Putin addresses the rebellion in Russia
Speaking publicly for the first time in two days, a visibly angry Vladimir Putin, Russia’s president, denounced as “blackmail” a weekend rebellion by the Wagner mercenary group even as he defended his response and hinted at leniency for those who took part.
Throughout the day, the Kremlin had sought to project an air of normalcy, unity and stability, despite Putin’s absence from public view after perhaps the most serious crisis of his two-decade rule. When he finally emerged, the Russian leader skirted a host of unanswered questions left by the revolt.
Putin did, however, indirectly address a question many had been asked since the mutiny began: Why was it not crushed, swiftly and mercilessly, by Russia’s much larger military? “On my direct instructions, steps were taken to avoid a lot of bloodshed,” he said. “This took time, including to give those who made a mistake a chance to change their minds.”
Response: Prigozhin, until recently a vital Putin ally, said in an 11-minute voice memo that his mutiny was not an attempt to seize power, but rather a protest of the Russian military’s plan to absorb his forces. He renewed his sharp criticism of Russia’s military leaders.
Takeaways from New Democracy’s victory in Greece
Kyriakos Mitsotakis, the leader of the conservative New Democracy party who has presided over a period of economic stability and stringent anti-migration policies in Greece, was sworn in yesterday for a second term as prime minister after a landslide victory that gave him a clear mandate for the next four years.
Here are some of the lessons from the results:
Tough migration policies are good politics. Voters appeared to reward Mitsotakis for his hard-line approach to migrants and for the significant reduction of arrivals in the country since the height of the migrant crisis in 2015.
Spying isn’t a deal breaker. It was revealed last August that Greece’s state intelligence service had been monitoring a prominent opposition leader. Analysts anticipated political fallout, but Greek voters mostly shrugged.
It’s the economy. After a decade-long financial crisis that erupted in 2010, Mitsotakis persuaded Greeks that the country had made enormous strides under his watch and that he deserved another four years to finish the job. (He had some good data to point to.)
The right wing rises in southern Europe. Conservatives are making significant inroads in Italy, Spain and now in Greece.
Trump witness list will not remain secret
Aileen Cannon, the federal judge overseeing Donald Trump’s prosecution on charges of illegally holding on to national security documents, denied the government’s request to keep secret a list of 84 witnesses with whom the former president has been barred from discussing his case. Media companies including The Times had called for the list to be made public.
The government’s request to keep the names of the witnesses secret “does not offer a particularized basis to justify sealing the list from public view,” Judge Cannon wrote in her brief order. “It does not explain why partial sealing, redaction or means other than sealing are unavailable or unsatisfactory, and it does not specify the duration of any proposed seal.”
One of the conditions that a federal magistrate judge placed on Trump when he walked free from his arraignment this month was a provision prohibiting him from discussing the facts in his indictment with any witnesses in the case. Many of them are believed to be his aides or advisers.
Details: In her ruling, Judge Cannon said the petition by the media was moot, given that she had denied the government’s request to seal. She also scheduled a hearing for July 14 to discuss how to handle the highly sensitive material involved in the case.
Revelations: In their indictment, federal prosecutors cited the transcript of an audio recording in which Trump acknowledged he could not declassify what he called a “highly confidential” document about Iran, apparently contradicting his recent assertion that the material he was referring to was simply news clippings.
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A boot company’s fall from grace
Worn by royalty, farmers and festivalgoers, Hunter Wellington boots have become synonymous with Britishness in the eyes of millions.
But this month the brand filed for administration, the British equivalent of bankruptcy, owing creditors about $146 million. Pandemic-related supply chain problems, Brexit and inflation played their part, but the company blamed the dry-up in demand to unseasonably warm weather in the U.S.
There is a potential lifeline: Hunter’s intellectual property was sold to the American company Authentic Brands Group, which also owns the rights to Brooks Brothers and Ted Baker. But what will it mean for this storied British brand, if it is no longer owned and based in Britain?
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