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HomeGlobal PulseUS silence over Jamal Khashoggi's disappearance, and the bad Instagram business

US silence over Jamal Khashoggi’s disappearance, and the bad Instagram business

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Ethiopian PM does press-ups with protesting soldiers, and a new rule for overweight people in a Greek island. 

US maintains silence over missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi 

Leaders worldwide have expressed concerns and demanded explanation from Saudi Arabia over the mysterious disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, but the US has remained relatively quiet on the matter, CNN analyses.

The 59-year-old journalist had entered the Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul on 2 October to obtain a document that could certify he divorced his ex-wife, and has not been seen since. Turkish sources have accused Saudi Arabia of killing the journalist inside the consulate in a premeditated murder.

The lack of political engagement from the US comes amid the widely known fact that US and Saudi Arabian leaders share close ties, writes CNN. Both President Donald Trump and his son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner maintain close ties with the kingdom’s de facto ruler, crown prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Trump’s three primary goals — bringing peace in the Middle East, its efforts to fight ISIS in Syria, and US policy of countering Iran — makes Saudi Arabian rulers and their money of extreme significance to the US. Therefore, it is unlikely that the US will take actions about the missing journalist, observes CNN.

Analysts are sceptical about US actions on the issue.

“I am very cynical that Donald Trump is going to care about the human rights of a Saudi journalist. He is not going to take action,” CNN quoted Bruce Riedel, director of the Brookings Intelligence Project, as saying.

Astronauts survive Russian Soyuz rocket emergency landing

Russia has begun an investigation into the failed launch of a Soyuz rocket carrying crew to the International Space Station that ended up in an emergency landing Thursday, reports CNN.

The two astronauts on board — Nick Hague of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and Alexey Ovchinin of the Russian space agency Roscosmos — were in “good condition”, NASA director Jim Birdenstine told CNN.

The Russian-made rocket was ferrying the two astronauts from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan for a six-month stay on the International Space Station. Both the space agencies have vowed for a thorough investigation into the matter.

Earlier in August, a minor technical fault in a US-Russia collaborative project led to speculations that it was not merely a production fault but may have had a motive behind it. However, both nations were quick to resolve the matter.

Ethiopian PM‘s work-out session with protesting soldiers

When dozens of protesting soldiers marched into Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s office Thursday, in a surprising response, the PM did press-ups with them, reports BBC.

Several hundred Ethiopian soldiers entered the PMO premises to demand a pay rise.

The situation led to road blocks and internet blackout, the report adds.

Ahmed was reportedly upset over the fact that the soldiers carried weapons and asked them to do 10 press-ups. In videos that emerged, the prime minister can himself be seen joining the group on the ground for the activity.

While this may be a serious security violation and breach of law, the grin on the soldiers’ faces clearly suggested that the PM successfully diffused the situation, BBC adds.

Four arrested for allegedly selling babies over Instagram

Four people in Indonesia were arrested for allegedly trying to sell babies on Instagram, BBC reports.

An Instagram account that claimed to be a family welfare agency posted images of pregnant women, ultrasound scans and babies, and provided a number for interested parties to contact via WhatsApp.

The account, reported to have over 700 followers, features pictures of babies with their faces blurred out, and gives details of their age, location and religion. It also displays many posts where the women are allegedly willing to give away their child and interested parties are asked to contact the numbers provided in the post.

“People who want to adopt children use that account and the transaction is completed through WhatsApp,” Col Sudamiran, Surabaya’s chief detective, was quoted by news portal Detik, as saying.

While the police has been able to intercept message of one such trade, it is also trying to find the babies who might have been traded in the business, BBC adds.

All four allegedly involved in the transaction have been arrested and could be jailed for up to 15 years for violating child protection laws, Sudamiran told Detik.

“But it’s very rare to happen through Instagram. It’s a new modus,” BBC quoted Rita Pranawati, vice-chairman of the Indonesian Child Protection Commission, as saying.

Greece bans ‘overweight’ tourists from riding donkeys in tourist island 

Greece has prohibited overweight tourists from riding the donkeys on the island of Santorini, taking burden off of the country’s working donkey population, reports CNN.

Now, people wishing to ride the donkeys should weigh less than 100 kilograms or one-fifth of the donkey’s body weight.

The Greek Ministry of Rural Development and Food said the animals should not be loaded with a weight excessive in size, age or physical condition.

The move comes after activists complained that the donkeys were suffering spinal injuries.

Tourists pay to ride donkeys up steep slopes from the shore to the island’s main town taking a toll on the creatures.

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