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Features

Bringing up babel

Four-year-old Henry sometimes speaks English like a Dane. But Robert Lane Greene, his father, is convinced that there are cognitive benefits to raising bilingual children

The scientists who make apps addictive

Tech companies use the insights of behaviour design to keep us returning to their products. But some of the psychologists who developed the science of persuasion are worried about how it is being used

The frock-star treatment

Two hundred outfits, four days in Naples, several hundred super-rich clients and Sophia Loren: Luke Leitch goes inside Alta Moda, Dolce & Gabbana’s attempt to disrupt the world of couture

Orphans of progress

Millions of Chinese children have been left behind in the countryside by parents drawn to the cities in search of employment. Alec Ash travelled to a remote village in the mountains of Guizhou to meet some of the victims of rapid development

Caviar diplomacy in Azerbaijan

How does an autocratic regime divert attention abroad from its human-rights record and discourage the opposition at home? In the case of Azerbaijan, through lavish extravaganzas and high-end lobbying

Eton and the making of a modern elite

The world’s most famous school has produced 20 British prime ministers – Boris Johnson being the latest addition. But as old boy Christopher de Bellaigue learns when he goes back, it is trying to reinvent itself as an agent of social change. From the archive

To boldly go...

Slash fiction – a branch of fan fiction that imagines straight heroes getting together – is strangely popular among straight women. Helen Joyce examines the light it sheds on female sexuality

The lunatic express

When he took the Nairobi-Mombasa train, Daniel Knowles saw a side of Kenya that is disappearing – which, in some ways, is just as well

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