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BELGRADE, SERBIA — Salma Hayek took her time looking though the racks at Supermarket, Belgrade’s first concept fashion store. The Mexican-born actress was in the Serbian capital in 2013 filming a thriller and on a free day she decided to peruse what the store, which focuses much of its collection on Serbian designers, had to offer. “She came in and asked if this was a spot for Serbian designers,” said Slavko Marković, the founder of Supermarket. “We told her it was and she started shopping. She was very studious, going from one piece to another, really examining the [collection.]” In the end, Ms Hayek purchased 10 items, including a pair of trousers by designer Marina Mićanović, two skirts by Super Rumenka by Dejana Stanojević and a dress by Jelena Stefanović. Read more

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LONDON — While Poland currently has one of the lower crime rates in the European Union, the country appears to be in the midst of a crime obsession — at least of the fictional variety.

According to the crime writer Irek Grin — who is the director of Wroclaw’s International Festival of Crime Fiction (Miedzynarodowy Festiwal Kryminalu) — in 2003, only four Polish thrillers were released, while last year 112 crime novels were published. Read more

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LONDON –Sitting cross-legged on the floor in his consultation room, optometrist Viren Jani rifles through a large antique gentleman’s case. “Here they are – look at that design,” he enthuses, pulling out an oversized pair of 1986 Christian Lacroix thick, black frames (£3,500). They are flat across the top and rounded from the hinges, with gold detailing on the front sides. “When I see something like this, it thrills me.” Read more

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SUVA, Fiji — For most people Fiji means fun in the sun and aesthetically pleasing water bottles.

The reality for nearly 1 million Fijians, however, has been far less idyllic.

Racial tensions simmer. Corruption and endemic instability have led to four coups since independence from Britain in 1970. The current prime minister, Commodore Josaia Voreqe “Frank” Bainimarama, declared martial law in 2009, after taking power in a 2006 putsch.

Recently, however, things have begun to change for the better. Read more

Originally published in fDi magazine February/March 2012

Larry Claunch probably has one of the world’s most breathtaking commutes into work. The American businessman, who moved to Fiji 10 years ago and owns four islands in the northern reaches of country, flies several times a month by private seaplane over the exquisite greenish-blue tropical waters for business meetings on Fiji’s main island, Viti Levu. While Mr. Claunch openly admits he loathes leaving his tropical island paradise for long periods of time, he’s pretty excited for the casino license that his company, One Hundred Sands, was granted by the Fijian government last December. It is the first gaming license the government has given and it means One Hundred Sands will hold the exclusive rights to operate up to three casino gaming facilities in two locations. The $290 million (Fijian) investment will break ground in March on Denarau Island—close to the country’s main airport in Nadi—and will include 2,700 square meters of casino space, 500 slot machines, 57 game tables and an exclusive 160 square meters high stakes gaming area. The luxury property—at the end of island that is also home to exclusive hotels like Sofitel, Hilton and Westin—will also include 190 hotel rooms and villas, a 1500 seat conference space, an outdoor amphitheatre, two pools, two bars and a nightclub. A second phase of the resort will add an extra 200 hotel rooms, golf course apartments and a themed water park. Read more