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Cover of June Vogue Arabia

Women in Saudi Arabia will be legally allowed to drive on June 24, and Vogue Arabia is marking the sea change with its June cover featuring Saudi princess Hayfa Bint Abdullah Al Saud behind the wheel.

Yes, but: The glowing cover contrasts with the Saudi administration's continued crackdown on women's rights activism. Human Rights Watch reports that at least 11 activists have been arrested in Saudi Arabia since mid-May.

What they're saying: Critics blasted the cover as tone-deaf to the actual forces for change in Saudi Arabia, while the magazine says it is a celebration of progressive changes in the country.

The criticism
  • Husain Abdulla, the executive director of Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain, tells NPR.
"It obscures the monarchy's long-standing violations of women's rights and freedoms in Saudi Arabia, and steals credit from the trailblazing women who have campaigned ceaselessly since the 1990s for equal rights — and who the government just locked up."
  • Middle East reporter Osha Mahmoud tweets:
A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.
  • Says Fatima Saied, president of the Muslim Women's Organization of Central Florida, to NPR: "To ignore the plight of the women activists being detained at this moment, and to ignore all of the rights that are still being infringed upon by the Saudi regime, paints an inaccurate picture."
Vogue Arabia's explanation

Editor-in-chief Manuel Arnaut says in an emailed statement to the New York Times:

"Overall, I firmly believe we fulfilled our mission: Saudi Arabia, its women, and its issues are being widely debated by the world. It is an incredible moment for the region — of drastic changes and adjustments — and I’m proud that Vogue Arabia is an active voice in this debate."

And on the publication's website:

"Vogue Arabia celebrates the exciting and progressive changes transforming the Kingdom and, by ripple effect, our region."

Go deeper

Updated 47 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Bill Clinton hospitalized for non-COVID-related infection

Former President Bill Clinton. Photo: Win McNamee/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Former President Bill Clinton was admitted to the University of California, Irvine Medical Center on Tuesday for a non-COVID-related infection, his spokesperson Angel Ureña said Thursday.

The latest: In an update on Friday, Ureña said Clinton's health indicators are "trending in the right direction, including his white blood count which has decreased significantly."

Tina Reed, author of Vitals
6 hours ago - Health

FDA panel endorses shot of J&J booster for adults

Photo: Wolfgang Kumm/picture alliance via Getty Images)

Members of the Food and Drug Administration's vaccine expert panel on Friday unanimously endorsed a booster shot for adult recipients of Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine at least two months after the initial dose.

Why it matters: The advisory committee raised concerns about a dearth of data to support their decision but ultimately decided to support an additional shot for those over 18.

Capitol Police officer indicted for obstructing Jan. 6 investigation

Trump supporters clash with police and security forces as people try to storm the Capitol on Jan. 6. Photo: Brent Stirton/Getty Images

A U.S. Capitol Police officer has been indicted on obstruction of justice charges for allegedly helping hide evidence of a participant's involvement in the Jan. 6 riot.

Driving the news: Officer Michael A. Riley, 50, is accused of telling the unidentified participant, referred to as "Person 1," in the Jan. 6 riot to delete posts from Facebook, which showed them in the Capitol during the attack.

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