Khashoggi death: Saudi Arabia says journalist was murdered

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Media captionHow Saudi critics keep going missing

Saudi Arabia has blamed the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi on a “rogue operation”, giving a new account of an act that sparked a global outcry.

Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir told Fox News “the murder” had been a “tremendous mistake” and denied the powerful crown prince had ordered it.

The journalist was last seen entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

The Saudis, under intense pressure to explain the journalist’s whereabouts, have offered conflicting accounts.

They initially said he had left the building unharmed on 2 October but on Friday admitted for the first time he was dead, saying he had been killed in a fight. This claim met widespread scepticism.

Turkish officials believe Khashoggi, a prominent critic of the Saudi government, was murdered by a team of Saudi agents inside the building and say they have evidence to prove it.

How has the Saudi version of events changed?

Adel al-Jubeir’s comments, describing the incident as murder, are some of the most direct to come from a Saudi official.

“We are determined to find out all the facts and we are determined to punish those who are responsible for this murder,” he said.

“The individuals who did this did this outside the scope of their authority,” he added. “There obviously was a tremendous mistake made, and what compounded the mistake was the attempt to try to cover up.”

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Media captionCCTV footage shows missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul

He also said that they did not know where the body was and insisted the action had not been ordered by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, seen as Saudi Arabia’s most powerful figure.

“Even the senior leadership of our intelligence service was not aware of this,” he said, calling it a “rogue operation”.

These remarks followed Saudi Arabia’s admission on Friday that Khashoggi had died. A statement from the public prosecutor said he had been killed when a fight broke out with some of the people he was meeting inside the consulate.

Until this point – for 18 days – the authorities had maintained that the Saudi critic was last seen leaving the building alive.

They then said they had arrested 18 people, sacked two aides of Mohammed bin Salman and set up a body, under his leadership, to reform the intelligence agency over the killing.

Both King Salman and the crown prince called Khashoggi’s son, Salah, on Sunday to express their condolences over his death, the Saudi Press Agency reports.

Salah Khashoggi resides in Saudi Arabia and, according to the Wall Street Journal, had been barred from leaving the country to visit his father who was living in self-imposed exile in the US.

Meanwhile, Jamal Khashoggi’s fiancée. Hatice Cengiz, who raised the alarm about his disappearance after waiting for him for hours outside the consulate, was given 24-hour police protection, Turkish state news agency Anadolu reports.

How has the world reacted?

In a Washington Post interview on Saturday, US President Donald Trump said there had been “deception” and “lies” in Saudi Arabia’s explanation, having previously said he found their narrative to be credible.

He said he would “love” it if the crown prince was not responsible for the murder. The president has raised the possibility of imposing sanctions but said halting an arms deal would “hurt us more than it would hurt them”.

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Media captionJamal Khashoggi: What we know about the journalist’s disappearance and death

The UK, France and Germany issued a joint statement expressing shock at the death and demanding a full explanation, saying: “Nothing can justify this killing and we condemn it in the strongest possible terms.”

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said she will not allow arms exports to Saudi Arabia to continue given “the current circumstances”, and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has threatened to cancel a multi-billion dollar defence contract with the kingdom over the affair.

But several of Saudi Arabia’s regional allies have come out in its support.

Kuwait praised King Salman for his handling of the case while Egypt, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates have been among those reflecting similar praise.

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he would reveal the “naked truth” of the matter in parliament on Tuesday.

Where is the investigation now?

Although Turkey has so far stopped short of officially blaming Saudi Arabia for the killing, investigators have said they have audio and video evidence which shows Khashoggi was killed by a team of Saudi agents inside the consulate.

Police have searched the nearby Belgrad forest in Istanbul where they believe the body may have been taken and one official was hopeful its fate would be known “before long”.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Investigators are searching Belgrad forest for the body

Both the consulate and the residence of the Saudi consul have been searched.

Turkish prosecutors have also been taking statements from the consulate’s locally employed staff.

Reuters news agency reported on Sunday it had spoken to a Saudi official who said Khashoggi had died in a chokehold after resisting attempts to return him to Saudi Arabia. His body was then rolled in a rug and given to a local “co-operator” to dispose of.

A Saudi operative then reportedly donned Khashoggi’s clothes and left the consulate.

The official said Saudi statements had changed because of “false information reported internally at the time”.

Jamal Khashoggi killing: The key events

2 October

  • 03:28: A private jet carrying suspected Saudi agents arrives at Istanbul airport. A second joins it late afternoon
  • 12:13: Several diplomatic vehicles are filmed arriving at the consulate, allegedly carrying some of the Saudi agents
  • 13:14: Khashoggi enters the building, where he is due to pick up paperwork ahead of his marriage
  • 15:08: Vehicles leave the consulate and are filmed arriving at the nearby Saudi consul’s residence
  • 21:00: Both jets leave Turkey by 21:00

3 October – Turkish government announces Khashoggi is missing, thought to be in the consulate

4 October – Saudi Arabia says he left the embassy

7 October – Turkish officials tell the BBC they believe Khashoggi was killed at the consulate. This is later strongly denied by Saudi Arabia

13 October – Turkish officials tell BBC Arabic they have audio and video evidence of the killing. The existence of such tapes had previously been reported by local media

15 and 17-18 October – Forensic teams carry out searches of consulate

19 October – Saudi state TV reports an initial investigation shows Jamal Khashoggi died in the consulate. Two Saudi senior officials are dismissed and King Salman announces the formation of a ministerial committee to restructure the intelligence services

20 October – Turkish officials vow to reveal all evidence relating to the killing

21 October -Saudi foreign minister tells Fox News it was a “rogue operation” and denies the crown prince ordered the “murder”

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President Trump to pull US from Russia missile treaty

A Russian missile is fired during military exercises Image copyright EPA
Image caption Russia denies building missiles that violate the accord

The US will withdraw from a landmark nuclear weapons treaty with Russia, President Donald Trump has confirmed.

Speaking to reporters, Mr Trump said Russia had “violated” the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty.

The deal banned ground-launched medium-range missiles, with a range of between 500 and 5,500km (310-3,400 miles).

The US would not let Russia “go out and do weapons [while] we’re not allowed to”, Mr Trump said.

“I don’t know why President [Barack] Obama didn’t negotiate or pull out,” the president said after a campaign rally in Nevada. “They’ve been violating it for many years.”

In 2014, President Obama accused Russia of breaching the INF after it allegedly tested a ground-launched cruise missile. He reportedly chose not to withdraw from the treaty under pressure from European leaders, who said such a move could restart an arms race.

A Russian foreign ministry source said the US move was motivated by a “dream of a unipolar world” where it is the only global superpower, state news agency RIA Novosti reported.

‘A significant setback’

Analysis by BBC defence and diplomatic correspondent Jonathan Marcus

Concern about Russia’s development and deployment of a missile system that breaches the INF treaty predates the Trump administration. But the president’s decision to walk away from the agreement marks a significant setback for arms control.

Many experts believe that negotiations should have continued to try to bring the Russians back into compliance. It is, they fear, part of the wider unravelling of the whole system of arms control treaties that helped to curb strategic competition during the Cold War.

Other factors too may have played into President Trump’s decision. This was a bilateral treaty between Washington and Moscow. China was free to develop and deploy intermediate range nuclear missiles. Some in the Trump administration feel that the INF treaty places them at a growing disadvantage in their developing strategic rivalry with Beijing .

The US insists the Russians have, in breach of the deal, developed a new medium-range missile called the Novator 9M729 – known to Nato as the SSC-8.

It would enable Russia to launch a nuclear strike at Nato countries at very short notice.

Russia has said little about its new missile other than to deny that it is in breach of the agreement.

Analysts say Russia sees such weapons as a cheaper alternative to conventional forces.

The New York Times reported on Friday the US was considering withdrawing from the treaty in a bid to counter China’s expanding military presence in the western Pacific.

The country was not a signatory of the deal, allowing it to develop medium-range missiles without restraint.

National Security Adviser John Bolton is expected to tell the Russians of the withdrawal during talks in Moscow later this week.

What is the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty?

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and US President Ronald Reagan signed the INF treaty in 1987
  • Signed by the US and the USSR in 1987, the arms control deal banned all nuclear and non-nuclear missiles with short and medium ranges, except sea-launched weapons
  • The US had been concerned by the Soviet deployment of the SS-20 missile system and responded by placing Pershing and Cruise missiles in Europe – sparking widespread protests
  • By 1991, nearly 2,700 missiles had been destroyed. Both countries were allowed to inspect the others installations
  • In 2007, Russian president Vladimir Putin declared the treaty no longer served Russia’s interests. The move came after the US withdrew from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty in 2002

The last time the US withdrew from a major arms treaty was in 2002, when President George W Bush pulled the US out of the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, which banned weapons designed to counter ballistic nuclear missiles.

His administration’s move to set up a missile shield in Europe alarmed the Kremlin, and was scrapped by the Obama administration in 2009. It was replaced by a modified defence system in 2016.

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New Academic Journal Seeks Marketing and Tech Writers – SEOJournal.co

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This is an excellent way to get published and acknowledged outside of the buzzword gallery of blogs.  Visit https://seojournal.co to subscribe for upcoming editions or to submit works for inclusion.

Traci D Mitchell Blog Renews

Welcome!

You can’t exercise away a bad diet. But you can’t lose weight by dieting. It seems like there’s not way to lose weight, right?

You want to be healthy. You want to drop a few pounds and exercise more and eat the right foods, but no matter what you do, it always seems like something is getting in the way of your progress. I hear you!

If you’re struggling with finding a healthy and happy balance between the foods you eat and losing unhealthy body fat – I’m here to help.

Lose Weight Without Dieting

Hi, my name is Traci and I used to be a chronic dieter. My grocery list had two rules: 1) buy low fat and 2) buy diet soda.

My chronic dieting pushed me into overexercising. I would sit on a piece of cardio for an hour a day (or longer) counting the calories I burned. Despite eating foods that were minimal on fat and exercising my butt off, I couldn’t lose weight. In fact, I gained it.

Then I got sick. You can read more about that here, but it got ugly. Let’s just say, when you’re laying in ICU, you really don’t care about weight anymore. It took a lot for me to see what I was doing wrong. But as soon as I did, I made significant hams that benefit me today – over 15 years later. Now with three kids in tow, I’m fitter than that I’ve ever been. I don’t count calories, eat plenty of healthy fat, and don’t over exercise.

Jamal Khashoggi: Turkey ‘to search Saudi consulate’ in Istanbul

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Media captionJamal Khashoggi: What we know about the journalist’s disappearance

Turkish officials investigating the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi will search Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul later on Monday, according to reports.

Turkish officials believe Mr Khashoggi was murdered in the consulate by Saudi agents nearly two weeks ago, but Riyadh strongly denies this.

Diplomatic pressure is growing on the Saudis to give a fuller explanation.

On Monday, Saudi Arabia’s King Salman ordered an investigation into the case.

“The king has ordered the public prosecutor to open an internal investigation into the Khashoggi matter based on the information from the joint team in Istanbul,” an official quoted by Reuters news agency said.

Last week, Turkey accepted a Saudi proposal to form a joint working group to investigate Mr Khashoggi’s disappearance.

The latest moves come as more leading business figures say they will not attend a major investment conference in Riyadh later this month.

The head of JP Morgan, Jamie Dimon, is one of the latest high-profile executives to pull out.

When will the search take place?

Turkish diplomatic sources said the consulate would be searched by a joint Turkish-Saudi team in the late afternoon or evening.

Details of how the search will be carried out have not been revealed.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Police barricades have been set up in front of the Saudi consulate in Istanbul

Saudi Arabia agreed last week to allow Turkish officials to search the building but insisted it would only be a superficial “visual” inspection.

Turkey rejected that offer. The Sabah daily newspaper said investigators had wanted to search the building with luminol, a chemical which shows up any traces of blood.

King Salman and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan spoke by telephone on Sunday evening, officials said, and stressed the importance of the two countries working together on the case.

What is alleged to have happened in Istanbul?

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Media captionCCTV footage shows missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

Mr Khashoggi, a critic of the Saudi government who has written for the Washington Post, was last seen walking into the consulate on 2 October.

A Turkish security source has told the BBC that officials have audio and video evidence proving Mr Khashoggi was murdered inside the building.

Reports suggest an assault and struggle took place in the consulate after Mr Khashoggi went to get paperwork for his forthcoming marriage.

Turkish sources allege he was killed by a 15-strong team of Saudi agents, but Riyadh insists that he left the consulate unharmed.

Mr Khashoggi was once an adviser to the Saudi royal family but fell out of favour with the Saudi government and went into self-imposed exile. He is a US resident.

How have other countries reacted?

US President Donald Trump has threatened Saudi Arabia with “severe punishment” if it emerges that Mr Khashoggi was killed inside the consulate.

In an interview with CBS News, Mr Trump said that, if true, the fact that a journalist was murdered was “terrible and disgusting”.

However, he ruled out halting big military contracts with Riyadh.

On Sunday, Riyadh angrily rejected political and economic “threats” over the missing journalist and said it would respond to any punitive action “with a bigger one”.

The UK, Germany and France have called for a “credible” investigation into the disappearance.

Their foreign ministers said that if anyone were found responsible they should be held accountable, and urged a detailed response from Riyadh.

UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said that whatever happened now was “absolutely up to Saudi Arabia”.

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Jamal Khashoggi case: Saudis defy ‘threats’ over missing writer

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Media captionJamal Khashoggi: What we know about the journalist’s disappearance

Saudi Arabia rejects political and economic “threats” over missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a source quoted by state news agency SPA says.

The country would respond to any punitive action “with a bigger one”, the unnamed senior source said.

Mr Khashoggi, a critic of the Saudi government, vanished on 2 October after visiting its consulate in Istanbul.

US President Donald Trump said he would “punish” Saudi Arabia if it were found responsible for killing him.

The authorities in Istanbul believe Mr Khashoggi was murdered in the consulate by Saudi agents – claims Riyadh has dismissed as “lies”.

Britain and the US are considering boycotting a major international conference in Saudi Arabia this month.

What is the latest from the Saudis?

The source quoted by SPA said: “The kingdom affirms its total rejection of any threats or attempts to undermine it whether through threats to impose economic sanctions or the use of political pressure.

“The kingdom also affirms that it will respond to any action with a bigger one. The Saudi economy has vital and influential roles for the global economy.”

The Saudis have come under considerable international pressure over the disappearance.

Diplomatic sources told the BBC’s James Landale that both US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and UK International Trade Secretary Liam Fox might not attend next month’s investment conference in Riyadh, which has been dubbed “Davos in the Desert”.

The event is being hosted by the kingdom’s Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman to promote his reform agenda. Several sponsors and media groups have decided to pull out.

A joint statement of condemnation, if it is confirmed that Mr Khashoggi was killed by Saudi agents, is also being discussed by US and European diplomats.

What has Mr Trump said?

The president has said the US will inflict “severe punishment” if Saudi Arabia is found to be responsible for the death of Mr Khashoggi.

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Media captionDonald Trump says he’d be very angry if Saudi Arabia ordered the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi

He said he would be “very upset and angry if that were the case”, but ruled out halting big military contracts.

“I think we’d be punishing ourselves if we did that,” he said. “If they don’t buy it from us, they’re going to buy it from Russia or… China.”

Where is the investigation now?

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevut Cavusoglu said Saudi Arabia had not so far co-operated with the investigation – despite a statement from Saudi Interior Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Saud bin Naif bin Abdulaziz saying his nation wanted to uncover “the whole truth”.

Mr Cavusoglu has urged the kingdom to allow Turkish officials to enter the consulate.

Saudi share reaction

On Sunday, stocks on the Tadawul All-Shares Index plummeted 7% in early trading, wiping out all the gains made this year, before recovering slightly around noon.

In two sessions it lost $50bn (£38bn) of its $450bn capitalisation, AFP news agency reported.

Salah Shamma, of Franklin Templeton Emerging Markets Equity, told Reuters: “The market is reacting negatively to sentiment around the Khashoggi case.”

What is alleged to have happened in Istanbul?

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Media captionCCTV footage shows missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

A Turkish security source has told the BBC that officials had audio and video evidence proving Mr Khashoggi, who wrote for the Washington Post, was murdered inside the consulate.

Reports suggest an assault and struggle took place in the consulate after Mr Khashoggi entered the building to get paperwork for a marriage.

Turkish sources allege he was killed by a 15-strong team of Saudi agents.

Turkish TV has broadcast CCTV footage of the moment Mr Khashoggi walked into the consulate.

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Media captionSecretary General Antonio Guterres told the BBC’s Kamal Ahmed “we need to know exactly what has happened”

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Selling Or Buying A Home? You’ll Know What Comps Are Soon.

It’s all about Location, Location, Location they say in real estate, but to a buyer or a seller it may be Price, Price, Price.  You may be buying your first starter home or selling the family home to move into retirement in Florida either way you’ll need to know “How much is it actually worth?”  In real estate lingo “Comps” is a second word that comes with little ambiguity, but to the laymen that same word could leave you wondering.  Comparables are reports on similar houses in the area and how much they went for when they were recently sold.  These reports give insight into the value of the home you wish to sell or buy and allow you to determine if it is really a dream home or it is actually a home you can afford.

Sites like Zillow.com attempt to determine a comparable price for a home through open records and information about a home provided over the years in these open records. Ask any realtor and they’ll tell you they hate Zillow.  Not because it takes their clients, the site doesn’t facilitate home sales but due to the inaccuracies made when determining a home’s value without firsthand knowledge of the area or the home.

Real estate agents usually determine these with local knowledge and understanding of the area.  These are performed though after a home buyer or seller has contacted a real estate agent.  Sometimes you’d just like to know without beginning a search with someone who’s commission based.  The perceived pressure that comes with a real estate agent may make Zillow more attractive than an accurate price or at least get you by until you absolutely have to contact an agent.

Other sites are now offering a blended opportunity that borrows the best of both previous options and provide accurate real estate comps but free of the pressure of working with an agent.  RealEstateCompsToday.com is one of these services that offers national coverage but contracts with local agents to provide investors, sellers and buyers with the best possible comparable home price reports.

Too often in life we see black and white or right and wrong and forget that life choices don’t have to be bilateral.  More often a third method is available that includes the best of both original options and today it seems there is a third option in real estate comps.  Consider this next time you search for comps in my area.