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People hold posters picturing journalist Jamal Khashoggi and lightened candles during a gathering outside the Saudi Arabia consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 25, 2018. Photo: YASIN AKGUL/AFP via Getty Images

Washington Post publisher Fred Ryan on Monday accused President Biden of giving Saudi Arabia Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman a "'one free murder' pass" after U.S. intelligence confirmed that he personally approved the killing of Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018.

Why it matters: Biden has faced criticisms that the U.S. response to the finding — which includes sanctions on entities implicated in the murder but not on Bin Salman directly — does not square with his campaign pledge to make the Saudi regime “pay the price and make them, in fact, the pariah that they are.”

  • The sanctions fall "far short of honoring" Biden's promise, Ryan wrote in a Post op-ed out Monday.
  • "American voters took Biden at his word that he would reestablish the United States as a champion of human rights and not allow exceptions based on personal relationships or strategic needs of the moment."

Background: Khashoggi was a prominent Saudi journalist and royal insider who became an outspoken critic of MBS in 2017.

  • He fled Saudi Arabia in 2017 and went into self-imposed exile in Virginia, where he wrote columns for the Washington Post that were frequently critical of the regime.
  • His grisly murder in 2018 inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul sparked worldwide outrage.

What he's saying: Ryan called on further action from the Biden administration to "show the world that there is stability and continuity in upholding our enduring principles."

  • "We should not make exceptions to favor one brutal dictator over another based on favors they do for us or fears that they might not always respond as we would like them to," Ryan wrote.
  • "How can we be a credible champion of human rights when we demand accountability in one country and are willing to look the other way in another?"

The bottom line: Ryan writes: "There is no legal, moral or logical reason to apply sanctions to the lower-level players in this conspiracy, who were following orders, while letting the criminal mastermind get away without consequence."

Go deeper

Black and Latino Army officer sues police over traffic stop where he was pepper-sprayed

An Army officer is suing two Virginia police officers after he said they drew their guns and pepper-sprayed him during a traffic stop in December, WTKR reports.

Why it matters: Footage of the incident has drawn widespread criticism from leaders and groups in the state. Caron Nazario, who is Black and Latino, is heard saying “I’m honestly afraid to get out," to which a police officer responds “Yeah, you should be," in a video from a body-worn camera.

Chauvin trial leaves cities, activists across America on edge

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

The impact of the Derek Chauvin trial is reverberating far beyond the walls of the downtown Minneapolis courtroom.

The state of play: With the trial set to enter its third week, activists across America are watching the proceedings unfold with heavy skepticism that what they perceive as justice will be served.

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
3 hours ago - Economy & Business

The dispiriting housing boom

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

It's a discouraging scene: Bidding wars, soaring prices, and fears that homeownership is becoming out of reach for millions of Americans. We're in a housing frenzy, driven by a massive shortage of inventory — and no one seems to be happy about it.

Why it matters: Not all bubbles burst. Real estate, in particular, tends to rise in value much more easily than it falls. Besides, says National Association of Realtors chief economist Lawrence Yun, this "is not a bubble. It is simply lack of supply."