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…

In the southern Italian region of Basilicata, home to the Val d'Agri Oil Centre known as COVA, hydrocarbon processing has undergone a radical digital transformation. COVA boasts one of the world's first fully digitized hydrocarbon plants, but why? Two primary reasons: infrastructure and information. Val d'Agri has the largest onshore hydrocarbon deposit in mainland Europe. The site is expansive and highly advanced, and the plant features a sophisticated sensor system built to capture massive amounts of data. Maintenance checks, equipment monitoring, inspections and measurements are tracked in a fully integrated digital system designed to prevent corrosion and ensure cleaner, more sustainable natural gas processing.

Learn more at Eniday: Energy Is A Good Story

For a president gearing up for a fierce re-election fight next year, President Trump has a lot to worry about. Democrats are now taking more of the US political spotlight. The latest opinion polls don't look good for him. There are signs that the strong US economy, Trump's top selling point, may begin to wobble.

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Chinese Pigs – Beyond a trade war with the US and unrest in Hong Kong, now Chinese officials are wrestling with an even more basic political problem. Pork is the favorite meat for many of China's 1.4 billion people, and some analysts treat pork consumption as an important indicator of the financial well-being of China's middle class. A serious outbreak of African Swine Flu is expected to push pork prices 70 percent higher over the second half of this year, which will hit ordinary Chinese pockets hard. By some estimates, half of China pigs have been culled, but there are also reports that some farmers have avoided the expense of slaughtering infected pigs, raising fears that the disease will continue to spread. The central government takes this problem seriously enough to call on local officials to boost large-scale hog farming. So far, China's "Year of the Pig" is just not going well.

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Buy or sell: The iPhone

I'll make both arguments. First, buy. The new iPhone 11 didn't blow people's mind. But it's a pretty good phone. But what is most impressive is they lowered the prices on many of their phones and they offer a really good trade ins. So you can take your old iPhone, trade it in, get a discount on a new one. It's a pretty good deal. On the other hand, if the question is more: Is the iPhone still the unadulterated leader in innovation? Maybe not. The event was not quite as transformative as some of these events have been.

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