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Hundreds more rescued immigrants land in Palermo today

5,500 migrants rescued since Friday, according to a report in today's La Repubblica.

Today 1,104people were rescued, but rescuers could see that five men had died who either jumped into the sea or were pushed and drowned when help arrived. On Saturday 935 were saved. On Friday 3,400. All Africans. Nearly 60 of them youths unaccompanied by parents  Read More 
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Tchamba's story

Tchamba tells what it was like to be forced into an unseaworthy vessel by human traffickers who don't care if you and your child live or die. Part of an internet campaign by the Italian government called "aware migrants" to warn potential immigrants of the dangers they face.

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Cyber message in a bottle: Migrants, stay home

“Migration is a decision often based on false expectations: many migrants leave their home without a concrete project of precise idea of the socioeconomic and political situation of their country of destination,” said Aware Migrants.

I found this to be true  Read More 
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Story of Miriam

Among the 628 refugees who arrived Pozzuolo, Sicily this morning was Miriam, a 17-year-old orphan girl escaping her native Gambia, who crossed the desert and the sea on her own. She told the Doctors Without Borders her story.
Her mother died when she was a small child and her father was taken to prison and never heard from again. He is presumed dead ecause he opposed the current regime in Gambia Miriam had no choice but to take what the call the Hell Road between AgDez in Nigeria and Libya. At Baransate she was the only girl. "They brought me to stay in an abandoned house with 17 other men.  Read More 
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Aquarius to the rescue finds 22 cadavers of women in a raft

The NGO rescue ship Aquarius was headed to Trapani, Sicily to change crews when at 10 a.m. local time today they received a call from the Italian Navy to return to the Libyan coast to aid two rubber rafts in trouble. Five hours later they arrived and this is what they found.
"As our crew approached the first raft they saw the cadavers floating in a sea of diesel fuel," declared Jens Pagotto, chief of the Doctors Without Borders in charge of the search and rescue missions.. "The survivors remained on the raft with the bodies are too traumatized to be able to tell what happened. It is still difficult to know how these women died."
This 20th rescue operation for the German-French volunteer ship saved 209 people from two sinking rafts, of which 177 were men and 32 were women, including 50 minors. Of the 22 corpses, 21 were women. For original article in French, go to:
http://www.sosmediterranee.fr/journal-de-bord/sauvetage-tragique-en-mer-mediterranee Read More 
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Brother Biagio Conte of Palermo made it to Rome on foot, saw Pope today

In April Brother Biagio Conte took off from Palermo in a fit of pique because his homeless brothers were being mistreated. He decided to walk to Rome carrying a wooden cross. One of his faithful followers walked with him. When the pope heard that Biagio was nearing Rome, he scurried to clear a spot on his appointment calendar to make room for Biagio. This morning Biagio reached Rome and, according to this report in today's Giornale di Sicilia, Pope Francis met with him and Biagio's right-hand man, Father Pino Vitrano, informally for a half hour at one of his rooms at Santa Marta. ( Who was running the three urban homeless shelters, a constant state of emergency, while they were gone, I wonder?)  Read More 
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At wit's end

Palermo city officials are pleading for help from the Italian national government. All alone they are expected to take care of all the refugees who are brought by rescue ships to the city which can't even afford desks for its schools. Today the largest part of the 1,146 migrants saved in 19 marine operations in the Strait of  Read More 
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Bodies on the beach, catania, sicily 2014

Here is the YouTube link in case the embed code did not work.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PDlIKr3qiKY
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while melania spoke, migrants plowed the seas

Due to favorable weather conditions, the sea was full of migrants on unseaworthy boats and rafts headed to Europe. La Repubblica reports that 2500 of them were saved at sea yesterday and one cadaver recovered from a raft: the man did not make the crossing alive.
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Grotta Regina on Capo Gallo

Exactly 30 years ago Pippo LoCascio, a learned man, took me as part of a group to the top of Monte Gallo and showed me La Grotta Regina, the Queen Cave where Phoenicians worshiped their goddess. Thirty years later, Pippo LoCascio still leads groups up the mountain to teach them about their own heritage. It is awe inspiring. I lost ten pounds the first time I made that climb. Video from a staunch La Repubblica reporter. Read More 
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