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Photo: Ludovic Marin/AFP/Getty Images

A CIA assessment says that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) communicated several times with his top adviser, who oversaw the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, before and after Khashoggi's death, according to the Wall Street Journal which reviewed excerpts of the assessment.

Why it matters: The CIA's conclusion that MBS directed the murder of Khashoggi has been disputed by President Trump, who said the CIA "points it both ways." But MBS said, according to the CIA assessment, that "we could possibly lure him outside Saudi Arabia and make arrangements" if he was unable to get Khashoggi to return to the kingdom, which the CIA says "seems to foreshadow the Saudi operation launched against Khashoggi."

Details: The CIA concludes in its assessment that there is "medium-to-high confidence" that MBS "personally targeted" Jamal Khashoggi, and "probably ordered his death," the Journal reports.

  • The team of people who killed Khashoggi was made up of MBS' "top security units in the Royal Guard," the WSJ reports. The CIA said: "We assess it is highly unlikely this team of operators...carried out the operation without Muhammed bin Salman's authorization."
  • It's unclear if the comments about luring Khashoggi to another country came directly from MBS or were being described by someone.

Go deeper

Updated 12 mins ago - World

Mexican President López Obrador tests positive for coronavirus

Mexico's President Andrés Manuel López Obrador during a press conference at National Palace in Mexico City, Mexico, on Wednesday. Photo: Ismael Rosas/Eyepix Group/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador announced Sunday evening that he's tested positive for COVID-19.

Driving the news: López Obrador tweeted that he has mild symptoms and is receiving medical treatment. "As always, I am optimistic," he added. "We will all move forward."

27 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Sarah Huckabee Sanders to run for governor of Arkansas

Sarah Huckabee Sanders at FOX News' studios in New York City in 2019. Photo: Steven Ferdman/Getty Images

Former White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders will announce Monday that she's running for governor of Arkansas.

The big picture: Sanders was touted as a contender after it was announced she was leaving the Trump administration in June 2019. Then-President Trump tweeted he hoped she would run for governor, adding "she would be fantastic." Sanders is "seen as leader in the polls" in the Republican state, notes the Washington Post's Josh Dawsey, who first reported the news.

Coronavirus has inflamed global inequality

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

History will likely remember the pandemic as the "first time since records began that inequality rose in virtually every country on earth at the same time." That's the verdict from Oxfam's inequality report covering the year 2020 — a terrible year that hit the poorest, hardest across the planet.

Why it matters: The world's poorest were already in a race against time, facing down an existential risk in the form of global climate change. The coronavirus pandemic could set global poverty reduction back as much as a full decade, according to the World Bank.

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