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Saudi Arabia Almost Had a Fashion Week

Saudi Arabia Almost Had a Fashion Week LONDON — Business class plane tickets and five-star hotel rooms had been booked for scores of guests. The dazzling eco-friendly Apex Center in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, designed by the architect Zaha Hadid, had been chosen as a site. And a four-day schedule, featuring local Arab designers and European brand names including Roberto Cavalli and Jean Paul Gaultier, had been confirmed for weeks.
Then last Friday, just three days before an opening-night gala was to celebrate Saudi Arabia’s first fashion week, the event was abruptly postponed.
Some observers blamed widespread issues stemming from Western models and journalists unsuccessfully trying to secure travel visas in the run-up to the shows. Others whispered of a pushback from more conservative government officials against some members of the Saudi royal family who were more supportive of bringing fashion catwalks to one of the most conservative countries in the world.
Either way, over the weekend, n..

Sarkozy to Face Trial in Influence-Peddling Case in France

Sarkozy to Face Trial in Influence-Peddling Case in France Photo Nicolas Sarkozy, France’s president from 2007 to 2012, is facing legal threats on multiple fronts. Credit Jeff Pachoud/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images PARIS — Former President Nicolas Sarkozy of France has been ordered to stand trial on charges of corruption and influence-peddling in connection with accusations that he tried to illegally obtain confidential information from a magistrate several years ago, a French judicial official said Thursday.
It was another legal blow for Mr. Sarkozy, who served from 2007 to 2012 and has stayed in the background of French politics even amid the recurring headlines of his judicial entanglements. He has already been ordered to stand trial in another case, involving the financing of his failed campaign for re-election in 2012.
Mr. Sarkozy, one of his lawyers and a former magistrate have all been ordered to stand trial on charges of active corruption and influence-peddling, the judici..

Afghan Hunger Strikers Demand Cease-Fire: ‘Our Blood Is Finished’

Afghan Hunger Strikers Demand Cease-Fire: ‘Our Blood Is Finished’ Photo An attack on a crowd leaving a wrestling match in Lashkar Gah, Afghanistan, on Friday killed at least 14 and wounded more than 40, including many children. Peace protesters have camped near the site. Credit Abdul Khaliq/Associated Press KABUL, Afghanistan — Within 24 hours of a recent suicide bombing in Helmand Province, which added at least 14 names to the long list of the dead in a bitterly contested corner of Afghanistan, a group of local activists began a sit-in at the site of the carnage.
In their moment of anger and sorrow, they asked not for revenge, but for peace.
Over the following days, mothers and fathers of victims came to pour out their hearts and to support the protest, in a tent pitched near the field in the provincial capital, Lashkar Gah, where last week a suicide bomber drove a car full of explosives into a crowd leaving a wrestling match. Emboldened, the protest organizers announced a “long march..