Fallen between the cracks

  • 1999-08-12
  • By Steven C. Johnson
RIGA - Mathias Ngangu has been stuck in the same building in Riga's Soviet-style suburbs since February. He needs permission to go to the city, but he rarely bothers to ask for it, since he has no money to spend there.On this morning, though, Ma-thias has somehow managed to look like a man about town. Dressed to the nines in a royal blue button-down shirt and smart suspenders, he sits quietly in the antiseptic cleanliness of Mucenieki, Latvia's new holding center for asylum seekers, and takes notes as a teacher recites phrases in Latvian.But when class ends, that sunny demeanor melts away i...
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