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They claimed Mr. Mortenson lied in his best-selling books “Three Cups of Tea” and “Stones Into Schools” so that he and publisher Penguin Group (USA) could sell millions of books and raise tens of millions of dollars for the charity Mr. Mortenson co-founded, the Central Asia Institute.

The plaintiffs claimed racketeering, fraud and deceit by Mr. Mortenson, co-author David Oliver Relin, Penguin and Central Asia Institute, saying they conspired to build Mr. Mortenson into a false hero to raise money.

Mr. Haddon wrote in his ruling that their lawsuit fell short because it did not identify the racketeering activity and failed to identify each defendant’s role in the alleged fraud.

“CAI is invigorated with the court’s ruling today. Greg is on his way to Pakistan. Our dual mission continues unabated,” said Anne Beyersdorfer, the charity’s interim executive director.

Opera News Awards given to Sellars, four singers

Director Peter Sellars has won a special award along with four of the world’s best singers.

On Sunday, the prestigious Opera News Awards went to the American theater wiz, and to Russian baritone Dmitri Hvorostovsky, German soprano Anja Silja, Swedish baritone Peter Mattei and Finnish soprano Karita Mattila.

Mr. Sellars said he “took the starch out of the Bugs Bunny version of opera” — with productions like the wrenching story of how the nuclear bomb was created in composer John Adams‘ Grammy Award-winning “Doctor Atomic.”

With his trademark hair shooting straight up, Mr. Sellars accepted the award at Manhattan’s Plaza hotel.

“Nothing in my life prepared me for this ballroom,” the Pittsburgh native deadpanned to the bejeweled fans, including Princess Madeleine of Sweden.

For the seventh year, the opera magazine honored stars of an art form that still expresses today’s emotions, “here and now,” said the director, who once set Wagner in an abandoned American Airlines terminal and Mozart with props including switchblades, guns, and drugs, and waist-up nudity.

Opera, he said, “is the deep end of the pool, where we get real,” and the top singers “take this and transform it into something beautiful … things we care about most.”

Punk pioneer Ian MacKaye gets surprise 50th party

Friends and fans of Washington punk pioneer Ian MacKaye conspired this weekend to throw a surprise 50th birthday party for him.

Mr. MacKaye was the frontman for influential punk bands Minor Threat and Fugazi and co-founded Dischord Records in 1980.

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