At times, this aspirational, friendly version of Russia collided with the unmovable wall of the real thing. Attempting to access the media centre for the opening match, I found a metal grille slammed firmly in my face and an angry police officer who would answer only “Wait!” to any question. The volunteers were still smiling but had no answers as to what was going on. After a while, it became apparent that Vladimir Putin was about to land in his helicopter, and for that reason access to the media centre was closed for a full 40 minutes, meaning myself and a number of other reporters missed the kick-off. … [Read more...] about Russia passes Confederations Cup test but hosts need a team to rally behind
Police hit and run
'To this day no one in the US Attorney's Office will say why. I accidentally found her on Facebook a couple of years ago - after one of her Facebook friends publicly threatened me on the platform - and she is still covered, but slender, living in New Jersey. … [Read more...] about EXCLUSIVE: Widow of Boston Bomber goofs around with daughter in social media photos, as new book reveals she was on watch list and warned against entering Massachusetts but mocked FBI by driving up to state’s border line
MH: You say the Academy is looking for films that speak to today, and in the hyperspeed era of news and information that we’re all trying to survive, “today” may, in terms of the Best Picture race, be almost literal. A lot of the nominees have a claim on relevance: Lady Bird is the natural pick for an industry trying to clean its own sexist house; The Post speaks clearly to passions about the importance of an embattled press in the face of an anti-press presidential administration; Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri tells us … I don’t know, you tell me, gold star to anyone who can synthesize its take on women, race, rage, and rural ’Murica as viewed from afar into a coherent statement. But are those movies “today”? Like, TODAY-today as opposed to one or two months ago? Because unlike a presidential race, there is no early voting for Best Picture. It started this week, it ends next week. And so I find myself asking questions that … [Read more...] about Is It Possible to Predict Best Picture in Our Politically Charged Moment?