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Out of Palermo

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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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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Lampedusa doctor ashamed of his country's actions

I’m a doctor in Lampedusa. We can’t let these migrant deaths go on.
by Pietro Bartolo in The Guardian.
"In the Mediterranean we’re witnessing a slaughter of innocents. I have seen the suffering, and I am ashamed of the Italian government’s response."
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200 immigants drown in three days

From The Guardian:
More than 200 migrants have drowned at sea in the Mediterranean in the past three days, taking the death toll for the year to more than 1,000 and prompting fears that human traffickers are taking greater risks because of a crackdown imposed by the Italian government and the Libyan coastguard.
It's 34,361 and rising: how the List tallies Europe's migrant bodycount
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The UN refugee agency in Tripoli reported on Monday that 276 refugees and migrants were disembarked in the Libyan capital on Monday, including 16 survivors of a boat carrying 130 people, of whom 114 were still missing at sea. Further shipwrecks were found at the weekend.  Read More 
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Man fom mali

Amadou Sumaila was one of 118 people rescued from an inflatable boat drifting 20 miles off the Libyan coast on a clear, calm morning in August last year. The kind of day for which people smugglers hope and their passengers pray.

The young Malian and more than 363,000 other migrants and refugees crossed the Mediterranean to reachEurope in 2016. Like many of them, Sumaila had never seen the sea, never imagined that so many people could be crammed into a small boat and never thought it would be so hard to breathe.

They were starting to think about death when dawn came, followed by a boat from the German NGO Jugend Rettet. The crew of the Iuventa had come to save lives, but one of its passengers, the Spanish-Iranian photographer César Dezfuli, had come determined to preserve faces.

Once the 118 were safely aboard, Dezfuli asked if he could take their pictures.  Read More 
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Dead man walking

Stefano LoVerso,, for years the chauffeur of Mafia kingpin Bernardo Provenzano, turned state's evidence and was put into the government's witness protection program in a city in northern Italy. LoVerso had to leave his family behind in Ficarizzi. He said in this exclusive interview with a La Repubblica reporter that if the Mafia can't get you, they will get at the family you left behind. He has a wife and children and he decided to come back to Sicily to live with and protect them until he meets his own death, which he fully expects. The protection program cannot protect you if you come back to Sicily. LoVerso says it is the bosses who should be exiled. He knows they will get him, he just doesn't know when. "The mafia doesn't forgive," he says. Imagine the stress and ulcers of living like that! Interview in Italian.


[Sigh. Working on getting the embed code to work. Meantime, here's the link to copy and paste:]
http://video.repubblica.it/edizione/palermo/il-pentito-in-bicicletta-che-sfida-la-mafia--non-lascio-la-sicilia-se-ne-vadano-i-boss/217730/216926
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Police video of extortionist at work



The mafia charges monthly protection money even from traveling street vendors, like this guy who sells produce from his three-wheeled  Read More 
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Migraton flow to Lampdusa

Once again, there are now 1400 refugees and immigrants for whatever reason in an intake camp with only 250 beds. The Lampedusa holding center had been closed last year because of scandalous overcrowding, poor conditions, bad management and degrading treatment of arrivals (making people strip naked publicly to be sprayed for scabies and such). Volunteers --  Read More 
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