The killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi was planned days in advance, the Turkish president has said in an address to MPs from his ruling party.
He said Turkey had strong evidence Khashoggi was killed in a premeditated and “savage” murder at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on 2 October.
He also called for the suspects to be tried in Istanbul.
He demanded Saudi Arabia provide answers about where Khashoggi’s body was, and who ordered the operation.
The Saudi kingdom has provided conflicting accounts of what happened to the Washington Post contributor. After weeks of maintaining he was still alive, the authorities now say he was killed in a rogue operation.
Tuesday’s address by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan coincided with the start of an investment conference in Saudi Arabia that has been overshadowed by the Khashoggi case, with dozens of government and business leaders pulling out.
President Erdogan confirmed that 18 people had been arrested in Saudi Arabia over the case. However, he has not released any details of the evidence gathered about the killing.
He made no mention of any audio or video recordings mentioned in media reports in the days following the journalist’s disappearance.
President Erdogan said three teams of 15 Saudi nationals had arrived in Istanbul on separate flights in the days and hours leading up to the murder.
A day before the killing, he said, some members from the group travelled to Belgrad forest, near the consulate – an area which was last week searched by Turkish police looking for the body.
He also described how the team had removed the security cameras and surveillance footage from the consulate building prior to Khashoggi’s arrival – who was visiting to obtain documents for his forthcoming marriage.
“My demand is that 18 people be tried in Istanbul,” he told MPs from his ruling AK party, adding that “all those who played a role in the murder” would be punished.
The US will withdraw from a landmark nuclear weapons treaty with Russia, President Donald Trump has confirmed.
Speaking to reporters, Mr Trump said Russia had “violated” the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty.
The deal banned ground-launched medium-range missiles, with a range of between 500 and 5,500km (310-3,400 miles).
The US would not let Russia “go out and do weapons [while] we’re not allowed to”, Mr Trump said.
“I don’t know why President [Barack] Obama didn’t negotiate or pull out,” the president said after a campaign rally in Nevada. “They’ve been violating it for many years.”
In 2014, President Obama accused Russia of breaching the INF after it allegedly tested a ground-launched cruise missile. He reportedly chose not to withdraw from the treaty under pressure from European leaders, who said such a move could restart an arms race.
A Russian foreign ministry source said the US move was motivated by a “dream of a unipolar world” where it is the only global superpower, state news agency RIA Novosti reported.
Analysis by BBC defence and diplomatic correspondent Jonathan Marcus
Concern about Russia’s development and deployment of a missile system that breaches the INF treaty predates the Trump administration. But the president’s decision to walk away from the agreement marks a significant setback for arms control.
Many experts believe that negotiations should have continued to try to bring the Russians back into compliance. It is, they fear, part of the wider unravelling of the whole system of arms control treaties that helped to curb strategic competition during the Cold War.
Other factors too may have played into President Trump’s decision. This was a bilateral treaty between Washington and Moscow. China was free to develop and deploy intermediate range nuclear missiles. Some in the Trump administration feel that the INF treaty places them at a growing disadvantage in their developing strategic rivalry with Beijing .
The US insists the Russians have, in breach of the deal, developed a new medium-range missile called the Novator 9M729 – known to Nato as the SSC-8.
It would enable Russia to launch a nuclear strike at Nato countries at very short notice.
Russia has said little about its new missile other than to deny that it is in breach of the agreement.
Analysts say Russia sees such weapons as a cheaper alternative to conventional forces.
The US had been concerned by the Soviet deployment of the SS-20 missile system and responded by placing Pershing and Cruise missiles in Europe – sparking widespread protests
By 1991, nearly 2,700 missiles had been destroyed. Both countries were allowed to inspect the others installations
In 2007, Russian president Vladimir Putin declared the treaty no longer served Russia’s interests. The move came after the US withdrew from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty in 2002
The last time the US withdrew from a major arms treaty was in 2002, when President George W Bush pulled the US out of the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, which banned weapons designed to counter ballistic nuclear missiles.
His administration’s move to set up a missile shield in Europe alarmed the Kremlin, and was scrapped by the Obama administration in 2009. It was replaced by a modified defence system in 2016.
Journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed in a fight in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, the country’s state TV reported quoting an initial probe.
It said deputy intelligence chief Ahmad al-Assiri and Saud al-Qahtani, senior aide to Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, were dismissed over the affair.
US President Donald Trump said what had happened was “unacceptable” but that Saudi Arabia was a “great ally”.
This is the first time the kingdom has admitted Mr Khashoggi has died.
The acknowledgement follows two weeks of denials that Saudi Arabia had any involvement in the disappearance of the prominent Saudi critic when he entered the consulate in Istanbul on 2 October to seek paperwork for his upcoming marriage.
The Saudi kingdom had come under increased pressure to explain Mr Khashoggi’s disappearance after Turkish officials said he was deliberately killed inside the consulate, and his body dismembered.
Observers are questioning whether Riyadh’s Western allies will find the Saudis’ account of a “botched rendition” convincing – and whether it will persuade them not to take punitive action against Saudi Arabia.
‘This is only a first step to the truth’
Analysis by BBC Security Correspondent Frank Gardner
The Saudi leadership will now be hoping that its belated admission that Khashoggi did die after all inside its consulate – coupled with a handful of sackings and arrests – will be enough to draw a line under this affair. It won’t.
This is only a first step towards publicising the truth of what really happened. Given the days of indignant denials by the Saudi leadership it’s doubtful we would have even got this far without sustained international pressure.
There can only be one of two possible alternatives here. Either – as many suspect – the powerful Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman was to blame, or he had lost control of his inner circle, something most observers find hard to believe.
MBS, as he’s known, has a huge following amongst young patriotic Saudis who see him as a visionary reformer. If that support were now to ebb away then the crown prince could find himself dangerously isolated at court.
Asked if he found Saudi Arabia’s version of events credible, he replied, “I do.”
He stressed the importance of Saudi Arabia as a counterbalance to Iran in the Middle East, and pushed back against the need for sanctions against the country in light of the new information, talking about the effect of such a move on the US economy.
First we were told Mr. Khashoggi supposedly left the consulate and there was blanket denial of any Saudi involvement. Now, a fight breaks out and he’s killed in the consulate, all without knowledge of Crown Prince.
Turkish officials believe Mr Khashoggi was killed by a team of Saudi agents inside the consulate, and his body then removed – and they say they have video and audio evidence to back this up.
Saudi Arabia has denied this, and initially insisted Mr Khashoggi had freely left the embassy.
Turkish newspapers with close links to the government have published gruesome details of the alleged audio, including what they describe as the sounds of screams and Mr Khashoggi being interrogated and tortured.
In the column he talks about the importance of a free press in the Middle East.
The newspaper’s Global Opinions editor Karen Attiah said its release had been delayed in the hope that Mr Khashoggi would return safely.
“Now I have to accept: That is not going to happen. This is the last piece of his I will edit for The Post,” she wrote. “This column perfectly captures his commitment and passion for freedom in the Arab world. A freedom he apparently gave his life for.”
What did the last column say?
Mr Khashoggi presented a strong criticism of the state of press freedoms in the Arab world: “The Arab world is facing its own version of an Iron Curtain, imposed not by external actors but through domestic forces vying for power.
“The Arab world needs a modern version of the old transnational media so citizens can be informed about global events. More important, we need to provide a platform for Arab voices.”
He mentioned the case of his fellow Saudi writer, Saleh al-Shehi, who he said “is now serving an unwarranted five-year prison sentence for supposed comments contrary to the Saudi establishment”.
“Such actions no longer carry the consequence of a backlash from the international community,” he wrote. “Instead, these actions may trigger condemnation quickly followed by silence.”
What is Trump’s latest position?
Saudi Arabia is one of Washington’s closest allies and the Khashoggi disappearance is putting the administration in an awkward position.
Confirming that the tape said to provide evidence of the killing had been requested, Mr Trump added: “I’m not sure yet that it exists, probably does, possibly does.”
Mr Trump said he expected a report from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo who has just been to Saudi Arabia and Turkey.
The president said the truth would come out “by the end of the week”.
He rejected suggestions he was trying to provide cover for Saudi Arabia: “No, not at all, I just want to find out what’s happening.”
Over the past few days, Mr Trump has raised the possibility of “rogue killers” being behind the journalist’s disappearance. And he has cautioned against rushing to blame Saudi leaders, telling the Associated Press news agency that they were being treated as “guilty until proven innocent”.
What is reported to be on the recording?
Early on in their inquiry, Turkish investigators said they had evidence that Mr Khashoggi – a critic of Saudi leaders – was murdered.
Reports in Turkish media give gruesome details of what are said to be his final minutes.
Yeni Safak, which is close to the government, quotes him as telling alleged Saudi agents sent to Istanbul: “Do this outside. You’re going to get me in trouble.”
Mr Otaibi flew back to Riyadh on Tuesday.
How is Turkey’s investigation progressing?
On Wednesday and into Thursday, investigators spent almost nine hours searching the Saudi consul’s residence, then moving on to the consulate itself about 200m (650ft) away, according to Reuters news agency.
The team included prosecutors and forensics experts in white overalls.
Several vehicles with Saudi diplomatic number plates were filmed by CCTV cameras moving from the consulate to the residence just less than two hours after Mr Khashoggi entered the consulate on the day he vanished.
The consulate building was searched for the first time on Monday.
On Tuesday, Mr Pompeo was in Riyadh for talks with Saudi Arabia’s King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who he said “strongly denied” any involvement in the journalist’s disappearance.
The events of 2 October
Mr Khashoggi is a US resident and columnist for the Washington Post newspaper who went into self-imposed exile last year after reportedly being warned by Saudi officials to stop criticising the crown prince’s policies.
He arrived at the consulate at 13:14 local time for an appointment to obtain paperwork so he could marry his Turkish fiancée.
Saudi officials have insisted Mr Khashoggi left the consulate soon afterwards and came to no harm.
But Turkish officials believe an assault and struggle took place in the building.
They allege that Mr Khashoggi was killed by a team of Saudi agents who were pictured entering and leaving Turkey on CCTV footage released to media outlets.
The New York Times reports that four of the 15 agents have links to Crown Prince Mohammed, while another is a senior figure in the country’s interior ministry.
On Tuesday, G7 foreign ministers called for Saudi Arabia to conduct a “transparent” investigation into the issue.
Investigators had at first released a statement saying an explosive device filled with “metal objects” had detonated in the dining area.
In earlier reaction, the director of the college, who was not at the scene at the time of the attack, told Russian media that unknown armed men had broken into the building. She compared it to the school siege of Beslan in 2004, during which about 330 people died.
Reuters news agency said that schools and pre-schools were being evacuated in the city.
Kerch is situated at the point where Russia built a bridge between the Crimean peninsula and Russia.
Relations between Russia and Ukraine remain strained by the Crimea annexation and a continuing conflict involving Russia-backed rebels in eastern Ukraine.
The speaker of the Russia-backed Crimean parliament, Vladimir Konstantinov, suggested Kiev may have been behind the attack, saying “the entire evil inflicted on the land of Crimea is coming from the official Ukrainian authorities”.
Turkish officials investigating the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi will search Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul later on Monday, according to reports.
Turkish officials believe Mr Khashoggi was murdered in the consulate by Saudi agents nearly two weeks ago, but Riyadh strongly denies this.
Diplomatic pressure is growing on the Saudis to give a fuller explanation.
On Monday, Saudi Arabia’s King Salman ordered an investigation into the case.
“The king has ordered the public prosecutor to open an internal investigation into the Khashoggi matter based on the information from the joint team in Istanbul,” an official quoted by Reuters news agency said.
Last week, Turkey accepted a Saudi proposal to form a joint working group to investigate Mr Khashoggi’s disappearance.
Saudi Arabia rejects political and economic “threats” over missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a source quoted by state news agency SPA says.
The country would respond to any punitive action “with a bigger one”, the unnamed senior source said.
Mr Khashoggi, a critic of the Saudi government, vanished on 2 October after visiting its consulate in Istanbul.
US President Donald Trump said he would “punish” Saudi Arabia if it were found responsible for killing him.
The authorities in Istanbul believe Mr Khashoggi was murdered in the consulate by Saudi agents – claims Riyadh has dismissed as “lies”.
Britain and the US are considering boycotting a major international conference in Saudi Arabia this month.
What is the latest from the Saudis?
The source quoted by SPA said: “The kingdom affirms its total rejection of any threats or attempts to undermine it whether through threats to impose economic sanctions or the use of political pressure.
“The kingdom also affirms that it will respond to any action with a bigger one. The Saudi economy has vital and influential roles for the global economy.”
The Saudis have come under considerable international pressure over the disappearance.
Diplomatic sources told the BBC’s James Landale that both US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and UK International Trade Secretary Liam Fox might not attend next month’s investment conference in Riyadh, which has been dubbed “Davos in the Desert”.
The event is being hosted by the kingdom’s Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman to promote his reform agenda. Several sponsors and media groups have decided to pull out.
A joint statement of condemnation, if it is confirmed that Mr Khashoggi was killed by Saudi agents, is also being discussed by US and European diplomats.
What has Mr Trump said?
The president has said the US will inflict “severe punishment” if Saudi Arabia is found to be responsible for the death of Mr Khashoggi.
He said he would be “very upset and angry if that were the case”, but ruled out halting big military contracts.
“I think we’d be punishing ourselves if we did that,” he said. “If they don’t buy it from us, they’re going to buy it from Russia or… China.”
Where is the investigation now?
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevut Cavusoglu said Saudi Arabia had not so far co-operated with the investigation – despite a statement from Saudi Interior Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Saud bin Naif bin Abdulaziz saying his nation wanted to uncover “the whole truth”.
Mr Cavusoglu has urged the kingdom to allow Turkish officials to enter the consulate.
Saudi share reaction
On Sunday, stocks on the Tadawul All-Shares Index plummeted 7% in early trading, wiping out all the gains made this year, before recovering slightly around noon.
In two sessions it lost $50bn (£38bn) of its $450bn capitalisation, AFP news agency reported.
Salah Shamma, of Franklin Templeton Emerging Markets Equity, told Reuters: “The market is reacting negatively to sentiment around the Khashoggi case.”
What is alleged to have happened in Istanbul?
A Turkish security source has told the BBC that officials had audio and video evidence proving Mr Khashoggi, who wrote for the Washington Post, was murdered inside the consulate.
Reports suggest an assault and struggle took place in the consulate after Mr Khashoggi entered the building to get paperwork for a marriage.
Turkish sources allege he was killed by a 15-strong team of Saudi agents.
Turkish TV has broadcast CCTV footage of the moment Mr Khashoggi walked into the consulate.
“For everyone thinking they can ride this storm out, I have news for you: that will be one of the biggest mistakes you can make in your life.” Mayor of New Orleans Ray Nagin ahead of Hurricane Gustav, 2008
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States of emergency have been declared in all or parts of Florida, Alabama, Georgia and North Carolina.
Schools and state offices in the area are to remain shut this week and Florida has activated 3,500 National Guard troops.
What happens next?
As of early Thursday morning local time, the storm winds had dropped to 60mph, the NHC said.
It warned that communities in north-west Florida and North Carolina faced the threat of life-threatening flooding as rising water moved inland from the coast.
Louisville Voter Guides have in the past left something to be desired. The official state guide at govoteky.com only gets a voter to register and understandably it leaves out most of the candidate information.
Sean Delahanty’s campaign site similarly must remain neutral as a judge must remain nonpartisan but his voter guide includes candidates website links when available, and a side by side tweeter comparison for the Louisville Metro Mayor‘s race. This adds a more rich experience to visitors looking for more than just a piece of the puzzle.
Local Election Coverage
The Complete Voter Guide as it is termed on the site aims to form a puzzle from all of the pieces of other sites. Jefferson County Clerk’s site provides precinct and voter statistics, the Kentucky Secretary of State’s site provides voter information lookup capabilities and various mapping sites provide legislative districts for State House, State Senate, Metro Council Districts and suburban cities.
What District Am I In?
When Louisville merged with Jefferson County decades ago it did a secular thing in leaving all of the other cities in the county in tact. This means that in addition to Louisville election districts the same voters may have additional cities and districts to vote upon. The cities of Shively, St. Matthews and Jeffersonville are the largest of these examples. Some cities barely cover a couple blocks such as Stratford Manor. The voter guide at Sean Delahanty’s site provides a Louisville Neighborhoods and Districts map to aid voters in those regards.
Its an interesting collection of info and insights that Louisville voters don’t usually see in local elections. Polling is almost nonexistent at this level but the voter guide still makes an attempt with their polling for entertainment purposes. The site’s inclusion of crime data for the last ten years is also unique as it divides incidents by category and zip code.
Its a good guide from a nonpartisan candidates campaign.