An unknown (to the general public, anyway) well-wisher has given Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin an unusual gift for his 56th birthday: a two-month-old Ussuri tiger cub. The super-macho Putin invited members of the Russian media to his house on Thursday for a surprise late-night viewing of the cub, snuggled in a tiger-print bed in Putin’s home.


AP via Google News:

He called Russian journalists to his country home late Thursday without telling them why. Past midnight, after asking them “not to make noise, make a clatter or squeal,” Putin ushered the curious journalists into the room where the tiger cub was waiting.

As president and now prime minister, Putin is known for his tough talk and macho image. But children and animals seem to bring out a softer side.

Read more

Wait, before you go…

If you're reading this, you probably already know that non-profit, independent journalism is under threat worldwide. Independent news sites are overshadowed by larger heavily funded mainstream media that inundate us with hype and noise that barely scratch the surface.  We believe that our readers deserve to know the full story. Truthdig writers bravely dig beneath the headlines to give you thought-provoking, investigative reporting and analysis that tells you what’s really happening and who’s rolling up their sleeves to do something about it.

Like you, we believe a well-informed public that doesn’t have blind faith in the status quo can help change the world. Your contribution of as little as $5 monthly or $35 annually will make you a groundbreaking member and lays the foundation of our work.

Support Truthdig