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German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Photo: Pier Marco Tacca/Getty Images.

World leaders have responded to the developing details regarding the death of the Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, either by putting a hold on their diplomatic relationship with Saudi Arabia or signaling their disapproval of how they handled the matter.

The big picture: As President Trump says he believes Saudi Arabia's explanation of how Khashoggi died, several countries in the European Union — France, Germany, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands — have suspended political visits to Saudi Arabia until more information is known about Khashoggi's death. Australia announced today they are wholly pulling out of "Davos in the Desert." Saudi Arabia is taking 30 days to investigate, while Turkey says it will keep releasing evidence.

What they're saying

German Chancellor Angela Merkel denounced Saudi Arabia's explanations of the death of Jamal Khashoggi Saturday, Bloomberg reports, saying it's unacceptable the country has not been transparent about the death.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said Saturday that Germany should not approve arms sales to Saudi Arabia until investigations into the circumstances of journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s death have been completed, according to Reuters.

Australia announced Saturday that "official Australian representation at the forthcoming Future Investment Initiative event in Riyadh is no longer appropriate," per Reuters citing a joint statement from Foreign Minister Marise Payne and Trade Minister Simon Birmingham.

U.K. Trade Secretary Liam Fox, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire and Dutch Finance Minister Wopke Hoekstra have pulled out of the Future Investment Initiative event.

French President Emmanuel Macron announced Thursday he is suspending political visits to Saudi Arabia due to the controversy surrounding the disappearance, per The Hill. The action, he said, had “to be done in the short term given the seriousness of the facts and the absence of clarification on these elements.”

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Bernie Madoff dies in prison at 82

Photo: Jin Lee/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Bernie Madoff, a former investor sentenced to 150 years in prison for perpetrating the largest Ponzi scheme in U.S. history, died Wednesday at age 82, AP reports.

The big picture: Madoff pleaded guilty in 2009 to a multibillion-dollar scheme that investigators said began in the 1970s and defrauded as many as 37,000 people in 136 countries — including high-profile victims like Steven Spielberg, former New York Mets owner Fred Wilpon and actor Kevin Bacon, according to CNBC.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
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John Kerry and China's long road ahead on climate

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Brian Snyder/AFP via Getty Images

Yes, special climate envoy John Kerry's really in China and no, don't look for a huge breakthrough between the world's two largest carbon-emitting nations.

Driving the news: The State Department yesterday announced Kerry's visit this week, confirming plans that began emerging Saturday.

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