Something to Celebrate

December 18, 2016
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Last night I met this little Bangladeshi-American girl at a special celebration in the Boston area to mark Victory Day, when Bangladesh celebrates its liberation from Pakistan at the end of the 1971 Liberation War. “Her name is Yanka,” her father said, spelling it out for me, “it actually is not really a Bangladeshi name, […]


Six Roman Emperors & their Mothers, Daughters and Lovers

May 19, 2016
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Dear Blog Readers, Did you know that Julius Caesar was kidnapped by pirates as a boy, that Emperor Hadrian was madly in love with a young man named Antinous, that Agrippina killed her husband Emperor Claudius by feeding him poisoned mushrooms, or that the great Emperor Augustus banished his only daughter to a deserted island […]


Get a Grip, Europe!

March 26, 2016
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It is time for Europe to get a grip. This week fundamentalist Islamic terrorists blasted the heart of Europe with suicide bomb attacks in Brussels that left over 30 people dead and hundreds wounded. In a deeply symbolic gesture they hit the center of European power, even targeting the Maelbeck subway stop outside the European […]


Why NO is Good for Greece

July 7, 2015
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Dear Blog Readers — my blog buddy Adri Barr Crocetti of www.adribarrcrocetti.com asked me to ask my husband, Gustavo Piga, an economist who teaches at the University of Rome Tor Vergata, to give his opinion on my blog about the Greek referendum.  Gustavo’s response is below. Some American readers asked me to shed some light […]


Triton Update

November 16, 2014
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Dear Blog Readers – Here is a quick update to my earlier post (Back to Lampedusa) on visiting the Portuguese ship Viana Do Castelo. When my AP Television colleague Paolo Santalucia and I visited the ship last Wednesday there were no migrant spottings, but on Friday night the ship kicked into action overnight with their […]


Last Tango in Paris

January 15, 2014
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I was tempted to title this blog post “Dump Him, Valérie!!,”  but I suppose I will leave that for the conclusion, instead I’ve borrowed the headline of an Italian gossip magazine “Oggi”.  I have become slightly obsessed in the past few days with the sordid sex and politics drama in Paris.  I think it is […]


Where Are We Going?

November 24, 2013
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My kids and I often joke about a scene in the movie “The Lord of the Rings” where two mischievous hobbits Pippin and Merry are messing around while a group of solemn wizards, elves, hobbits and dwarves is deciding to create the Fellowship of the Ring and set out on a dangerous mission to Mordor […]


The Unfinished Trail to Blueberry Point

September 11, 2013
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For some reason I am extremely goal-oriented.  All my life I’ve busily set up goals for myself that, more often than not, I have never met.  Even on vacation, when most normal people want to lie down on a beach with a good book, I set up goals, things I need to accomplish.  The Trail […]