Mexico

Frustrations grow among migrants at Mexico border

MEXICO CITY — Frustration is growing among more than 1,600 Central American migrants penned up for more than a week inside a disused factory turned shelter in the northern Mexico border city of Piedras Negras.

Joe Rivano Barros, of the Texas-based refugee advocacy group Raices, said emotions were running high Wednesday after police and soldiers guarding the shelter didn’t allow migrants to leave to go to nearby shops.

Rivano, who was outside the shelter, said people were frustrated and confused because they felt trapped and no one was telling them what was happening.

Coahuila state security officials did not respond to requests for comment. In a statement, they conceded there had been complaints by some migrants and said they would be attended to.

The majority hope to cross the border to request asylum in the U.S.

CANADA

Woman, throwing chairs off balcony, is charged

TORONTO — A 19-year-old woman turned herself into police on Wednesday to face charges of allegedly throwing two chairs off a 45th story balcony along a busy downtown Toronto street. The incident shown in an online video has sparked widespread outrage.

Detective Todd Higo said Marcella Zoia turned herself in. A widely viewed video shot from the apartment balcony shows a woman throwing one of the chairs, which plummets to the street below near the front entrance of the condo. There were no reports of injuries.

Zoia is charged with mischief endangering life, mischief endangering property and common nuisance.

ITALY

Prada announces diversity council after accusations

MILAN — Italian brand Prada said Wednesday it is forming a diversity council to “elevate voices of color within the company and fashion industry at large,” a move that follows accusations of racism in the luxury fashion world.

Two Americans, artist Theaster Gates and film director Ava DuVernay, will chair the council, Prada said. The group will work to develop “diverse talent” and create more opportunities for students of color, the luxury fashion house said.

Gates said his work “amplifies the voices that have been absent from the broad cultural conversations,” and he was happy to work with Prada to help make the company more “reflective of the world today.”

Prada apologized in December and immediately withdrew bag charms that resembled black monkeys with exaggerated red lips. Critics said the charms recalled the blackface caricatures that long propagated racist stereotypes in the United States.

Police: City businesses are prey to 3 big mafias

ROME — Police say Italy’s three big organized crime syndicates are increasingly infiltrating Rome’s economy, sometimes collaborating for efficiency.

The semi-annual report of the national anti-Mafia investigative police agency DIA offers a grim analysis of how the Sicilian Mafia, Naples-area Camorra and Calabria-rooted ‘ndrangheta invest illegal revenues heavily in Rome hotels, restaurants and stores, often aided by complicit lawyers and accountants.

DIA analysts say mobsters from the three crime syndicates based in southern Italy blend into Rome’s populous neighborhoods. They say the mobsters often set up companies run by professionals to infiltrate public contract bidding. They also warn of the mobsters’ ability to corrupt local officials.

The Associated Press