Harry Potter and the Mad Patriarch
Here's a perfect excuse for me to give my pet Harry Potter theory: If and when the remaining three books see the light of day, it will at some point turn out that Harry has a long-lost sibling, who will most likely turn out to be Hermione Granger. Meanwhile, Harry's back in hot water, this time in Russia, where Moscow prosecutors are investigating whether the wildly popular books incite religious hatred. Under Russia's "religious hatred" law, authorities are required to investigate any accusation—in this case a claim came from an unidentified woman that Chamber of Secrets contains "occult propaganda." The investigation may also help publishers of the Russian knockoff "Tanya Grotter" books. (Dig the familiar-looking covers.) More than anything, however, this story illustrates how the Russian Orthodox Church is surging like the Red Army after the Battle of Kursk. The signs of the times vary from the ROC's ability to get immigration authorities to help in its war with the pope to Patriarch Alexy II's visits to the booby hatch.