Friday News Roundup - International

5 hours ago

Journalist Jamal Khashoggi remains missing this week. Khashoggi was critical of the Saudi government, and after he went into the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, to get some routine papers, he never emerged.

Turkish authorities have said they think Khashoggi was killed and dismembered. And The Washington Post reported on Wednesday that Saudi crown prince Mohamed bin Salman was directly involved, according to intercepts by U.S. intelligence services.

The crown prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman, ordered an operation to lure Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi back to Saudi Arabia from his home in Virginia and then detain him, according to U.S. intelligence intercepts of Saudi officials discussing the plan.

The intelligence, described by U.S. officials familiar with it, is another piece of evidence implicating the Saudi regime in Khashoggi’s disappearance last week after he entered the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul. Turkish officials say that a Saudi security team lay in wait for the journalist and killed him.

Khashoggi was a prominent critic of the Saudi government and Mohammed in particular. Several of Khashoggi’s friends said that over the past four months, senior Saudi officials close to the crown prince had called Khashoggi to offer him protection, and even a high-level job working for the government, if he returned to his home country.

What happened to Khashoggi? And because he was a resident of the United States, how will his disappearance impact the U.S.-Saudi relationship? Did American intelligence officials have a duty to warn Khashoggi that he was in danger?

In Brazil, far-right candidate Jair Bolsonaro will participate in a runoff election for the presidency. He’ll campaign against Fernando Haddad of the Workers’ Party. The Intercept reports that Haddad “came in 17 percentage points behind in the first round and suffers from an enormous enthusiasm gap and messaging problem.”

Is it possible that Bolsonaro will win the presidency? How did his right-wing populist message become so successful?

Elsewhere in South America, Peruvian officials arrested opposition leader Keiko Fujimori. The BBC reports that “prosecutors allege she was involved in accepting illegal contributions to her party by the Brazilian firm Odebrecht.” That company is familiar to Peruvians. Pedro Pablo Kuczynski resigned as president of Peru earlier this year in a scandal related to the firm. As for Fujimori, she denied any wrongdoing and said she was being politically targeted.

In Asia, the Chinese government acknowledged and legalized what it calls “re-education” centers for Uighur Muslims.

From The Wall Street Journal

The amended counterterrorism regulations, adopted Tuesday in the northwest Xinjiang region where most Uighurs live, say that authorities can use “vocational skills training centers” to “deradicalize” people suspected of extremism. The previous rules made no reference to vocational centers.

The new rules appear to mark the first time China has acknowledged its use of vocational centers to detain Xinjiang residents for “transformation through education.” Senior Chinese officials have maintained—including before a United Nations panel in August—that the centers taught vocational skills to petty criminals. It had disputed reports the centers were used for “political re-education.”

The Journal also reports that a U.S. Congressional report, released this week, details the “dire human rights situation” in China, particularly the country’s mass internment of Uighurs and other minorities.”

And it’s been a year of #MeToo. One place where this movement is gaining ground is in India’s Bollywood movie industry. Quartz India reports that Phantom Films, a leading production studio, has shuttered after one of its partners was accused of sexual assault in HuffPost India.

Will this be a turning point in the Indian film industry?

We’ll get you updated on a busy week in global headlines.


Jon Sopel, North America editor, BBC; author, “If Only They Didn’t Speak English: Notes from Trump’s America”; @BBCJonSopel

Nancy Youssef, National security reporter, The Wall Street Journal; @nancyayoussef

Uri Friedman, Staff writer, The Atlantic, covering global affairs

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