Russian President Vladimir Putin engaged in a two-hour interview with former Fox News host Tucker Carlson at the Kremlin.
Putin’s message was clear: he called on the United States to enter negotiations and agree to cede Ukrainian territory to Russia in order to end the ongoing conflict, marking his most direct appeal to American sensibilities since the invasion commenced two years ago.
Ep. 73 The Vladimir Putin Interview pic.twitter.com/67YuZRkfLL
— Tucker Carlson (@TuckerCarlson) February 8, 2024
During the interview, Putin departed from his usual rhetoric, emphasising that he envisions the resolution of the Ukraine crisis not through military victory, but through diplomatic negotiations with the West.
He underscored the necessity of dialogue, indicating that Russia is prepared to engage in discussions to end the war, asserting that the Western powers have realised that Russia cannot be defeated militarily.
Responding to Carlson’s inquiry about the possibility of NATO accepting Russian control over parts of Ukraine, Putin urged Western leaders to contemplate dignified solutions, suggesting that options exist if there is a genuine willingness to negotiate.
This interview, conducted on Tuesday, marked Putin’s first engagement with a Western media outlet since the onset of the conflict in Ukraine and his first with an American outlet since 2021.
The Kremlin’s decision to select Carlson for the interview was attributed to the perception that traditional Western media outlets exhibit a biased stance towards Russia.
While Putin typically espouses Russia as a defender of traditional values against what he perceives as a declining West, he adopted a more measured tone during the interview, acknowledging the pragmatic nature of Western society and its achievements in various fields.
Putin’s appearance on Carlson’s show underscores his strategic confidence amidst a backdrop of vulnerability for his adversaries.
With Ukraine facing challenges on the battlefield and further military aid stalled in the US Congress, Putin appears emboldened, particularly with the rise of Kremlin-friendly politicians, including former President Donald Trump, who is currently a leading contender for the Republican presidential nomination.
Global markets hit record highs all thanks to AI
Is AI the main contributor behind the soaring markets in Australia, the US, Japan, and Germany?
Financial markets worldwide have witnessed record highs, creating a wave of optimism among investors.
The surge is attributed to a combination of positive economic indicators, policy developments, and the integration of AI across key economies, including Australia, the United States, Japan, and Germany. #ticker today #featured
Dune Part 2 sets box office ablaze with $178m worldwide
As “Dune: Part Two” continues its intergalactic journey on the silver screen, director Denis Villeneuve’s epic sequel has ignited the international box office, amassing a stellar $97 million from 71 overseas markets.
This impressive overseas performance has propelled the film’s global tally to a promising $178.5 million, further solidifying its status as a cinematic force to be reckoned with.
Starring powerhouse talents such as Timothée Chalamet and Zendaya, “Dune: Part Two” has captured the imagination of audiences worldwide, earning widespread acclaim and enthusiastic support.
The film’s success in North American theaters, where it secured the biggest domestic opening weekend of the year with $81.5 million, has been complemented by robust ticket sales in international territories.
The immense popularity of “Dune: Part Two” has been particularly evident in premium large formats, such as Imax, which accounted for 48% of initial sales, driving up the film’s revenue even further. Mary Parent, producer of “Dune,” remarked on the film’s cultural impact, expressing confidence in its longevity at the box office.
Despite facing challenges due to the hefty production and promotional costs—reportedly totaling $190 million and $100 million respectively—the sequel has already demonstrated its box office prowess, surpassing expectations in its initial run.
With a global audience eagerly embracing the continuation of Frank Herbert’s epic saga, “Dune: Part Two” is poised for a successful box office run.
The film’s international debut marks a significant milestone in Villeneuve’s career, achieving the largest opening weekend in all 71 markets—a testament to its universal appeal. Notable highlights include the United Kingdom, where it earned $11.8 million, as well as France ($9.6 million), Germany ($9.1 million), Korea ($6.9 million), and Australia ($6 million).
With upcoming releases in key markets such as China and Japan, “Dune: Part Two” is poised to further bolster its global box office performance.
Can’t beat ’em, buy ’em – Will Apple buy an EV maker next?
Tesla’s competitors, including Rivian, Lucid, and Fisker, find themselves grappling with significant challenges, sparking speculation about potential acquisitions and partnerships within the industry.
Rivian, once hailed as a formidable rival to Tesla, has faced a stark reversal of fortunes.
Following a disappointing quarter and outlook, the company announced a workforce reduction of approximately 10%, while its market capitalization plummeted from a peak of $153 billion in 2021 to $11 billion.
Speculation arose about tech giant Apple considering an acquisition of Rivian, with industry experts citing the company’s low valuation as a potential attraction.
Gene Munster, managing partner of Deepwater Asset Management, suggested that Apple, having recently abandoned its own EV project, might view Rivian as an opportunity to enter the EV market.
Apple’s bad luck
While Apple’s history of acquisitions has been relatively conservative, Munster emphasized the potential significance of such a move for the tech giant.
Meanwhile, Tesla CEO Elon Musk offered a grim assessment of Rivian’s prospects, highlighting the urgency for cost-cutting measures and operational improvements. Musk’s remarks underscored the precarious position facing Rivian as it navigates through challenging market conditions.
In a similar vein, Lucid Motors has experienced a substantial decline in its market capitalization, dropping from a peak of $91.4 billion to $7.6 billion.
The company’s production targets have been revised downwards significantly, leading to speculation about its future viability. Despite rumors of a potential acquisition by Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund, no such deal has materialized, leaving Lucid to confront its operational and financial hurdles independently.
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