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story.lead_photo.caption Nicki Minaj

Nicki Minaj is pulling out of a concert in Saudi Arabia because she says she wants to show support for women's rights, gay rights and freedom of expression. "After careful reflection I have decided to no longer move forward with my scheduled concert at Jeddah World Fest. While I want nothing more than to bring my show to fans in Saudi Arabia, after better educating myself on the issues, I believe it is important for me to make clear my support for the rights of women, the LGBTQ community and freedom of expression," Minaj said in a statement Tuesday. Minaj was scheduled to headline the concert July 18. The Human Rights Foundation issued a statement last week, calling for Minaj and other performers to pull out of the show. In Saudi Arabia, gender segregation between single men and women is still enforced in many restaurants, coffee shops, public schools and universities, but other rules have loosened, with women now allowed to drive and attend events in sports stadiums. Jeddah World Fest, which in line with Saudi laws, is alcohol and drug-free, is open to people 16 and older and will take place at the King Abdullah Sports Stadium. Other performers include former One Direction member Liam Payne and DJ-producer Steve Aoki. Saudi organizers said the concert will be broadcast globally. The kingdom is also promising quick electronic visas for international visitors who want to attend. Over the past several months, the kingdom has seen performances by Mariah Carey, Enrique Iglesias, the Black Eyed Peas, Sean Paul, David Guetta and Tiesto. That's a stark change from when Saudi morality police would raid establishments that played loud music.

• Arizona State University is awarding its 2019 Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Journalism to NBC anchor Lester Holt. The university's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication announced Tuesday that Holt will receive the award Nov. 4 in Phoenix. Holt has anchored NBC's flagship Nightly News broadcast since 2015, after eight years as anchor of the newscast's weekend edition and 12 years as co-anchor of Weekend Today. Cronkite dean Christopher Callahan called Holt "a fantastic role model for our students and all journalists for his insightful, caring, fact-based journalism and stories that focus on the impact of major news events on everyday Americans." The university's School of Journalism and Mass Communication was named in Cronkite's honor in 1984. The famed CBS News anchor died in 2009.

Photo by Invision/AP file photo
In this May 2, 2018, file photo, Lester Holt, the anchor of "NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt," poses during the 2018 NBCUniversal Summer Press Day in Universal City, Calif.

A Section on 07/10/2019

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