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Out of Palermo

Outgoing governor of Sicily to give Rolex to Fra Biagio Conte's mission

Outgoing Sicilian Governor Rosario Crocetta was cleaning out his office and packing up mementos while La Reppublica photographer Igor Petyx was there with his camera. Crocetta picked up the bauble and said, " This gold Rolex encrusted with 60 diamonds has been my torment for the last five years. It was given to me by the last governor, Raffaele Lombardo who in his turn had received it as a gift from the Sultan of Oman. I have finally decided to get rid of it. I will give it to Biagio Conte. The diamonds will turn into loaves of bread for the poor of Palermo."
Fra Biagio Conte is a self-made monk who, with hundreds of volunteers and benefactors, feeds and houses more than a thousand homeless people every day in Palermo through his Mission of Hope and Charity. Read More 
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Mafia destroying Sicily's farms

From The Guardian:
The Napoli sisters keep their entire harvest in a glass jar, resting on a wooden table in the living room. Inside, there are only a dozen stalks of wheat. The rest of the crop – 80,000 kilograms – was destroyed by the Sicilian mafia, determined to force out these three women working in the land of The Godfather.

For three generations, the Napoli family farmed wheat and hay in Corleone, the historic stronghold of Cosa Nostra. Their father, Salvatore, was a hard worker who, after much sacrifice in the fields, managed to send his three daughters – Marianna, Ina and Irene – to university.

But a crisis in what was the world’s most notorious mafia, broken apart by prosecutors, has pushed Cosa Nostra back to their rural origins, and they want their land back. Read More 
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Rescue ship Aquarius lands 606 shipwrecked immigrants at palermo, "city of welcome."

From Palermo Today:
Of the 606 migrants, 241 were children, 120 of those children came unaccompanied.
The shipwrecked migrants were rescued in seven operations in less than 36 hours. On board the Franco-Italian-German rescue ship were 11 pregnant women, two of whom were in their ninth month. There was also a week-old infant.
"The extremely high numbers of minors," said Palermo Mayor Leoluca Orlando, "is the confirmation of a human drama without pause and without Europe feeling shame. Today we found ourselves before a dramatic choice made by members of the families of these minors put in the hands of the merchants of death with the hope of getting them to Europe, which, however, continues to ignore this drama, staining themselves with criminal behavior that produces and feeds criminal organizations. We here in Palermo are quite different from all that and the city with its organization and its institutions make it the "Capital of Welcome." Read More 
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Ship Aquarius rescues 339 people in 24 hours



Translation:
🔴 rescue
339 people rescued at sea in the last 24 hours are now safe on the Aquarius.
The teams from SOS MEDITERRANEE France intervened on 3 operations Tuesday (2 rescues and a transfer to another ship in the night) and on a first rescue this Wednesday morning.
All rescue operations on Tuesday and Wednesday were coordinated by the MRCC of Rome, which asked the Aquarius to move to other vessels in difficulty identified in international waters off Libya.
The Humanitarian Emergency continues in the Mediterranean!
#TogetherForRescue Read More 
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Prudence being taken out of action

As a consequence of a drop in the number of boats reaching international waters in the Mediterranean Sea, MSF has decided to reduce its activities at sea and to end search and rescue operations of its boat Prudence. MSF will continue its presence in the Central Mediterranean with the ship Aquarius, run in coordination  Read More 
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Sophia is my favorite movie star

This post also has nothing to do with anything important. I just needed a break from bad news.
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Italy-libya pact unraveling, immigrant numbers soar

From The Guardian
Patrick Wintour Diplomatic editor

Tuesday 3 October 2017 00.00 EDT

A key pillar of the Italian government’s effort to stem the politically toxic issue of people crossing the Mediterranean from Libya to southern Italy is in danger of collapse as a result of a bloody power struggle in the key Libyan port of < Read More 
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Poodle steals scooter from baby

This has nothing to do with anything.
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Hundreds of migrants from three rescue operations disembark at Trapani yesterday

Yesterday 371 rescued migrants arrived at Trapani aboard the rescue ship Aquarius, according to the online newspaper, Trapani Oggi. They were picked up in international waters in three different operations off the coast of Libya. A portion of them had been transferred from another rescue ship, the Vos Hestia, run by the NGO Save the Children.
Arriving migrants included 304 men, 67 women, of whom 40 were single and and five were pregnant.German ship "SOS Mediterranee", on which Doctors Without Borders are present, were 54 unaccompanied minors and a disabled person.

The migrants came from Cameroon, the Gambia, Ivory Coast, Guinea Conakri, Senegal, Nigeria and other subsaharan countries, but also from Egypt, Morocco, Libya and Syria. They were taken to the immigration "hotspot" of Milo to be identified and photographed before being transferred to "welcome centers" for asylum seekers. Read More 
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Immigrants' horror stories of torture and murder in Libya

I meant to post this a while ago but got distracted. This is my translation of a story that appeared in MeridioNews in late August.

" The prison guards kill people and throw them in a pit. They cover the pit only when it is full of bodies." This is the story of a migrant rescued last Sunday by the ship Aquarius of the international NGO organization SOS Mediterranee. Describing the tortures suffered by those waiting to leave for Europe was a man from Cameroon in his twenties. " All the people you see here," he said indicating the other survivors "went through many trials, they are dead inside for a long time now, even their families must believe they are dead. Today is like a resurrection."

Perpetrators of the violence, according to survivor accounts, would be the Libyan guards. "The Libyans beat us the whole time, for no reason. They put us in prison for no reason," he continued, adding that he witnessed a scene in which a prisoner was hung by his feet and beaten "as if he were a ball."
On the lines of these stories, the NGO launches the same old appeal to the European Union so that it may not reduce its own responsibility in the Mediterranean. Read More 
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