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Out of Palermo

Leoluca Orlando wins fourth term as Palermo mayor

Leoluca Orlando last night won his fourth mayoral race with 46 percent of the votes of those already counted, the largest margin in the nation where cities and towns held municipal elections yesterday. He won fame as Sicily's anti-mafia mayor and it is a miracle that he is still alive. He won his last election five years ago with more 70 percent of the vote.
Bad news: Giusi Nicolini, the mayor of Lampedusa who welcomed and aided African migrants, and whose name was bandied about for the Nobel Peace Prize, lost her bid for reelection, coming in third on the European island town closest to Africa. Her successor has said that everything has to change including the presence of NGO rescue volunteers. Read More 
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“People have the right to move in search for a better life.”

From the Guardian:
Every time a ship with rescued migrants enters the harbour of Palermo, the mayor goes to greet them. “Welcome,” he says to them. “The worst is over. You are citizens of Palermo now.”
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Yussupha plays

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Palermo's solidarity with wounded immigrant; mayor at head of protest march

A young man from Gambia was peacefully talking on a street corner with friends from his native Gambia when a mafioso-type jerk from the neighborhood came up to them and started insulting them. Usually, the immigrants will turn and run. But Yusupha Susso, a 21-year-old Gambian stuck up for himself and for his friends.  Read More 
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Brava, Palermo!

Today Palermo Mayor Leoluca welcomed the president of the Italian Chamber of Deputies, Laura Boldrini, to his city.
"Welcome to Palermo, ...city of refuge, where diversity is a resource," were his words to her. Boldrini is an Italian journalist and politician who has been President of the Chamber of Deputies of Italy since 16 March 2013.  Read More 
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Look inside the Massimo theater

Interior of the restored Massimo opera house in Palermo
This Belle Epoque masterpiece was closed for restorations, they said, for more than 20 years. Nothing happened, mobsters played cards in its basement rooms, until Leoluca Orlando, brave anti-mafia mayor, took office. Now it is the pride of the city. For eight euros you can tour the opera house, built on the site of a  Read More 
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Santa Rosalia arrives by sea like the immigrants

Palermo Mayor Leoluca Orlando arrived with a statue of Santa Rosalia, the city's patroness, in Mondello, saying the symbolic act reminds everyone that many, many immigrants arrive by sea too, and that they deserve to be welcomed and loved. The theme of this year's five-day feast, which begins Tuesday, is La Misericordia. It means  Read More 
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