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Turkey Trial Of Saudi Suspects In Jamal Khashoggi Murder Begins

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Turkey Trial Of Saudi Suspects In Jamal Khashoggi Murder Begins

Twenty Saudi nationals including two former aides to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman have gone on trial in absentia in a Turkish court over the killing and dismembering of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in October 2018.

Khashoggi was killed inside the Saudi consulate at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in 2018 after he entered the premises to obtain paperwork for his planned marriage.

The trial began at Istanbul province’s main court in Caglayan district at 10am local time (07:00 GMT) on Friday.

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Turkish officials say Khashoggi’s body was dismembered at the consulate by the killers and his remains are yet to be found.

59-year-old Khashoggi was an insider-turned-critic who wrote for The Washington Post before he was killed inside the Saudi consulate. He was also a vocal critic of the prince.

Saudi Arabia carried out a separate trial over the killing that was heavily criticized as incomplete. In December a court in Saudi Arabia sentenced five persons to death and three to jail for Khashoggi’s killing, but the trial was secretive and the defendants were not named.

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The Saudi authorities initially denied any involvement in the case, but later called it a “rogue operation”.

The AFP news agency reports that his fiancee Hatice Cengiz is attending the trial alongside the UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial executions, Agnes Callamard.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said the order to murder Khashoggi came from “the highest levels” of the Saudi government but has never directly blamed Prince Mohammed.

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Turkish prosecutors claim Saudi deputy intelligence chief Ahmed al-Assiri and the royal court’s media czar Saud al-Qahtani led the operation and gave orders to a Saudi hit team.

The prosecutor has already issued arrest warrants for the suspects who are not in Turkey.

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Russia Approves World’s First Coronavirus Vaccine 

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Russia Approves World’s First Coronavirus Vaccine 

Russian, president Vladimir Putin has announced on Tuesday that Russia has developed the first vaccine offering “sustainable immunity” against coronavirus.

The president said during a televised video conference call with government ministers that for the first time in the world, a vaccine against the new coronavirus was registered” in the country.

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Putin said the country’s health ministry has given regulatory approval for the vaccine, developed by Moscow’s Gamaleya Institute, after less than two months of human testing.

Three days ago, ANN reported that a senior health official at a Russian state laboratory’s vaccine for the novel coronavirus disclosed that it is undergoing its final testing phase and is expected to be registered soon.

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Last week, Deputy Health Minister Oleg Grinev said in comments carried by the Russian news agency Interfax that “currently it is in the final testing phase, which is extremely important. We need to understand that the vaccine will be safe”.

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According to Johns Hopkins University data, Russia has recorded more than 895,000 cases, the world’s fourth-largest Coronavirus caseload behind the United States, Brazil and India.

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Trump Escorted Out Of Briefing As Man Shot Near White House

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Trump Escorted Out Of Briefing As Man Shot Near White House

During a televised news conference on Monday, the United States president Donald Trump was escorted out in the middle of the briefing after Secret Service agents shot and wounded a man who claimed to be armed outside the White House.

In a statement by the Secret Service stated that a 51-year-old man, who has not been identified, approached the officer, told him he had weapons and assumed a “shooter’s stance”, whereupon the officer shot him in the torso.

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The Secret Service however did not say whether the man was armed, adding that “both the officer and the suspect were then taken to hospital”

The chief of the Secret Service Uniformed Division Tom Sullivan said the White House complex was not breached and no one under Secret Service protection was in danger.

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Law enforcement officials were trying to determine a motive and authorities were investigating whether the man had a history of mental illness.

Earlier, Trump had just begun a Coronavirus briefing when a US Secret Service agent escorted him from the briefing room. The president returned minutes later, saying there had been a “shooting” outside the White House that was “under control.”

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Trump said, “there was an actual shooting and somebody’s been taken to the hospital.” The president said law enforcement had fired the shots and that he believed the individual who was shot was armed.

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Lebanon’s Aoun Accepts Gov’t Resignation, Asks Diab To Stay On In Caretaker Capacity

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Lebanon's Aoun Accepts Gov't Resignation, Asks Diab To Stay On In Caretaker Capacity

Just after the Lebanese Prime Minister Hassan Diab announced the resignation of his government following last week’s devastating explosion in Beirut port, President Michel Aoun has accepted the resignation of the prime minister’s government and asked it to stay on in a caretaker capacity until a new cabinet is formed.

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Earlier on Monday in a televised evening address to the nation, Diab announced the resignation of the entire cabinet characterizing the detonation of highly explosive material warehoused at the capital’s port for the past seven years as being “the result of endemic corruption.”

Diab calling for the trial of those responsible for the blast said “today, we follow the will of the people in their demand to hold accountable those responsible for the disaster that has been in hiding for seven years, and their desire for real change.”

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The resignation came after protesters accused the country’s leaders of negligence and corruption leading to the explosion that killed at least 200 persons and wounding 6,000 others.

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On Sunday, Lebanese police fired tear gas to try to disperse rock-throwing protesters blocking a road near Parliament in Beirut after a second day of anti-government demonstrations.

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