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Born To Serve – Butlers Are Back In Style

Though the market for butlers is centered in the UK and Arab countries, the super-rich everywhere are hiring. It is a job that requires very special training.

Always there, always discreet (Butler For You)
Always there, always discreet (Butler For You)
Katlen Trautmann

James is one of the best-known of all butlers. The manservant in the sketch "Dinner for One," a cult TV classic in Europe, South Africa, Australia and elsewhere, serves a meal of several courses to his elderly employer, Miss Sophie, and her four invisible (long dead) male guests. He pours glasses of sherry, wine, champagne and port for the guests, then drinks it all as he impersonates them toasting Miss Sophie.

That may be what butlering looks like in comedy sketches, but it's a long way from the reality of these highly qualified servants who, despite job opportunities elsewhere, are still mostly to be found in the UK and Arab world.

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Geopolitics

Our 'Emotional' Divide: How The Ukraine War Reveals A World Broken In Two

Russia's invasion has created a stark global divide: them and us. On one side are the countries refusing to condemn Moscow, with the West on the other. It's a dangerous split that could have repercussions far into the future.

Protesters against the war in Ukraine demonstrate in front of the Russian embassy in London

Dominique Moïsi

-Analysis-

PARIS — "The West and the Rest of Us." That's the title of a 1975 essay written by Nigerian essayist and critic Chinweizu Ibekwe. I've been thinking about his words as the war in Ukraine both reveals and accelerates divisions of the world that I believe are ultimately "emotional" in nature.

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With war returning to Europe and the risk of escalation, there is a gap between the Western view and that of the "others," a distinct "us and them." This gap cannot be explained in strictly geographical, political, and economic terms.

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Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

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