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Heart of Palermo

A bloodless mattanza for tourists

I read in La Repubblica that the tonnara is coming back to Favignana, but just to draw tourists, and the men will not lift the tuna in teams of eight with lances of varying lengths as they used to. To know what a tonnara used to be like, please read my first book, Mattanza.  Read More 
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Cityscape: interior of a palace in Piazza Bologni

Photo of interior of Palazzo Alliata by Leo Lima posted in Facebook group "Palermo in Bianco e Nero."
Entering these sumptuous old palaces in downtown Palermo is always a revelation. This one is in Piazza Bologni on the Corso Vittorio Emanuele, Palermo's oldest street.
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100 immigrants saved from raft in trouble

The Italian Navy ship Bettica rescued a hundred migrants from motorized rubber raft in trouble in the Strait of Sicily today according to La Repubblica. Among the 100 migrants were seven women and 20 minors. Now that spring is coming, the migrant traffic, and subsequent deaths from drowning, will pick up.
The EU offers asylum to  Read More 
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Italian Judge breaks up families to save children from the mafia

And that's not easy because the family as the basic unit of Italian society is built into the Italian constitution. This judge says it is abusive to bring a child to mafia meetings, indoctrinate him for entry into criminal organizations, and reduce his life's horizons. That it is just as much a crime as giving a child a syringe or a kalishnokov rifle. Read the story in English in The Guardian by clicking on the caption. Read More 
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Real mummies

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Photo with Zia Tina: 50 cents

Bunch of grown men in their forties in the Capo market quartiere cleaned out a warehouse and found this fake mummy that had been given to one guy's father at Carnevale when he was a kid. They decided to have a laugh, dressed it up in an old ladies' shmatte, called her Aunt Titina  Read More 
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Kennel workers strike, volunteers take over duties

A new union took over the care and feeding of dogs at the municipal kennel yesterday and immediately went on strike for higher wages, showers and safety clothes. Also, they don't think they should have to exercise or feed the dogs.They are assigned to catch the stray dogs, provide veterinary services and clean  Read More 
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731 African immigrants saved at sea this morning; 4 cadavers found

Italian Navy ships rescued 731 immigrants this morning, Tuesday 23 Feb. 2016, according to La Repubblica. The ship Cigala Fulgosi picked up a total of 407 migrants including 4 dead bodies. The ship Bettica helped two imbarcations in trouble taking aboard 219 migrants. The ship Scirocco coordinated the rescue operations and picked up 105 migrants.
No sign of this story in the New York Times.  Read More 
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Fuocoammare (Fire at Sea) trailer

For more info about the prizewinning film, the first time a full-length feature documentary has won top honors in Berlin, please cut and paste into your address line:
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As Gianfranco Rosi collects Golden Bear, 943 more African immigrants rescued at sea

While documentary filmmaker Gianfranco Rosi was celebrating his win in Berlin for his documentary Fuocoammare ( Fire at Sea) about the people of Lampedusa accepting and caring for African immigrants, nearly a thousand more immigrants were arriving on the island's shores.
It was a weekend of life saving at sea off the coast of Libya, according to La Repubblica  Read More 
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