Putin and the City

Russian President Vladimir Putin rolled to victory in Sunday’s elections, sure. But one particularly poignant data point for him was to take 70% of the vote in Moscow, cradle of the upper middle-class opposition that once put hundreds of thousands on the streets against him.


Back in 2012, when those protests were in full force, Putin failed to even win a majority in the capital city, notching just 48% of the vote. It was, and remains, the only time a Russian president has failed to carry the capital city.

It’s true that many of those most implacably opposed to Putin simply boycotted this election, and that there wasn’t even a remotely palatable opposition candidate — the role played better by oligarch Mikhail Prokhorov in 2012 than by socialite Ksenia Sobchak in 2018.

But do those factors fully account for a 22-point swing in Putin’s support among Muscovites? The reality is that six years on from the largest protests in Russia’s post-Soviet history, Putin’s assertive nationalism, skillful messaging, and deft repressions have both boosted his appeal and demoralized his opponents. Now, if Putin could just figure out what to do in 2024…

Earlier this year, two powerful cyclones struck the northern coast of Mozambique and were followed by months of torrential rain. Mozambique faced an unprecedented humanitarian crisis. "The coast road from Pemba airport to the city center and its harbor was totally destroyed," said Franco Picciani, operations manager at Eni Rovuma Basin. The damage brought the city's economy to a standstill.

Eni answered the call, providing its equipment and expertise. "We rebuilt the coast road in less than two months," Picciani said. "We work in the area. We have a logistics base here. It's home to us. When the area needed help, we didn't stop to think about it for a minute. It goes without saying that we should look after the community we work in."

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Why do journalists keep sources anonymous?

So, anonymity can be granted for a number of reasons. The main one is a risk of retaliation against the person, against their job, against their personal safety. For instance, if you report in a war zone or on a crime victim. It can also be to protect vulnerable people such as children, or if it's just the only way to get the information out.

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Latin America's longest-serving head of state is now out. Bolivia's fiery leftwing President Evo Morales resigned on Sunday, after weeks of increasingly violent protests over his apparent bid to rig last month's presidential elections.

Although he agreed under international pressure to hold a fresh ballot, he and his vice president were ousted by the military after a number of local police units sided with demonstrators.

His supporters say this is an illegal coup that undermines democracy. His opponents say Morales' attempt to rig the election was the real assault on democracy and that the army has merely stepped in to restore order so that elections can be held.

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The system of passports as we know it today dates from roughly a hundred years ago, when leading world powers were trying to figure out a way to regulate international travel in the messy aftermath of World War One. Ever since, these documents have been seen both as boarding passes to freedom and as levers for government control. But which of the world's passports open up the widest vistas of international travel? The Henley Passport Index has an answer. For 199 passports, it tallies up the number of countries that are accessible without obtaining a prior visa. Here's a heat map of which countries' passports are the most powerful right now.

What should we expect now that impeachment hearings go public?

Well, it's a huge week for Democrats, starting Wednesday. They'll take testimony from State Department officials saying that they believe there was a quid pro quo between Trump and Ukraine aid in return for an investigation of Joe Biden. They need to both shape public opinion and try to crack the GOP wall of support for Trump.

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