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Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia Mohammad bin Salman. Photo: Bandar Algaloud/Saudi Kingdom Council/Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

A court in Saudi Arabia has sentenced five people to death for the killing of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, and three others were sentenced to prison, AP reports.

Why it matters: The Saudis still deny that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman had any knowledge or involvement in the assassination, despite the CIA concluding last year that he gave the order.

  • A UN investigator failed to find a "smoking gun" that explicitly incriminated MBS, but said the mission required "significant government coordination, resources and finances" and recommended a further probe, Axios' Orion Rummler and Rashaan Ayesh reported in June.

The big picture: "The kingdom did not provide the names of those sentenced, but it said that Saud al-Qahtani, a top aide to Prince Mohammed whom the United States imposed sanctions on over the killing, had not been tried because of a lack of evidence against him," the N.Y. Times reports.

Between the lines: The verdicts followed an eye-popping effort by the kingdom this weekend to showcase societal changes: Instagram stars, former Victoria's Secret models and Hollywood actors converged on Riyadh for a three-day concert, per AP.

  • The rave was quite a pivot from just three years ago, when religious police would storm restaurants playing music and harass women in malls for showing their face or wearing red nail polish.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Battle for the soul of a new web

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

A well-funded and intensely motivated chunk of tech's hive mind is finding common cause in a vast new project: rebuilding the web on a foundation of cryptocurrency and blockchain tech. They call it "Web3."

The big picture: Developers, investors and early adopters imagine a future in which the technologies that enable Bitcoin and Ethereum will break up the concentrated power today's tech giants wield and usher in a golden age of individual empowerment and entrepreneurial freedom.

First look: Biden summons top CEOs on supply chain

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

President Biden will meet Monday afternoon with CEOs of big retailers, grocers and consumer-products firms to send this message, according to the White House: Products will be on shelves for holiday shopping.

Zoom out: Black Friday sales rebounded from 2020.

Thanksgiving box office shows theaters have long road to recovery

Photo of Disney's "Encanto;" Credit: Disney

Box office ticket sales over the Thanksgiving holiday show that consumer confidence in moviegoing is slowly improving, but not enough to bring the struggling theater industry back to pre-pandemic levels anytime soon, if ever.

Why it matters: "We may have to temper expectations a bit" for next year, said Comscore senior media analyst Paul Dergarabedian.

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