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Heart of Palermo

Court rules Salvini stand trial for kidnapping migrants

From the Guardian:

Italy's deputy prime minister and interior minister, Matteo Salvini, is one step away from facing trial after a surprise court ruling today determined that he be tried for kidnapping.

In August, prosecutors in Agrigento, Sicily, placed Salvini, who is leader of the far-right party the League, under investigation for the alleged kidnapping and detention of 177 migrants whom he prevented from disembarking the Italian coastguard ship Ubaldo Diciotti.

The ship had been docked for six days at the Sicilian port of Catania as Salvini maintained a standoff with the EU in an attempt to push other member states to take in the migrants. The Catholic church, Ireland and Albania, which is not an EU state, eventually agreed to host the mostly Eritrean migrants.

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Trump in Italian pop art

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One bluefin tuna: $3.1 million

From The Washington Post:


By Simon Denyer and
Akiko Kashiwagi
January 5 at 4:00 AM
TOKYO – A bluefin tuna sold for a record $3.1 million at the first auction of the year at Tokyo's new fish market on Saturday, but behind the celebrations hides a worrying tale of overfishing and dwindling stocks.

Kiyoshi Kimura, who owns the Sushi Zanmai restaurant chain, paid 333.6 million yen for the 613-lb (278-kg) fish at the first auction of the year, and the first to be held at Tokyo's new Toyosu fish market after last year's the move from the famous Tsukiji market.

The price at the predawn auction was nearly 10 times higher than the price paid at last year's auction — albeit for a considerably smaller fish — and roughly double the previous record, also set by Kimura, in 2013. There was an intense bidding war with a rival buyer who had won last year.

The winner said he was "very satisfied with the quality" of the fish, but admitted he had paid much more than he had expected.

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Palermo Mayor Rebels vs Salvini Migrant Law

A group of Italian mayors has rebelled against Matteo Salvini, the country's hardline interior minister, by refusing to implement stringent new laws on the treatment of asylum seekers.

The mayors of Palermo, Naples, Florence and Parma said that a controversial security law, passed by the populist coalition in November, violates the basic rights of migrants and refugees.

The law prevents migrants from seeking residency permits while they are waiting for their asylum applications to be considered, meaning that they cannot access services such as health care, housing and schools for their children.

The mayors are threatening to block the implementation of the law in their cities, in a major challenge to the populist coalition, which came to power in June.

The clash comes after Italy's president, Sergio Mattarella, called for an end to the rancour prevalent in Italian politics and warned against the dangers of whipping up xenophobia, in a New Year's Eve address that was watched on television by 10 million Italians.

Leoluca Orlando, the centre-Left mayor of Palermo, said the security decree was "inhumane".

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The Golden Door

In the face of right-wing, racist  politicians who now rule Italy......

The door to Palazzo delle Aquile is covered with gold -- gold thermal blankets handed out to immigrants who are rescued from the sea. Palermo Mayor Leoluca Orlando says: "We are reminding everyone that we are engaged in defending the only race that exists: the human race."




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Under the volcano

An awesome view. Etna erupting. The Fontanarossa Airport was shut down for a few days. Fleri, a neighborhood of  Zafferana Etnea, was the epicenter of a strong earthquake that was a kilometer deep.

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Earthquake damage near Catania

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Used shoes 1962

A lovely photo posted by Palermitano Curioso - B.V. on Facebook.

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Flyover at Mondello Beach

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Sicilian goddess re-installed on Vermont Capital Dome

Vermont Public Radio did a piece on the installation of the third iteration of the goddess Ceres (aka Demeter) , goddess of agriculture, atop the golden dome of the capital building in Montpelier. Interesting Vermont/Sicily connection:

Demeter is the goddess of agriculture in Sicily. Her daughter, Persephone, was abducted beside a lake in central Sicily and spent the dry months underground in Hades.

Here is the link:

http://digital.vpr.net/post/ceres-statue-once-again-adorns-vermont-statehouses-golden-dome

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