The world at a glance . . . Americas


Tijuana, Mexico

Tunnel to the U.S.: Mexican security forces have unearthed an elaborate 400-foot tunnel connecting Tijuana to the U.S.—indicating just how sophisticated human- and drug-smuggling operations have become in the region. The unfinished tunnel, which starts under a building near the Tijuana airport and extends into U.S. territory, has a lighting and ventilation system, is wood-lined, and is roomy enough for a 6-footer to walk through without having to crouch. Officials say that with security fences covering a growing portion of the border, tunnels are gaining favor among smugglers. Soldiers also raided a nearby warehouse, where equipment used for the tunnel was stored, and found 275 pounds of marijuana.

San Vicente, El Salvador

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Mud buries towns: Thousands of Salvadorans were stranded this week after torrential rains from Hurricane Ida caused devastating mudslides. Dozens of mountainside towns were bombarded with boulders that slid down the slopes and wrecked houses, roads, and bridges. At least 130 people were killed and more than 12,000 left homeless, and most of the country’s agricultural crops were buried under mud. The World Food Program said it was sending emergency aid. “Severe flooding washed away entire harvests, homes, and livelihoods,” said aid official Dorte Ellehammer. “This disaster has compromised the food security of thousands of people.”

São Paulo, Brazil

The miniskirt debate: Following a national outcry, a Brazilian university has readmitted a student expelled for wearing a miniskirt. Two weeks ago, after Geisy Arruda, 20, wore an extremely short pink dress to class, she was reportedly surrounded by hundreds of her fellow students, with some of them shouting at her and calling her “whore.” Security guards hustled her away, and Bandeirante University expelled her, saying she had demonstrated “a flagrant lack of respect for ethical principles, academic dignity, and morality.” But Arruda’s cause was soon taken up by pundits and officials alike, and after federal prosecutors opened an investigation into her treatment, the school reversed course.

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