TRUMP-SAUDI ARABIA-MISSING WRITER Trump: ‘Severe’ consequences if Saudis murdered Khashoggi WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump says it “certainly looks” as though missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi is dead, and he threatened “very severe” consequences…
TRUMP-SAUDI ARABIA-MISSING WRITER
Trump: ‘Severe’ consequences if Saudis murdered Khashoggi
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump says it “certainly looks” as though missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi is dead, and he threatened “very severe” consequences if the Saudis are found to have murdered him. His warning came as the administration toughened its response to a disappearance that has sparked global outrage.
Before Trump spoke Thursday, the administration announced that Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin had pulled out of a major upcoming Saudi investment conference and a U.S. official said Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had warned the Saudi crown prince that his credibility as a future leader is at stake.
Pompeo said the Saudis should be given a few more days to finish and make public a credible investigation before the U.S. decides “how or if” to respond.
Trump renews fiery immigration rhetoric as midterms near
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) — President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign was defined by his fiery immigration rhetoric. Now, with weeks to go before the midterm elections, Trump is returning to the hot-button issue as he looks to stave off Democratic gains in Congress.
Immigration is forming a key part of Trump’s closing argument to voters, an approach that offers both risks and rewards as he seeks to energize Republican voters to counter Democratic enthusiasm. In campaign stops and on Twitter in recent days, Trump has seized on a caravan of Central American migrants trying to reach the United States as fresh evidence that his tough immigration prescriptions are needed.
Trump told supporters in Montana Thursday that “this will be an election of Kavanaugh, the caravan, law and order and common sense.”
Alaska governor suspends re-election bid
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — Independent Alaska Gov. Bill Walker has suspended his re-election bid with less than three weeks before the general election.
Walker’s decision to suspend his campaign came three days after the sudden resignation of Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott over what Walker described as an inappropriate overture toward a woman.
Walker’s announcement, during the Alaska Federation of Natives conference in Anchorage, was met with gasps.
Walker was elected in 2014 with support from the state Democratic Party after Mallott, a Democrat, dropped his gubernatorial bid to become Walker’s running mate.
He has been locked in a three-way fight with Democrat Mark Begich and Republican Mike Dunleavy, the presumed front-runner.
Walker criticized many of Dunleavy’s positions and said Begich’s stances on important issues are more closely aligned with Walker’s priorities for Alaska.
BC-SAUDI ARABIA-MISSING WRITER-THE LATEST
The Latest: Trump: I do find Saudi explanation credible
ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Asked whether he thought Saudi Arabia’s explanation for the death of Jamal Khashoggi was credible, President Trump said “I do. I do.”
But Sen. Lindsey Graham, a Trump supporter, and other lawmakers are expressing skepticism about Saudi Arabia saying that the Saudi writer and critic of the royal family died during a “fistfight” in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.
The Republican Graham tweeted: “To say that I am skeptical of the new Saudi narrative about Mr. Khashoggi is an understatement.”
Trump says that he’ll work with Congress on the U.S. response to Khashoggi’s death but that he’d rather not see billions of dollars in arms sales with the kingdom cancelled because that would cost American hundreds of thousands of jobs.
Mega Millions numbers for $1B jackpot announced
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Mega Millions numbers that could win an estimated $1 billion jackpot have been announced.
They are 15 23 53 65 70 and Mega Ball 7.
The jackpot is the second-largest lottery prize in U.S. lottery history. Mega Millions says it may take an hour or two to determine if there is a winner.
The odds of winning are a miserable one in 302.5 million.
The prize has grown so large because no one has hit the jackpot since July 24, when a group in California won $543 million.
The $1 billion prize refers to the annuity option. Most winners opt for cash, which for Friday night’s drawing would be $565 million.
Officials say that if there isn’t a winner, the prize for Tuesday night’s drawing would be $1.6 billion, tying the largest U.S. lottery prize.
CENTRAL AMERICA-MIGRANT CARAVAN-THE LATEST
The Latest: UN calls on Mexico, US to respect migrants
TECUN UMAN, Guatemala (AP) — The U.N. special investigator on the human rights of migrants has a message for the Mexican and U.S. governments: Respect the human rights of every person on the caravan heading from Central America and consider each case individually.
Felipe Gonzalez Morales told a news conference at U.N. headquarters in New York on Friday that “there cannot be massive collective expulsions, for instance, in violation of international law.”
Some 3,000 migrants are currently trying to enter Mexico from Guatemala and hope to get to the U.S.
Gonzalez said that in destination countries there has been a trend toward “xenophobia” which has left many migrants fearing to go into public spaces or tribunals “for fear of being attacked or not taken seriously.”
He said Mexico and the United States should establish channels for “regular migration.”
Gonzalez said he requested an official visit to the United States in March but has not received a response from the Trump administration.
ELECTION SECURITY-THE LATEST
The Latest: Russian woman charged with US election-meddling
WASHINGTON (AP) — A Russian woman has been charged with interfering in American elections, including next month’s midterms, through a vast social media effort aimed at trying to sway American public opinion.
It’s believed to be the first federal case alleging Russian interference in this year’s election.
The Justice Department disclosed the criminal complaint soon after U.S. intelligence agencies said in a joint statement that they were concerned about efforts by Russia, China and Iran to influence U.S. voters and policy.
The complaint says the woman, Elena Alekseevna Khusyaynova, worked for the same Russian social media troll farm that was indicted in February by special counsel Robert Mueller.
The complaint accuses Khusyaynova of helping to control the finances of a Russian effort to use fake social media postings to sow anger and division among American voters.
Trump’s national security adviser heads to Moscow
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump’s national security adviser is going to be raising thorny subjects with his counterparts in Moscow on a visit to help craft a script for another high-level meeting between Trump and Russia President Vladimir Putin.
John Bolton leaves Saturday on a trip to Russia, Azerbaijan, Armenia and Georgia. His first stop is in Moscow. He’s meeting Russian officials at a time when U.S.-Russia relations remain frosty over the Ukrainian crisis, the war in Syria, Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential race and allegations that it’s interfering in the upcoming midterm elections.
The New York Times says Bolton also is expected to tell Russia that the U.S. is getting ready to leave the landmark Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty.
The White House would not confirm the report.
ELECTION 2018-MASSACHUSETTS SENATE DEBATE
Democratic Sen. Warren, GOP challenger clash in debate
BOSTON (AP) — Democratic U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren and her Republican challenger, Massachusetts state Rep. Geoff Diehl, clashed on everything from tax cuts to immigration to Warren’s heritage during their first debate.
Diehl faulted Warren for opposing the Republican-led tax bill, which he said benefited state taxpayers during Friday’s debate. Warren said the bill aided billionaires and corporations while expanding the deficit.
Warren, a possible 2020 presidential candidate, defended her decision to release DNA test results that provide some evidence a Native American is in her bloodline.
Diehl, who co-chaired President Donald Trump’s 2016 Massachusetts presidential campaign, suggested Warren may have benefited from listing her Native American heritage on a directory.
On immigration, Diehl said Warren supports eliminating U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Warren said she backs a comprehensive approach to immigration.
$215M settlement proposed in alleged USC gynecologist abuse
LOS ANGELES (AP) — The University of Southern California has announced an agreement in principle for a $215 million class-action settlement of claims involving alleged sexual harassment and abuse by a gynecologist who treated students for many years.
USC Interim President Wanda Austin says in a statement Friday the agreement with plaintiffs’ lawyers will provide compensation ranging from $2,500 to $250,000 to women claiming they were abused.
Numerous women have claimed that they were abused by Dr. George Tyndall between 1988 and 2016.
Tyndall spent about three decades as a USC staff gynecologist before retiring last year after a USC investigation concluded there was evidence he sexually harassed students during physical examinations.
Tyndall has denied the allegations and has not been charged with a crime.