Monday/ a gilded cage

I have only stayed in two Ritz-Carltons ever: the one in Cancun, Mexico, and the one in Gangzhou, China (where I took this picture in 2011. It was the cover of the trash can, for a file folder. Everything in the room was made into a work of art).

There’s something big going down in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Saturday night saw the arrest of dozens of people, at least 11 of whom were princes, including the billionaire investor Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, as part of a ‘corruption crackdown’.

Observers see the crackdown as a consolidation of power by the country’s young crown prince (age 32), Mohammed bin Salman. And the New York Times notes that the six-year old Ritz-Carlton in Riyadh is used as a ‘gilded cage’ to confine former government ministers, prominent businessmen and members of the royal family. Surely it is the world’s most luxurious jail.  (Can I be locked up there for a week? .. and with room service and an internet connection, of course.  Right now the hotel’s website says all telephone lines and internet access are temporarily suspended).

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