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Jamal Khashoggi. Photo: Mohammed Al-Shaikh/AFP/Getty Images

A UN investigator said Wednesday that Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi faced a "deliberate, premeditated execution" at the hands of Saudi Arabia in the first independent report on his death, CNN reports.

Why it matters: President Trump and other members of his administration, including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, have publicly stood by the Saudis after Khashoggi's death last year, despite the CIA's assessment that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) ordered the murder.

  • The investigator, Agnes Callamard of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, did not find a "smoking gun" that explicitly incriminated MBS but said the mission required "significant government coordination, resources and finances" — and recommended a further probe into the crown prince's role.
  • "[E]very expert consulted finds it inconceivable that an operation of this scale could be implemented without the Crown Prince being aware, at a minimum, that some sort of mission of a criminal nature, directed at Mr. Khashoggi, was being launched."

Saudi Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel al-Jubeir dismissed the UN report, emphasizing the case is under the jurisdiction of the Saudi government: "We firmly reject any attempt to encroach upon the Kingdom’s leadership, and any attempt to divert the case from the course of justice in the Kingdom or influence it in any manner."

Go deeper: Jared Kushner on MBS, refugees, racism and Trump's legacy

Go deeper

Republican Sen. Sasse slams Nebraska GOP for "weird worship" of Trump after state party rebuke

Sen. Ben Sasse, (R-Neb.) Photo: Andrew Harnik - Pool/Getty Images

The Nebraska Republican Party on Saturday formally "rebuked" Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) for his vote to impeach former President Trump earlier this year, though it stopped short of a formal censure, CNN reports.

Why it matters: Sasse is the latest among a slate of Republicans who have faced some sort of punishment from their state party apparatus after voting to impeach the former president. The senator responded statement Saturday, per the Omaha World-Herald, saying "most Nebraskans don't think politics should be about the weird worship of one dude."

Cuomo barraged by fellow Dems after second harassment accusation

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo faced a barrage of criticism from fellow Democrats after The New York Times reported that the second former aide in four days had accused him of sexual harassment.

Why it matters: Cuomo had faced a revolt from legislators for his handling of nursing-home deaths from COVID. Now, the scandal is acutely personal, with obviously grave political risk.

3 hours ago - Health

Fauci: Children "very likely" to get COVID vaccine at start of 2022

NIAID Director Anthony Fauci. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Children under age 12 will "very likely" be able to get vaccinated for coronavirus at the "earliest the end of the year, and very likely the first quarter of 2022," NIAID Director Anthony Fauci told "Meet the Press" Sunday.

Why it matters: Children generally aren't at risk of serious coronavirus infections, but vaccinating them will be key to protecting the adults around them and, eventually, reaching herd immunity, writes Axios' Caitlin Owens.