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Dottoré!

A Cave Of One's Own

"Who am I to be horrified by poverty while I have no means to offer relief, no alternative to show these people?"

Photo of a man holding a smoking cigarette

No place like home ...

Mariateresa Fichele

Picture a cave, complete with a vault and yellowed walls. Inside, a single room with a small table, a double bed and a bunk bed. And there, imagine three brothers living together.

"Excuse me," I said, "but where is the bathroom?"

"Outside, Dottoré.”

"And the three of you live here?”

"Of course. This is our house. Mom and Dad raised six children here."


"But couldn't you rent a bigger and brighter house? It's humid here, it's bad for you!"

"Humid? No, no, the air is gray because of cigarette smoke. And during the day it's full of sunlight — in the summer it gets really hot!"

"You could put an air conditioner on, at least!"

"We did, but then it stopped working because of the smoke."

Home sweet home

At a certain point I looked at the three brothers’ faces. God knows what history of deprivation and suffering they carried with them. Their place was in a shocking state.

But for them it was home, and I could hints of mockery in their answers.

This place belonged to them, it was their world.

Who am I to be horrified by poverty while I have no means to offer relief, no alternative to show these people?

The state to the rescue

On my way back to the hospital, caught up in my own dilemmas, I noticed unusual movements from a number of law enforcement officials.

I asked what was going on, and was told that they were preparing for arrivals from Rome.

I then looked it up online and read something that calmed me down — an epiphany of sorts, an answer to my worries. "Tomorrow, Prime Minister Mario Draghi and Interior Minister Luciana Lamorgese will be in Naples. It sends a strong message that the State is present."

Now that I know this, I can go home in peace ...

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Geopolitics

A Bitter Road Back For Hong Kong Students Arrested During 2019 Protests

Thousands of students and young people were detained during Hong Kong's democracy protests in 2019. Now with criminal records, many are struggling to re-integrating into a changed society

Demonstrators in London hold signs at a rally, gathering in Parliament Square on the third anniversary of the 2019 Hong Kong protests.

Hye-kwan Lee and Stanley Leung

HONG KONG — Shortly after his release from the Detention Center, Ah Tao received a phone call from his secondary school headmaster. The headmaster told the Hong Kong teenager that it might not be a good idea for him to continue his studies, and that there were some barista courses outside school he might as well try.

Tao did not respond to the suggestion, and hung up after a few pleasantries.

Back when he was arrested on the street in 2019, Tao had completed his third year, and the school promised to hold his place. However, they stated that if he committed any offenses again, he could be expelled. Tao was already prepared for such a phone call. At that moment, he felt strongly that he was just a young person who had broken the law, and even his school did not want him anymore.

In 2019, the Hong Kong government proposed an amendment bill on extradition that would allow the transfer of fugitives from between Mainland China and Hong Kong. The bill received widespread criticism, with fears it would hamper political dissent in Hong Kong and led to large-scale protests.

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