Tuesday, October 16, 2018
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Pompeo to meet Saudi crown prince on missing journalist

16 Oct 2018 | 5:06 PM

RIYADH: US top diplomat Mike Pompeo held talks with Saudi King Salman on Tuesday seeking answers about the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, amid US media reports the kingdom may be mulling an admission he died during a botched interrogation.

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Riyadh, October 16

US top diplomat Mike Pompeo held talks with Saudi King Salman on Tuesday seeking answers about the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, amid US media reports the kingdom may be mulling an admission he died during a botched interrogation.

“Rogue killers” could be to blame for the disappearance of Khashoggi, who has not been seen since he walked into the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2 to sort out marriage paperwork, US President Donald Trump said after telephone talks with the king.

Trump dispatched Pompeo to Riyadh for what the State Department described as “face to face meetings with the Saudi leadership”.

After his talks with the king, Pompeo was to have dinner with his powerful son, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, a US official told the accompanying press.

Turkish police on Monday searched the consulate for the first time since the disappearance of Khashoggi, a Saudi national and US resident who had become increasingly critical of Prince Mohammed.

Turkish officials have said they believe he was killed—a claim Saudi Arabia has denied—with the controversy dealing a huge blow to the prince’s efforts to showcase a reform drive and burnish the kingdom’s image.

US media reported on Monday that the kingdom is considering an admission that Khashoggi died after an interrogation that went wrong during an intended abduction.

The UN human rights chief on Tuesday called for the lifting of the immunity of officials who might be involved in Khashoggi’s disappearance.

“In view of the seriousness of the situation surrounding the disappearance of Mr. Khashoggi, I believe the inviolability or immunity of the relevant premises and officials... should be waived immediately,” Michelle Bachelet said in a statement.

Until Monday, Riyadh had not allowed Turkish investigators to search the consulate—officially Saudi territorywith reports both sides were at odds over the conditions.

The investigators, who searched the premises for eight hours into Tuesday morning, took samples with them, including soil from the consulate garden, one official at the scene said.

Istanbul police are now also planning to search the nearby consul’s residence, a diplomatic source said.

Trump’s comments came after a telephone conversation with King Salman, father of the crown prince, the first such talks since the crisis erupted.

“Just spoke to the King of Saudi Arabia who denies any knowledge of whatever may have happened ‘to our Saudi Arabian citizen’,” Trump tweeted.

Riyadh’s most recent comments have focused on having no knowledge of any killing or denying that any order to kill Khashoggi had been given.

“The denial was very, very strong,” Trump later told reporters at the White House. “It sounded to me like maybe these could have been rogue killers. Who knows?”       

But CNN cited two sources as saying the Saudis are preparing a report that his death resulted from a botched interrogation, while the Wall Street Journal said the kingdom was weighing whether to say that rogue operatives killed Khashoggi by mistake.

After his crunch talks in Riyadh Tuesday, Pompeo was expected in Turkey on Wednesday to meet Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, the state-run Anadolu news agency said.

The search came after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and King Salman also had their first telephone talks since the controversy erupted.

The controversy has troubled Saudi’s traditional Western allies, who are key arms suppliers to the kingdom, and also undermined efforts by Mohammed bin Salman to present himself as a modernising ruler.

An investment conference seen as a platform for the crown prince and dubbed the “Davos in the Desert”, scheduled to take place in Riyadh next week, has been hit by a string of prominent cancellations.

JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, Ford chairman Bill Ford and Larry Fink, the head of investment giant BlackRock, were among the latest business barons to cancel plans to attend.

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said he still plans to attend but would “take (it)... into account” if more information came out.

The controversy meanwhile threw into doubt a $400 million deal the Saudi Public Investment Fund negotiated with Hollywood’s most powerful talent agency as part of the crown prince’s drive for a foothold in the entertainment industry.

Endeavor CEO Ari Emanuel said the Khashoggi case was “very, very concerning”, although he stopped short of pronouncing the deal was dead.

Trump has threatened the kingdom with “severe punishment” if it is shown that              Khashoggi was killed inside its Istanbul mission.

But he has also made clear he is reluctant to curb all-important arms sales to Saudi Arabia.

Britain, France and Germany also released a rare joint statement saying they were treating Khashoggi’s disappearance “with the utmost seriousness” and calling for a “credible investigation”.

Riyadh, however, has vowed to hit back against any punitive measures imposed over the affair. — AFP 

 

Iranian guards kidnapped on border with Pakistan: IRNA

16 Oct 2018 | 12:27 PM

LONDON: Fourteen Iranian border guards were kidnapped on the border with Pakistan on Tuesday, an official was quoted as saying by state news agency IRNA.

Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen dead at 65

Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen dead at 65

16 Oct 2018 | 12:44 PM

WASHINGTON: Paul Allen, who 43 years ago along with Bill Gates founded Microsoft, the company that revolutionised the software world and personal computers forever, has died, his family announced.

Trump hangs painting of self at bar with Republican presidents

Trump hangs painting of self at bar with Republican presidents

16 Oct 2018 | 10:58 AM

WASHINGTON: It could be any Republican president’s fantasy: hanging out at a bar with fellow conservative American leaders of years, decades, and even centuries past.

Harry and pregnant Meghan get baby gifts, meet koalas Down Under

Harry and pregnant Meghan get baby gifts, meet koalas Down Under

16 Oct 2018 | 10:51 AM

SYDNEY: British royals Harry and Meghan received baby gifts, met a koala couple and posed in front of Sydney’s dazzling Opera House on Tuesday, on their first public outing since announcing they are to become parents.

Imran’s PTI suffers setback,  Sharif’s party improves tallyBypoll results

Imran’s PTI suffers setback, Sharif’s party improves tally

16 Oct 2018 | 1:29 AM

ISLAMABAD:In a set-back to Prime Minister Imran Khan, the Opposition alliance led by deposed premier Nawaz Sharif’s PML-N gained five more parliamentary seats in bypolls, reducing the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party’s margin in delicately balanced National Assembly.

Stormy Daniels' defamation lawsuit against Trump dismissed

Stormy Daniels' defamation lawsuit against Trump dismissed

16 Oct 2018 | 9:53 AM

NEW YORK: A federal judge has dismissed pornstar Stormy Daniels' defamation lawsuit against US President Donald Trump.

Perfume, hair gel blamed for Beijing smog

Perfume, hair gel blamed for Beijing smog

16 Oct 2018 | 9:53 AM

BEIJING:Chinese experts have blamed volatile organic compounds in hair spray, perfume and air-refreshers for the recurring air pollution in the country as the dreaded smog returned to haunt Beijing city on Monday.

245 children from separated immigrant families still in US custody

16 Oct 2018 | 10:13 AM

WASHINGTON: A total of 245 children from separated undocumented immigrant families were still in US custody, officials said in a court filing.

Koreas agree to reconnect road, rail; plan Olympic bid

Koreas agree to reconnect road, rail; plan Olympic bid

16 Oct 2018 | 1:29 AM

SEOUL:North and South Korea agreed on Monday to begin reconnecting rail and road links, another step in an improving relationship that has raised US concern about the possible undermining of its bid to press the North to give up its nuclear programme.

Bill’s affair with Lewinsky not abuse of power: Hillary

Bill’s affair with Lewinsky not abuse of power: Hillary

16 Oct 2018 | 1:29 AM

WASHINGTON:Hillary Clinton has said her husband Bill’s affair with former White House intern Monica Lewinsky was not an abuse of power and he was right to not resign from the US presidency in the wake of the scandal.

‘Disappearing ink’ led to my loss: Maldives Prez

‘Disappearing ink’ led to my loss: Maldives Prez

16 Oct 2018 | 1:29 AM

COLOMBO:Outgoing Maldives President Abdulla Yameen has told the Supreme Court that disappearing ink and specially treated ballot papers were to blame for his heavy election defeat last month.

Prince Harry, Markle expecting first baby

Prince Harry, Markle expecting first baby

16 Oct 2018 | 9:53 AM

LONDON: Queen Elizabeth’s grandson Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle are expecting their first child, due in the spring of 2019, the couple’s office Kensington Palace announced on Monday.

Trump sends Pompeo to Riyadh to ‘probe murder’

Trump sends Pompeo to Riyadh to ‘probe murder’

16 Oct 2018 | 1:29 AM

WASHINGTON:Donald Trump on Monday spoke with the Saudi King Salman over missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi and “immediately” dispatched his top diplomat to Riyadh to discuss the issue with the monarch who denied having any knowledge about the dissident who, the US President believes, could have been a victim of “rogue killers”.

Assange allowed partial Internet access by EcuadorGlobe trot

Assange allowed partial Internet access by Ecuador

16 Oct 2018 | 1:29 AM

London: Julian Assange, who has been holed up in the Ecuador Embassy here since 2012, was allowed limited Internet access by the South American nation, seven months after it disabled for alleged breach of asylum terms, Wikileaks has announced.

Brexit deal achievable: British PM May

Brexit deal achievable: British PM May

15 Oct 2018 | 10:02 PM

LONDON: British Prime Minister Theresa May on Monday insisted a Brexit deal was “still achievable” despite differences with the EU, but warned against any attempt to “trap” the UK in a permanent Customs Unions, ahead of a crucial Brexit summit in Brussels later this week.

Brexit deal more likely in Nov or Dec: Irish PM

Brexit deal more likely in Nov or Dec: Irish PM

15 Oct 2018 | 8:20 PM

DUBLIN: Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar on Monday played down expectations of a Brexit deal being reached at an EU summit this week, saying an agreement was more likely in November or December.

Syria FM says needs ‘time’ to see if Idlib deal fulfilled

15 Oct 2018 | 7:15 PM

DAMASCUS: Syria said Monday it was waiting for Russia to determine whether a deal creating a buffer in the northwest was implemented, hours after jihadists missed a deadline to leave the zone.

Children of Islamic State group live under a stigma in Iraq

15 Oct 2018 | 3:53 PM

KIRKUK: Thousands of Iraqi children of Islamic State group members are left on their own, their parents dead or imprisoned after the long and destructive war that brought down the militants' rule.

Israeli troops kill Palestinian after attempted stabbing

15 Oct 2018 | 3:51 PM

JERUSALEM: The Israeli military says Israeli troops have shot and killed a Palestinian after he attempted to stab a soldier in the West Bank.

Recovery of Nepal climbers delayed by mountain’s remoteness

Recovery of Nepal climbers delayed by mountain’s remoteness

15 Oct 2018 | 3:40 PM

KATHMANDU: It took rescuers two days to recover the battered bodies of nine climbers, including one of the world’s best, who died in Nepal’s worst mountaineering disaster in recent years, authorities said on Monday.

Treason case: Pak’s high-level panel to record Musharraf’s statement in Dubai

Treason case: Pak’s high-level panel to record Musharraf’s statement in Dubai

15 Oct 2018 | 3:23 PM

ISLAMABAD: A special court in Pakistan on Monday ordered the formation of a high-level judicial commission to record Pervez Musharraf’s statement in Dubai in a treason case.

Watch: Boeing flight lands sideways amid UK storm, video goes viral

Watch: Boeing flight lands sideways amid UK storm, video goes viral

15 Oct 2018 | 8:49 PM

CHANDIGARH: The social media just cannot get over the dramatic footage of a daring but perfect sideways landing of a plane at Bristol Airport in the UK during Storm Callum.

800 dietary supplements contained unapproved drug ingredients

800 dietary supplements contained unapproved drug ingredients

15 Oct 2018 | 2:54 PM

NEW YORK: Nearly 800 dietary supplements sold over the counter from 2007 through 2016 contained unapproved drug ingredients, a new analysis of US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) data found.

Malaysian PM-in-waiting Anwar takes oath as lawmaker

Malaysian PM-in-waiting Anwar takes oath as lawmaker

15 Oct 2018 | 1:21 PM

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian Prime Minister-in-waiting Anwar Ibrahim said he felt “vindicated” after taking his oath as a lawmaker Monday, marking his return to active politics three years after he was imprisoned for sodomy in a charge that critics said was politically motivated.

Taiwan invites Pope Francis to visit, following landmark China-Vatican pact

Taiwan invites Pope Francis to visit, following landmark China-Vatican pact

15 Oct 2018 | 12:56 PM

TAIPEI: Taiwan has invited Pope Francis to visit, its President Tsai Ing-wen said, just weeks after the Vatican reached a milestone deal on the appointment of bishops with China, which claims the self-ruled island as its own.

At least 5 killed in flash floods in southern France, waters rising

15 Oct 2018 | 12:53 PM

PARIS: At least five people were killed in flash floods in the southwestern Aude area of France after several months worth of rain fell in just a few hours overnight, the local government prefect said on Monday.

Hungary homeless ban to be enforced

15 Oct 2018 | 12:46 PM

BUDAPEST: Rough sleeping in Hungary will be banned from Monday after a homelessness law adopted by Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s government and called “cruel” by critics comes into force.

As rape crisis grows, South African pupils learn how to fight back

As rape crisis grows, South African pupils learn how to fight back

15 Oct 2018 | 1:33 PM

SOWETO: In a classroom in the South African township of Soweto, girls listen carefully, knowing they need to learn how to avoid the threat of rape that hangs over their daily lives.

Assange’s communications to be partly restored by Ecuador govt

Assange’s communications to be partly restored by Ecuador govt

15 Oct 2018 | 12:26 PM

LONDON: The Ecuadorian government will partially restore communications for Julian Assange at the country’s embassy in London, Wikileaks said.

Brexit deal vital to European security: Jeremy Hunt

Brexit deal vital to European security: Jeremy Hunt

15 Oct 2018 | 12:24 PM

LONDON: Securing a Brexit deal will be vital for European security, British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said Monday, ahead of a week of crucial talks.

More dead expected in destroyed Florida Panhandle towns after Michael

More dead expected in destroyed Florida Panhandle towns after Michael

15 Oct 2018 | 12:21 PM

MEXICO BEACH: Dozens of people remained missing on Sunday in Florida Panhandle communities reduced to ruins by Hurricane Michael as rescuers said they expected the death toll to rise and survivors grappled with power outages and shortages of food and water.

Opinion poll shows some voters warming to Australia’s new PM

Opinion poll shows some voters warming to Australia’s new PM

15 Oct 2018 | 12:18 PM

SYDNEY: Australia’s new prime minister extended his party’s nascent recovery, one widely watched opinion poll showed on Monday, six days before a crucial by-election, but the main Labor opposition still holds a landslide-sized lead before elections due by May.

Trump admits climate change not a ‘hoax’

Trump admits climate change not a ‘hoax’

15 Oct 2018 | 1:23 PM

WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump on Sunday backed off from is claim that climate change is a hoax, but said that it’s not man-made with permanent impacts and climate will “change back again”.

Trump says he wants to negotiate a fair deal with China

Trump says he wants to negotiate a fair deal with China

15 Oct 2018 | 11:56 AM

WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump has said he is willing to negotiate a fair deal with China and want the Asian giant to open its market like the US.

Trump says he is ‘comfortable’ as president despite political battles

Trump says he is ‘comfortable’ as president despite political battles

15 Oct 2018 | 11:53 AM

WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump said in an interview broadcast on Sunday that he was “comfortable” in the White House after almost two years in office, despite political storms over immigration, tariffs and his nomination of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

Japan raises concerns over Pacific’s debt to China

Japan raises concerns over Pacific’s debt to China

15 Oct 2018 | 12:21 PM

WELLINGTON: Japan’s foreign minister has raised concerns about the high levels of debt accrued by some Pacific Island nations and says it wants to help resolve the problem.

Nicaragua police arrest 20, use stun grenades to end anti-govt demo

Nicaragua police arrest 20, use stun grenades to end anti-govt demo

15 Oct 2018 | 12:22 PM

MANAGUA: Some 20 protesters were arrested on Sunday when Nicaraguan police swooped in to break up a meeting of demonstrators gathering for a march against the government of President Daniel Ortega.

Malaysia’s Mahathir says Uighurs released because they did nothing wrong

Malaysia’s Mahathir says Uighurs released because they did nothing wrong

15 Oct 2018 | 11:40 AM

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia freed 11 ethnic Uighur Muslims who fled to the Southeast Asian nation after a Thai jailbreak last year because they did nothing wrong there, Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said on Monday.

Saudi Arabian King calls Turkish President over journalist’s disappearance

Saudi Arabian King calls Turkish President over journalist’s disappearance

15 Oct 2018 | 12:22 PM

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud spoke with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan about the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul, according to media reports.

Koreas agree to reconnect roads, rail amid US concern over easing sanctions

Koreas agree to reconnect roads, rail amid US concern over easing sanctions

15 Oct 2018 | 1:32 PM

SEOUL: North and South Korea agreed on Monday to begin reconnecting rail and road links, another step in an improving relationship that has raised US concern about the possible undermining of its bid to press the North to give up its nuclear programme.

Agree Brexit deal for security, British foreign minister says to EU

Agree Brexit deal for security, British foreign minister says to EU

15 Oct 2018 | 12:22 PM

LONDON: British foreign minister, Jeremy Hunt will urge the European Union, on Monday to agree a Brexit deal to ensure the region can tackle global threats such as cyber attacks, migration and terrorism.

China meddled in US presidential elections: Trump

China meddled in US presidential elections: Trump

15 Oct 2018 | 11:20 AM

WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump has alleged China, in addition to Russia, meddled in the 2016 US presidential elections. “I’m saying Russia, but I’m also saying China,” he said.

Sharif’s PML-N improves showing in Pak by-polls; Imran’s PTI front-runner

Sharif’s PML-N improves showing in Pak by-polls; Imran’s PTI front-runner

15 Oct 2018 | 11:00 AM

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s deposed premier Nawaz Sharif’s PML-N recovered some ground in the by-elections by eating up the votes of prime minister Imran Khan’s PTI, winning four out of 11 parliamentary seats which went to the polls, according to the results on Monday.

Bill's affair with Monica Lewinsky wasn't abuse of power: Hillary

Bill's affair with Monica Lewinsky wasn't abuse of power: Hillary

15 Oct 2018 | 12:01 PM

NEW YORK: Former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton defended her husband, former President Bill Clinton, saying that he was right not to resign in the wake of the Monica Lewinsky scandal and insisted that his affair with the White House intern wasn't abuse of power.

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