In brief

Keeping up with the Kremlin

Vladimir Putin has featured in a new reality series, highlighting his devotion to the public. Broadcast on state television, the program documents the Russian President during his weekly activities. The first one-hour episode, aired during Sunday prime time, showed him scouring for berries, traversing lakes and rivers, and meeting with schoolchildren. The series debuts as Putin’s popularity has fallen to its lowest level in seven years over the proposal to raise pension ages. George Goldberg

‘Brazilian Donald Trump’ stabbed

The de facto frontrunner in Brazil’s presidential elections has been stabbed whilst campaigning. Jair Bolsonaro, of the far-right Social Liberal Party, was left in a serious but stable condition after the 6th September attack, by a protester who claimed to be acting on divine orders. Bolsonaro has polarised opinion with homophobic comments and praise for Brazil’s former dictatorship but remains popular due to his anti-corruption ticket. The attack saw his polls increase by 2 percentage points. Andrew Ferris

Florence fines litterbug tourists

Getting peckish whilst visiting the Italian city of Florence is now a potentially expensive business. Local authorities have introduced fines of up to €500 for street-snacking, during ‘peak eating times’, on four of the busiest streets. Mayor Dario Nardella hopes it will combat an escalating litter problem in the city, which attracts 10.2 million tourists per year. The move has not impressed many Florentines, who argue that more benches and bins would have a bigger impact in the long run. Andrew Ferris

Tortured politician keeps fighting

A key figure in the opposition to Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni has said they “shall die trying” to remove him from power. Bobi Wine made this comment after his release from hospital in the US, where he was treated for injuries that he claims are a result of being tortured by soldiers. An independent member of parliament since 2017, the former musician was arrested in mid-August for treason. Museveni has described the claims of torture as “fake news”. Andrew Ferris

Nike’s Kaepernick effect

Nike’s online sales increased by 31% earlier this month, according to Edison Trends, despite a backlash over its endorsement of Colin Kaepernick. The American footballer was the first to ‘take a knee’ against racial inequality in the US. Many customers called for a boycott and shared videos of burning Nike products, and President Donald Trump said it sent a “terrible message”. Analysts have suggested the boycotts strengthened the resolve of Kaepernick-supporting customers. Andrew Ferris

Shazam purchase receives EU blessing

Apple has received approval by the European Union for its purchase of Shazam. The commission was initially concerned that this would be anticompetitive as it could give Apple Music unprecedented access to Shazam’s data, excluding rival platforms such as Spotify. However, a committee found this to not be the case and has approved the $400 million deal, allowing it to be finalised, nine months after it was first announced. Andrew Ferris


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Andrew Ferris George Goldberg

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January 2022
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