Trump calls Saudi explanation of journalist's death 'credible' after Riyadh says man was killed in fight at consulate

The Japan Times

WASHINGTON/DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – U.S. President Donald Trump called Saudi Arabia's removal of two top officials a "good first step" in response to the death of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, adding that he found the kingdom's explanation of his death credible. "I think we're getting close to solving a very big problem," Trump told reporters during a meeting with defense industry executives in Arizona. "I think it's a good first step." Saudi Arabia admitted Friday that Khashoggi died inside its Istanbul Consulate and said it had fired two senior officials over the incident, which has sparked an international outcry and strained relations with the West. King Salman ordered the dismissal of Saud al-Qahtani, a royal court advisor seen as the right-hand man to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and deputy intelligence chief Ahmed Asiri, a statement on state media said.


U.S. leader weighs action against Saudis as denials about Jamal Khashoggi's disappearance continue

The Japan Times

WASHINGTON/DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – Saudi Arabia is running out of time to explain to the Trump administration what happened to journalist Jamal Khashoggi within its consulate in Turkey. The administration increasingly regards Saudi Arabia's denial of any involvement of Khashoggi's disappearance as untenable, and President Donald Trump and his aides are more and more convinced that the Washington Post writer died after entering the Saudi Arabian Consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2 to pick up a document for his wedding, said three U.S. officials who asked not to be identified because of the sensitivity of the matter. Despite increasing pressure from Congress, Trump is reluctant to cancel multimillion-dollar arms sales to Saudi Arabia out of concern the U.S. ally will turn to Russia or China instead. But a range of other punishments are under discussion within the administration, from downgrading diplomatic relations or sanctioning Saudi officials to following major U.S. companies in withdrawing officials from an investment conference in Riyadh later this month. White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow warned Sunday of "stern action" by Trump if Saudi Arabia is found responsible for Khashoggi's disappearance.


Iran Says Guards Attack Islamic State With Drones in Eastern Syria

U.S. News

DUBAI (Reuters) - Iran's Revolutionary Guards on Sunday struck bases of the Islamic State in eastern Syria with drones, Iranian state television reported. It said vehicles, military equipment and ammunition were destroyed in the attack near the Syrian-Iraqi border. In June, Iran fired missiles into eastern Syria, targeting bases of Islamic State which had claimed responsibility for attacks in Tehran which killed 18 people. The Revolutionary Guards are fighting in Syria against militant groups which oppose President Bashar al-Assad. Not all U.S. presidents are missed once they leave the White House.


Pro-Isis hackers break into US government websites leaving chilling messages for Donald Trump

The Independent - Tech

Isis supporting hackers broke into US government websites and issued chilling warnings to Donald Trump. It is just the latest pro-Isis attack to be launched on government pages by a group that apparently seek to disrupt organisations and deface their websites. "You will be held accountable Trump, you and all your people for every drop of blood flowing in Muslim countries," read one message, posted on Ohio governor and unsuccessful presidential candidate John Kasich's website. The message, left by "Team System DZ", ended: "I love the Islamic state." US President Donald Trump, accompanied by First Lady Melania Trump, and Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud being welcomed at Murabba Palace in Riyadh US President Donald Trump adjusts the Collar of Abdulaziz Al Saud Medal, after it was bestowed upon him by Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud at the Royal Court in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud presents U.S. President Donald Trump with the Collar of Abdulaziz Al Saud Medal at the Royal Court in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia US President Donald Trump looks on as U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Muhammad bin Nayef exchange a memorandum of understanding US President Donald Trump holds a bilateral meeting with Bahrain's King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa Israeli soldiers rest during preparations ahead of President Trump's landing in Tel Aviv, Israel US President Donald J. Trump and his wife, US First Lady Melania Trump are welcomed by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu upon arrival at Ben Gurion Airport, in Lod outside Tel Aviv, Israel US First Lady Melania Trump chats wife Sara Netanyahu as US President Donald Trump chats to Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a welcoming ceremony to welcome Trump at Ben Gurion International Airport US President Donald Trump watches as First Lady Melania Trump signs the guest book at the President's Residence in Jerusalem US President Donald Trump walks with first lady Melania Trump in Jerusalem's Old City US President Donald Trump stands next to Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz at the plaza in front of the Western Wall, Judaism's holiest prayer site, in Jerusalem's Old City US President Donald J. Trump arrives in a vehicle to Saint Damaso's Court for a private audience with Pope Francis in Vatican City The group has claimed responsibility for similar hacks in the past in Richland County, Wisconsin, and in places such as Aberdeen, Scotland, and Sweden.


Trumplomacy over Iran leaves Europe scrambling for answers

BBC News

There is a growing sense of frustration, bordering on incredulity, among President Trump's European allies following his recent actions in the Middle East. That gulf was on display again on Monday with markedly different responses to the move of the US embassy to Jerusalem and the violence that accompanied it in Gaza. But it is Mr Trump's abandonment of the Iran nuclear deal last week that really left America's trans-Atlantic allies spinning - trying to discern any sign of a strategy behind the decision and groping for answers that don't seem to exist. "We asked what is Plan B, what will be the next step," said a European official. "The answer was we have not had time to prepare Plan B because of the change of people at the National Security Council."