparations for the ceremony. Notable changes were introduced in the production of the telecast. In an attempt to build suspense and curiosity leading up to the awards and Mark announced that they would not reveal any of the presenters or performers who would participate in the Oscarcast. Another unique feature of the ceremony was that the orchestra performed onstage instead of being relegated to a pit.

In a break from previous presentations, five previous Oscar-winning performers presented each of the acting categories as opposed to only one or two. In addition, the Academy announced that for the first time since Oscar began broadcasting on television, film studios would be able to televise advertisements promoting their upcoming films. Furthermore, a montage of upcoming 2009 films was shown over the ceremony's closing credits. Several other people participated in the production of the ceremony. Chris Harrison hosted "Road to the Oscars", a weekly behind-the-scenes video blog on the Oscar ceremony website. David Rockwell designed a new stage design for the ceremony. Film historian and author Robert Osborne greeted guests entering the festivities at the Hollywood and Highland Center. Film director Judd Apatow filmed a comedy montage which featured Seth Rogen and James Franco reprising their roles from Pineapple Express. Director Baz Luhrmann produced a dance number saluting movie musicals. Peter Gabriel, scheduled to perform his nominated song "Down to Earth" from WALL-E during the live broadcast, declined to perform after learning that he would be allowed to sing only 65 seconds of the song during the ceremony's Best Original Song nominee performances.

Gabriel still attended the ceremony but singer John Legend, backed by the Soweto Gospel Choir, performed the song in place of Gabriel. Continuing a trend in recent years, the field of major nominees favored independent, low-budget films over blockbusters. However, one of the nominees for Best Picture had grossed over $100 million before the nominations were announced; the combined gross of the five Best Picture nominees when the Oscars were announced was $188 million with an average gross of $37.7 million per film. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button was the highest earner among the Best Picture nominees with $104.4 million in domestic box office receipts. The film was followed by Slumdog Millionaire, Frost/Nixon, The Reader. Among the rest of the top 50 releases of 2008 in U. S. box office before the nominations, 33 nominations went to nine films on the list. Only The Dark Knight, WALL-E, Kung Fu Panda, Tropic Thunder, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button were nominated for directing, screenwriting, Best Picture or Animated Feature

Italian Parliament

The Italian Parliament is the national parliament of the Italian Republic. It is the representative body of Italian citizens and is the successor to the Parliament of the Kingdom of Sardinia, the Parliament of the Kingdom of Italy, the transitional National Council and the Constituent Assembly, it is a bicameral legislature with a small number of unelected members. The Italian Parliament is composed of the Chamber of Deputies and Senate of the Republic; the two Houses are independent from one another and never meet jointly except under circumstances specified by the Constitution of Italy. By the Republican Constitution of 1948, the two houses of the Italian Parliament possess the same powers. No distinction is made between deputies and senators, notwithstanding that an elected member of Parliament cannot be at the same time both a Senator and a Deputy; the Chamber of Deputies has 630 elected members. The number of deputies and senators was fixed by a constitutional amendment in 1963: in its original text, the Constitution provided for a variable number of Members of Parliament depending on the population.

In addition to the 315 elected members, the Senate, as per article 59 of the Constitution of the Italian Republic comprise a small, variable number of senators for life. These can be differentiated into: former Presidents of the Republic, Italian citizens who are appointed senators for life by a President of the Republic "for outstanding merits in the social, artistic or literary field". Different voting ages are mandated for each house: any Italian citizen, eighteen or older can vote in the election of the Chamber of Deputies, while the voting age for the Senate of the Republic is twenty-five; the two houses have a different age of candidacy: deputies are required to be twenty-five or older, while elected senators must be forty or older. No explicit age limit is required to be appointed senator for life; the main prerogative of Parliament is the exercise of the legislative power, the power to enact laws. For a bill to become law, it must receive the support of both houses independently in the same text.

A bill is first introduced in one of the houses and approved or rejected: if approved, it is passed to the other house, which can amend it before approving or rejecting it. If approved without amendments, the bill is promulgated by the President of the Republic and becomes law. If approved with amendments, it is goes back to the other house; the process continues until the bill is approved in the same text by both houses or is rejected by one house. The Council of Ministers, led by the President of the Council of Ministers and is the national executive of Italy, needs to have the confidence of both houses in order to exercise its power fully, it must receive a vote of confidence by both houses before being in power, Parliament can cast a motion of no confidence at any moment, which forces the President of the Council of Ministers and his/her Cabinet to resign. If the President of the Republic is unable to find a new Prime Minister able to receive the support of both houses, he or she can dissolve one or both houses, new elections are held.

The process by which the Italian Parliament makes ordinary laws, the iter legis ordinario, is as follows: proposal → inspection → review → approval → promulgation → publication. Proposals can be made by the Government, individual Members of Parliament, private citizens, individual Regional Councils, the National Council for Economics and Labour. Once a proposal is introduced in one of the two Houses, it is assigned to a parliamentary committee to carry out preliminary inspection of the proposal. At this point, two different procedures can be taken. In the "normal procedure", the committee holds a referral meeting, drafts a response and names a spokesperson to report this response leaves the responsibility for composing and approving the bill's text to the assembly; this must be completed in no more than four months for the Chamber of Deputies and two months for the Senate. Once the bill has come before one of the chambers, a general discussion takes place, followed by the review article by article, a vote on the whole bill, an open ballot.

If the bill passes the vote in one chamber it passes to the other chamber of the parliament, where it must be voted through without any further changes. If the other chamber does make any modifications to the bill the new version of the bill must be returned to the first chamber to approve these changes. If the bill repeats this process many times it is said to be "shuttling" or "dribbling." This procedure is obligatory for bil

Pasquale Conte

Pasquale Conte known as "Patsy", was a New York mobster who became a caporegime with the Gambino crime family Conte was replaced by Domenico Cefalu as capo in 1994 and subsequently retired by the administration due to alzheimers. Born in Sicily, Conte was a resident of New York. Conte was a New York City businessman/capo in the Gambino crime family area, he sat on the Board of Directors for the Key Food supermarket franchise chain until 1987. On February 18, 1987, Conte was indicted on charges of ordering the shooting of Sicilian mobster Pietro Alfano in the Greenwich Village section of Manhattan. Authorities arrested Conte at Kennedy International Airport as he was preparing to fly to Puerto Rico. Conte was holding $7,000 cash. On May 20, 1987, the government dropped the charges against him without any explanation. In 1990, Gambino boss John Gotti ordered the murder of mobster Louis DiBono, DiBono had been disrespectful to Gotti, who decided to eliminate him, sent Bobby Boriello to attend to Dibono.

In October 1990, DiBono's bullet-ridden body was discovered in the front seat of a Cadillac sedan in the underground garage at the New York World Trade Center. In February 1993, Conte was charged with the DiBono murder. However, in January 1994 a mistrial was declared due to a hung jury. In June 1994, Conte was reindicted on the DiBono murder. In lieu of a retrial, Conte decided to accept a plea bargain deal from the government. On June 21, 1994, Conte and two others pleaded guilty to conspiracy to murder in the DiBono case. Conte was sentenced in September 1994 to seven and a half years in prison, he was released from federal prison on September 26, 2003