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Russia

Well-Heeled Starlet Now On Putin’s Black List

Worldcrunch

KOMMERSANT, GAZETA.RU (Russia)

MOSCOW - Ksenia Sobachak is the daughter of St. Petersburg's first post-Soviet mayor, a graduate of Moscow's prestigious State University and a popular reality show host. She says that the country's president is a friend of the family, Kommersant reports.

Still, she has actively supported protests against that president, Vladimir Putin, appearing on the stage at demonstrations. She also happens to share an apartment with Ilya Yashin, a leader in Russia's opposition movement and one of the organizers of the March of the Millions. The two aren't married, and their relationship was completely unknown to the public until the Special Police searched their jointly-owned apartment as part of their investigation against Yashin and other opposition leaders.

In addition to reams of documents, investigators also took more than one million euros in cash, divided between euros, dollars and rubles, from the apartment. Sobachak's passport was also seized. On her website, Sobachak reported that her passport was returned on June 15, after questioning at the Investigative Committee's headquarters, and that she was interrogated about the cash (she told them that she was saving up for a watch). She certainly has the money, Forbes reports Sobachak's income at $2.8 million.

Even before the search, taking a stand against Putin had already had professional consequences. In May, she was unexpectedly removed from the list of presenters at a the Russian equivalent of the MTV music awards, and was also stopped from presenting an award at the Russian equivalent of the Emmys, gazeta.ru reported.

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Ideas

A Writer's Advice For How To Read The Words Of Politics

Colombia's reformist president has promised to tackle endemic violence, economic exclusion, pollution and corruption in the country. So what's new with a politician's promises?

Image of Colombian President Gustavo Petro speaking during a press conference in Buenos Aires on Jan 14, 2023

Colombian President Gustavo Petro, speaks during a press conference in the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) Summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on January 24, 2023.

Manuel Cortina/ZUMA
Héctor Abad Faciolince

-Essay-

BOGOTÁ — Don't concentrate on his words, I was once advised, but look at what he's doing. I heard the words so long ago I cannot recall who said them. The point is, what's the use of a husband who vows never to beat his wife in January and leaves her with a bruised face in February?

Words are a strange thing, and in literal terms, we must distrust their meaning. As I never hit anyone, I have never declared that I wouldn't. It never occurred to me to say it. Strangely, there is more power and truth in a simple declaration like "I love her" than in the more emphatic "I love her so much." A verbal addition here just shrinks the "sense" of love.

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