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Justin Bieber performs at Saudi F1 race, despite race activists’ calls for boycott
Justin Bieber performed to a packed crowd in Jiddah, Saudi Arabia, on Dec. 5. The concert took place even as human rights campaigners and activists called on Bieber to cancel his performance to protest the kingdom’s arrests and crackdown of critics.
Only a few years ago, this would have been an unthinkable scene in Saudi Arabia, where ultraconservative norms prevailed. Concerts were banned and unmarried men and women were segregated in public spaces. Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is behind the sweeping changes as he works to modernize society, attract foreign investment and create jobs.
Human Rights Watch has called on celebrities to boycott the kingdom, saying such events are aimed at diverting attention and deflecting scrutiny from Saudi Arabia’s human rights record. (AP)
Johnson’s office apologizes to queen for party
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s office apologized to Queen Elizabeth II on Jan. 14 after it emerged that staff had partied late into the night in Downing Street on April 16, 2021, the eve of Prince Philip’s funeral, at a time when mixing indoors was banned.
Johnson is facing the gravest crisis of his premiership after revelations about a series of social gatherings during COVID-19 lockdowns, some held when ordinary people could not bid farewell in person to dying relatives. (Reuters)
These articles were provided by The Japan Times Alpha.