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Out of Palermo

3 months in Grottole

I am entering this contest sponsored by a Grottole non-profit and Air BnB to have a three-month summer sabbatical in Grottole, Lucania, southern Italy.

Last year when a friend sent me a link to the New York Times' search for its first 52 Places travel writer, I had no interest. I don't like rushing from place to place (and the  logistics of visas and plane tickets must have been a nightmare for the woman who got the job!).

 

But three months in a stone mountain town in southern Italy... YOU BET! I was born for this. It's a volunteer job but all expenses paid. Click on the caption to go to the website. Wish me luck.

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Palermo Mayor Rebels vs Salvini Migrant Law

A group of Italian mayors has rebelled against Matteo Salvini, the country's hardline interior minister, by refusing to implement stringent new laws on the treatment of asylum seekers.

The mayors of Palermo, Naples, Florence and Parma said that a controversial security law, passed by the populist coalition in November, violates the basic rights of migrants and refugees.

The law prevents migrants from seeking residency permits while they are waiting for their asylum applications to be considered, meaning that they cannot access services such as health care, housing and schools for their children.

The mayors are threatening to block the implementation of the law in their cities, in a major challenge to the populist coalition, which came to power in June.

The clash comes after Italy's president, Sergio Mattarella, called for an end to the rancour prevalent in Italian politics and warned against the dangers of whipping up xenophobia, in a New Year's Eve address that was watched on television by 10 million Italians.

Leoluca Orlando, the centre-Left mayor of Palermo, said the security decree was "inhumane".

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One bluefin tuna: $3.1 million

From The Washington Post:


By Simon Denyer and
Akiko Kashiwagi
January 5 at 4:00 AM
TOKYO – A bluefin tuna sold for a record $3.1 million at the first auction of the year at Tokyo's new fish market on Saturday, but behind the celebrations hides a worrying tale of overfishing and dwindling stocks.

Kiyoshi Kimura, who owns the Sushi Zanmai restaurant chain, paid 333.6 million yen for the 613-lb (278-kg) fish at the first auction of the year, and the first to be held at Tokyo's new Toyosu fish market after last year's the move from the famous Tsukiji market.

The price at the predawn auction was nearly 10 times higher than the price paid at last year's auction — albeit for a considerably smaller fish — and roughly double the previous record, also set by Kimura, in 2013. There was an intense bidding war with a rival buyer who had won last year.

The winner said he was "very satisfied with the quality" of the fish, but admitted he had paid much more than he had expected.

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