“Hundreds of French chateaux for sale as owners cut and run.”

“A report thought to be by an analyst in the FSB, the successor agency to the KGB. said the FSB was being blamed for the failure of the invasion but had been given no warning of it and was unprepared to deal with the effects of crippling sanctions. FSB officers had been ordered to assess the effects of western sanctions, they said, but were told that it was a hypothetical box-ticking exercise. ‘You have to write the analysis in a way that makes Russia the victor. otherwise you get questioned for not doing good work,’ they wrote. ‘Suddenly it happens and everything comes down to your completely groundless analysis.'”

That makes it sound as though the spies are trying to save their ass by saying that before the invasion they were trying to save their ass. We weren’t wrong, we were deceptive, and we didn’t think it would matter. We did bad work, yes, but it was all because we wanted to meet your standard of doing good work.

“A Russian gymnast has been placed under investigation for wearing a ‘Z’ symbol linked to support for President Putin’s invasion of Ukraine on his leotard while sharing a podium with a Ukrainian rival. “

“[Ivan] Kuliak wore it in place of the Russian flag, which had been banned by the governing body of gymnastics. The symbol, which has been used as senior match sites a designation on Russian military vehicles deployed in Ukraine, has become a symbol in Russia of support for Putin and the war. The Russian Defence Ministry has previously issued a statement saying that ‘Z’ means victory.”

Is “Z” supposed to be the Roman letter Z? It doesn’t look any of the letters in the Russian alphabet. If you were using that shape to mean something other than a letter, what would you be trying to say. Perhaps it means “anti-Nazi” – half of a swastika.

At the London Times link, there’s a photo with the caption: “In Kazan, Russia, terminally ill children and their parents made a Z formation at their hospice to show support for the invasion.”

On the one hand environmental rules and other bureaucratic initiatives are driving up the cost of maintaining stately homes. On the other, “the younger generations are urban,” [said Olivier de Lorgeril, chairman of La Demeure historique]. “They often want to have international careers and to live in towns and cities.”.

If would be trivial and not worth saying, but because we are talking about symbols and victory, I will add that the Ukrainian gymnast, Kovtun Illia, won the gold

“A monument that is not lived in is a monument that is not looked after,” he said. “We keep repeating that our national monuments are in danger.”.

And here’s a conversation between the elderly owners of Chateau de Courson, whose family has owned the place since 1775 and whose children don’t want it because it “consumes just about all your life”:

Yes. The article makes it sound as though Sting just dropped by once, but it was the location for his excellent 1985 film, “Bring on the Night.” We saw the band rehearsing in at the Chateau de Courson. Michael Apted directed.

In addition to the performance footage, Mr. Apted also includes a few unexpected moments: a visit by a tourist group to the chateau where the musicians happen to be rehearsing (one woman keeps her fingers in her ears while walking through the room) and a disagreement between the costume designer Colleen Atwood and Miles Copeland, Sting’s pushy manager. ”Well, I’m sorry, I’m just a peasant, man, but I’m telling you they look boring to me,” Mr. Copeland complains noisily about the backup singers. It’s a scene straight out of ”This Is Spinal Tap.”

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