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LA STAMPA

Sicilian Mafia Cashes In On Desperate Immigrants

Details emerge of poisonous links between local politicians and organized crime networks in Sicily working together to siphon public funds and exploit migrants arriving via Lampedusa.

Undocumented immigrants after landing in Lampedusa in 2011
Undocumented immigrants after landing in Lampedusa in 2011
Niccolò Zancan

Migrants who arrive to the island of Lampedusa, or any other place in Italy, and are not recognized as asylum seekers are first housed in Identification and Expulsion Centers. Those who may be entitled to political asylum are sent on to stay in CARA reception centers while authorities assess whether to grant them this status. There are eight such centers in Italy, mostly in the southern part of the country that continues to be plagued by organized crime.

MINEO — The first thing a visitor is asked when arriving at the gates to Europe's largest center for asylum seekers is: "Do you want one girl, or two?" It is not a misunderstanding between the visitor and the four Eritrean migrants standing in the dark in front of Italian Army trucks. "How about two girls for 50 euros, OK?"

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Geopolitics

Our 'Emotional' Divide: How The Ukraine War Reveals A World Broken In Two

Russia's invasion has created a stark global divide: them and us. On one side are the countries refusing to condemn Moscow, with the West on the other. It's a dangerous split that could have repercussions far into the future.

Protesters against the war in Ukraine demonstrate in front of the Russian embassy in London

Dominique Moïsi

-Analysis-

PARIS — "The West and the Rest of Us." That's the title of a 1975 essay written by Nigerian essayist and critic Chinweizu Ibekwe. I've been thinking about his words as the war in Ukraine both reveals and accelerates divisions of the world that I believe are ultimately "emotional" in nature.

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With war returning to Europe and the risk of escalation, there is a gap between the Western view and that of the "others," a distinct "us and them." This gap cannot be explained in strictly geographical, political, and economic terms.

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Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

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