Bouncing Around Burkina Faso

October 22, 2018
By | in Art and Life | 16 Comments

Dear Blog Readers – Last week I spent bouncing around Burkina Faso, most of the time in a 4-wheel-drive vehicle with seven people, a ram, several chickens and huge bags of peanuts.  We shot over potholes, barely missing pigs wallowing in the mud, spent hours on vertebrae-crushing rural dirt roads with orange-colored dust caking itself […]

The Bones of Irish Babies

Dear Blog Readers, I spent four days in Ireland last week for coverage of Pope Francis’ visit there and it was probably the most eye-opening trip I have ever taken with a Pope.  I was shocked and appalled by the horrifying treatment of women and children by the Catholic Church in Ireland for decades.  I […]

Doves, Candles and Prayers for Mideast Peace in Bari

Dear Blog Readers – I traveled to the southern Italian city of Bari this weekend to cover a summit called by Pope Francis with Orthodox Patriarchs and leaders of Eastern Christian churches to discuss peace in the Middle East and the persecution of Christians in that region. Bari, a port city that is roughly at […]

Italy’s Invincible AstroSamantha

Dear Blog Readers – Italian Astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti, certainly one of the most extraordinary and awe-inspiring woman I have ever met, spoke to journalists from Rome’s Foreign Press Association this week about her experiences during nearly seven months in space from November 2014 to June 2015. Forty-year-old Cristoforetti—known to many as Astro-Samantha–  gave birth to […]

High Sea Suspense

Dear Blog Readers – It has been a rocking and rolling week in Italy as the new populist government decided to take a tough stand on migration or “raise our voice” according to Italy’s new Interior Minister Matteo Salvini.  The new policy is to block any ships that are not Italian from disembarking migrants in […]

Mourning the Last Male White Rhino

March 21, 2018
By | in Art and Life | 20 Comments

Working in the news business I feel so bombarded by news events that, sadly, I sometimes turn off and become indifferent to it all – earthquakes, planes crashes, floods, bombs, terror attacks, ships sinking… Then there is a news story that unexpectedly jumps out and hits me…the death this week of Sudan, the last male […]

Nigerian Sex Slaves in Italy

Dear Blog Readers, I have been working for months on a long story for AP on the tens of thousands of Nigerian girls who are victims of sex trafficking to Italy.  AP finally came out with the story for International Women’s Day on March 8th.  Here are the links: TV VERSION: WIRE VERSION: […]

Tiffany’s Turtle Fountain Mystery

March 10, 2018
By | in Art and Life | 9 Comments

Dear Blog Readers, Tiffany Parks, my fellow Roman-American blogger Mamma buddy, has just written a marvelous new mystery for 8-12-year-olds about one of my favorite fountains in Rome, the Turtle Fountain in the Jewish Ghetto. The protagonist is a 13-year-old American girl named Beatrice Archer who moves to Rome from Boston with her historian father […]