(Image: Private Media)

Putin up a fight Vladimir Putin has completed his first major summit outside Russia since the invasion of Ukraine. While there is ongoing controversy about just how badly the invasion is going for Russia -- Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has had to fire top officials from his security service on suspicions of collaborating with Russia -- footage has emerged that gives some indication of just how adrift Russia is in world affairs:

https://twitter.com/Joyce_Karam/status/1549487286966009858

At a press conference with Turkish leader and fellow "strongman" Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Putin is left waiting in front of the cameras, visibly uncomfortable, for nearly a minute before Erdogan arrives. This is not an accident -- the footage is shot by the Turkish government's news agency, and includes close-ups of Putin. Apart from their current disagreements over the blockade of Ukrainian grain and the possibility this represented payback for a similar humiliation Putin put Erdogan through back in 2020, who remembers the last time a world leader was emboldened to treat Putin this way publicly?

Mask slip It's a mini-trend you may have caught via TikTok, Instagram or, if you're more like me, Twitter two weeks later when a friend sends it to you: a rap originally done by pioneer in the journalism of cringe Louis Theroux on a 2000 episode of his show Weird Weekends was remixed, put to a bunch of fun dances, remixed again, put to more dances and so on. But in our age, things cannot simply be fun viral content -- an agent of the state has to get involved and, in so doing, kill the moment dead. In this case, it's the NSW government putting a bullet the head of this craze with their video encouraging people in the state to mask up: