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Turkey shared Khashoggi tapes with Saudi Arabia, US: Erdogan

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journalist Jamal Khashoggi

Istanbul, Nov 10: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday said that recordings related to Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s death have been passed on to Saudi Arabia, the US, the UK, Germany and France.

Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist and a supporter-turned-critic of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, was killed inside the kingdom consulate in Istanbul on October 2 when he went there for paperwork for his forthcoming marriage.

Speaking before his departure for Paris for World War I commemorations, Erdogan said: “We passed on the recordings. We gave them to Saudi Arabia, to America, to the Germans, French and the English — we gave them all.” However, he did not elaborate on what was in the recordings.

“They listened to the conversations which took place here, they know”, he said. No other country admitted hearing the said recording.

Erdogan said the killer, or killers, would be known to the 18 suspects identified by Turkish authorities — including 15 men who arrived from Saudi Arabia shortly before Khashoggi’s death.

He again called on Saudi Arabia to provide answers as to what happened to Khashoggi and his body.

Saudi authorities initially denied all knowledge of Khashoggi’s fate before admitting that he was killed “accidentally” in a fist fight at the consulate by “rogue” agents.

However, it denied the ruling royal family’s involvement in the killing.

The Saudis also denied comments allegedly made by the Saudi Crown Prince describing Khashoggi as a dangerous Islamist.

There is still no consensus on how Khashoggi died. Initially, Turkish media had reported that the country had audio recordings proving that the journalist had been tortured before being murdered.

Last week, however, Turkey said he had been strangled immediately after entering the consulate and his body dismembered “in accordance with plans made in advance”.

No body has yet been found and a Turkish official said it had been dissolved in acid.

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Prachanda faction expels Prime Minister Oli from party

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Discord and division continue inside the Nepal Communist Party, which has not split formally but has virtually fallen apart after Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli unilaterally decided to dissolve the House of Representatives on December 20 without the party’s consent.

Since then, the Nepal Communist Party is acting like two parties — one headed by Oli himself and the other led by former Prime Ministers Pushpa Kamal Dahal aka Prachanda and Madhav Kumar Nepal. Both sides are running separate programmes across the country under the same banner as they await official recognition from the Election Commission.

Amid this row, the Prachanda-Nepal faction has taken disciplinary action against Oli.

A Standing Committee meeting of the faction held on Sunday decided to expel Oli from the party, its spokesperson Narayan Kaji Shrestha told the media.

The dissident faction has alleged Oli breached the party discipline and is liable to expulsion from the party. It had earlier relieved him from the post of party Chairman.

According to Pampha Bhusal, leader of the dissident faction, Sunday’s meeting decided to expel Oli even from the general membership, accusing him of violating the party statutes.

“He (Oli) is not even an ordinary member of the party now,” Bhusal said.

The faction had earlier asked Oli to furnish, within three days, an explanation why not action should be not taken against him for anti-party activities.

The faction had handed over this notice to the Prime Minister’s residence. However, Oli did not respond to the letter. Sunday’s meeting also reviewed the protest programme and discussed a new protest plan.

The faction had taken to the streets against the dissolution of the House of Representatives, terming the move unconstitutional and undemocratic.

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Pak okays Russian vaccine for ’emergency use’

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COVID-19 Vaccine
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The Sputnik V has become the third vaccine to be approved for emergency use in the country — the first one being the Oxford University-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine and the second one by Chinese state-owned firm Sinopharm. 

“In a meeting conducted by the registration board of the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (Drap), another vaccine has also been given EUA which was developed with the backing of Russian Develop­ment Investment Fund,” Dawn news reported on Sunday citing the official as saying. 
“Russia’s state-owned Sputnik-V has developed a double-dose vaccine, which is administered by syringes,” said the official. 

A local pharmaceutical AGP, he said, had been authorised as the sole importer and distributor of the Russian vaccine. 
The development comes as Pakistan’s overall coronavirus caseload has increased to 532,412 as of Sunday, while the death toll stood at 11,295.

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Twitter locks account of Chinese Embassy in US over Uyghur tweet

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Twitter has locked the official account of China’s Embassy in the US over a controversial post that referred to Muslim Uyghur women as “baby-making machines” prior to government intervention.

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