Jamal Khashoggi | MOHAMMED AL-SHAIKH/ Getty Images)
Jamal Khashoggi | MOHAMMED AL-SHAIKH/ Getty Images)
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Streets in China likely to be lit up by ‘artificial moon’ in two years and an early spring for Japan. 

Khashoggi’s last column critical of lack of free press in Arab world

Amid the controversy surrounding Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s death, The Washington Post Wednesday published the last column written by him before he had gone missing on 2 October.

The column — published with the headline, ‘What the Arab world needs most is free expression’ — was critical of the lack of free press in the Arab world, which he wrote, “is facing its own version of an Iron Curtain, imposed not by external actors, but through domestic forces vying for power”.

In a preface to this article, global opinion editor of the newspaper, Karen Attiah wrote: “The Post held off publishing it because we hoped Jamal would come back to us so that he and I could edit it together. Now I have to accept: That is not going to happen. This is the last piece of his I will edit for the Post.”

Khashoggi in his column wrote about the need to make news available to people in the local language so that they were free from disillusions and understood where their nations truly stand. He was also critical of the governments and the imposed censorship on the internet.

Looks like Khashoggi is dead, says Trump 

US President Donald Trump believes that journalist Jamal Khashoggi is dead, CNN reported.

The statement from the president comes hours after US secretary of state Mike Pompeo returned from a diplomatic mission to Saudi Arabia and Turkey.

The Washington Post columnist who has been missing since 2 October was last spotted entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey. Emerging pieces of evidence allegedly indicate Saudi Arabia’s involvement in Khashoggi’s disappearance.

There has been mounting pressure on Saudi Arabia from the West about the investigation in the case. The controversy has also taken a toll on the Saudi market, which saw its stocks plummeting over the past week.

When asked about the consequences for Saudi Arabia, if it is found to be involved in his alleged murder, Trump is reported to have said: “Well it’ll have to be severe; I mean it’s bad, bad stuff. We’ll see what happens. Ok?”

The president had earlier said that Saudi Arabia should be ready to face “serve consequences” if found involved in the case.

‘Artificial moon’ to replace streetlights in China

China is planning to launch a satellite by the year 2020 that will boost the glow of the real moon and light an area with a diameter of 10-80 km, The Guardian reports. 

Once it’s launched, the ‘artificial moon’ could replace streetlights in the city of Chengdu.

According to People’s Daily online, Wu Chunfeng, the chairman of the private space agency, Chengdu Aerospace Science and Technology Microelectronics System Research Institute Co (Casc), announced the vision last week, saying that the brightness of the “artificial moon is eight times that of the real moon, and will be bright enough to replace streetlights”.

He also said that the testing of the illumination of the satellite started years ago and is now ready.

On-court coaching should be allowed, says Serena Williams’ coach

Serena Williams’ coach Patrick Mouratoglou is of the opinion that on-court coaching should be allowed throughout tennis tournaments and that it would help attract new people to the sport, reports CNN.

“At the moment we’re in the worst of all worlds. On-court coaching is clearly widespread, but it is unstructured, players are occasionally given code violations for it and TV viewers are given no insight into what the coaches are telling their players”, said Mouratoglou.

Mouratoglou was at the centre of a controversy in last month’s US Open women’s final in which Serena Williams was caught in a furious row with umpire Carlos Ramos after her defeat to Naomi Osaka.

The clash began after Williams was handed three code violations, including one for receiving coaching from Mouratoglou in the stands. On-court coaching is not allowed at Grand Slam tournaments.

However, Williams denied receiving any coaching and accused Ramos of sexism.

Trump threatens drastic action on illegal immigration

US President Donald Trump Thursday took on Democrats as the country faces an increasing number of unauthorised immigration, reports The Washington Post.

In a series of tweets, Trump threatened to close the southern border with Mexico if a convoy of migrants from Central America is allowed to keep moving northwards.

“All Democrats fault for weak laws!” Trump wrote in one tweet.

Later he tweeted, “Can you believe this, and what Democrats are allowing to be done to our Country?” The second tweet included a video clip of unknown origin that showed men, speaking Spanish, handing out slips of paper to people in lines carrying bags.

On 16 October, Trump also threatened to cut funding and aid to Honduras if it did not stop a migrant caravan that was heading Northwards through Central America, Reuters reported.

This year Trump has come up with more extreme policies making it harder for immigrants to seek asylum protections. The White House is also reported to be mulling over a new policy, called “binary choice,” which would detain migrant families together and give parents a choice — stay in immigration jail with their child or child to be assigned to a government shelter.

In the wake of Trump’s warnings, the Mexican government signalled that it would take a more restrictive stance on the caravan of Honduran migrants.

Spring arrives early in Japan 

In an unusual phenomenon, some of Japan’s cherry blossom trees have bloomed several months earlier than its usual time this year as a consequence of a strong typhoon, the New York Times reported.

While the flower usually blooms during springtime in April, a weather website is reported to have received more than 350 reports of emerging cherry blossoms this week, NYT added.

“This year’s storms affected wide regions, and the strong winds may have caused the blooming,” he said.

“I’ve never seen anything like this,” NYT quoted Hiroyuki Wada, an arborist for the Flower Association of Japan, as saying.

In September, Japan experienced Typhoon Jebi, considered the strongest storm in the past 25 years.

 

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