Newcastle United has given its brand and image to a ruthless regime led by a brutal dictator, the organization established by slain columnist Jamal Khashoggi said on Thursday night, following the football club’s takeover by a Saudi-led consortium. While there was joy in Newcastle after the Premier League confirmed the £300 million deal had been completed, with fans hoping that the new owners would spark a revival in the club’s fortunes, multiple human rights organizations denounced the acquisition, saying it would allow Saudi Arabia to “sportswash” its crimes on the international stage.
Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz and his close associates have been accused in a massive corruption probe that threatens to usher in a new era of political turmoil in the Alpine country. According to an emailed statement from anti-corruption prosecutors, offices at Kurz’s Chancellery and numerous other sites were searched on Wednesday.
Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy has been sentenced to a second prison term after being found guilty of illicit campaign funding for his unsuccessful 2012 re-election campaign’s massive, showman-style political rallies. The 66-year-old, who remains a powerful figure on the French right, was sentenced to one year in prison, which the court said may be served under home arrest by wearing an electronic ankle bracelet.