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Out of Palermo

Gangi covered in hail, Palermo, Catania inundated

The Cassaro, aka Corso Vittorio Emanuele, Palermo's oldest and grandest boulevard, was a river today, and the Madonie mountain town of Gangi had to contend with a thick layer of hailstones. Really odd weather.
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Sit in at Catania port to protest racist group trying to disrupt rescues of migrants at sea

From La Repubblica this morning:
The anti-racist non profit associations of Sicily are on the brink of "war." Today at Catania's port they protested against the idea of letting the ship C-Star dock there. The C Star is a ship rented by by the extreme right group Generazione Identitaria,
( Identity Generation), an extreme right multinational group formed in 2012 and made up of French, Italian and German members. Alfonso Di Stefano, representative of the Catania Anti-racist Network, said, " We are expressing our unconditional solidarity with the precious work that the humanitarian ships do and we will stand vigil in the port until the docking of the C-Star does not happen here nor anywhere in Sicily. We know that up until yesterday evening it was blocked in the port of Suez. It seems that it is going to leave or it has already left and it will take from five to six days to arrive here.
The C Star intends to lend support to the Libyan Coast Guard in its operations in which they stop vessels loaded with migrants and turn them back to Libya.
At the sit-in at the Catania port were thirty representatives of the non- profits that comprise the Network, who showed banners with the saying: "No more shipwrecks. The right to European refuge in order not to die," and Freedom, not Frontex," and " The right to asylum and humanitarian corridors." Read More 
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Sicilian mayor moves to block far-right plan to disrupt migrant rescues

Sicilians feel empathy for people not of their race, true empathy.
From The Guardian today:
A Sicilian mayor is seeking to block a ship chartered by a group of far-right activists attempting to disrupt migrant rescues in the Mediterranean.

Enzo Bianco, the mayor of Catania, has urged authorities in the port city on the island’s east coast to deny docking rights to C-Star, a 40-metre vessel hired by Generation Identity, a movement made up of young, anti-Islam and anti-immigration activists from across Europe, for its sea mission to stop migrants entering Europe from Libya.

The ship is expected to arrive on Saturday, and the group intends to launch its mission next week. Read More 
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Uncork Mt. Etna Tour with LaRosa Works

The New York-based Sicily lover and connoisseur Karen La Rosa of LaRosa Works offers her limited-participation UNCORK MOUNT ETNA TOUR to be held May 30 - June 6, 2016. The group will explore vineyards, meet winemakers and learn from the pros in spectacular settings ranging from Catania to towns on the slopes of Etna, Europe's largest active volcano. The tour includes fine dining in spectacular settings, private transportation and guides to accompany the group. Read More 
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49 cadavers delivered to Catania

The Norwegian ship Siem Pilot docked at Catania and offloaded the 312 survivors of yet another Mediterranean crossing, and 49 corpses of those who died suffocated in the hold of the old fishing vessel they were on. Catania Mayor Enzo Bianco proclaimed a city-wide day of mourning and promised a dignified burial for all the bodies.
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Live broadcast: Catania's feast of S. Agata

The feast is happening live, now, and Antenna Sicilia broadcasts salient parts live on the internet for several hours at a time.
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Weekend with a friend in Catania

Palmina makes a toast to us.
Spent a weekend away with my friend Palmina in Catania. She runs her own language school, GIGA, and also works for various language-school associations and is VERY busy but carved out a weekend to spend with me. She took me to one of her favorite places, Acitrezza, on the Sicilian riviera, and we listened  Read More 
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