NEWS     SATURDAY,  OCTOBER  20, 2018    NEWS

Saudi Arabia admits Khashoggi died in consulate, fires two senior officials
Saudi Arabia said on Saturday that Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi has died, and said it fired two senior officials over the incident that has provoked an international outcry and strained relations between Riyadh and the West. A statement from the Saudi public prosecutor said a fight broke out between Khashoggi and people who met him in the consulate and led to his death. “The investigations are still underway and 18 Saudi nationals have been arrested,” the statement on state media said, adding that royal court adviser Saud al-Qahtani and deputy intelligence chief Ahmed Asiri have been fired from their positions. Reuters
VOA VIEW: The Saudis must to admit the facts as they are known - the truth is another story.

John Bolton pushing Trump to withdraw from Russian nuclear arms treaty
John Bolton is pushing for the US to withdraw from a cold war-era arms control treaty with Russia, in the face of resistance from others in the Trump administration and US allies, according to sources briefed on the initiative. Bolton, Donald Trump’s third national security adviser, has issued a recommendation for withdrawal from the 1987 intermediate-range nuclear forces treaty (INF), which the US says Russia has been violating with the development of a new cruise missile. Withdrawal from the treaty, which would mark a sharp break in US arms control policy, has yet to be agreed upon by cabinet and faces opposition from within the state department and the Pentagon.  The Guardian
VOA VIEW: A tough decision - will the threat change Russia?

Nikki Haley pokes fun at prime political target -- herself -- at New York charity dinner
The humorous lines came right at the start, when comic Jim Gaffigan introduced Nikki Haley as the next president of the United States. But the quips didn't stop there. At a white gala in New York on Thursday evening, Haley, the departing U.N. ambassador, poked fun at her Indian heritage, her boss in the Oval Office and plenty more.
"Everyone in Washington called me with advice about this speech. They all said the same thing: Do not under any circumstances make any jokes about the president. So good night everybody!" Haley joked, according to The Associated Press. "Actually the president called me this morning and gave me some really good advice. He said if I get stuck for laughs, just brag about his accomplishments," she added. Fox
VOA VIEW: Madness!

Chaos erupts as caravan reaches Mexico border
A chaotic scene unfolded as a massive caravan of Honduran migrants reached the Guatemala-Mexico border Friday. A surge of migrants broke through a steel fence that had been padlocked shut. Mexican police in riot gear pushed them back, setting off smoke canisters. Hundreds of Mexican Federal Police sealed the border as drones and helicopters hovered above the crowd, which waited on a bridge in sweltering heat. Thousands of migrants are waiting to cross, according to CNN teams at the scene. At least a dozen migrants stuck on the bridge have jumped into the river below. It is unclear if they are trying to swim across to the Mexico side of border, go back to Guatemala or just get relief from the crowds on the bridge. CNN
VOA VIEW: The mob has gone mad.

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Russian national charged with interfering in US political system, 2018 elections
A Russian national has been charged with interfering in the U.S. political system, including next month’s midterm elections, the Department of Justice revealed Friday.
Elena Alekseevna Khusyaynova, 44, was the chief accountant of a Russian operation called "Project Lakhta," which was "funded by Russian oligarch Yevgeniy Viktorovich Prigozhin and two companies he controls, Concord Management and Consulting LLC, and Concord Catering," a news release said.  "Project Lakhta includes multiple components, some involving domestic audiences within the Russian Federation and others targeting foreign audiences in the United States, members of the European Union, and Ukraine, among others," according to the DOJ.  Fox
VOA VIEW: Bad news for Russia.

Turkish officials raced to intercept Saudi plane after suspecting Jamal Khashoggi had been killed
Turkish officials suspected within hours of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi's disappearance that he had likely been killed and raced to Istanbul airport to intercept a private Saudi plane that was waiting to take off, CNN has learned. After discovering that Khashoggi had vanished, intelligence officers scrambled to try and find out whether he had been abducted or whether his body was being taken out of the country. Disguised as airport staff, officers searched the plane while a group of Saudis waited in the airport. But they found nothing suspicious, and the flight in question was allowed to leave at about 11 p.m. local time. CNN

March for Life 2019 Theme is ‘Unique from Day One
The theme for the 46th annual March for Life is “Unique from Day One: Pro-Life is Pro-Science,” March for Life President Jeanne Mancini announced at a press briefing on Capitol Hill on Tuesday. “I very happily and proudly announce to you that the 2019 March for Life theme is ‘Unique from Day One: Pro-Life is Pro-Science,’” she said. “Our DNA is present at the moment of fertilization and no fingerprint ever – past, present, future – is like yours,” she added. “And that’s what it means to be unique from day one." CNS

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Paul Manafort arrives at court hearing about sentencing date in a wheelchair
Manafort is currently in detention in an Alexandria jail awaiting sentencing on a host of charges brought by Mueller’s prosecutors in two separate jurisdictions as part of his investigation into Russian meddling durng the 2016 campaign. Manafort’s defense attorney, Kevin Downing, told Judge T.S. Ellis that Manafort’s health has suffered as a result of his incarceration. “We do think there are significant concerns with Mr. Manafort’s health and much of that has to do with the terms of Mr. Manafort’s confinement,” Downing said, though it was not immediately clear what ailment Manafort has suffered. The judge decided Manafort will be sentenced on Feb. 8 for various financial crimes after a jury found him guilty in August. He is also awaiting sentencing on the two separate counts of conspiracy to which he pleaded guilty in September. A joint status report with regard to sentencing in that other case is due Nov. 16. ABC
VOA VIEW: Fake ailments.

Feds charge NY man with threatening two US senators for supporting Kavanaugh
Federal authorities have arrested a New York man for allegedly threatening to attack two U.S. senators over their support for Brett Kavanaugh, whose nomination to the Supreme Court was almost derailed by an allegation he sexually assaulted a woman three decades ago while they were in high school. 74-year-old Ronald Derisi of Smithtown, Long Island, was arrested Friday morning on charges of threatening a federal official, according to court records. Prosecutors allege that on the same day Kavanaugh and his accuser testified in separate sessions to a Senate panel, Derisi left two threatening voicemails at offices associated with a lawmaker only identified in charging documents as "Senator 1." ABC

Mega Millions jackpot swells to record $1 billion
The Mega Millions jackpot ballooned to a record high: $1 billion for Friday night's drawing. It's the second-largest lottery jackpot in U.S. history. The increase comes three days after no ticket matched all six winning numbers drawn Tuesday night and dwarfs the Powerball $430 million jackpot up for grabs when those numbers are chosen around 11 p.m. ET Saturday night. Tuesday's Mega Millions winning numbers were 3, 45, 49, 61, 69 with a Mega Ball of 9 for a jackpot worth $667 million at the time. It had increased early Wednesday to $868 million and officials raised the jackpot to $900 million later in the day, then to $970 million Thursday. They say the estimated cash value for Friday's jackpot is $565 million. If the winner chooses the annuity option, the jackpot would be paid out over 29 years. The cash option is usually favored by the winners. CBS

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Politicians say nothing, but US farmers are increasingly terrified by it – climate change
Welcome to climate change, Iowa-style. It’s the least debated issue of the midterm political season. The weather is the top topic of conversation at any cooperative elevator’s coffee table, along with the markets. Everyone knows that things have been changing in sweeping ways out here on the richest corn ground in the world. It’s drought in the spring and floods in the fall – what were considered 500-year floods in Cedar Rapids and Des Moines 30 years ago are now considered 100-year floods. Iowa has been getting soggier in spring and fall, with scary dry spells interspersed, and more humid at night by as much as a third since 1980. Everyone knows it has been getting wetter and weirder, especially Dr Gene Takle, a Nobel prize-winning climate scientist at Iowa State University. Guardian

EU's attempt to control Britain's tax policies after Brexit
The European Union is drawing up plans to control Britain’s tax policies ­after Brexit, leaked documents seen by The Daily Telegraph disclose. According to draft documents, the EU wants to ensure the UK pledges to keep its tax rules aligned with those of the bloc as part of any future Brexit agreement. Such a move would prevent the UK from becoming a low-tax economy by cutting its corporation tax rate to attract business. And – depending on the wording of any agreement – it could mean that any future changes to the EU’s tax rules would need to be followed by the UK, even years after Brexit. Telegraph

Khashoggi warns in last column of free rein to silence media
The Washington Post has published a new column by missing Saudi writer Jamal Khashoggi in which he warns that governments in the Middle East "have been given free rein to continue silencing the media at an increasing rate." The Post published the column Wednesday, more than two weeks after Khashoggi was last seen entering the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul and only hours after a gruesome account in Turkey's Yeni Safak newspaper alleged that Saudi officials cut off Khashoggi's fingers and then decapitated him inside the consulate while his fiancee waited outside.Houston Chronicle

Pension fund officials in four states want Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg removed as chairman
Public officials in four states say they want Facebook to have an independent board chair, effectively calling for the removal of Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg as chairman due to the social media company’s recent scandals. The state treasurers of Illinois, Rhode Island and Pennsylvania, along with the city comptroller of New York, signed on to a shareholder proposal originally filed by investor Trillium Asset Management in June. They argue that separating Facebook’s chairman and CEO roles is “in the best interest of shareholders, employees, users, and our democracy.” . San Diego Tribune
VOA VIEW:  Zuckerberg and Facebook must go.

Condo owners vote to strip Trump name from building
Another building is stripping Trump off its entrance. The New York Times reported Wednesday that residents of Trump Place on the Upper West Side of Manhattan have joined three other buildings in the neighborhood in stripping the president's brassy five-letter name from their 46-story building in another sign that the brand is losing some of its appeal. The move follows reports of losses at some of President Donald Trump's golf courses, and decisions by several hotels that had licensed the president's name to drop it. San Francisco Gate

Food, water, ride: Guatemalans aid Honduran caravan migrants traveling to U.S.
Many of the more than 2,000 Hondurans in a migrant caravan trying to wend its way to the United States left spontaneously with little more than the clothes on their backs and what they could quickly throw into backpacks. In neighboring Guatemala, where their journey continued Wednesday amid warning tweets from President Donald Trump and other U.S. officials, they were helped at every turn by residents who offered them food, water and rides in pickups or on flatbed of semi-trailer trucks. Sun Sentinel

Herpes linked to half of Alzheimer's cases, leading scientist says
The herpes virus is linked to half of all Alzheimer’s cases, according to new research. Leading expert Professor Ruth Itzhaki said recent studies in Taiwan found antiviral drugs drastically reduced the risk of dementia in patients with severe herpes infections. This followed a lifetime of evidence that the virus - best known for its role in cold sores - fuels rogue amyloid beta proteins that destroy neurons. Prof Itzhaki's review published in Frontiers in Ageing Neuroscience raises the distant prospect of a simple, effective preventive treatment for one of the most prevalent serious diseases. Telegraph

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Trump says he may consider sanctions over missing Saudi journalist
U.S. President Donald Trump said he might consider sanctions against Saudi Arabia over the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, while emphasizing the importance of the U.S.-Saudi relationship. In Istanbul, Turkish prosecutors investigating Khashoggi’s disappearance questioned Turkish employees of the Saudi consulate on Friday, widening the hunt for clues in a case straining Riyadh’s alliance with Western powers. Reuters

Sulawesi devastation ‘beyond imagination’ as massive aid operation continues: UN relief agencies
More emergency shelter supplies and relief for thousands of victims of Indonesia’s recent earthquake and tsunami is set to arrive on the island of Sulawesi in the coming days, the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) said on Friday, amid reports from staff that the devastation is “beyond imagination”. Three weeks since disaster struck, it is estimated to have killed more than 2,000 people, displaced 80,000 and destroyed nearly 70,000 houses. At least 680 individuals remain unaccounted for, UNHCR says. In addition to the tremors and tidal waves, huge landslides turned the ground into liquid mud which washed over large areas. UN News

Despite his denials, midterms are about Trump -- and it's not looking good, experts say
Despite his denials, President Trump is very much the center of the 2018 election, political pros say — and the leader of the Republican Party will earn at least some of the blame should the GOP fail to hold its majorities in Congress. Mr. Trump stirred the pot this week when he told The Associated Press he’s not on the ballot and, while he’s been able to boost some candidates in Republican primaries, he won’t bear responsibility if they lose control of the House. “No, I think I’m helping people,” he said. He later complained about the headline the AP slapped its piece, saying it was taken out of context. Washington Times
VOA VIEW: Trump will prevail - 2016 will be repeated.

Gun-control advocates shift attention, money to other issues ahead of midterms
Gun control was supposed to be the issue of 2018. Yet it has receded so far into the background of the midterm congressional elections that Everytown for Gun Safety, a major player in gun control, is spending its money on ads covering abortion, health care and the Republican tax bill — but nary a mention of assault rifles or bump stocks. There are new voices on the electoral playing field, including students from the Parkland, Florida, high school shooting in February that left 17 people dead.
But the cable news cameras that helped give the students a platform have turned elsewhere, leaving the activists struggling for attention in an election season crowded with the politics of the Supreme Court, President Trump and international crises. Washington Times

In Mexico Beach after Michael, some coming home find no home
With stunned faces and tears, residents of hard-hit Mexico Beach returned home for the first time Wednesday about a week after Hurricane Michael hit to find pieces of their lives scattered across the sand and a community altered. State emergency management officials said some 124,500 customers across the Panhandle were still without power Wednesday morning and 1,157 remained in shelters. In Bay County, home to Mexico Beach and Panama City, more than half of the households and businesses remained without electricity. Inland, in Calhoun County, 98 percent of the customers didn't have power Wednesday morning, according to the emergency management website. And in Jackson County, which borders Alabama and Georgia, about 83 percent were without power.  Tampa Tribune

HSN to cut hundreds of workers as it merges with QVC under new ‘QXH’ business unit
Hundreds of HSN employees are losing their jobs as their parent company combines the local shopping network with long-time rival QVC under one operation with shared resources. HSN and QVC will maintain their brand identities, but are now under a business unit called "QXH," owner Qurate Retail Group announced on Wednesday. Qurate said it will lay off 350 employees by the end of the year. The bulk of those positions will be between HSN’s St. Petersburg headquarters and offices in Long Island, N.Y. "The actions we are taking today are difficult, but they are imperative for our long-term success," HSN president Mike Fitzharris said in a statement.  Tampa Tribune

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Pelosi touts gun control in Broward visit with Parkland parents
Democrats may be wary of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi in other parts of the country, but she’s welcome in South Florida. With the midterm elections just weeks away, Parkland students and parents convened Wednesday with Pelosi in Coral Springs to game plan for November. The round table discussion focused on gun control, moderated by U.S. Rep Ted Deutch, was equal parts emotional venting and strategizing. Pelosi called the activists and parents a “blessing to our country,” and said because of the energy coming out of Parkland, the issue of gun control would top the Democratic Party’s agenda in the House of Representatives if they take control. Miami Herald
VOA VIEW: Pelosi is posturing to gain votes.

French finance minister cancels trip to Saudi conference
France's finance minister is the latest high-level official or executive to cancelled his attendance at an upcoming investment conference in Saudi Arabia amid doubts over the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Bruno Le Maire said Thursday on French television channel Public Senat that "I will not go to Riyadh next week" for the conference, known as "Davos in the Desert." Several top business executives have cancelled their attendance, as has the head of the International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde. Miami Herald

Don McGahn has officially left his position as White House counsel
Don McGahn officially left his role as White House counsel on Wednesday, leaving behind a legacy that helped the president reshape the nation's courts. McGahn, whose resignation was announced in August, left the White House officially on Wednesday after nearly two years of helping President Donald Trump get through his conservative agenda, an official with knowledge of the matter told USA TODAY. The New York Times first reported Wednesday was McGahn's last day. The president told the Associated Press on Tuesday that attorney Pat Cipollone would replace McGahn as the White House counsel. Indy Star

Greg Abbott, Dan Patrick to speak at Trump rally in Houston
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick confirmed they will be among the speakers when President Donald Trump comes to Houston next week to rally Republicans ahead of the midterm elections. "When I invited President Trump to visit Texas in July, I said that keeping Texas red - from the top of the ballot to the bottom - is critical," Patrick said in a statement to the media late Wednesday in confirming he would be one of the speakers at the event. Houston Chronicle

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Hillary Clinton gets asked ‘painfully scripted’ questions on Colbert: report
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton appeared on "The Late Show With Stephen Colbert" on Friday and was lobbed 'painfully scripted questions' and gave 'painfully scripted answers' during a segment called 'Just One Question," Mediaite reported   Fox

Khashoggi outcry galvanizes critics against Saudi arms sales
International outrage over the killing of Jamal Khashoggi, a journalist and Washington Post contributor, has galvanized lawmakers and critics who are seeking to curb arms sales to Saudi Arabia. The kingdom is the largest importer of U.S.-made weapons and for years has come under fire from human rights group for jailing dissidents and journalists and killing civilians in a military campaign in Yemen. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who has repeatedly urged his colleagues to end sales to Saudi Arabia, said he will fight the next Saudi arms deal that comes before Congress. Last year, Paul and his allies were four votes short of blocking arms sales to the kingdom. But now there “will be enough of a popular outcry that we could win,” he predicted in an interview. Washington Post
VOA VIEW: The liberal media is pushing the drive.

Will oil prices rise in the wake of the missing Saudi journalist case?
The international outcry over Saudi Arabia’s alleged involvement in the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Turkey has triggered talk of a sudden spike in oil prices — and plenty of uncertainty — given the Middle Eastern country’s major influence on the worldwide oil market. How it all translates to prices at the pump remains to be seen as the U.S., Saudi Arabia and Turkey hold meetings to find a resolution to a geopolitical crisis that began only two weeks ago when Khashoggi went for a routine visit to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul and has not been seen since.  USA Today

U.S. airstrike in Somalia kills about 60 al-Shabab fighters
The U.S. military on Tuesday announced its deadliest airstrike against the al-Shabab extremist group in Somalia in nearly a year, killing about 60 fighters. The U.S. Africa Command said Friday's airstrike occurred near the community of Harardere in Mudug province in the central part of the country. According to its assessment no civilians were injured or killed, the statement said. It was the largest U.S. airstrike since one on Nov. 21, 2017, killed about 100 al-Shabab fighters. The statement gave no further details about what was targeted in this latest strike and the U.S. Africa Command did not immediately respond to questions. Las Vegas Sun

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