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Out of Palermo

Pope Francis broke bread with Fra Biagio's homeless

On Saturday, September 15th, 2018 Pope Francis had lunch at Fra Biagio's Citadella homeless refuge near the Palermo train station where it all started decades ago. The pontiff broke bread ( actually home-grown olives, caponata, breaded chicken, warm organic bread and olive oil, then dolci, all grown and prepared by the homeless residents and volunteers) with the mostly African immigrants and other guests. The following day was fra Biagio's birthday, Sept. 16. I think he was satisfied with how things went.

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Pope Francis embraced Biagio Conte

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Pope Francis returns the visit

Last year, fra Biagio Conte carried a wooden cross frm Palermo to the Vatican where the pope granted him a half-hour private audience. This week, Pope francis returned the visit. here they are busy getting ready for the visit on Sept. 15.

 

 

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53 iraqi migrants disembark near Syracuse, Sicily

From La Repubblica:
Last night about midnight a sailboat landed on the beach of Fontane Bianche outside Syracuse and disembarked 53 immigrants from Iraq. The sailboat, piloted by a man with red hair, had left Turkey a week before. 25 migrants, among them women and children, were found this morning at 5, but the boat captain and the other migrants have disappeared. Read More 
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italy-libya pact disgrace

From The Guardian:
"The deaths at sea of a mother and child have further exposed the flaws in a pact between Italy and Libya that has led to thousands of migrants being forcibly returned to the chaotic north African country.

Their bodies were found last week in the drifting wreckage of a boat off the Libyan coast by rescuers from the Spanish ship, Proactiva Open Arms. A woman from Cameroon was also found clinging to a piece of wood.

Sharing harrowing images of the bodies and the terrified survivor, the NGO accused the Libyan coastguard of abandoning the trio after they refused to be taken back to Libya, the main point of departure for migrants attempting the perilous crossing to Europe, with the rest of the intercepted group." Read More 
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Libya says no to EU immigration centers

From The Guardian:
Libya has rejected a EU plan to establish refugee and migrant processing centres in the country, adding that it would not be swayed by any financial inducements to change its decision.

The formal rejection by the Libyan prime minister, Fayez al-Sarraj, is a blow to Italy, which is regarded as being close to his Tripoli administration.

In June, Italy proposed reception and identification centres in Africa as a means of resolving divisions among European governments.

The impasse came as the EU said it was willing to work as a temporary crisis centre to oversee the distribution of refugees and migrants from ships landing in Europe from Libya. Italy has said it is not willing to open its ports and may even reject those rescued by the EU Sophia search and rescue mission, a position that has infuriated other EU states. Read More 
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Rais gioacchino cataldo died last night

He died at home on his island, Favignana, after a three-month illness. He was the last rais of the Favignana tonnara. His photo was on the cover of my first book, Mattanza. There was no one like him, a soft-hearted giant, a demi-god of the sea.
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NBA star jumped in to help

Marc Gasol will never forget the terrified look on the face of Josefa, the Cameroonian woman left clinging to a piece of wood for 48 hours in the Mediterranean. Josefa was the survivor of a shipwreck about 90 miles off the Libyan coast last Sunday. Rescuers recovered two bodies in the water alongside her, including that of a toddler. Read More 
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Salvini sues Saviano

Italy’s far-right interior minister, Matteo Salvini, is suing the country’s celebrated anti-mafia author Roberto Saviano for defamation over a tweet that described him as “minister of the underworld”.
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coral forest discovered

Click on the caption to see some hidden Sicilian treasure in the Eolian isles.
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