Mexico City

Undefeated

THE GREAT THEORIST Leszek Kolakowski once told the following parable: Two girls are racing in a park. The one behind cries at the top of her lungs, “I’m winning! I’m winning!” Suddenly, the girl in the lead quits the race and sobs into her mother’s arms: “There’s no way to beat her.

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EVERY WEEK, thousands of Serbians bundle up in bed and flip on their televisions for their fix of “Evening with Ivan Ivanovic,” a cheesy “Late Show” knockoff complete with a live studio audience, a rock band, and an eager host clasping a coffee mug in front of a fake Belgrade skyline. One evening this spring, Ivanovic proudly announced that his guest would be the first American ever to appear on the show. With gusto, the band struck up a brassy rendition of “New York, New York” and Rudy Giuliani, wearing his familiar toothy grin, descended a bright, glowing staircase to wild cheers.

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The Obama Administration has done plenty to protect reproductive rights and access to contraception. Abroad, it rescinded the Mexico City directive prohibiting federal assistance to global health organizations that promote or perform abortion services. At home, it has poured significant new money into family planning clinics. And that’s not to mention the fact that Obama has put on the Supreme Court two women likely to support a woman’s right to have an abortion.

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Mexico City—Roberto Galván lifts his hand from his hip with gravitas, his eyes softening as he removes his square, bifocal glasses. His skin is blotched underneath the lenses, grey patches decorating the space between the wrinkles. His face is tired, his voice full of sorrow. “Should I tell you about my case?” he asks me. He leans forward and takes a deep breath. In January, Galván’s son disappeared. The 34-year-old, who lived in Monterrey, had taken a brief holiday in General Terán, a tiny town just nearby.

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From a diplomatic point of view, the U.S. military’s Joint Forces Command did the incoming Obama administration no favors with the stark warning it issued in November 2008.

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There are several reason why I enjoyed Paraguay’s victory over Slovakia. First, there’s the obvious. As almost every Paraguayan team in history, this group understands football first as a physical game. It is no coincidence that Paraguay is one of the few teams in the world—and certainly in this continent—so clearly identified with the ancestral values of its indigenous people, the Guaranies. This is not “el equipo paraguayo”; this is “el equipo guarani.” The indomitable culture of the Guarani is as much a part of Paraguayan football culture as Maori tradition for New Zealand.

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Restrepo National Geographic Entertainment Human Rights Watch International Film Festival Let It Rain IFC Films “War is hell.” General Sherman’s three-word definition has never been surpassed. He meant to dispel prevalent notions about glory, which he called moonshine. Factual knowledge, he apparently thought, would diminish war. The still camera had already started to support him; now there are also film and video.

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Let me bring to your attention a couple of things about the Mexican team before Friday’s opening match. I am fairly certain you have heard about Hugo Sánchez, the famous striker who owned Spanish football during the eighties playing for Real Madrid. Yes, Hugo was great: trained by gymnasts, his acrobatics remained unmatched in the box. His most famous goal, against Logroñes in 1988, still is one of the most beautiful in the long history of the sport (I challenge anyone who worships Zidane’s goal in the Champions League 2002 final to watch the above clip).

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Forgive Not

This early in the twenty-first century, the rulers of the Catholic Church have suffered an earthquake of crumbling credibility. Nearly ten years ago, with the initial revelations about sexual abuse of the young by priests, some argued that the problem was limited in time and place, since most of the abuse cases had occurred 30 or 40 years before, and they took place in the United States. There was hope that an investigative and reformist effort would restore the U.S. Church’s authority.

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The Sheriff

For the better part of an hour, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has been kicked back in the front cabin of Coast Guard One, the small but handsomely appointed plane on which she travels, chatting easily about the challenges of running the third-largest Cabinet department. En route back to Washington after three days of nonstop meetings in Mexico City--a whirlwind visit made more challenging by the fact that Napolitano broke her right ankle playing tennis last month and is still hobbling around on crutches--the secretary is in wind-down mode.

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