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Migrant caravan headed to US grows to 7,200: UN official

Posted on: October 22nd, 2018 by ABC News No Comments

He blamed Democrats for the Central American migrants hoping to reach the U.S.

Migrant caravan headed to US grows to 7,200: UN official

Posted on: October 22nd, 2018 by ABC News No Comments

He blamed Democrats for the Central American migrants hoping to reach the U.S.

US national security adviser John Bolton in Russia to announce end to historic Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty

Posted on: October 22nd, 2018 by ABC News No Comments

iStock/Thinkstock(MOSCOW) — U.S. national security adviser John Bolton has arrived in Moscow, where he is expected to tell Russian officials that America plans to withdraw from a historic nuclear arms treaty that dates to the Cold War.

Bolton met on Monday with the head of Russia’s National Security Council, Nikolai Patrushev, Russia’s state news agency, RIA Novosti reported, citing Patrushev’s press office. Later Bolton dined with foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, with Russia’s foreign ministry tweeting photographs of the U.S. delegation sitting at an elaborately laid table across from Russian officials.

Bolton is spending two days in Moscow, and is due to meet on Tuesday with Russia’s defense minister, Sergey Shoigu and later president Vladimir Putin. The trip is expected to be dominated by the Trump administration’s decision to pull out of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces or INF treaty.

President Donald Trump announced on Saturday that the U.S. will withdraw from the INF, saying Russia is in violation of the treaty. The announcement prompted strong criticism from arms control advocates, as well as former U.S. officials, who have said it removes an important safeguard and knocks out a symbolic pillar of post-Cold War trust between Russia and the U.S. at a moment when they are already locked in confrontation.

The INF was signed in 1987 by President Ronald Reagan and the Soviet Union’s leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, at a time when the leaders of the two superpowers were seeking to put an end to decades of tension. The treaty bans the U.S. and Russia from deploying all ground-launched nuclear and conventional missiles with ranges of 300 – 3,420 miles.

The agreement did away with thousands of missiles and was hailed as a stepping stone towards ending the Cold War. But for several years now the U.S. and Russia, have accused one another of violating the agreement. Starting under the Obama administration, the U.S. has alleged that Russia has been flouting part of the agreement by secretly developing and deploying a new cruise missile.

On Saturday, Trump cited violations when he declared the U.S. would now pull out of the treaty.

“They’ve been violating it for many years and I don’t know why President Obama didn’t negotiate or pull out,” Trump told reporters in Nevada.

“We’re not going to let them violate a nuclear agreement and do weapons and we’re not allowed to. We’re the ones that have stayed in the agreement and we’ve honored the agreement but Russia has not unfortunately honored the agreement so we’re going to pull out.”

Russia has long denied the U.S. accusations and has retorted by alleging a U.S. missile defense system in Europe also violates the treaty.

Since Trump’s announcement, Russian officials have criticized the decision to withdraw, saying it undermines the system of arms control that has regulated the two countries’ relations.

On Monday, as Bolton was meeting with Patrushev, the Kremlin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said it would be seeking more detailed explanations from Bolton why the U.S. is leaving the treaty and “categorically” denied Russia is in violation. Peskov warned that Russia would have to take steps to “restore the balance” if the U.S. now began developing weapons banned under the treaty.

Russia’s foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, ahead of meeting Bolton said that the U.S. so far had not triggered the six-month withdrawal mechanism that is built-in to the treaty.

The Trump administration’s withdrawal from the INF treaty is the first time the U.S. has abandoned a major arms treaty since President George W. Bush unilaterally exited the Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty with Russia in 2002.

The decision has been met with a chorus of criticism from arms control advocates, as well as some former U.S. officials, who believe exiting the treaty frees Russia’s hand while giving the U.S. little in return.

Members of Trump’s own Republican party have also expressed alarm that it could unravel the decades-old international system of nuclear arms control, calling on the president to renegotiate rather than abandon the treaty. “I hope we’re not moving down the path to undo much of the nuclear arms control treaties that we have put in place,” Bob Corker, the Republican chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee said on CNN on Sunday. “I think that would be a huge mistake.”

Mikhail Gorbachev, who signed the INF with Reagan, condemned Trump’s decision, saying on Sunday that “Washington has chosen the irresponsible path”. Gorbachev said the Russian and the U.S. governments must still try to salvage the agreement. “I think that train hasn’t left the station,” RIA Novosti quoted him as saying.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

US national security adviser John Bolton in Russia to announce end to historic Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty

Posted on: October 22nd, 2018 by ABC News No Comments

iStock/Thinkstock(MOSCOW) — U.S. national security adviser John Bolton has arrived in Moscow, where he is expected to tell Russian officials that America plans to withdraw from a historic nuclear arms treaty that dates to the Cold War.

Bolton met on Monday with the head of Russia’s National Security Council, Nikolai Patrushev, Russia’s state news agency, RIA Novosti reported, citing Patrushev’s press office. Later Bolton dined with foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, with Russia’s foreign ministry tweeting photographs of the U.S. delegation sitting at an elaborately laid table across from Russian officials.

Bolton is spending two days in Moscow, and is due to meet on Tuesday with Russia’s defense minister, Sergey Shoigu and later president Vladimir Putin. The trip is expected to be dominated by the Trump administration’s decision to pull out of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces or INF treaty.

President Donald Trump announced on Saturday that the U.S. will withdraw from the INF, saying Russia is in violation of the treaty. The announcement prompted strong criticism from arms control advocates, as well as former U.S. officials, who have said it removes an important safeguard and knocks out a symbolic pillar of post-Cold War trust between Russia and the U.S. at a moment when they are already locked in confrontation.

The INF was signed in 1987 by President Ronald Reagan and the Soviet Union’s leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, at a time when the leaders of the two superpowers were seeking to put an end to decades of tension. The treaty bans the U.S. and Russia from deploying all ground-launched nuclear and conventional missiles with ranges of 300 – 3,420 miles.

The agreement did away with thousands of missiles and was hailed as a stepping stone towards ending the Cold War. But for several years now the U.S. and Russia, have accused one another of violating the agreement. Starting under the Obama administration, the U.S. has alleged that Russia has been flouting part of the agreement by secretly developing and deploying a new cruise missile.

On Saturday, Trump cited violations when he declared the U.S. would now pull out of the treaty.

“They’ve been violating it for many years and I don’t know why President Obama didn’t negotiate or pull out,” Trump told reporters in Nevada.

“We’re not going to let them violate a nuclear agreement and do weapons and we’re not allowed to. We’re the ones that have stayed in the agreement and we’ve honored the agreement but Russia has not unfortunately honored the agreement so we’re going to pull out.”

Russia has long denied the U.S. accusations and has retorted by alleging a U.S. missile defense system in Europe also violates the treaty.

Since Trump’s announcement, Russian officials have criticized the decision to withdraw, saying it undermines the system of arms control that has regulated the two countries’ relations.

On Monday, as Bolton was meeting with Patrushev, the Kremlin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said it would be seeking more detailed explanations from Bolton why the U.S. is leaving the treaty and “categorically” denied Russia is in violation. Peskov warned that Russia would have to take steps to “restore the balance” if the U.S. now began developing weapons banned under the treaty.

Russia’s foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, ahead of meeting Bolton said that the U.S. so far had not triggered the six-month withdrawal mechanism that is built-in to the treaty.

The Trump administration’s withdrawal from the INF treaty is the first time the U.S. has abandoned a major arms treaty since President George W. Bush unilaterally exited the Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty with Russia in 2002.

The decision has been met with a chorus of criticism from arms control advocates, as well as some former U.S. officials, who believe exiting the treaty frees Russia’s hand while giving the U.S. little in return.

Members of Trump’s own Republican party have also expressed alarm that it could unravel the decades-old international system of nuclear arms control, calling on the president to renegotiate rather than abandon the treaty. “I hope we’re not moving down the path to undo much of the nuclear arms control treaties that we have put in place,” Bob Corker, the Republican chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee said on CNN on Sunday. “I think that would be a huge mistake.”

Mikhail Gorbachev, who signed the INF with Reagan, condemned Trump’s decision, saying on Sunday that “Washington has chosen the irresponsible path”. Gorbachev said the Russian and the U.S. governments must still try to salvage the agreement. “I think that train hasn’t left the station,” RIA Novosti quoted him as saying.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

World’s longest sea bridge to open after 9 years of construction

Posted on: October 22nd, 2018 by ABC News No Comments

The major infrastructure project aims to connect the economic hubs.

World’s longest sea bridge to open after 9 years of construction

Posted on: October 22nd, 2018 by ABC News No Comments

The major infrastructure project aims to connect the economic hubs.

US national security adviser in Russia to announce end to nuclear treaty

Posted on: October 22nd, 2018 by ABC News No Comments

Bolton is in Russia after Donald Trump said the U.S. will leave INF treaty

US national security adviser in Russia to announce end to nuclear treaty

Posted on: October 22nd, 2018 by ABC News No Comments

Bolton is in Russia after Donald Trump said the U.S. will leave INF treaty

Two U.S. Navy warships sail through Taiwan Strait

Posted on: October 22nd, 2018 by ABC News No Comments

iStock/Thinkstock(BEIJING) —  Two U.S. Navy warships sailed through the international waters of the Taiwan Strait on Monday, the body of water separating China and Taiwan, the island nation that China considers a breakaway province.

The transit could increase tensions between the U.S. and China as both countries are involved in a trade dispute and as the U.S. voices concerns over China’s militarization of the South China Sea.

“USS Curtis Wilbur (DDG 54) and USS Antietam (CG 54) conducted a routine Taiwan Strait Transit on Oct. 22, in accordance with international law,” Cmdr. Nate Christensen, Deputy Spokesman, US Pacific Fleet. ”

“The ships’ transit through the Taiwan Strait demonstrates the U.S. commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific,” he added. “The U.S. Navy will continue to fly, sail and operate anywhere international law allows.”

A similar transit by two U.S. destroyers occurred in July, the first time the Navy had carried out a mission like that in more than a year.

Taiwan’s Defense Ministry first confirmed the transit in a statement.

“The Ministry of National Defense said today that two US ships have sailed from the south to the north through the Taiwan Strait,” said a translation of the statement.

“The Ministry of National Defense pointed out that the US ship routinely passed the international waters of the Taiwan Strait, and the relevant details were explained by the US government,” it added.

While the U.S. and China cooperate in denuclearizing North Korea, tensions have increased as both the U.S. and China have engaged in a trade war.

There are also tensions between the two countries over China’s growing military presence on man-made islands in the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea.

Earlier this month a Chinese Navy ship came within 45 yards of the U.S. Navy destroyer USS Decatur as it carried out a freedom of navigation passage through international waters close to those islands.

Another irritant in the U.S.-China relationship continues to be U.S. support for Taiwan. The U.S. continues to sell military weapons to the island nation even though it does not have diplomatic relations with Taiwan. China maintains Taiwan is a breakaway province and not an independent nation.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Two U.S. Navy warships sail through Taiwan Strait

Posted on: October 22nd, 2018 by ABC News No Comments

iStock/Thinkstock(BEIJING) —  Two U.S. Navy warships sailed through the international waters of the Taiwan Strait on Monday, the body of water separating China and Taiwan, the island nation that China considers a breakaway province.

The transit could increase tensions between the U.S. and China as both countries are involved in a trade dispute and as the U.S. voices concerns over China’s militarization of the South China Sea.

“USS Curtis Wilbur (DDG 54) and USS Antietam (CG 54) conducted a routine Taiwan Strait Transit on Oct. 22, in accordance with international law,” Cmdr. Nate Christensen, Deputy Spokesman, US Pacific Fleet. ”

“The ships’ transit through the Taiwan Strait demonstrates the U.S. commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific,” he added. “The U.S. Navy will continue to fly, sail and operate anywhere international law allows.”

A similar transit by two U.S. destroyers occurred in July, the first time the Navy had carried out a mission like that in more than a year.

Taiwan’s Defense Ministry first confirmed the transit in a statement.

“The Ministry of National Defense said today that two US ships have sailed from the south to the north through the Taiwan Strait,” said a translation of the statement.

“The Ministry of National Defense pointed out that the US ship routinely passed the international waters of the Taiwan Strait, and the relevant details were explained by the US government,” it added.

While the U.S. and China cooperate in denuclearizing North Korea, tensions have increased as both the U.S. and China have engaged in a trade war.

There are also tensions between the two countries over China’s growing military presence on man-made islands in the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea.

Earlier this month a Chinese Navy ship came within 45 yards of the U.S. Navy destroyer USS Decatur as it carried out a freedom of navigation passage through international waters close to those islands.

Another irritant in the U.S.-China relationship continues to be U.S. support for Taiwan. The U.S. continues to sell military weapons to the island nation even though it does not have diplomatic relations with Taiwan. China maintains Taiwan is a breakaway province and not an independent nation.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Trump says migrant caravan includes ‘unknown Middle Easterners,’ offers no evidence

Posted on: October 22nd, 2018 by ABC News No Comments

He blamed Democrats for the Central American migrants hoping to reach the U.S.

Bob Dylan’s lyrics and art on display at new exhibit in London

Posted on: October 22nd, 2018 by ABC News No Comments

Rob Kim/Getty Images(LONDON) — A new Bob Dylan exhibit has opened in London and features handwritten copies of some of his most famous songs.

Included in the Mondo Scripto exhibit, which opened in Halcyon Gallery on Oct. 9, are “The Times They Are A-Changin'” and “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door.” Each song is accompanied by a drawing from the singer-songwriter.

“Mondo Scripto is a historical first,” Paul Green, president and owner of Halcyon Gallery, told ABC News. “It is the first time ever that Dylan has actually rewritten any of his lyrics.”

Some of the lyrics, however, have drastically changed. In “Tangled up in Blue,” the lyrics were rewritten for the exhibit.

“When he is sitting down, obviously it’s not 1962, it’s not 1970, it’s a different era, and he’s thinking again about the words and what they mean to him now and the drawings that are associated with them,” Green said.

Mondo Scripto also features Dylan’s sculptures, which were made in his studio in California. The exhibit, which will be in London through November, is set to travel to China and Japan in 2019 before eventually making its way to the U.S.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Bob Dylan’s lyrics and art on display at new exhibit in London

Posted on: October 22nd, 2018 by ABC News No Comments

Rob Kim/Getty Images(LONDON) — A new Bob Dylan exhibit has opened in London and features handwritten copies of some of his most famous songs.

Included in the Mondo Scripto exhibit, which opened in Halcyon Gallery on Oct. 9, are “The Times They Are A-Changin'” and “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door.” Each song is accompanied by a drawing from the singer-songwriter.

“Mondo Scripto is a historical first,” Paul Green, president and owner of Halcyon Gallery, told ABC News. “It is the first time ever that Dylan has actually rewritten any of his lyrics.”

Some of the lyrics, however, have drastically changed. In “Tangled up in Blue,” the lyrics were rewritten for the exhibit.

“When he is sitting down, obviously it’s not 1962, it’s not 1970, it’s a different era, and he’s thinking again about the words and what they mean to him now and the drawings that are associated with them,” Green said.

Mondo Scripto also features Dylan’s sculptures, which were made in his studio in California. The exhibit, which will be in London through November, is set to travel to China and Japan in 2019 before eventually making its way to the U.S.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

5 dead, including 4 Americans, in Costa Rica rafting accident

Posted on: October 22nd, 2018 by ABC News No Comments

iStock/Thinkstock(SAN JOSE, Costa Rica) — Five people, including four Americans, died in a rafting accident in Costa Rica, authorities said.

The bodies of Ernesto Sierra, Jorge Caso, Sergio Lorenzo and Andres Denis were found Saturday evening, along with that of Kevin Thompson Reid, 45, a Costa Rican guide. The Americans were aged 25 to 35.

The four Americans were on a rafting tour that included 14 people on three rafts, all of which capsized Saturday afternoon. The remaining tourists and guides survived.

The case is being investigated, Marco Monge, a press officer for Costa Rica’s Judicial Investigation Organization, confirmed to ABC News.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Police in Mexico try to stop caravan of Central American migrants determined to reach the US

Posted on: October 22nd, 2018 by ABC News No Comments

Twitter/@MattGutmanABC(TAPACHULA, Mexico) — A caravan of thousands of footsore Central American migrants who say they are seeking refuge from violence in their countries was moving north Sunday under the close watch of an army of Mexican federal police in riot gear.

Mexican officials said federal police were staying in front of the caravan, which stretched about two miles and comprised of mostly people from Honduras and Guatemala, many of whom say they are determined to reach the U.S. border 1,700 miles away.

Those Mexican officers, transported in a convoy of tour buses and joined by riot police from across the country, have announced they will not let the migrants pass a small town near the border.

“Full efforts are being made to stop the onslaught of illegal aliens from crossing our Southern Border,” President Donald Trump tweeted Sunday afternoon. People have to apply for asylum in Mexico first, and if they fail to do that, the U.S. will turn them away. The courts are asking the U.S. to do things that are not doable!”

One woman in the caravan, Blanca, held tight to the arms of her two young sons as her teenage daughter walked beside them holding water bottles. Blanca told ABC News that she fled Honduras with her children after her husband was killed by gangs.

She said she would accept asylum in Mexico if officials there offered it to her, but her goal was to make it all the way to the U.S. border.

“My family is suffering right now, but what’s happening in Honduras is worse,” Blanca said.

The phalanx of police, supported by Mexican military Blackhawk helicopters overhead, was bracing for a repeat of the violent clashes that occurred on Friday when the caravan stormed and overran a crossing at the Suchiate River at the border of Guatemala and Mexico. Members of the caravan crossed into Mexico illegally by either forcing their way through a border fence or jumping into the river and swimming to the Mexico side.

“Donald Trump, we don’t want to cause you any problem, we just want to get a job. Help us,” one young migrant told ABC News as he and hundreds of others walked along a road near Tapachula, Mexico.

Many in the caravan demonstrated that they still had pride in the respective countries they were fleeing by holding the flags of Honduras and Guatemala as they walked.

Among the thousands of migrants are families; fathers and mothers carrying sweating children on their shoulders, shielding them from the ferocious sun. ABC News saw at least one toddler splayed out on the highway sleeping, his father too tired to go on.

Most people were carrying small backpacks and plastic bags. They walked on battered shoes, some were barefoot.

As the migrants walked through villages, local residents came out of their houses to offer food and water. Occasionally, passing motorists would offer rides to the tired migrants, as many had been walking since 4 a.m Sunday.

“God will help us,” one exhausted 20-year-old Honduran mother carrying her toddler son told ABC News as the temperature rose to 87 degrees by midday.

In a series of tweets last week, President Trump threatened to “call up the U.S. military and close our SOUTHERN BORDER” if Mexico doesn’t do anything to stop the flow of migrants.

In late April and early May, a much smaller migrant caravan made it all the way to the U.S.-Mexico border, but only a handful of the asylum seekers were processed by U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Trump was critical of the caravan and in a series of tweets slammed “Democrat-inspired laws on sanctuary cities” for encouraging such a journey.

“Are you watching that mess that’s going on right now with the caravan coming up? Are you watching this and our laws are so weak, they’re, so pathetic?” Trump said at a rally on April 28 in Michigan.

Trump continued on Sunday to blame Democrats.

“The Caravans are a disgrace to the Democrat Party,” the president tweeted on Sunday. “Change the immigration laws NOW!”

Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen said in a statement Sunday morning that she and other U.S. officials are monitoring the caravan’s progress and are concerned about criminals infiltrating the group.

“While we closely monitor the caravan crisis, we must remain mindful of the transnational criminal organizations and other criminals that prey on the vulnerabilities of those undertaking the irregular migration journey,” Nielsen said in her statement.

“We shall work with our partners in the region to investigate and prosecute to the fullest extent of the law all who seek to encourage and profit from irregular migration,” Nielsen said. “We fully support the efforts of Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico, as they seek to address this critical situation and ensure a safer and more secure region.”

Most of the migrants ABC News spoke to said they wanted to march all the way to the U.S.

Maria Juaqina, 19, was carrying her toddler. She said she has family in Los Angeles, and that “only God can open the doors.”

Mexico said it’s willing to open its doors, temporarily. Mexican police officials used bullhorns Sunday to warn the migrants they were illegally proceeding north. The migrants were advised to apply for asylum in order to get temporary status to legally stay in Mexico.

“You cannot go all around the country like this,” officials on bullhorns shouted. “You can go to immigration camps or shelters, so we can establish your cases.”

Mexican asylum status grants migrants a 45-day stay in the country.

Many in the caravan told ABC News that they feared being deported if they voluntarily went to a shelter or immigration camp. Some were demanding proof that they will not be returned home.

Some migrants like Gonzalo Martinez, a farmer from Guatemala, heeded warnings from authorities and decided to return home after witnessing Friday’s clashes at the Guatemalan border. Mexican police unleashed pepper spray on the caravan but failed to turn the migrants back.

“We thought the caravan was passive but there were unruly people,” Martinez, 37, told the Associated Press. “I was disappointed.”

He said he was attempting to escape violent gangs in Guatemala.

“They killed some relatives; they shot my father and they also tried to kill me,” Martinez told the AP.

The Mexican Interior Ministry said on Saturday that 640 Honduran migrants have requested refuge in Mexico.

The ministry also said that priority would be given to “164 women, some of them in advanced stage of pregnancy; 104 girls, boys and teenagers, who are from 3 months old to 17 years old; as well as older adults who have varying degrees of disability. This group includes a minor who traveled alone.”

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Khashoggi died when he was put in a chokehold to prevent him from calling for help

Posted on: October 22nd, 2018 by ABC News No Comments

Omar Shagaleh/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images(ISTANBUL, Turkey) — A Saudi official has told ABC News that Jamal Khashoggi was killed when he was “placed in a chokehold position” to prevent him from leaving the country’s consulate in Turkey and calling for help.

The evolving explanation comes 19 days after Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist who had been critical of his country’s current government, disappeared on Oct. 2 after going into the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

Once Khashoggi was reported missing, the Saudi government initially said Khashoggi had come out of the consulate the same day, and denied any involvement in his disappearance.

Two weeks later, on Friday, the country’s public prosecutor said an initial investigation revealed that discussions between Khashoggi and the individuals who met with him at the consulate led to an argument and a fist fight, which resulted in the journalist’s death, according to the Arabic report in the Saudi Press Agency.

The Saudi official on Sunday told ABC News that Khashoggi’s body was given to a “local cooperator” in Istanbul for disposal. “Investigation into this continues,” the official said.

The whereabouts of Khashoggi’s body remain unknown.

Fifteen Saudis, members of the team sent to Turkey to meet with Khashoggi in the consulate in Istanbul, are among those who have been detained by the Saudi public prosecutor, according to the official.

“All the 15 team members are among those detained,” the official said. “I don’t have the names at this time.”

The official also told ABC News that five Saudi intelligence chiefs, who were relieved of their duties in connection to Khashoggi’s death, are not currently suspects in the investigation, even though they were “part of the chain of command of the operation” and that “the operational orders … were written in such a way as to contribute to the series of events that led to the tragic death.”

Turkish officials have claimed that a team of 15 Saudi men, including one who was identified by the press as an autopsy doctor, flew to Turkey specifically to kill Khashoggi at the consulate.

The Trump administration has strongly denied a claim that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was played an audio recording and provided a transcript of Khashoggi’s killing.

Eighteen Saudi citizens were detained by the Saudi government in connection with Khashoggi’s killing, according to Saudi Arabia’s state-run news agency.

Several human rights organizations, including Amnesty International and the Committee to Protect Journalists, have called for the U.N. to investigate Khashoggi’s death.

After speaking with Saudi Arabia’s King Salman, President Trump suggested that Khashoggi was targeted by “rogue killers.” Earlier this week, Trump said that there would be “severe consequences” if it is found that the Saudis murdered Khashoggi, and on Friday the president said that Saudi’s announcement that it had suspects in custody was “a good first step.”

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, and several international business leaders, have pulled out of a major investment forum in Saudi Arabia scheduled to begin next week called the Future Investment Initiative.

Khashoggi fled Saudi Arabia in 2017, and had recently been living in the U.S. where he served as an opinion columnist for The Washington Post newspaper, writing critically of the Saudi royal family and Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, and warning of efforts to stifle the free press in the Middle East.

Khashoggi’s final column in for the newspaper, published Oct. 17 was titled: “What the Arab world needs most is free expression.”

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Khashoggi died from chokehold to prevent him from calling for help: Saudi official

Posted on: October 21st, 2018 by ABC News No Comments

A Saudi official has told ABC News that Jamal Khashoggi was killed when he was “placed in a chokehold position” to prevent him from leaving the country’s consulate.

Khashoggi died from chokehold to prevent him from calling for help: Saudi official

Posted on: October 21st, 2018 by ABC News No Comments

A Saudi official has told ABC News that Jamal Khashoggi was killed when he was “placed in a chokehold position” to prevent him from leaving the country’s consulate.

Police in Mexico try to stop caravan of migrants determined to reach the US

Posted on: October 21st, 2018 by ABC News No Comments

A caravan of migrants was moving north Sunday after bypassing a Mexican border.

Police in Mexico try to stop caravan of migrants determined to reach the US

Posted on: October 21st, 2018 by ABC News No Comments

A caravan of migrants was moving north Sunday after bypassing a Mexican border.

A ragged, growing army of migrants resumes march toward US

Posted on: October 21st, 2018 by ABC News No Comments

A ragged army of Honduran migrants is streaming through southern Mexico heading toward the United States, after making an end-run around Mexican agents who briefly blocked them at the Guatemalan border

A ragged, growing army of migrants resumes march toward US

Posted on: October 21st, 2018 by ABC News No Comments

A ragged army of Honduran migrants is streaming through southern Mexico heading toward the United States, after making an end-run around Mexican agents who briefly blocked them at the Guatemalan border

Mothers of babies afflicted by Zika fight poverty, despair

Posted on: October 21st, 2018 by ABC News No Comments

Three years after a Zika outbreak, mothers of afflicted babies are struggling.

US general was wounded in Kandahar attack

Posted on: October 21st, 2018 by ABC News No Comments

U.S. General Jeffrey D. Smiley was wounded in Kandahar attack, officials said.

US general was wounded in Kandahar attack

Posted on: October 21st, 2018 by ABC News No Comments

U.S. General Jeffrey D. Smiley was wounded in Kandahar attack, officials said.

US general was wounded in Kandahar attack

Posted on: October 21st, 2018 by ABC News No Comments

National Guard(KANDAHAR, Afghanistan) — Army Brigadier General Jeffrey D. Smiley was the wounded U.S. service member shot in Thursday’s insider attack in Kandahar that killed two top Afghan officials in the province. The top U.S. military commander in Afghanistan was also present during that attack, but was unharmed.

“I can confirm that General Smiley is recovering from a gunshot wound,” Lt. Cmdr. Grant Neeley, a spokesman for Resolute Support, the NATO-led training command in Afghanistan, told ABC News.

“He is being treated at a Resolute Support hospital in Kandahar,” said Neeley.

Smiley is the commander of the Training and Advise and Assist Command-South (TAAC-South) that has the lead in advising Afghan security forces in southern Afghanistan and had assumed command in late June. He is a general with the California National Guard, in command of the Guard’s 40th Infantry, which is one of the lead units in Kandahar.

New details of top US general’s close call in Afghanistan insider attack

The identity of the U.S. service member injured in the attack had not been disclosed until Sunday after it was first reported by the Washington Post.

Carried out by a gunman believed to be an Afghan bodyguard, Thursday’s attack killed the top police official in Kandahar Province as well as the province’s top intelligence official. The governor of Kandahar was also wounded, as was another American civilian employee and an Afghan interpreter.

General Austin Scott Miller, the top U.S. general in Afghanistan, was present during the shooting that started after his meeting with the Afghan officials.

The gunman opened fire as they waited outside for Miller’s helicopter to arrive. The gunman was shot and killed almost immediately.

Miller told reporters Friday that he believes that the Afghan officials were the targets of the attack.

Miller, like the other U.S. personnel around him, pulled out his handgun, which is standard practice in such a situation.

“When there’s a threat, we will draw our weapons,” said Col. Dave Butler, a Resolute Support spokesman. “That’s what we’re trained to do and Gen. Miller is no exception.”

What followed was a combination of U.S. and Afghan forces securing the area and tending to the wounded.

Miller had some of the wounded transported aboard his helicopter so they could quickly receive medical treatment.

The Taliban quickly claimed responsibility for the attack that appeared to be the closest a U.S. commanding general in Afghanistan has come to being shot or seriously harmed.

The insider attack delayed the key parliamentary elections in Kandahar by a week, they proceeded on schedule Saturday in the rest of the country.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Police in Mexico try to stop caravan of Central American migrants determined to reach the US

Posted on: October 21st, 2018 by ABC News No Comments

Matt Gutman/ABC News(TAPACHULA, Mexico) — A caravan of thousands of footsore Central American migrants who say they are seeking refuge from violence in their countries was moving north Sunday under the close watch of an army of Mexican federal police in riot gear.

Mexican officials said federal police were staying in front of the caravan, which stretched about two miles and comprised mostly of people from Honduras and Guatemala many of whom say they are determined to reach the U.S. border 1,700 miles away.

Those officers, transported in a convoy of tour buses and reinforced with riot police from across the country, have announced they will not let the migrants pass a small town near the border.

“Full efforts are being made to stop the onslaught of illegal aliens from crossing [the border],” President Trump tweeted Sunday afternoon. People have to apply for asylum in Mexico first, and if they fail to do that, the U.S. will turn them away. The courts are asking the U.S. to do things that are not doable!”

The phalanx of police, supported by Mexican military Blackhawk helicopters overhead, was bracing for a repeat of the violent clashes that occurred on Friday when the caravan stormed and overran a crossing at the Suchiate River at the border of Guatemala and Mexico. Members of the caravan crossed into Mexico illegally by either forcing their way through a border fence or jumping into the river and swimming to the Mexico side.

“Donald Trump, we don’t want to cause you any problem, we just want to get a job. Help us,” one young migrant told ABC News as he and hundreds of others walked along a road near Tapachula, Mexico.

Among the thousands of migrants are families. Fathers and mothers carrying sweating children on their shoulders, shielding them from the ferocious sun with blankets or their hands. ABC News saw at least one toddler splayed out on the highway sleeping, his father too tired to go on.

Most were carrying small backpacks and plastic bags. They moved forward on battered shoes, some were barefoot.

In a series of tweets last week, President Donald Trump threatened to “call up the U.S. military and close our SOUTHERN BORDER” if Mexico doesn’t do anything to stop the flow of migrants.

In late April and early May, a much smaller migrant caravan made it all the way to the U.S.-Mexico border, but only a handful of the asylum seekers were processed by U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Trump was critical of the caravan and in a series of tweets slammed “Democrat-inspired laws on sanctuary cities” for encouraging such disparate activities.

“Are you watching that mess that’s going on right now with the caravan coming up? Are you watching this and our laws are so weak, they’re, so pathetic?” Trump said at a rally on April 28 in Michigan.

Trump continued on Sunday to blame Democrats.

“The Caravans are a disgrace to the Democrat Party,” the president tweeted on Sunday. “Change the immigration laws NOW!”

Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen said in a statement Sunday morning that she and other U.S. officials are monitoring the caravan’s progress and are concerned about criminals infiltrating the group.

“While we closely monitor the caravan crisis, we must remain mindful of the transnational criminal organizations and other criminals that prey on the vulnerabilities of those undertaking the irregular migration journey,” Nielsen said in her statement.

“We shall work with our partners in the region to investigate and prosecute to the fullest extent of the law all who seek to encourage and profit from irregular migration,” Nielsen said. “We fully support the efforts of Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico, as they seek to address this critical situation and ensure a safer and more secure region.”

Most of the migrants ABC News spoke to say they want to march all the way to the United States.

Maria Juaqina, 19, was toting her toddler. She says she has family in Los Angeles, and that “only God can open the doors.”

Mexico says it’s willing to open its doors, temporarily. Mexican police officials used bullhorns Sunday to warn the migrants they were illegally proceeding north. The migrants were advised to apply for asylum in order to get temporary status to legally stay in Mexico.

“You cannot go all around the country like this,” the officials on bullhorns shouted at the movable mass of humanity. “You can go to immigration camps or shelters, so we can establish your cases.”

Mexican asylum status grants migrants a 45-day stay.

Many in the caravan told ABC News that they feared being deported if they voluntarily went to a shelter or immigration camp. Some were demanding proof that they will not be returned home.

The Mexican Interior Ministry said on Saturday that 640 Honduran migrants have requested refuge in Mexico.

The ministry also said that priority would be given to “164 women, some of them in advanced stage of pregnancy; 104 girls, boys and teenagers, who are from 3 months old to 17 years old; as well as older adults who have varying degrees of disability. This group includes a minor  who traveled alone.”

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Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff: Trump will accept Saudi ‘crown prince’s denials’

Posted on: October 21st, 2018 by ABC News No Comments

ABC News(WASHINGTON) — The top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee said he expects President Trump to ultimately accept Saudi Arabia’s denials of the crown prince’s involvement in the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., told ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos on This Week Sunday, “I think we can see where this is headed. Ultimately, the president is going to accept the crown prince’s denials, but it’s hard for me to imagine that these orders would have been carried out without the knowledge of” Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

“I think this ought to be a relationship-altering event for the U.S. and Saudi Arabia,” Schiff added.

Both Schiff and a fellow committee member — Congressman Peter King, R-N.Y., who also appeared on This Week — said the Saudis’ latest explanation that Khashoggi died in a fight at the country’s consulate in Istanbul early this month was not believable.

“I can tell you I don’t find this Saudi account credible at all,” Schiff said. “There’s simply no way they dispatched a team this large and that Khashoggi engaged in some kind of a brawl with them unless he was merely fighting for his life.”

“They could have brought him down in a matter of seconds without causing any physical harm at all,” King added. “So obviously there was an intent, I believe, to kill him.”

The two congressmen also agreed that the U.S. should take action against Saudi Arabia in response to Khashoggi’s death.

“Let me make it clear: I think the Saudis are the most amoral government that we’ve ever had to deal with,” King said. “What Saudi Arabia did was savage, was evil” and needs “to be condemned.”

Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist who was critical of the country’s current government, has not been seen since entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2.

Saudi Arabia initially contended he had left the consulate the same day, but its government changed its story on Friday and said Khashoggi, who has been living in the U.S. and serving as a columnist for The Washington Post, was killed in the consulate after an argument led to a fistfight. The Saudis also said Khashoggi was interested in returning to Saudi Arabia, something his close friends have denied.

Five top Saudi government officials have been fired and 18 Saudi citizens detained in connection to Khashoggi’s murder, according to the country’s state-run news agency.

Khashoggi’s editor at The Washington Post said on This Week that she believes that the Saudi response is an effort to cover up what happened rather than to shed light on the incident.

“I still believe, and the Post as an institution still believes, that this is not an explanation; this is an attempt at a cover-up,” said Washington Post Global Opinions Editor Karen Attiah. “So much doesn’t add up for me personally, who knew Jamal, worked with Jamal over the last year.”

She said key elements of the Saudi story, including that Khashoggi wanted to return to Saudi Arabia and engaged in a brawl at the consulate run, counter to everything she knew about him.

“This idea that he wanted to return to Saudi Arabia is absolutely untrue. There is a reason why he came to Washington and felt free in Washington,” Attiah said. “This idea that a brawl, you know, this man who is kind and calm and gentle, that any sort of brawl took place that was equal — if anything, if we’re going to give any sort of credence to this, he walked into an ambush that was set up for him.”

On Saturday, President Trump, in a phone interview with the Post, criticized the Saudi government’s explanation of Khashoggi’s death, telling the paper, “Obviously there’s been deception, and there’s been lies.”

While the president cast doubt on the country’s changing narrative surrounding the columnist’s death, he also told the Post that Saudi Arabia is an “incredible ally” and was undecided on whether the crown prince had a role in Khashoggi’s killing, saying, “Nobody has told me he’s responsible. Nobody has told me he’s not responsible.”

Schiff told Stephanopoulos on Sunday, “We’re never going to know exactly what took place in terms of the crown prince’s marching orders for this group unless we get a confession from the crown prince, which is not going to happen.”

Schiff added that he believes the Trump family implicitly sent a message to the Saudi royal family prior to Khashoggi’s killing that it could act with impunity.

“I think part of why we are where we are is that we have essentially delivered a message through the Trump family that it’s carte blanche for the Saudi family. They can do what they want, where they want — and the U.S. will never stand up to them,” Schiff said. “That kind of a policy has got to come to an end.”

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Human rights groups call for UN to investigate killing of Saudi journalist

Posted on: October 21st, 2018 by ABC News No Comments

Chris McGrath/Getty Images(ISTANBUL) — Several of the largest human rights organizations in the world are calling for a U.N. investigation into the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

The groups, including Amnesty International, the Committee to Protect Journalists, Human Rights Watch and Reporters Without Borders, called for Turkey to push the U.N. to begin an investigation into Khashoggi’s death, which took place at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2.

Khashoggi, a regular critic of the Saudi royal family, worked as a columnist for The Washington Post. He had been living in the United States after fleeing Saudi Arabia in September 2017.

Saudi Arabia’s public prosecutor announced Friday that an initial investigation revealed that discussions between Khashoggi and the individuals who met with him at the consulate led to an argument and a fistfight — which resulted in the journalist’s death, according to the Saudi Press Agency.

Turkish officials have said 15 Saudi men flew to Turkey for the express interest of meeting Khashoggi at the consulate, where he was visiting to fill out paperwork for his impending marriage. His fiancée was waiting in a car outside the consulate at the time of his killing.

Saudi Arabia initially denied any involvement in the journalist’s disappearance, before announcing the findings of the investigation on Friday. The county said 18 people were detained in connection with Khashoggi’s killing and several top officials were dismissed from their positions.

The handful of human rights organizations are calling for an independent investigation to avoid a “Saudi whitewash” of the facts.

“Turkey should enlist the U.N. to initiate a timely, credible and transparent investigation,” Robert Mahoney, deputy executive director of the Committee to Protect Journalists, said in a statement released by Amnesty International. “U.N. involvement is the best guarantee against a Saudi whitewash or attempts by other governments to sweep the issue under the carpet to preserve lucrative business ties with Riyadh.”

There was no mention of President Trump or the U.S. in the press release, though Trump seemed to accept denials from Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman and King Salman earlier in the week.

He told reporters on Friday that he found the Saudi investigation “credible.”

Trump also denied having any business ties to Saudi Arabia, though he actually bragged publicly about Saudis buying properties he owns at a rally in August 2015.

The president walked back some of the apparent willingness to believe the Saudi ruling family in an interview with The Washington Post late Saturday.

He told the Post there has been “deception” and “lies” by the Saudis.

A friend of Khashoggi described a much more brutal killing of Khashoggi than the official account given by Saudi Arabia.

“I talked with some Turkish government and security officials, and they said Jamal was killed. I didn’t know what to do. I really couldn’t answer. Then I called a few colleagues — again, security officials — trying to have them verify it, saying, ‘Is this really true?'” his friend Turan Kislakci told ABC News on Wednesday. “They said, ‘Yes, Turan, and let’s tell you even beyond that, he was killed in a very barbaric way.’ I was shocked. They not only kill him in the consulate, but also in a barbaric way.”

Amnesty International cited the 2008 investigation into the murder of former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto as setting precedent for the U.N. to get involved in the Khashoggi killing.

“An investigation into Khashoggi’s enforced disappearance and possible murder should start promptly and be thorough, impartial, and independent,” Amnesty International wrote. “U.N. Secretary-General [António] Guterres should appoint a senior criminal investigator with extensive experience in international investigations to head the team. Once the investigation is concluded, the secretary-general should issue a public report on the overall findings along with his recommendations for following up.”

The U.N. said Guterres was “deeply troubled” by the journalist’s killing in a statement issued by a spokesman on Friday, but did not commit to an investigation specifically by the U.N.

“The secretary-general is deeply troubled by the confirmation of the death of Jamal Khashoggi. He extends his condolences to Mr. Khashoggi’s family and friends,” Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for the secretary-general, said. “The secretary-general stresses the need for a prompt, thorough and transparent investigation into the circumstances of Mr. Khashoggi’s death and full accountability for those responsible.”

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Migrant caravan swells to 5,000 resumes advance toward US

Posted on: October 21st, 2018 by ABC News No Comments

Despite Mexican efforts to stop them at the border, a growing caravan of Central American migrants has resumed its advance toward the U.S. border