The New York Times reports a massive online troll campaign Khashoggi faced before he was killed; and Afghanistan’s hopeful commitment to rebuild itself.
Surveillance footage reveal Khashoggi’s body double
The latest evidence in journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s murder revealed a member of the 15-man team suspected to be behind his killing dressed in the journalist’s clothes and seen on surveillance cameras in Istanbul, reported CNN.
CNN reported surveillance camera footage, part of the Turkish investigation, that “appears to show the man leaving the Saudi consulate by the back door, wearing Khashoggi’s clothes, a fake beard, and glasses.”
The man in the video has been identified as Mustafa al-Madani who is suspected to be a part of the hit squad sent to kill the journalist in Istanbul. Madani was brought to Istanbul to act as Khashoggi’s body double, CNN quoted a Turkish official as saying.
The footage has been revealed at a time when the mystery behind the Khashoggi’s death is deepening. While Saudi Arabia earlier claimed that the journalist’s death was a result of a fistfight at the consulate in Turkey, its Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir Monday described the act as “murder” and a “tremendous mistake.”
The troll-campaign that may have cost Khashoggi’s life
Jamal Khashoggi’s death has brought the Saudi Arabian administration under the spotlight for its dictatorial rule and conspiracy behind the journalist’s alleged murder.
The latest revelation comes from the New York Times which states that Khashoggi was under constant online attacks on Twitter, part a “broad effort dictated by Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman.”
Such groups are common in the Arab country as a part of the kingdom’s intimidation campaign, with hundreds of people working in groups dedicated to silence the dissenting voices in the country and abroad, the report added.
The volunteers call themselves the “Electronic Bees,” said the report.
The New York Times report comes after interviews with seven people, directly and indirectly, involved in such campaigns, experts who studied them and messages seen by the news organisation that describe the inner workings of the troll farm.
Before he went missing, Khashoggi was reportedly launching projects to combat such online abuses and expose the crown prince for mismanaging the country.
“Eleven days before Khashoggi died in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, he wrote on Twitter that the Bees were coming,” added the report.
Mars may have enough oxygen to support life, says new study
Saline water just underneath the surface of Mars may hold enough oxygen to support microbial life of the kind that had emerged and lived on the surface of the earth billions of years ago, Al Jazeera reported.
The report, published in the journal Nature Geosciences, Monday revealed that the red planet has brine — a concentrated mix of salt and water— that can contain oxygen for the microbes to breath.
A high salt content keeps water in its liquid state, a necessary condition for oxygen to dissolve into it at lower temperatures, thus making brine an ideal breeding ground for the microbes, the report added.
“This fully revolutionises our understanding of the potential for life on Mars, today and in the past,” Al Jazeera quoted Vlada Stamenkovic, a theoretical physicist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California, as saying.
Ivanka Trump tried to quote Socrates and it went terribly wrong
US President Donald Trump’s daughter and senior White House adviser Ivanka Trump Tuesday incorrectly attributed a quote to the ancient Greek Philosopher Socrates, The Independent reported.
“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old but on building the new,” Ivanka tweeted citing Socrates.
However, the quote was actually from a fictional Socrates featured in the book Way of the Peaceful Warrior: A Book That Changes Lives by US gymnast Dan Millman.
Ivanka swiftly deleted the tweet and reposted with the right credits.
“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.”
-Socrates (note: a fictional character not the philosopher)
— Ivanka Trump (@IvankaTrump) October 16, 2018
A not so hopeless Afghanistan
In the wake of the Afghan parliamentary elections that followed the assassination of its beloved, and notorious, political leader Abdul Raziq, the police chief of Kandahar province, recent events in the country have brought in new revelations on the “messy business of war-making and state-building in Afghanistan since 2001,” Foreign Policy wrote in an op-ed.
However, people in Afghanistan are still hopeful, said the op-ed.
In a situation where the country’s second vice president, Sarwar Danish, had to wait 45 minutes to cast his ballot, and close to 200 security incidents were reported confirmed and at least 17 civilians were victims of election-related violence, millions still turned up to exercise their rights and have their voices heard, the op-ed highlighted.
Afghans may be saddled with a weak government, but their collective commitment to rebuilding their nation remains strong, added the op-ed.
It also highlighted the heroic roles taken up by Raziq whose determination to defend the nation was based on a strong opposition to the Taliban.
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