'A purported ban on phones in schools is a lazy sleight of hand'

Opinion, comment and editorials of the day

A child sitting in a classroom scrolls on his phone at his desk
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How children torment teachers with smartphones – by one who has been a victim

Will Yates in The Independent

For Education Secretary Gillian Keegan to "claim" a "purported 'ban on phones' in schools" is "some coup for child discipline" is "a sleight of hand so lazy, it could have been generated by a year 10 on ChatGPT", writes Will Yates in The Independent. The proposal is unlikely to be "anything more than beefed-up statutory guidance with no enforceability". Until the government provides "widespread, long-term investment in young people's futures", says Yates, students will continue being "drawn into the murky world of fleeting thrills that their phones provide".  

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MAGA Wouldn't Be Such a Threat if the Electoral System Worked

Jamelle Bouie in The New York Times

"The Trump crisis may never have materialized if not for specific institutions, like the Electoral College," says Jamelle Bouie in The New York Times. No US president can "publicly say that the system he presides over has serious flaws that undermine its integrity. But it does." And "if anyone is aware of this, it has to be Biden". Americans should think "in a collective and deliberate manner" about how "structural reforms" could "make our democracy more resilient or even to realize it more fully in the first place". 

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Axing HS2 in Manchester is further proof Tories are not fit to run the country

Voice of the Mirror 

"Derailing" the HS2 line between Birmingham and Manchester is "a historic levelling down that betrays the North", says the Daily Mirror. "Weak, incompetent and out of touch", Rishi Sunak "will never be forgiven – whenever he plucks up the courage to make the announcement". The Tories "will need to be replaced by Keir Starmer and Labour quickly if broken Britain is to get its future back". 

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The politics of bubble tea: at last, Taiwanese food is getting the recognition it deserves

Clarissa Wei in The Guardian

"Because it belongs to an island nation whose right to sovereignty is contested", Taiwanese cuisine has "long struggled to define itself on the international stage", writes Clarissa Wei in The Guardian. "From bubble tea to baos", the island nation's delicacies are "often lumped under the broad umbrella of Chinese cuisine". But its relatively recent "popularity" across the world has "coincided" with "carefully crafted soft power initiatives by the Taiwanese government". Taiwanese food is "getting the recognition it deserves".  

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