Turkish Prosecutor Says Saudis Strangled Khashoggi
Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi was strangled almost as soon as he stepped into the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul a month ago, and his body was dismembered and destroyed, the chief prosecutor for Istanbul said Wednesday, giving the first official explanation from Turkey of how Khashoggi died. The announcement came as the Turkish and Saudi chief prosecutors ended three days of meetings as part of a joint investigation into Khashoggi’s murder without progress. Saudi Arabia has refused Turkey’s demand that it extradite 18 Saudi officials who have been detained in their home country in connection with Khashoggi’s murder so they can stand trial in Turkey.
U.S. and Britain Seek Yemen Cease-Fire as Relations With Saudis Cool
The United States and Britain, Saudi Arabia’s biggest arms suppliers, are stepping up their pressure for a cease-fire in the Yemen war. The calls for a halt to the conflict — by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Tuesday night, his British counterpart, Jeremy Hunt, on Wednesday, and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis starting last weekend — came as criticism of Saudi Arabia has surged over its bombing campaign in Yemen and the killing of Jamal Khashoggi, a dissident Saudi writer. The Saudi-led bombings have been a major cause of civilian deaths and destruction during the 3 1/2-year-old conflict in Yemen, the Arab world’s poorest country.
Pakistani Court Acquits Christian Woman in Capital Blasphemy Case
She has been isolated on death row for eight years after an accusation with little evidence that she had spoken against the Prophet Muhammad. A prominent governor who spoke out in her defense was killed by his own bodyguard, and mobs have rallied against the suggestion that leniency might be in order. But for the first time since her arrest in 2009, Asia Bibi, the Christian Pakistani woman whose blasphemy conviction the following year rallied international condemnation of a law that has inspired violence again and again, is free. Pakistan’s Supreme Court on Wednesday acquitted her and ordered her “released forthwith.”
Divers Zero In on Black Boxes From Indonesia Plane Crash
Enticed by faint pings from the seafloor, Indonesian investigators have determined the general location of the data recorders that will be crucial in discovering what caused the crash of Lion Air Flight 610, officials said Wednesday. Divers were zeroing in on the black boxes in the waters of the Java Sea, but strong currents hampered the search, said Air Chief Marshal Hadi Tjahjanto. Based on signals from locator beacons attached to the recorders, a 50-strong team of divers was searching a watery square about 11.5 miles on a side northeast of the capital, Jakarta, said Soerjanto Tjahjono of the National Transportation Safety Committee.
India Unveils Statue of Unity, World’s Tallest Statue and Twice the Size of Lady Liberty
His big toe is roughly the height of a basketball hoop. You would have to climb 182 meters, or 597 feet, into the sky to reach the top of the Statue of Unity, the world’s tallest statue and a tribute to Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, an Indian independence leader who was crucial in uniting a fractured country. Prime Minister Narendra Modi was on hand Wednesday — Patel’s birthday — to unveil the mammoth statue, which looks over the Narmada River in the western state of Gujarat. For perspective: It is almost twice the height of the Statue of Liberty, which, including the pedestal, reaches to 305 feet.
Bomb Explodes at Russian Security Agency, Wounding 3 Workers
An explosive device detonated inside an office of Russia’s main security agency Wednesday, wounding three workers and killing the person who carried it, Russian authorities said. The explosion at the local headquarters of the Federal Security Service in the northern city of Arkhangelsk was labeled a terrorist act by the Russian Investigative Committee. It said in a statement that the attacker was a 17-year-old local resident but did not offer any other information. Authorities were working to identify the explosive device, said Igor A. Orlov, the local governor. People were evacuated from the building, and security measures were increased around the city.
Bones Are Found in Rome, Renewing Speculation in 1983 Disappearance
In June 1983, Emanuela Orlandi, the 15-year-old daughter of a Vatican employee, vanished on her way home from a music lesson. Emanuela’s disappearance has been one of Italy’s most intriguing cold cases. So much so that the discovery Monday of human bones in a building in Rome belonging to the Vatican sparked a media frenzy, with front-page speculation that her remains had finally been found. The Vatican released a short statement late Tuesday saying only that bones had been found and that Rome’s chief prosecutor had asked police experts to determine the “age, sex, and date of death” of the bones.
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