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Take That iTunes! France's 'Record Shop Day' Aims To Save Old-Style Music Sales

It's Record Shop Day in France, with gigs and exclusive tunes available at music stores, hoping to get people off their computers to do some bona fide 'social' shopping. Similar initiatives have been launched elsewhere, but can

Are old-style record stores, like this one in Seattle, destined for dustbin. (Dustin and Jenae)
Are old-style record stores, like this one in Seattle, destined for dustbin. (Dustin and Jenae)

*NEWSBITES

PARIS - French record shops wanted to remind music-mad customers that they are not dead. Not yet, at least. So last year, they imported the concept of Record Shop Day, which had started up in recent years in the United States. The second edition is aiming at wooing the crowds into the shops again.

Hundreds of shops take part in the event, in partnership with independent record labels, releasing exclusive discs and hosting concerts of Coldplay, Deep Purple as well as local bands. In the age of the Internet, local records shops are fighting for survival. Last year, shopkeepers doubled sales on the special day.

Still, with the French Culture Ministry's brand-new National Music Center, shop owners complain of the disparity in public funding: the shops will receive two million euros of subsidies to diversify their music offering, but digital music platforms are set to receive 10 million euros. Nevermind, the shop is where that cool band you heard is set to play...just around the corner.

Read the full story in French by Grégoire Poussielgue

Photo - Dustin and Jenae

*Newsbites are digest items, not direct translations

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Geopolitics

How A Drone Strike Inside Iran Exposes The Regime's Vulnerability — On All Fronts

It is still not clear what was the exact target of an attack by three armed drones Saturday night on an arms factory in central Iran. But it comes as Tehran authorities appear increasingly vulnerable to both its foreign and domestic enemies, with more attacks increasingly likely.

Screenshot of one of the Saturday drone attacks arms factory in Isfahan, central Iran

One of the Saturday drone attacks arms factory in Isfahan, central Iran

Screenshot
Pierre Haski

-Analysis-

PARIS — It's the kind of incident that momentarily reveals the shadow wars that are part of the Middle East. No one has claimed responsibility for the attack by three armed drones Saturday night on an arms factory complex north of Isfahan in central Iran.

But the explosion was so strong that it set off a small earthquake. Iranian authorities have played down the damage, as we might expect, and claim to have shot down the drones.

Nevertheless, three armed drones reaching the center of Iran, buzzing right up to weapons factories, is anything but ordinary in light of recent events. Iran is at the crossroads of several crises: from the war in Ukraine where it's been supplying drones to Russia to its nuclear development arriving at the moment of truth; from regional wars of influence to the anti-government uprising of Iranian youth.

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That leaves us spoiled for choice when it comes to possible interpretations of this act of war against Iran, which likely is a precursor to plenty of others to follow.

Iranian authorities, in their comments, blame the United States and Israel for the aggression. These are the two usual suspects for Tehran, and it is not surprising that they are at the top of the list.

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