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CIA chief to hold a closed-door briefing with US Senators on Khashoggi killing

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Australian cricketer Khawaja’s brother accused of forgery and Qatar quits OPEC 

CIA chief to brief US Senators on Khashoggi killing

The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) director Gina Haspel will brief leaders of several US Senate committees, in a closed-door meeting Tuesday, on the killing of Saudi columnist Jamal Khashoggi, reported al-Jazeera.

Reuters, quoting a source, said Haspel had already informed the Senate Intelligence Committee and now will brief Republican and Democratic leaders of the Senate Foreign Relations, Armed Services and Appropriate committees.

The briefing came after senators from both the parties expressed anger that Haspel, who had listened to an audio tape of the killing, was not a part of the closed-door meeting carried out by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

The CIA has reportedly found that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman played a role in the killing.

Khashoggi, a vocal critic of Salman, was killed on 2 October after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to obtain documents needed for his planned marriage.

Australian cricketer Usman Khawaja’s brother accused in a forgery 

Australian cricketer Usman Khawaja’s brother, Arsalan Khawaja, was arrested Tuesday on the charges of attempting to pervert justice and forgery, reported The Guardian.

Khawaja was accused of allegedly using fake documents to create a fake terror plot, which appeared to target politicians, to “set up” a colleague over a personal grievance.

Khawaja had allegedly tried to implicate a 25-year-old Sri Lankan PhD student Mohamed Kamer Nizamdeen, by forging a notebook with an “Isis-affiliated” terrorist plot, in August. The police had questioned Khawaja previously in relation to the notebook, which resulted in the wrongful arrest of Nizamdeen.

“We believe that this was planned and it was calculated,” Assistant Commissioner Mick Willing reportedly said, adding, that “we have no information to suggest that there is an ongoing threat to the community arising from our inquiries into the matter”.

Qatar quits OPEC citing reasons that it will focus on in-house LNG production

The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), the world’s largest seller of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), received a setback Monday when Qatar announced that it is quitting the bloc next month, reported al-Jazeera.

Qatar is a small oil producer compared to the other countries, and the ending of its decade-long membership is not expected to create a major impact on energy prices.

Qatar’s Energy Minister Saad Sherida al-Kaabi, however, dismissed the claims that the step was driven by Qatar’s ongoing feud with Saudi Arabia.

Analysts though say Doha’s break with OPEC has a deep symbolic meaning, considering the fact that OPEC has overcome major division to coordinate on energy policies.

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