Post Reports

The Great Forgetting: How China erased the Tiananmen Square massacre

Abby Hauslohner reports that Border Patrol often holds unaccompanied minors for far longer than is legal. How the government erased the Tiananmen Square massacre from memory in China. And book critic Ron Charles on breaking the rules of summer reading.
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Post Reports is the daily podcast from The Washington Post. Unparalleled reporting. Expert insight. Clear analysis. Everything you’ve come to expect from the newsroom of The Post -- for your ears.

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Children in detention at the border
In the immigration surge at the U.S.-Mexico border, minors account for nearly 36 percent of all crossings — far above previous eras.

An investigation by Post reporters Abby Hauslohner and Maria Sacchetti found that 2,000 unaccompanied migrant children are being held in overcrowded border patrol facilities longer than the legal federal time limits. Federal law and court orders mandate that children are transferred to longer-term facilities no more than 72 hours after being apprehended.

But some children are being held for more than a week.

“Border officials said the immigration system is so overwhelmed,” Hauslohner says, “that the normal conduits meant to funnel children out of Border Patrol custody and into the Department of Health and Human Services’s shelters have broken down. Migrants are arriving faster than Customs and Border Protection can process them.

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How China erased a massacre
In the spring of 1989, Chinese pro-democracy activists filled Beijing’s Tiananmen Square. For weeks, the protesters, led by students, stood in unprecedented defiance of the Communist regime, calling for respect for human rights and greater political participation.

“The world knows what happened later,” Wu’er Kaixi told The Post. “It’s a massacre. There’s no other word to describe June 4th. There was a massacre in Beijing. Hundreds if not thousands of people — students and civilians — died that day.”

Decades later, the Chinese government has erased the history of this day so thoroughly, a Chinese newspaper accidentally ran a photo from it, not realizing what it was. “Think about how many people a newspaper page goes through,” said journalist Louisa Lim, author of the book“The People's Republic of Amnesia: Tiananmen Revisited.” “You've got the photo editor, the page editor, even the censor. Nobody recognized what this was. So they didn't realize they should censor it.”

Video producers Kate Woodsome, Joy Sharon Yi, and Josh Carroll collected a series of memories for the 30th anniversary.

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The summer reading will not be on the exam
Book critic Ron Charles on how to break the puritanical rules out of summer reading.

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About Post Reports

Post Reports is the daily podcast from The Washington Post. Unparalleled reporting. Expert insight. Clear analysis. Everything you’ve come to expect from the newsroom of The Post -- for your ears.