The Saudi government apparently groomed a mole inside Twitter to keep tabs on dissidents as part of a wide-ranging operation that also unleashed vicious social media attacks on them, The New York Times reported Saturday. The mole was part of a sophisticated online effort “dictated” by controversial Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman and carried out by his advisers to quash domestic and international criticism of Saudi Arabia, according to the Times. One of the dissidents viciously attacked as part of the ongoing operation was the late Washington Post journalist and U.S. resident Jamal Khashoggi. Each morning he awoke to a vile onslaught of Twitter attacks, said the Times.
In an appearance likely to provide fodder for millions of Tweets analyzing every word, facial expression and nuance of body language, President Trump will hold a rally with Texas Sen. Ted Cruz (formerly known as “Lyin’ Ted”) in Houston on Monday night. Trump’s visit to Texas is aimed at revving up Republican enthusiasm in a race where Cruz, facing a stronger-than-expected challenge from Rep. Beto O’Rourke, has openly fretted that he could lose if conservatives don’t show up to vote in a potential Democratic wave election. A recent CNN poll found Cruz leading O’Rourke, a Democratic congressman from El Paso, by 7 points — a too-close-for-comfort margin in a deeply red conservative state where no Democrat has won statewide office since 1994.
Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafortappearedin court in awheelchair on Friday as his lawyer expressed concerns about Manafort’s health related to his confinement. Manafort was in Virginia federal court for a hearing to determine his sentencing date, which a judge scheduled for Feb. 8. “We do think there are significant concerns with Mr. Manafort’s health, and much of that has to do with the terms of Mr. Manafort’s confinement,” defense attorney Kevin Downing told the judge at the hearing.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday postponed the forced eviction of a Bedouin village in the occupied West Bank, a government official said. The fate of Khan al-Ahmar has drawn international concern after Israel said it planned to raze the village, a ramshackle camp housing 180 residents. Its residents, backed by foreign activists who have gathered at the site, have been waiting for bulldozers to move in at any time after an Oct. 1 deadline from Israel for the villagers to demolish their own homes expired.
A man charged with threatening to kill U.S. senators over Brett Kavanaugh's U.S. Supreme Court confirmation has dementia and isn't dangerous, his lawyer said as the 74-year-old was ordered held without bail. Ronald DeRisi was arraigned Friday after prosecutors said he left a series of voicemails threatening two senators for supporting Kavanaugh's recent confirmation. One message warned, "I'm gonna get you," according to a criminal complaint.
Millions of Americans are using DNA test kits sold online to research their ancestry, either out of simple curiosity or to find answers about their identity. In a country whose population, for the most part, arrived in various waves of migration -- and where genealogy has caught the public imagination -- the DNA tests have proven wildly successful.
With the 2018 midterm elections just over two weeks away, the casual reader may be coming across some strange terms in the American political lexicon. For anyone confused by reports on the battle between Democrats and Republicans to control Congress, The Independent has compiled a handy list of some common terms. Battleground State: A state is considered a battleground state if its electorate is split relatively evenly between Republicans and Democrats, making state-wide races especially competitive and hard to predict.
The tentative settlement, which needs a judge's approval, will provide compensation ranging from $2,500 up to $250,000 to women who say Dr. George Tyndall abused them between 1988 and 2016, USC Interim President Wanda Austin said in a statement . About 500 current and former students have now made accusations against Tyndall and filed various lawsuits. Tyndall spent about three decades as a USC staff gynecologist before retiring last year after a university investigation concluded there was evidence that he sexually harassed students during exams.
The former head of Britain’s foreign intelligence service MI6 believes “very compelling” evidence indicates that the Saudi crown prince was behind the death of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi. “It’s very hard not to point a finger at Prince Mohammed bin Salman,” John Sawers said in an interview Friday on Britain’s Channel 4. Sawers also maintained that the prince likely would not have moved against Khashoggi, a U.S. resident who disappeared Oct. 2, unless he was convinced he had nothing to fear from the U.S.
Continuing his efforts to rally support for Republican candidates ahead of the midterms, President Donald Trump on Saturday stopped in Elko, Nevada, where he pushed anti-immigrant sentiment, lied about supporting health care protections, and heaped praise on Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh for a cheering crowd. “I don’t think we like sanctuary cities up here,” Trump told the crowd after criticizing Rep. Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.) on her immigration record. It is true that people in more than a dozen California cities have taken action against their state’s so-called sanctuary cities laws, which limit local authorities from fully cooperating with federal immigration authorities.
SYDNEY ― Prince Harry was on his own Sunday morning, as wife Meghan Markle took a break from the couple’s official royal engagements in Australia. In the wake of an action-packed week for the pregnant Duchess of Sussex, she spent the morning resting after Saturday night’s opening ceremony of the Invictus Games that the couple attended went longer than anticipated. According to Kensington Palace, Meghan has had her royal duties “slightly” trimmed as she and Harry prepare to continue their trip with stops in Fiji, Tonga and New Zealand.
Afghan election workers began counting votes on Saturday following a partial legislative ballot tarnished by scores of deadly militant attacks, technical glitches and administrative chaos. Nearly 170 people -- civilians and security forces -- were killed or wounded in election-related violence, official figures showed, and there are fears of more bloodshed when voting resumes Sunday in 401 polling centres. "Inevitable" problems with biometric verification devices, which were introduced at the eleventh hour, as well as missing voter registration lists and lack of staffing delayed or even prevented voting at those polling sites, the Independent Election Commission (IEC) told reporters.
The man who gunned down three people in a suburban Denver Walmart last year was sentenced Friday to life in prison without parole. Scott Ostrem, 48, received three consecutive life terms plus 48 years as part of a deal he made with prosecutors to avoid a potential death sentence for first-degree murder. Ostrem walked into a Walmart in Thornton the evening of Nov. 1, 2017, opened fire and left without saying anything, witnesses said.
A special police force has been deployed to flashpoints in the northern state of Kaduna on Sunday in the wake of communal violence over the last few days that has killed 55 people, President Muhammadu Buhari said on Twitter. The Kaduna state government imposed a 24-hour curfew on Sunday after violence broke out on the streets of the state's capital city, also called Kaduna.
Authorities in Taiwan have lowered the death toll in a train derailment to 18. The National Fire Agency had earlier cited the Cabinet spokesman's office as saying 22 people were killed when the Puyuma express train went off the tracks late Sunday afternoon, but later lowered the toll to 18, saying there was a mistake in the calculations. The train was carrying more than 366 passengers from a suburb of Taipei toward Taitung, a city on Taiwan's southeast coast, when it derailed.
Witches placed a hex on US Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh during a protest ritual in New York. The spell, which was livestreamed on Facebook and Instagram on Saturday, was also targeted at “all rapists and the patriarchy which emboldens, rewards and protects them”. Organisers at the Catland occult bookshop in Brooklyn said the hex was as “an act of resistance and resilience” following the controversy over allegations of sexual assault against Mr Kavanaugh.
ABC News Senior Foreign Correspondent Ian Pannell reports from Istanbul on the latest in the investigation into the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Spain's government said on Saturday it was "dismayed" by information from Riyadh about the death of dissident Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. "The Spanish government is dismayed by early reports from the Saudi prosecutor about the death of the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, and offers its most sincere condolences to his family," Spain said in a statement. It also echoed a call from U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres for a thorough and transparent investigation to bring to justice those responsible for the incident, which has caused an international outcry.
Eric Trump insisted Friday on Fox News that his father was simply having “fun” this week when he praised Rep. Greg Gianforte (R-Mont.) as “my kind of guy” for assaulting a Guardian reporter last year. “He wasn’t the guy that body-slammed anybody,” the younger Trump said of his dad. Gianforte attacked The Guardian’s Ben Jacobs last year after Jacobs asked him a question about health care, body-slamming and punching the reporter and breaking his glasses.
The F/A-18E/F Super Hornet has fully replaced the F/A-18A/C in U.S. Navy service, but it has not been as successful as an export. In April 2018, the U.S. Navy officially retired the F/A-18C “Hornet” from combat service, marking the end of an era for the basic F/A-18A/B/C/D, which entered service in 1983. The aircraft will continue to serve in the U.S. military in the Blue Angels aerial demonstration team, the U.S. Marine Corps, and reserve squadrons in the Navy.
Israel ordered the country's goods and people border crossings with Gaza to be opened on Sunday, just four days after shuttering them following a Palestinian rocket attack that sparked retaliatory air strikes. The move followed efforts to prevent an escalation in violence that has raised fears of a new war between Israel and the Palestinian territory's Islamist rulers Hamas. "The decision comes after a decrease in the violent events in Gaza over the weekend and efforts Hamas made to restrain" demonstrators, Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman's office said in a statement.
Six people have been wounded in a street shooting blocks from the Florida stadium where the NFL's Houston Texans played and defeated the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday afternoon, authorities said. Ron Lendvay, director of investigations for the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, said several shots rang out about 12:35 p.m. Sunday on a boulevard in the stadium's general area and that five men and one woman were hit by gunfire. Lendvay reported no link to the game, which went on without incident, and said investigators were investigating whether it was gang-related.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have paid tribute to Australia’s war dead as they attended the unveiling of an Anzac memorial 84 years in the making. There were also crowds along Liverpool Street, while more people - and a cardboard cutout of Harry and Meghan - watched on from balconies as the royals arrived.
Alaska Gov. Bill Walker dropped his re-election bid in hopes of boosting Democratic rival Mark Begich's chances of beating Republican Mike Dunleavy. Walker, an independent, said Friday he could not win a three-way race and that Alaskans deserve a choice other than Dunleavy. Begich thinks he can win.