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Switzerland

Getting Rich And Famous As A Video Game Commentator

Millions of gaming enthusiasts tune in to YouTube videos of Wartek's live commentating on the gaming hit Call of Duty. Meet a new kind of Internet celebrity.

Anil B., a.k.a. "Wartek"
Anil B., a.k.a. "Wartek"
Boris Manenti

PARIS — "Hi gamers, it’s Wartek." The introduction is meant to be understated, but for those who know him it sounds like a battle cry. Each of the 350 videos Anil B. published on YouTube these past four years starts with this message.

The 24-year-old Swiss man, who also uses the pseudonym Wartek, prefers not to reveal his real name, for fear of being harassed by his groupies. “It’s never mean, but some can be insistent.”

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Geopolitics

Is Soft Power Dead?

With an activist Supreme Court creating a gap between democratic rhetoric and reality in the U.S., and Russia and China eager to flex military muscle, the full-force return to hard power looks bound for dominance.

U.S. flag and Chinese flag

Dominique Moïsi

-Analysis-

PARIS — Russia's war in Ukraine rages on, tensions are erupting in the South China Sea and now abortion rights are being stripped away in the U.S.: Looking around the world, we have to ask: what is left of the notion of soft power?

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How can we talk about the power to convince when the power to coerce is increasingly the norm? And when there is such a gap between rhetoric and reality in the U.S. and in Russia and China, hard power almost seems to have become part of soft power?

“We will lead the world not by the example of our power, but by the power of our example,” Joe Biden said the day after his election. But what kind of example was he talking about? That of the Supreme Court’s judges, whose decision promises a terrible future to women and to all those who still wanted to believe in an enlightened and liberal America?

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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.

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