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Out of Palermo

Rais gioacchino cataldo died last night

He died at home on his island, Favignana, after a three-month illness. He was the last rais of the Favignana tonnara. His photo was on the cover of my first book, Mattanza. There was no one like him, a soft-hearted giant, a demi-god of the sea.
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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 C├ęsar 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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Watercolors of Sicily by Kathleen Citrolo Gwinnett

Kathleen Citrolo Gwinnett is a prolific and wonderful watercolor artist of Sicilian descent living and painting in North Carolina. She recently returned from ten days in the center of Sicily, near Caltanisetta, where she painted the vistas she had from her house. I met Kathleen on one of my book tours but we have been exchanging e mails for years.
If you want to get happy despite so much heart-wrenching news please click on the caption and go to her Facebook gallery. Her paintings are full of the joy and color and light of springtime Sicily. They make you want to sing. Read More 
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Mondello 2 december 2016

A beautiful day at the beach in Mondello in December.
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Aquarius rescues 432 immigrants today alone

In the past 24 hours more than 2,700 African immigrants have been plucked from the sea between Libya and Europe. The private non profit rescue ship Aquarius first picked up 132 shipwreck victims from a Zodiac rubber raft. Among them, 92 men, 38 women, of whom 7 were pregnant, 14 babies under five years of age and 19 minors unaccompanied by their  Read More 
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SHort Break: Favignana Photos



Circa early- to mid-1990s. Here's the video link in case the embed code does not work:
http://vp.telvue.com/preview?id=T01304&video=61535
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Syrian girl, 10, dead because traffickers threw away her insulin

A ten-year-old diabetic girl escaping war in Syria boarded a wooden vessel with her father, who has a degree in economics, and her sisters, headed for the Italian coast. They were 320 people squashed together like sardines. The traffickers made more room by throwing the little girl's day pack into the sea. It contained vials of insulin  Read More 
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NPR: couple spends millions to save immigrants