Oct 19, 2018

Saudi attorney general says Khashoggi died in fight at consulate

Mohammad bin Salman. Photo: Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images.

Saudi Arabia's attorney general says journalist Jamal Khashoggi died after a fight broke out between him and people who met him at the consulate in Istanbul, according to Saudi state TV.

Why it matters: The Saudis and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman are walking a tightrope here in an effort to avoid the massive international backlash that would accompany a conclusion that this was an assassination ordered from the top. The Trump administration has been waiting for their explanation. Finally, after 17 days, it's starting to emerge.

The details: In a statement from the Public Prosecutor's Office: Its investigations continue in this case with 18 detainees so far, all of whom are Saudi nationals. The account contradicts its own earlier claim that Khashoggi left shortly after arriving the consulate.

The kingdom has also fired five top officials, including deputy chief of general intelligence Ahmad bin Hassan Assiri, royal court advisor Abdullah Al-Qahtani, and assistant to intelligence chief Mohammed Bin Saleh Al Rumaih.

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Federal court temporarily halts "Remain in Mexico" program

Migrant wearing a cap with U.S. flagin front of the border between Guatemala and Mexico. Photo: Jair Cabrera Torres/picture alliance via Getty Image

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court's earlier injunction on Friday, temporarily stopping the Trump administration from enforcing the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) — known as the "Remain in Mexico" policy.

Why it matters: Tens of thousands of migrants seeking asylum have been forced to wait out their U.S. immigration court cases across the border in Mexico under the policy. The Trump administration has long credited this program for the decline in border crossings following record highs last summer.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus updates: WHO raises global threat level to "very high"

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

The World Health Organization raised its global risk assessment for the novel coronavirus to "very high" Friday, its highest risk level as countries struggle to contain it. Meanwhile, National Economic Council director Larry Kudlow this morning tried to reassure the markets, which continued to correct amid growing fears of a U.S. recession.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed more than 2,860 people and infected about 83,800 others in almost 60 countries and territories outside the epicenter in mainland China. The number of new cases reported outside China now exceed those inside the country.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 3 hours ago - Health

Bernie's plan to hike taxes on some startup employees

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Sens. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) and Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) introduced legislation that would tax nonqualified stock options at vesting, rather than at exercise, for employees making at least $130,000 per year.

The big picture: Select employees at private companies would be taxed on monies that they hadn't yet banked.