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Off the coast of Lampedusa, 2014
Off the coast of Lampedusa, 2014

Donald Trump's Mexican border wall has been a rallying cry and all-purpose metaphor since his improbable campaign began in 2015. But if and when it gets built, the wall would also be, well, a wall. The U.S. president's decision Tuesday to let the so-called DACA program expire is aimed at pushing Congress to find a permanent legislative solution to the question of children of undocumented immigrants already on American soil. It would be the beginning of the nuts and bolts (and bricks) of the Administration's on-the-ground plans for overhauling immigration policy. The Washington Post reports that Trump may aim to link a deal to allow current undocumented residents to stay to the funding of the wall along the border with Mexico meant to keep others from arriving.

Across the Atlantic, the issue of immigration has its own dynamic and geography — and imagery. For more than a decade, we have gotten used to desperate scenes of would-be migrants trying to make it across the Mediterranean from North Africa in rafts and small fishing boats, too often dying along the way. Then in 2015, rather than rafts or walls, Hungary had its fences instead: makeshift barriers erected to keep out a new wave of refugees from the war in Syria trying to cross onto European Union territory.

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FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

Kharkiv Revisited: Inside Russia's New Assault On The "Hero City" Of Ukraine

The nation's second-largest city, Kharkiv was quiet for weeks after Ukrainian forces took control. But now it is again under attack as Russia pushes to capture the city that's considered the "gateway" to Ukraine. Die Welt reports from the frontline.

Damages due to Russian shelling in Kharkiv, Ukraine

Alfred Hackensberger

KHARKIV — "Come, I want to show you something," Denys Vezenych says, opening the door of his dental office.

The 40-year-old begins to tell the story in the waiting room: "It was April 16 when the Russian artillery shell hit. The windowpanes were broken, the walls had holes everywhere and the roof was destroyed. But I renovated everything."

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The repairs cost him several thousand euros. "You have to think positively, because life goes on," he explains with a smile. But this attitude is not so present generally in Saltivka, a neighborhood in northeastern Kharkiv. The dental practice may be like new, but the rest of this area in the northeastern Ukrainian city is completely destroyed.

The Russian army has done a great job in its three-month offensive on Ukraine's second largest metropolis. Countless flats have been burned out, the facades of houses have been shot to pieces, entire shopping centers have been bombed. Debris still lie in the streets everywhere.

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Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

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