Briefly: Great Britain’s Houses of Parliament could close for repairs

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The band tweeted Sunday that the two activists had fled Russia and are “recruiting foreign feminists to prepare new protest actions.”

Italy

Pierre Cardin designs sky scraper for fashion

MILAN — French fashion designer Pierre Cardin has designed a gift meant as an economic catalyst for Venice and the region: an 800-foot-tall glass skyscraper housing a fashion university, luxury hotel suites and shops.

But the proposed $3 billion project faces criticism for the size and appearance of the skyscraper.

The “Palace of Light” has been described alternatively as a spaceship that crashed into a lagoon, a shiny fishing lure or an illuminated mushroom.

To help win over Venetians, Mr. Cardin will open an exhibit on the project Monday at an international architecture exhibition in Venice.

Mr. Cardin, who turned 90 in July, intends the project to be a gift to his native Veneto, the Italian region he left at age 2 to move to France.

United Kingdom

Hackers hit supporter of WikiLeaks founder

LONDON — Hackers claiming allegiance to the Anonymous movement of cyberrebels have defaced the website of a former British Cabinet minister in solidarity with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

But former Wales and Northern Ireland Secretary Peter Hain said Sunday that the attackers don’t seem to have done their homework.

“If the reason is revenge for Assange’s treatment, it’s weird to attack me,” Mr. Hain said in comments carried by the BBC. “They have not done their research because I have supported Assange and opposed his extradition.”

Mr. Assange, whose website outraged U.S. officials with its spectacular leaks of classified data, is wanted in Sweden over allegations of sexual assault against two women he met there in 2010. The nearly two-year effort to extradite him from Britain has drawn worldwide attention, in part because Mr. Assange and his supporters have suggested that the Swedish sex case is a part of a Washington-orchestrated plot to drag him to the United States, where officials are weighing whether to charge him over the disclosures.

The Swedish government — and the women involved — deny the claims.

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