Qatar is finally getting itself a support deal to help maintain its fleet of US-made F-15QA fighter jets. While the US and Qatar signed a $12bn (€10bn) deal for the purchase of 72 jets back in June, the tension with Saudi Arabia threw the much-needed assistance into question. While President Trump publicly backed Saudi Arabia, others in the government looked to mellow the situation as Qatar is home to Al-Udeid Air Base, a central part of the US air war in Iraq and Syria with some 10,000 US troops stationed there. The State Department has now approved a $1.1bn (€947m) package that will bring new training facilities, hangars and critical support infrastructure, which is an essential sign of commitment between the two countries.
Launching a fashion week – and getting it to stand out on a jam-packed international calendar – is no easy task. But Konrad Olsson and Jonas Bergström have a trick up their perfectly-tailored sleeves. In advance of the first Scandinavian Man fashion week, to be held in Gothenburg next June, the Swedish duo has created a handsome magazine. The first issue of Scandinavian Man, on shelves now, shines a light on the best that Nordic men’s fashion has to offer. The English-language title is filled with striking photography, practical stories (such as a countdown of the best up-and-coming Scandi brands) and longer reads, including a profile on J Lindeberg. “The fashion industry is still very print-oriented and having a magazine is the strongest possible vehicle to help get our message out,” says Olsson. Investing in a quality publication certainly seems like a canny way to build buzz around the upcoming event; will other nascent fashion weeks take a leaf out of Olsson’s magazine and follow suit?
South Korea’s Lotte Group has won approval to build a commercial complex in Chengdu – significant news for the multi-billion dollar conglomerate that was poised to exit China. It is the latest indication of a thawing in trade relations between Seoul and Beijing. Tensions kicked off when former South Korean president Park Geun-hye approved the rollout of the US Thaad missile-defence system on a golf course belonging to Lotte; the company subsequently bore the brunt of Chinese ire. But as one door opens for the company abroad, another door could be about to close at home. Prosecutors are seeking a 10-year jail term against Lotte’s chairman, who stands accused of corruption.
The US president Donald Trump won’t be the only person getting acquainted with Japanese security after landing in Tokyo yesterday. To ensure the safety of first lady Melania Trump and first daughter Ivanka Trump, Tokyo’s Metropolitan Police Department has created a female-only security detail for the very first time. It’s unusual but not an uncommon practice in Asia; former first lady Michelle Obama was protected by a similar unit on some of her visits to the region. For the Trumps, however, the Tokyo squad will be donning sharp black suits with crisp white shirts, making us wonder whether the team has been picked for protection or for PR.
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