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Friday, Oct 19th

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Some conservatives and GOP lawmakers are quietly smearing Jamal Khashoggi, apparently to aid Trump

Khashoggi being smeared by right wink outlets

In a particularly pungent case of victim-blaming, "hard-line Republicans and conservative commentators are mounting a whispering campaign against Jamal Khashoggi that is designed to protect President Trump from criticism of his handling of the dissident journalist's alleged murder by operatives of Saudi Arabia — and support Trump's continued aversion to a forceful response to the oil-rich desert kingdom," The Washington Post reports, citing four GOP officials involved in the discussions.

The campaign includes "a cadre of conservative House Republicans allied with Trump" who in recent days have been "privately exchanging articles from right-wing outlets that fuel suspicion of Khashoggi," a Post columnist and Saudi government critic, the Post says. Still, the murmurs have begun to "flare into public view" as conservative media organizations and personalities — Rush Limbaugh, Front Page, Donald Trump Jr., and a sanitized version on Fox News, to name a few — "have amplified the claims, which are aimed in part at protecting Trump as he works to preserve the U.S.-Saudi relationship and avoid confronting the Saudis on human rights."

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Student Gunman Reportedly Kills 17 at Crimea University

Gunman kills 17 in CrimeaAt least 17 people have been killed and 40 wounded after a student gunman attacked a university in Crimea, Russian officials say. The story is the latest in a series of shifting explanations for the deaths Wednesday in the city of Kerch:

Officials at first reported a gas explosion, then said an explosive device ripped through the college canteen in a suspected terror attack. Sergei Aksyonov, the regional leader in Crimea, now says a local student acting alone fired a rifle at students before killing himself.

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Trump’s Attacks on the Press Are Illegal. We’re Suing.

Trump sued for illegal attacks on the press.President Donald J. Trump’s frequent threats and hostile acts directed toward journalists and the media are not only offensive and unbecoming of a democratic leader; they are also illegal.

In the Trump era, nasty rhetoric, insults and even threats of violence have become an occupational hazard for political reporters and commentators. To be sure, a good portion of President Trump’s verbal attacks on journalists and news organizations might be considered fair game in this bare-knuckled political moment.

The president has free-speech rights just like the rest of us, and deeming the news media “the enemy of the American people” and dismissing accurate reports as “fake news” are permissible under the First Amendment.

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Endeavor Pulling Out of $400 Million Saudi Arabia Deal

Endeavor pulls out of $400m Saudi deal

Endeavor is extricating itself from a deal with the Saudi government to invest $400 million into the company, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.

The move comes as pressure mounts for Hollywood to take a stand against the kingdom in the wake of the disappearance — and possible murder — of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who wrote for The Washington Post.

Sources say paperwork is being drawn up that would terminate the deal for the Saudi Arabian sovereign wealth fund, which was created by the government to back projects at home and abroad, to take a 5-10 percent stake in Endeavor.

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Trump, no longer ratings gold, loses his prime-time spot on Fox News

WH to probe why FOX News no longer featuring Trump rallies

President Donald Trump loves to brag about ratings, but he’s not getting them anymore.

As he’s ramped up his rally schedule ahead of the midterms, viewership numbers for the raucous prime-time events have been roughly similar to — sometimes dipping below — Fox News’ regular programming, and the network has recently stopped airing most evening events in full.

During three Trump rallies last week, Fox News showed clips and highlights from his speeches but stuck largely with its normal weekday prime-time programming. On Saturday, when “Fox Report Weekend” and “Justice with Judge Jeanine” would ordinarily air, the network showed Trump’s speech from Topeka, Kan., in full. But on Tuesday, a rally in Council Bluffs, Iowa, was particularly hard to find — it was not aired live on any major network, and even C-SPAN cut away for other news. And on Wednesday night, as Trump took the stage in Erie, Pa., at 7 p.m., Fox News stuck with its coverage of Hurricane Michael.

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Jamal Khashoggi: Turkish Newspaper Names 15 Saudis Linked to Writer’s Disappearance

15 men linked to Khashoggi disappearanceA Turkish newspaper has published the names and CCTV footage of 15 people who it says are members of the Saudi intelligence services that were allegedly involved in the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Khashoggi was last seen a week ago entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. Turkish authorities have said they believe Khashoggi, a prominent critic of the kingdom’s policies, was killed inside the building by Saudi intel agents—a charge the consulate denies.

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Myanmar arrests three journalists over article on Suu Kyi protege

Mayanmar arrest three journalists

Myanmar police have arrested three journalists after their paper criticised the financial management of Yangon's government, which is overseen by a protege of leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

Eleven Media's executive editors Kyaw Zaw Lin and Nayi Min, as well as chief reporter Phyo Wai Win, were brought before a Yangon court in handcuffs on Wednesday morning to hear the charges against them before being taken to jail.

Defence lawyer Kyee Myint told AFP news agency the case was filed over an article published on Monday about the funding behind the city's bus network, a scheme run by Yangon chief minister and Aung San Suu Kyi confidant Phyo Min Thein.

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