Russia arrests another ex-governor. Mikhail Men: an unremarkable lawmaker, but a prominent bureaucrat and a lasting administrator

Acting with special permission from the Federation Council, state investigators arrested Mikhail Men on Wednesday, November 18, on charges of embezzling 700 million rubles ($9.2 million) from the Ivanovo region, where he served as governor from 2005 to 2013. The ex-head of Russia’s Construction Industry, Housing, and Utilities Sector Ministry, the son of a famous priest, and currently an auditor for Russia’s Accounts Chamber, Men isn’t expected to spend long in jail, an anonymous source told the news agency Interfax. Instead, detectives reportedly plan to ask a judge to release him on his own recognizance. Meduza reviews Mr. Men’s eventful biography.

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The secret to a lasting blow-dry? Dry shampoo

The lowdown Feeling in need of a hair boost before going to a lunch meeting, I am making a beeline for The Blow On The Go at Sephora for a quick dry-styling session. There are seven options to choose from: The Mane Event – a bouncy blow-out with volume at the crown and a flick at the ends; Rich Girl Hair – smooth, glossy S-bend waves finished with straight ends; Give It To Me Straight – fuss-free, poker-straight, glossy hair; Baby Got Beach – big, bold waves with lots of tousled texture; The Glitterati – minimal height at the crown with bendy hair twists; Va Va Voom – side-swept hair with loads of volume; and finally The Duchess – lots of texture and big weighty curls. I go for The Mane Event. My stylist spritzes on a heat protectant, runs a blow-dryer over my hair and then gets to work with some precision tonging.

Tantrix Self Tanning Mousse, $30.
Credit:Jennifer Soo

Downtime Twenty minutes.

Results My curtain fringe has the perfect flick and my fine hair has oodles of texture.

Where to get it See for Melbourne and Sydney locations. Cost: short hair, $30; long hair, $40.

At home To keep a blow-dry looking fresh, try spraying a dry shampoo at the roots and tousling them. We love Klorane Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk, (, $15).

St Tropez Self Tan Purity Vitamins, $25.

St Tropez Self Tan Purity Vitamins, $25.Credit:Jennifer Soo

Trend: Fake tans

The only safe tan is a fake one and the latest newcomers are a breeze to apply. First, exfoliate well. When your skin is completely dry, moisturise dry spots such as ankles, elbows, knuckles and knees. And remember to always use a mitt for even application.

Add to Cart

For great high hair, try GHD’s Rise Volumising Hot Brush (, $280). Its 5mm nylon bristles create dramatic root lift at an optimum styling temperature of 185C. Use on dry hair to create beach waves, Farrah Fawcett flicks (a personal favourite) or casual curl.

GHD’s Rise Volumising Hot Brush.

GHD’s Rise Volumising Hot Brush.Credit:Jennifer Soo

Ask Steph

What is the best way to burn a candle?

First, tidy the wick with a wick trimmer or nail scissors to give a cleaner, brighter burn and prevent those nasty smoky stains that can end up on your walls. Once the candle is lit, don’t blow it out until the wax has melted all the way across the surface; this way the candle will burn down flat and evenly.

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‘Maybe Babies’ mothers’ group evolves into lasting friendships for Adelaide women

Seven years ago, a group of nine pregnant women met in an antenatal class at Adelaide’s North Eastern Community Hospital.

Now, with a combined 22 children between them, the mothers group — who call themselves the “Maybe Babies”, as they were all due to give birth in May 2013 — is still close.

The group meets at least once per fortnight and continues to celebrate milestones in their own personal lives as well as their children’s lives.

There are many benefits in joining a mothers group, including peer and social support, and most importantly, social interaction that experts say is protective against postnatal depression.

The Maybe Babies group back in 2014.(Supplied: Michelle Petkovic)

North Eastern Community Hospital’s gynaecologist and obstetrician Valerie Thompson said it was important for new mothers to be a part of a group as it provided social support.

“In the early months and days, it is a very big adjustment,” Ms Thompson said.

“Social support is really important because it can protect against postnatal depression and PND is really common.”

Louise Cameron
Louise Cameron with her three-month-old son Oscar and three-year-old son Harrison.(ABC News: Michael Clements)

Three-month-old Oscar Cameron is the youngest child in the group.

“I mean we went from the newborn stage to the terrible-twos, we sent all of our kids off to school last year, so going through all of those experiences together is just fantastic,” said his mother Louise Cameron.

“It’s very daunting when you leave the hospital and you come home with a newborn baby, and you know you’re not going to know everything, but when you’re in a mums group with eight or nine other girls sharing resources and information it’s just really nice.”

Robyn Curtis
Robyn Curtis with son Eli, 7, and four-year-old daughter Anna.(ABC News: Michael Clements)

Robyn Curtis said they “all clicked”.

“Seven years later here we are,” she said.

The children have also formed special bonds.

“We have lots of friends to play with,” said Eli Curtis, 7.

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why France-Turkey cartoon row could leave lasting impact

A French official familiar with policy towards Turkey said that in the light of the events of the past few weeks: “The question of sanctions is going to be raised.”

EU leaders have already said that if Turkey fails to de-escalate tensions in the eastern Mediterranean by December 10, sanctions would follow, though there is no draft proposal yet.

French President Emmanuel Macron.Credit:AP

The latest dispute flared after a French teacher who showed pupils cartoons of the Prophet published in the French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo was beheaded in France last month.

The French government, backed by many citizens, saw it as an attack on freedom of speech. Macron vowed to redouble efforts to stop conservative Islamic beliefs subverting French values.

Erdogan accused Macron of an anti-Islamic agenda and said he needed a mental health check. Western countries mocking Islam, he said, want to “relaunch the Crusades”.

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says French President Emmanuel Macron needs a "mental health check" over his tough stance on radical Islam.

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says French President Emmanuel Macron needs a “mental health check” over his tough stance on radical Islam. Credit:Turkish Presidency/AP

At root, Franco-Turkish ties soured because of rival strategic interests, analysts and officials say.

Ankara has growing influence in Syria, north Africa and the eastern Mediterranean, while Macron is the most outspoken defender of European interests in those places.

The rivalry has spilled into personal clashes before.

In August 2017, three months after he became president, Macron told an interviewer that having to talk to Erdogan was one reason being head of state was not as “cool” as people thought.


The comment caused “big disappointment and shock” in Erdogan’s entourage, said one senior Turkish official.

“The President chose to directly convey his discontent over the comment to Macron himself,” the official said.

Then, in March 2018, Macron met a delegation including the Syrian Kurdish YPG, a group designated by Turkey as a terrorist organisation but viewed by Western powers as an ally against Islamic State in Syria.

Erdogan publicly accused France of abetting terrorism. A source close to the Turkish leader said Macron’s stance on the Kurds “causes tensions both in some face-to-face meetings and phone calls.”

Fraught meeting

French officials grew frustrated by Turkey’s actions in Syria, accusing it of backing radical Islamists among the rebels fighting President Bashar al-Assad, a charge Ankara denied.

When they objected, French officials said, Turkey hinted it could send Syrian refugees toward Europe’s borders, jeopardising a deal with the EU to stem the flow of migrants into Europe in return for billions of euros in aid.

Erdogan repeatedly threatened, in public speeches, to “open the gates” for Syrian refugees. A second French official said Macron’s team viewed such threats as attempted blackmail.


By the time Erdogan and Macron met at a NATO summit in July 2018, relations were particularly low.

Delegation members had fraught exchanges and eventually all officials were sent out, apart from interpreters, so Erdogan and Macron could talk man to man, the second French official said.

But there was no thaw. “It’s a cold relationship,” said the French official. Asked for their account of the meeting, Turkish officials did not comment.

In November 2019, Macron told an interviewer NATO was experiencing “brain death” because a member state, Turkey, was going against alliance interests in the Middle East. In response, Erdogan said Macron should check if he was brain dead.


After that, said a French diplomat, “there was a deterioration in relations.”

The two leaders nonetheless kept open lines of communication. Phone conversations were civil, according to the French diplomat. Macron’s team distinguished Erdogan’s public rhetoric, which they felt was to shore up his domestic support, and his real intentions, the diplomat said.

But the rhetoric of recent weeks has reached an unprecedented low.

The French president decided not to reciprocate to Erdogan’s latest comments, the first French official said, because personal insults were undignified.

While world leaders sent Macron text messages offering condolences on the killing of the teacher, none were sent to Macron on Erdogan’s behalf, the official said.

Macron’s predecessor as president, Francois Hollande, had frequent interactions with Erdogan while he was in office and compared him to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“Erdogan is a nationalist orator who, like Putin, is capable of flying off the handle,” Hollande told Reuters.

“In a month or two, if he needs to, he will speak to Macron, but it remains to be seen if Macron will let him do that without consequences.”


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Flipping houses – If a Democratic wave breaks over state elections, its effects will be lasting | United States

MOST AMERICANS do not know who their state representatives are. Only 12% could correctly name them in a Co-operative Congressional Election Study from Harvard in 2018. But on a recent Saturday when Janet Diaz, who is running for Pennsylvania’s state Senate, knocked on doors belonging to Democratic-leaning households with (her data suggested) patchy voting records, the looks were not as blank as normal. Some even recognised her.

If elected, Ms Diaz would be the first Democrat to win the district since the 1870s. The 13th state Senate district, which stretches from Lancaster and its suburbs to rolling farmland, is probably the most fought-over race in a fought-over state. Our modelling suggests that Pennsylvania is the state most likely to determine who wins the White House. It is also one of the states the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee (DLCC) is trying to flip.

Democrats need nine seats to win control of Pennsylvania’s state House and have a shot at winning the Senate, too. The DLCC is spending a record $50m in 13 states including Arizona, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Texas. Other left-leaning groups, such as the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, headed by Eric Holder, Barack Obama’s attorney-general, are also spending heavily.

The Democrats have been trying to catch up since 2010, when they were outspent, outsmarted and lost control of 21 chambers. During Mr Obama’s two terms, Democrats lost around 1,000 of the 4,000-odd state seats they held in 2009 (there are 7,383 in all). This cost them not only control of the policy agenda but also, in many states, control of the power to draw congressional-district boundaries.

A decade later Democrats control 39 out of 98 chambers (not counting Nebraska’s unicameral, non-partisan legislature) and have regained 450 of those lost seats. On the watch of Jessica Post, head of the DLCC, they have taken ten state-legislative chambers and made inroads in North Carolina and Texas. They are unlikely to match the Republicans’ success in 2010, but only because they have already won the easiest targets. At stake, once again, is control over redistricting. David Abrams of the Republican State Leadership Committee says this means “there’s a decade of power hanging in the balance” on November 3rd.

In addition to Pennsylvania, other states to watch include Arizona, which has not had a Democratic chamber in more than 40 years and where the party needs only two seats to flip the House and three to take the Senate. The Texas House needs nine seats to change hands. Mark Jones of Rice University judges that Donald Trump’s name at the top of the ticket “has put the Texas House in play”.

It is not just the scale of spending which is unusual. Run for Something, a political-action committee, has recruited 62,000 young Democrats to stand for office, with 500 on the ballot next week. Rita Bosworth, a founder of the Sister District Project, which pairs volunteers with swing districts, points to Colorado as an example of the difference that candidate recruitment can make. Her group helped secure a Democratic clean-sweep there in 2018. In June Colorado’s lawmakers passed broad police reforms. The opportunity for more of that is on the ballot, too.

Dig deeper:
Read the best of our 2020 campaign coverage and explore our election forecasts, then sign up for Checks and Balance, our weekly newsletter and podcast on American politics.

This article appeared in the United States section of the print edition under the headline “Flipping houses”

Reuse this contentThe Trust Project

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Daniel Ricciardo keen to leave lasting mark on Renault F1 boss Cyril Abiteboul as tattoo bet revealed

“This has really broken out now,” he laughed. “That’s the bet … we will clear that up but it is a tattoo, and he does not have any so it’s a big deal for Cyril.

“I feel it’ll be something probably a little spontaneous, spur of the moment, but it’s going to be something funny like when he looks at it he shakes his head.

Renault boss Cyril Abiteboul could find himself with some interesting ink.

Renault boss Cyril Abiteboul could find himself with some interesting ink.Credit:Getty Images

“And it’s like ‘Ah, remember those times.’ Yeah, one of those ones.”

Ricciardo is leaving Renault, currently sixth overall, at the end of the season for rivals McLaren – which would make the tattoo even more painful for Abiteboul.


The driver last stood on the podium when he won the Monaco Grand Prix with Red Bull in 2018. He also finished fourth for Renault in Italy last September and said he would be disappointed not to make it this year if the chance came.

“I do want to stand back up there and be delivered a trophy on a robot or whatever they’re doing now,” he said, referring to the COVID-19 protocols that keep the drivers apart on the podium.

“I miss that, and I’ll probably get a fine for drinking out of my shoe but it will be worth it.”

Ricciardo is also known for his “shoey” celebrations, drinking the podium champagne from a sweaty boot.

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‘It’s been 19 weeks now’: COVID-19 ‘long-hauler’ describes her lasting symptoms

An Ontario woman says she’s been living with COVID-19 symptoms for 19 weeks, and she’s sharing her story in hopes of warning others about possible long-term side effects of the virus.

Susie Goulding, a self-described “long-hauler” from Oakville, Ont. said she is among many Canadians who have contracted the virus and continue to exhibit symptoms for months, even after testing negative.

Goulding said she became ill in March after attending a yearly examination at a hospital. Two days after her appointment, she noticed a mild sore throat, but after five days her symptoms became more severe.

“When I woke up on the fifth day it was a completely different story, it was anything but mild,” she told CTV News Channel on Saturday.

While some patients only suffer from a few symptoms, Goulding said she experienced dozens of side effects including sinus issues, loss of taste, shortness of breath and a dry cough — all symptoms linked to COVID-19, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada.

“It felt like a big lump was in my throat and I was having a lot of trouble swallowing. My throat felt like it was paralyzed,” Goulding said.

On June 2, months after she first fell ill, she was tested for COVID-19 and her results came back negative. She was told by her doctor that she most likely had the virus at some point, given her symptoms.

Still, her unusual symptoms persisted. Perplexed by her pervasive illness, Goulding went online and found other people like her with similar experiences. 

These days, Goulding said she continues to see developments in her symptoms. More recently, she said her symptoms have affected her brain function.

“The symptoms I’m having now are very neurological where I’m having difficulty speaking, putting sentences together, brain foggy, dizziness, tachycardia, and it’s ongoing.”

Goulding created a Facebook group for other long-haulers like her in hopes of offering each other support. The group now has more than 1,000 members. 

Goulding said anyone who isn’t following public health guidelines should read the stories of other “long-haulers” and change their attitude. 

“There are young people, marathon runners, people of all ages that are suffering debilitating symptoms that don’t seem to go away, and it may make you second think what you’re doing out there. We have to be vigilant, we have to wear masks, social distance and stay safe,” she said.

While there is no clear medical answer for why some people experience symptoms longer than others, experts have suggested it could be due to an abnormal reaction of the immune system or related to underlying health conditions. 

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Charities warn school closures could have lasting impact on neediest children – Channel 4 News

More councils have expressed concern about the phased reopening of schools in England.

The government wants to begin re-opening in stages from 1 June. Currently schools are only open for the children of key workers and the vulnerable, with millions being schooled at home.

Meanwhile charities have warned that prolonged school closures could have a lasting impact on some of the neediest children.

How are kids coping at home? Ayshah Tull reports.

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