"Today the new national measures are in the newspaper."
Translation:Oggi le nuove misure nazionali sono sul giornale.
The word "misure" (measures) is feminine and plural. So adjectives that describe it must also be in the feminine plural form. The Italian word for "new" is "nuovo." It has four forms: "nuovo" (masculine singular), "nuova" (feminine singular), "nuovi" (masculine plural), and "nuove" (feminine plural. So, "nuove" must be used to describe "misure."
The Italian word for "national" has only two forms. Both are independent of gender: "nazionale" (singular masculine and feminine) and "nazionali" (plural masculine and feminine).
As you can see, The last letters of a noun and its adjective may not always be the same.
Not all of them: http://italian.about.com/library/fare/blfare129a.htm
There are even several that can both precede and follow, sometimes changing meaning depending on where they're placed: www.arnix.it/free-italian/italian-grammar/adjectives-in-italian-the-position.php
Someone on here said that newspapers used to be only one page, so in that sense there was nothing IN the newspaper; the words were printed ON the paper instead. The preposition just stuck even after the meaning stopped making sense. Kind of like how we still say that we "roll UP the windows" in a car, even though car windows are automatic now and don't really roll "up", in that sense, or how we say we saw an actor ON a show or IN that movie. They're just little idiosyncrasies of the culture that probably have some out-of-date cultural root that was never changed. That's what I heard, anyway.
A 'measure' is a plan or agenda of the government. For example, 'We have to take measures against crime.' It doesn't have to do with finding the length or weight of something. 'National measures' would be some kind of policy that will be applied across the whole country. So, for example, there might be 'national measures' to reduce pollution, which every part of the country would be obliged to accept and implement. And since the measures would affect everybody in the country, it would make sense to publish them in then newspapers.
Yes, there is a mnemonic that tells what kind of adjectives precede an Italian noun. It is BAGS. Those are the initials of the four attributes of the adjectives: Beauty (e.g. bello, brutto); Age (e.g. giovane, vecchio); Goodness (e.g. buono, cattivo); and Size (e.g. piccolo, grande). These adjectives usually precede a noun, but also may follow a noun. There are exceptions to the rule, but it usually works.
Copied one of the super helpful links someone else posted: http://www.arnix.it/free-italian/italian-grammar/adjectives-in-italian-the-position.php
"In practice, when we need to give more emphasis to the adjective, we place it after the noun. If the adjective is placed before the noun, we are giving greater emphasis to the noun.
Una grande pizza (A + N)An amazing pizza
Una pizza grande (N + A)A large pizza"
With pizza, everything makes more sense...