France on Sunday held a second round of voting in local elections that are set to result in a breakthrough by the far right and trigger a reshuffle of the beleaguered Socialist government. With his party facing a drubbing in the first electoral test…
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The report states that the Russian strongman is not in danger of a coup as the country reels from the invasion of Ukraine that has not only gone poorly but led to worldwide sanctions that have crippled the Russian economy.
Nonetheless, it seems his tenure is coming to a close.
According to Quinn, reporting from independent media outlet Meduza indicated, "several sources close to the Russian presidential administration who said officials are increasingly fed up with Putin personally."
As one source put it, "It’s not about them wanting to prepare a plot and overthrow Putin right now. But there is an understanding, or a desire, that in the fairly foreseeable future he will not run the country."
Another Kremlin source added, "There are probably almost no [members of the elite] who are satisfied with Putin. [The business community] and many members of the government are unhappy that the president started the war without thinking about the scale of sanctions—it’s impossible to live with such sanctions."
Among those under consideration as his successor are Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin, former President Dmitry Medvedev and Putin administration first deputy chief of staff Sergei Kirienko.
Another source told Meduza that the botched war with Ukraine has become a central concern, stating, "The problems [in Russia due to the war] are already evident, and in the middle of the summer they will just come pouring down from all directions: transportation, medicine, even agriculture. Nobody thought about such a scale [of impacts].”
As the Beast's Quinn notes, "... according to Meduza, Putin himself is still willfully blind, insisting that the country’s growing economic problems have nothing to do with the war. And even those officials who have been discussing potential successors in private know the only way for Putin’s departure is if his health—which has been at the center of rampant rumors about terminal illness in recent months—takes a major turn for the worse."
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The most hotly anticipated contender in the Cannes race, "Crimes of the Future" by sci-fi shockmeister David Cronenberg, divided the festival on Tuesday after drawing a lengthy standing ovation as well as dozens of disgusted walkouts.
The dystopian tale about the future of sex starring Kristen Stewart, Lea Seydoux and long-time collaborator Viggo Mortensen sent many queasy viewers running for the exits, even as the red-carpet premiere brought the audience to its feet for a full seven minutes.
The movie is set in a wasteland in which industry has collapsed, the state seeks total domination over human bodies and people look for erotic satisfaction that goes far more than skin-deep.
The Canadian film-maker, 79, behind body horror classics including "The Fly", "Dead Ringers" and "eXistenZ", said that while he didn't intend the film to be overtly political, its commentary on issues such as the threat to abortion rights in the United States was clear.
"It's a constant in history that there's some government that wants to control its population" with "oppressive ownership" of bodies, he told reporters.
"In Canada, we think everybody in the US is completely insane," he said bluntly about the political battle over abortion.
"We think the US has gone completely bananas, we can't believe elected officials are saying the things they're saying, not just about Roe v Wade. It is strange times."
'Surgery is new sex'
Seydoux, known internationally from the James Bond franchise, plays alongside Mortensen as performance artists learning to adapt to a world in which human beings can harness control over their own biological mutation.
The high-concept plot sees Mortensen's character Saul willing new internal organs into being in his own body as part of a drive to accelerate his own evolution.
His partner Caprice (Seydoux) has developed techniques that allow her to carve into his body without hurting him to reveal to audiences his "inner beauty" -- new body parts with elaborate tattoo work.
Stewart plays Timlin, an investigator from the National Organ Registry charged with policing the limits of the new human frontier.
Stewart, who garnered her first Oscar nomination this year for her portrayal of Princess Diana in "Spencer", admitted that elements of the complex story remained a mystery to her and the cast even after shooting began.
But she told reporters the eye-watering graphic operation scenes captured "really visceral desire -- that's the only reason we're alive".
"It's fun to talk about people walking out of Cannes screenings," she said.
But "every single gaping, bleeding, sort of pulsing, weird image, every bit of hurt, every bruise in this movie... you want to lean towards it, it never repulses me ever".
Mortensen, 63, told AFP that his fourth picture with Cronenberg after hits such as "A History of Violence" and "Eastern Promises" was a wholly original kind of romance.
"We have a friendship above all and a trust and this trust makes it comfortable to try things that are unusual that I might not so easily try for other directors," the "Lord of the Rings" star said.
"I think his movies are generally ahead of their time."
"Crimes of the Future" is one of 21 films vying for Cannes' Palme d'Or top prize, to be awarded on Saturday.
Initial reviews were positive, with US movie website IndieWire saying it was "nowhere near as gross as advertised, but it's so much sweeter than anticipated... it grows on/in you like an unregistered organ".
The Hollywood Reporter said it marked "Cronenberg's return to the freakier end of his sci-fi and body-horror spectrum" -- it "won't be for everyone but definitely demands to be seen".
© 2022 AFP
While most of the attention about Tuesday's state primaries has focused on the predicted failure by Donald Trump-endorsed David Perdue to unseat Gov. Brian Kemp (R-GA) on the November midterm ballot, CNN's election analyst Harry Enten claims the former president is on the verge of suffering a second humiliating loss.
In this case, it's a Republican Party candidate in Alabama whose fortunes took a turn for the better after the former president un-endorsed him.
Speaking with "New Day" host John Berman about what to expect in multiple primaries, Enten noted that Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL) -- who notably spoke at Trump's "Stop the Steal " rally on Jan 6th that preceded the Capitol riot -- had his Trump endorsement rescinded in March because of his initial poor polling numbers with voters.
That has now changed as he is neck and neck with two other candidates seeking to fill the U.S. Senate seat currently held by retiring Sen. Richard Shelby.
"Look, Mo Brooks, Donald Trump initially endorsed Mo Brooks, but withdrew that endorsement in March," Enten explained. "He didn't necessarily like some of the numbers going on and it's going to be interesting to see if Brooks can make a runoff. because, again, those deep southern primaries, the leader needs 50 percent plus one. In the deep southern primaries it's not just who the leader, it's whether or not they get the majority."
"What is the impact of unendorsement?" he was asked.
"Yeah, that's the question," Enten replied. "If Mo Brooks is able to reach that, that's embarrassing."
CNN 05 24 2022 07 01 21 youtu.be