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Khashoggi died in fight at consulate, admits Saudi Arabia

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Jamal Khashoggi (File Photo)

Riyadh, Oct 20: Journalist Jamal Khashoggi died as a result of a physical altercation inside the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul, Saudi Arabian official media reported on Friday. Two senior Saudi officials have been fired over the incident.

Khashoggi was last seen on October 2 when he entered the consulate to obtain documents he needed to wed his Turkish fiancee, Hatice Cengiz, who called Turkish police after waiting outside the mission for more than three hours for the Washington Post columnist to come out, an Efe report said.

Citing the Attorney General’s Office, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) said Khashoggi and the people who received him at the consulate got into an argument that turned violent, leading to the journalist’s death.

Prosecutors said that 18 people had already been arrested in connection with the case and emphasized the “commitment of the authorities in the Kingdom to bring the facts to the attention of the public and to hold accountable all those involved”.

In related developments, Saudi state television announced that Maj. Gen. Ahmed al-Asiri had been relieved as deputy head of the intelligence services, while SPA reported that Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, the kingdom’s defacto ruler, dismissed his closest adviser, Saud al-Qahtani.

Khashoggi, himself a member of the Saudi elite, had been critical of the crown prince.

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Donald Trump made 8,158 false or misleading claims in two years

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Washington, Jan 22: Two years after taking the oath of office, US President Donald Trump has made 8,158 false or misleading claims, according to The Washington Post’s database.

The daily’s Fact Checker’s database analyses, categorises and tracks every suspect statement uttered by the President, it said in the report on Monday.

In 2018, he made an “astonishing” 6,000-plus such claims.

The President averaged nearly 5.9 false or misleading claims a day in his first year in office, but he hit nearly 16.5 a day in his second year, almost triple the pace.

The Washington Post started the Fact Checker online project as part of its coverage of the President’s first 100 days, “largely because we could not possibly keep up with the pace and volume of the President’s misstatements”.

The project’s interactive graphic displays a running list of every false or misleading statement made by Trump. A reader can also search for specific claims or obtain monthly or daily totals.

According to Fact Checker, the President in his first 100 days made 492 unsupported claims.

He managed to top that number just in the first three weeks of 2019.

Before the midterm elections in October, he made more than 1,200 false or misleading claims.

The biggest source of misleading claims is immigration, with a tally that has grown with the addition of 300 immigration claims in the past three weeks, for a total of 1,433, the Fact Checker said.

In the President’s immigration address on January 19, the last day of his second year in office, there were 12 false or misleading claims.

According to Fact Checker, there were only 82 days or about 11 per cent of the time that there were recorded no claims.

“These were often days when the President golfed,” it added.

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Disaster

6.2-magnitude quake jolts Indonesia

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Jakarta, Jan 22: An earthquake measuring 6.2 on the Richter scale rocked East Nusa Tenggara province of Indonesia on Tuesday, but was not potential for tsunami, the country’s meteorology and geophysics agency said.

There was no initial report of damage, the agency said.

The quake had epicentre at 103 km southwest of Sumba Barat district of the province and a depth of 10 km under sea bed, official in charge of meteorology and geophysics agency Aziz Sugiarso said.

“For this quake, there were no signs of tsunami to occur so that we did not issue a warning for that,” he told Xinhua.

“We have not got any damages or casualty triggered by the quake,” he said.

Nine minutes after the quake, an aftershock of 5.2-magnitude struck off the province, the official said.

Indonesia is prone to quake as it lies on a vulnerable quake-impacted zone so called “the Pacific Ring of Fire”.
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Kamala Harris to run for US President in 2020

The 54-year-old portrayed herself as a fighter for justice, decency and equality in the video.

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 Kamala Harris

Washington, Jan 21 : Democrat Kamala Harris, the first Indian-American to serve in the US Senate, launched her campaign for the White House on Monday while appearing on ABC’s Good Morning America.

In a brief video from her campaign that was released on the social media at the same time she appeared on the show, Harris called on her supporters to join with her to “claim our future”. She made the announcement on Monday — America’s Martin Luther King Jr Day holiday — to honour the legacy of her hero.

The 54-year-old portrayed herself as a fighter for justice, decency and equality in the video.

“They’re the values we as Americans cherish, and they’re all on the line now,” Harris said.

“The future of our country depends on you and millions of others lifting our voices to fight for our American values… That’s why I’m running for President of the US. I’m running to lift those voices, to bring our voices together.”

Harris’ announcement followed the entrance of her fellow senators Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York in the presidential race.

She is the daughter of an Indian mother and Jamaican father who met in Berkeley, California, at the height of the civil rights movement.

Harris said the time had come to fight against what she called “the injustices of the past two years of the Donald Trump presidency”. She has accused Trump of stoking racist and xenophobic rhetoric, while aligning his administration with white supremacists at home, and cozying up to dictators abroad.

She said that the needs of the middle class had been ignored, citing the federal shutdown over the President’s “vanity project” — a border wall — as the latest example.

The Senator had earlier turned up the heat on the President by blasting his insistence on holding out for funding for his border wall before reopening the government — comparing his behaviour to how her 11-year-old godson might have behaved with his toy train.

Harris’ campaign will be headquartered in Baltimore – giving aides an East Coast hub in a racially diverse city that has struggled with wide income disparities – and Oakland, where Harris was born to immigrant parents who came to the US to advance their academic careers, CNN reported.

She began her career as a deputy district attorney in Alameda county, California, before becoming District Attorney of San Francisco, where she focused on crime prevention.

In 2010, she narrowly beat her Republican opponent to become California’s Attorney General. Six years later, she was elected to the Senate, where she became the second black woman ever to serve in the chamber.

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