America’s immigration system is broken

America’s immigration system is broken

LESS than ten miles separate two rooms in McAllen, a modest, low-slung city on the Mexican border. The first is Ursula, an immense warehouse which squats behind a high brick wall, almost invisible from the street. It is the largest immigration-processing facility in America, and holds children taken from their parents under a policy that…

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The death of the archetypal Russian villain

The death of the archetypal Russian villain

THE cold war was fought as much in the imagination as on the battlefield. Each side sought to project images of social and cultural superiority; stories of people corrupted by the decadent West or persecuted by the KGB were turned into weapons. This struggle was largely waged on screen, in shows and films that were…

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The world’s most important exam is flawed

The world’s most important exam is flawed

IN THE past few days nearly 10m young Chinese have received their results from the world’s largest and most important academic exam, commonly known as the gaokao. In some places the news has been sent to them by text message—an innovation that has done nothing to compensate for the horrors of what they have endured:…

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The Burmese army invades the big screen

The Burmese army invades the big screen

AFTER FIVE decades of military rule, the Burmese have grown accustomed to propaganda. Every year on Armed Forces Day state television broadcasts features trumpeting the army’s achievements. “Our Beloved”, a film about ordinary Burmese soldiers, is different. It was not put together by the psychological warfare and public-relations department of the Ministry of Defence, but…

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Penalty shoot-outs are basically still crap-shoots

Penalty shoot-outs are basically still crap-shoots

IN 1978 the World Cup scrapped its policy of choosing the winner of knockout-stage matches tied after 120 minutes with a coin flip, and introduced penalty shoot-outs to replace them. The idea was to have a result determined quickly, using a method that at least partly depended on skill. However, the evidence that shoot-outs actually…

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The EU argues till dawn on migration, and achieves little

The EU argues till dawn on migration, and achieves little

THERE is a pattern to European Union summits about subjects on which governments cannot agree. First, leaders stay up all night to signal their commitment. Second, they issue a statement sufficiently vague and contradictory to allow everyone to declare victory. Third, officials charged with implementing the agreement argue endlessly over how to interpret it. This…

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