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Opinion: Italy, let me be with my love

We’ve survived the normal things every couple faces, along with the serious challenges life throws at you. But now we are being kept apart by Covid-19.I am in New York City. Marco is in Italy.We haven’t seen each other in six months.Spouses of EU citizens are an exception and allowed in, but unmarried partners aren’t.Since…

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Opinion: Italy, let me be with my love

We’ve survived the normal things every couple faces, along with the serious challenges life throws at you. But now we are being kept apart by Covid-19.I am in New York City. Marco is in Italy.We haven’t seen each other in six months.Spouses of EU citizens are an exception and allowed in, but unmarried partners aren’t.Since we are not legally married, an ocean separates me and my partner indefinitely. Thousands of unmarried couples all over the world have been impacted and have joined forces to gain attention with the group “Love is not tourism” and the hashtags #Loveisnottourism and #Loveisessential. Indeed, this is certainly not about tourism. I don’t want to go to Italy to see the Colosseum or go to the Vatican. I want to be with my other half. I want to be with my other half; the person with whom I’ve shared life changing moments.I met Marco on sabbatical in Italy after the loss of my parents. He helped me back from the grief and nurtured me through some difficult days early in our relationship.We’ve gone through my breast cancer diagnosis, radiation treatment and, then just when we were about to start our life together full time in Italy, our most difficult hurdle.I had given up my career as a journalist in New York City in 2008 to permanently join Marco in Italy, where I planned to freelance, but then everything came to a devastating stop. Because of my breast cancer diagnosis, I was getting annual checkups. During one of my routine follow ups, I was diagnosed with leukemia, which was later confirmed to be linked to my volunteer work at Ground Zero. I was there days after the 9/11 attack serving food to first responders as they searched for survivors.The diagnosis was absolutely shattering.I put plans to move full time on hold, and together Marco and I navigated the stress and uncertainty of a life-threatening illness.We accepted that we would have to be in a long distance relationship for a good part of 2008, and I found amazing doctors in New York City for whom I’m so grateful.My health and survival came first.So for the past decade I have traveled back and forth between NYC and Italy, returning to see my hematologist and receive treatment from the World Trade Center Health Program.It’s not always easy. There have been too many visits to emergency rooms in Italy, and the travel is fatiguing because of the chemotherapy medication I must take.But through it all, Marco and I have managed to make our relationship work and grow even stronger. It’s not traditional, but we have committed to a life together.I truly believe that the beauty and wonderful people of Italy have also helped keep me going. Not to mention the spaghetti and gelato. So in January, after another wonderful Christmas stay in Tuscany, I returned to New York as usual for my medical visits.And then the Coronavirus stopped the world in its tracks. My April flight back to Rome was canceled. And then my July flight as well.And there is no sign I will be allowed back in any time soon.Yes, I am not legally married. I never signed a piece of paper, but Marco and I have definitely been together in sickness and health.This is my story, but it’s just one story. The campaign to bring more awareness to this issue has highlighted the struggles, for example, of expectant moms separated from their partners and couples working in different countries. A few EU countries — at the time of writing, not including Italy — have now agreed to allow nonmarried partners in, so there is some hope. So, to my dear Italy: Please let me come back to you.I will take a Covid-19 test. I will quarantine. I know you believe in love; You practically invented it.L’amore è amore.

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B.C. voters heading to the polls as snap election called for Oct. 24 | CBC News

After weeks of speculation, B.C. NDP Leader John Horgan has made official the worst-kept secret in the province: British Columbians are heading to the polls.  Horgan said Monday he had called an election for Oct. 24 after meeting with Lt.-Gov. Janet Austin and asking her to dissolve the legislature.”I’ve struggled mightily with this decision, and it did not come easily to me,” said…

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B.C. voters heading to the polls as snap election called for Oct. 24 | CBC News

After weeks of speculation, B.C. NDP Leader John Horgan has made official the worst-kept secret in the province: British Columbians are heading to the polls.  Horgan said Monday he had called an election for Oct. 24 after meeting with Lt.-Gov. Janet Austin and asking her to dissolve the legislature.”I’ve struggled mightily with this decision, and it did not come easily to me,” said Horgan, acknowledging the controversy of calling an early election during a pandemic.  But he said that, with COVID-19 expected to be a fact of life for the next year, an election made sense now.  “We can either delay that decision and create uncertainty and instability over the 12 months … or we can do what I believe is always the right thing and ask British Columbians what they think.” The announcement comes after weeks of speculation that Horgan would call an election just over three years into his mandate, and it comes after six cabinet ministers announced their retirements in the past seven days. The NDP currently have 41 seats in the legislature, as do the opposition Liberal Party, while the Green Party has two. WATCH | B.C. premier announces Oct. 24 election: British Columbia voters will head to the polls on Oct 24. Some are criticizing the premier for moving forward early, but John Horgan says COVID-19 would have been a factor no matter when he called an election. 1:59 How did we get here? Horgan has led a minority government since July 2017 after his New Democratic Party and the Greens teamed up to defeat the Liberals in a confidence vote following a May election with no clear decision.  Since that time, he has led the province with the support of the Green Party — under a unique and formal agreement — and passed legislation setting a fixed election date for October 2021. The agreement also stipulated Horgan “will not request a dissolution of the legislature … except following the defeat of a motion of confidence.”   But, in calling the election, Horgan argued the province found itself in unique circumstances because of the pandemic and that the Green Party had also broken a rule of the agreement by introducing an amendment to a government bill without notification. “The issues of 2017 are not the issues of 2020,” said Horgan.  “What we did in the past is one thing, and what we need to do in the future is quite another matter.”  Horgan also repeatedly argued that an election would create more certainty for the province if one party had a majority government and the ability to make decisions without consulting other parties. “We need a stable government,” he said.  Up in the polls Horgan will attempt to become the first two-term NDP premier in B.C. history and heads into the campaign with his party up in the polls and with the highest personal approval rating of any premier in Canada, according to recent surveys by Angus Reid. In recent weeks, the B.C. Liberal Party and the Green Party have criticized Horgan for considering an election during a global pandemic. While British Columbia received plaudits for its initial containment of the virus, cases of COVID-19 have surged in recent months, and the effects of students returning to class are still not fully known.  The opposition parties quickly attacked Horgan for calling an election.  “Today, John Horgan chose politics over people,” said Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson, who said his party will announce its platform and full list of candidates in the coming weeks. “The only reason for this general election is to try and secure the jobs of the NDP … it’s not necessary.” Horgan is seen after the news conference in Langford, B.C., where he announced the election. (Chad Hipolito/The Canadian Press) Green Party Leader Sonia Furstenau said she spoke with Horgan on Friday, and told him she and fellow Green MLA Adam Olsen would continue to support the NDP on legislation if an election was not called.  “When people are worried about their kids being back in school, when people are worried about their jobs, when people are worried about their housing, this is not a time where we put the interest of a political party ahead of British Columbians,” she said.   A number of longtime MLAs have said they won’t be seeking re-election, including NDP cabinet ministers Carole James, Judy Darcy, Shane Simpson, Michelle Mungall, Doug Donaldson, Claire Trevena and Scott Fraser. Liberals Rich Coleman and Linda Reid, and former Green Party leader Andrew Weaver have also said they will not run again.
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First man to climb Everest 10 times dies at 72

All the ascents to the 8,850-meter (29,035-foot) summit of the world’s tallest mountain between 1983 and 1996 by Ang Rita, who went by his first name, like many Sherpas, were made without bottled oxygen.The 72-year-old, who had suffered brain and liver ailments for a long time, died at his home in the Nepali capital of…

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First man to climb Everest 10 times dies at 72

All the ascents to the 8,850-meter (29,035-foot) summit of the world’s tallest mountain between 1983 and 1996 by Ang Rita, who went by his first name, like many Sherpas, were made without bottled oxygen.The 72-year-old, who had suffered brain and liver ailments for a long time, died at his home in the Nepali capital of Kathmandu, his grandson, Phurba Tshering, said.Ang Rita was also known as the “snow leopard” for his climbing skills.”He was a climbing star and his death is a major loss for the country and for the climbing fraternity,” said Ang Tshering Sherpa, a former president of the Nepal Mountaineering Association.The body will be placed at a Sherpa Gomba, or holy site, in Kathmandu, and cremated on Wednesday according to sherpa tradition, Ang Tshering said.Many other climbers have since surpassed Ang Rita’s feat, with one member of the community setting a record of 24 ascents.

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U.S. Justice Department threatens to strip federal funds from cities it says allow ‘anarchy’ | CBC News

World·NewThe U.S. Justice Department on Monday threatened to revoke federal funding for New York City, Seattle and Portland, Ore., saying the three liberal cities were allowing anarchy and violence on their streets.New York City, Seattle and Portland, Ore., have been identified as 3 cities that could lose fundingThomson Reuters · Posted: Sep 21, 2020 4:22…

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U.S. Justice Department threatens to strip federal funds from cities it says allow ‘anarchy’ | CBC News

World·NewThe U.S. Justice Department on Monday threatened to revoke federal funding for New York City, Seattle and Portland, Ore., saying the three liberal cities were allowing anarchy and violence on their streets.New York City, Seattle and Portland, Ore., have been identified as 3 cities that could lose fundingThomson Reuters · Posted: Sep 21, 2020 4:22 PM ET | Last Updated: September 21Police and protesters square off Saturday, July 25, 2020, near Seattle’s Central Community College. The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) on Monday threatened to revoke federal funding for cities such as Seattle, which it claimed has allowed anarchy and violence on the streets. (Ted S. Warren/The Associated Press )The U.S. Justice Department on Monday threatened to revoke federal funding for New York City, Seattle and Portland, Ore., saying the three liberal cities were allowing anarchy and violence on their streets. “We cannot allow federal tax dollars to be wasted when the safety of the citizenry hangs in the balance,” Attorney General William Barr said in a statement.In a joint statement, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan and Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler accused the Trump administration of playing politics and said withholding federal funds would be illegal. “This is thoroughly political and unconstitutional. The president is playing cheap political games with congressionally directed funds,” the statement said. “Our cities are bringing communities together; our cities are pushing forward after fighting back a pandemic and facing the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, all despite recklessness and partisanship from the White House.” Many cities across the United States have experienced unrest since the May death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police. In some cases the protests have escalated into violence and looting, but the majority have been largely peaceful.  Protesters march in Portland, Ore., Thursday, Aug. 20, 2020. Last week, the DOJ urged federal prosecutors to consider sedition charges against protesters who have burned buildings and engaged in other violent activity in American cities. (Mark Graves /The Oregonian via The Associated Press) The federal government has mounted a campaign to disperse the racial justice protests, including by sending federal agents into Portland and Seattle and encouraging federal prosecutors to bring charges. Last week, the Justice Department urged federal prosecutors to consider sedition charges against protesters who have burned buildings and engaged in other violent activity. Monday’s threat to revoke federal funds was the government’s latest escalation in its quest to curb the protests. It comes after U.S. President Donald Trump earlier this month issued a memo laying out criteria to consider when reviewing funding for states and cities that are “permitting anarchy, violence, and destruction in American cities.” The criteria include things such as whether a city forbids the police from intervening or if it defunds its police force. In all three cities, the Justice Department said, leadership has rejected efforts to allow federal law enforcement officials to intervene and restore order, among other things. In a press briefing earlier on Monday, New York City Corporation Counsel Jim Johnson promised a court battle if the Trump administration proceeds to cut off the funds. “The president does not have the authority to change the will of Congress,” he said. “We are preparing to fight this in court if, ultimately, he actually takes concrete steps to withdraw federal funds.”With files from The Associated Press
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