1. Penalty shoot-out

Morocco has abandoned all subtlety in challenging the US for the right to host the 2026 soccer World Cup. It highlights its low murder rate and its "very low gun circulation" in its campaign for the tournament — in the midst of a US national discussion about gun control.

However, the quality of the bids differs vastly. The most appealing feature of the bid from the US — which seeks to co-host the event with Canada and Mexico — is that it won’t need to build any stadiums. Morocco will need to build nine new stadiums and another five would require considerable upgrades.

2. Tit-for-tat expulsions

The US will join governments in Europe in punishing Russia for a nerve-agent attack on a former Russian spy in Britain that has been blamed on Moscow.

It plans to expel 60 Russian diplomats, after more than 20 other Western allies expelled diplomats in a show of support.

Russia says it will retaliate in kind.

3. Cannes cans Netflix

Will the decision to ban Netflix from competing in the Cannes Film Festival backfire? Festival head Thierry Frémaux says Netflix refuses to release its films in theatres, and has chosen instead to debut its films on its streaming service. This contravenes the festival’s rules.

But Netflix is gaining popularity with film makers who are choosing it over traditional distributors. And if that trend continues, Cannes — which is already seen to be resisting digital advances — won’t be the only loser.

The festival will also blacklist selfies taken by members of the audience on the red carpet.

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