Rescue operations were in full swing and reportedly several houses evacuated as wildfires engulfed large swathes of area on the road to Bellolampo, in the province of Palermo on Wednesday as Sicily in southern Italy continues to be severely affected by wildfires.
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Global leaders who are meeting in Italy in a bid to kick-start Libya’s long stalled political process pose for a family photo. Absent from the photo is eastern Libyan strongman Khalifa Haftar, who is in Palermo but has said he will not join the talks and instead will meet with leaders in the margins of the main conference. IMAGES of the family photo
Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte greets self-proclaimed Libyan National Army Chief of Staff, Khalifa Haftar on the second day of a conference on Libya in Palermo. Libya’s key political players are meeting with global leaders in the latest bid by major powers to kickstart a long-stalled political process and trigger elections. IMAGES of handshake between Conte and Haftar
They’ve fled violence, poverty, and terrorism – and made the often perilous journey across the Mediterranean from Africa and the Middle East. But for the more than 100,000 migrants who’ve arrived in Italy so far this year, the life that awaits them can be almost as dangerous as the one they left behind.
This is particularly true for economic migrants, who don’t have the same legal status as refugees, and aren’t given the same work permits or financial aid to help them survive. Barred from the legal workforce, and with few financial options, many are targeted by criminal gangs — supported by the Italian mafia — and thrust into a life of sex slavery and drug trafficking.
That’s what VICE News discovered after visiting Ballarò, a small market area, and traditional mafia stronghold near Palermo, Sicily, where the infamous Cosa Nostra mafia syndicate continues to wield power.
VICE News went to Sicily, to hear from migrants who’ve been caught in the crosshairs.
Thumbnail image credit: Harriet Dedman/VICE News
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