Re-learning Spanish, and Super-Injunctions

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Protestscrop

Thousands of kids from the United States are enrolling in Mexican schools. The reason: their Mexican parents are moving back from the United States. There are many reasons for this. Among them: deportation, fear of deportation, the poor economy in the U.S. Some of the children were born in Mexico, some in the United States. But now they are in Mexico after years of English-language education, they are struggling to learn or re-learn Spanish. We have a report from the border city of Nogales, Mexico.

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The language of the border and immigration has long been politicized. Whether you call someone who has jumped the border an illegal alien or undocumented worker depends on your politics. Neither term works for children whose families sneak them across the border. We have a report on these expressions, and many more from Michel Marizco of the Fronteras desk, run by several public radio stations based in the US South West.

Then, the pod travels to the UK, where British gag orders known as supin-injunctions aren’t working, thanks to Twitter. British judges can prohibit British newspapers and websites from talking about certain topics, but they can’t prohibit people tweeting from say, the United States. Britain isn’t China: it can’t maintain an internet firewall around its citizens. So politicians have concluded that the laws on injunctions will have to change. The lesson of this episode may be that it’s no longer possible to keep a secret about a public figure. And if you try, you may well find that the secret rapidly becomes subject to the Streisand effect. (Yes, that’s Barbra).

Staying in Britain, we ask this: does Obama heart Britain as much as the Brits heart Obama? It’s not clear, even after the President’s recent trip to the UK, where he spoke many fine and admiring words about British institutions.

However, it seems that the so-called Special Relationship, held dear by British politicians and journalists, may no longer be so special.

When it comes to its relationship with Downing St, the White House appears not to want to be pinned down to an exclusive dating arrangement. Instead, the Americans are trying to balance multiple partners: Israel, China, Russia, India, Afghanistan and others. None of these partnerships is a candidate for a new special relationship; most are based on geopolitics and expediency rather than trust. But it’s nonetheless galling for Britain. After all, Tony Blair risked his political future on the Special Relationship when he stood by George W. Bush and sent British troops to war in Iraq, for better or worse. So soon after cementing the Special Relationship, the Brits are now watching it fade into relative insignificance.

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