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Digital Subscriptions > Newsweek International > 15th June 2018 > The Block Is Hot

The Block Is Hot

JALALABAD, AFGHANISTAN

A man takes a muchneeded dip on May 30. The temperature in the city reached 108 degrees Fahrenheit, which is normal

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WILL RUSSIA'S WORLD CUP GAMBIT PAY OFF? Vladimir Putin kept a watchful eye on a black-and-white soccer ball as it soared toward him through a spacious Kremlin office, before he deftly bumped it back with his head. On the other side of the room, Gianni Infantino, the president of FIFA, soccer’s international governing body, waited for the return pass. When it came, he flicked the ball up, juggling it from foot to foot before kicking it back to the Russian president. The two men, both dressed in suits and ties, were taking part in a promotional video for this summer’s World Cup, which Russia will host for the first time. Russia hopes the World Cup will help improve its international image. The Kremlin’s enemies may have other plans.