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5 things you need to know now
5 things you need to know now
  • Turkey questioning Saudi consulate staff to investigate Khashoggi's disappearance

  • DOJ charges Russian woman for U.S. political interference

  • Trump reiterates praise of GOP congressman who assaulted reporter

  • Nearly 500 women have now accused former USC doctor of sexual misconduct

  • Voter turnout in upcoming midterms may be highest in 50 years

Turkish officials are questioning staff at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to investigate the disappearance and presumed murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, probing the possibility that his remains were removed from the city. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Friday that Turkey would share some "evidence" after completing its investigation, but said it had not yet shared a purported audio recording of the suspected killing with any U.S. officials. The Saudi-born Khashoggi was last seen entering the consulate on Oct. 2, and Turkey says it already has evidence that Saudi Arabia was involved in a plot to torture, kill, and dismember him upon his arrival. President Trump warned of "severe" consequences if that is found to be the case.

Source: The Associated Press, ABC News

A Russian woman who was working for a Russian oligarch-funded project intended to conduct "information warfare against the United States" was charged Friday by the Justice Department. The woman, Elena Alekseevna Khusyaynova, allegedly spread content online that sought to fan the flames of "political intensity through supporting radical groups" and inciting racial tension. The project leveraged social media to spread divisive messages. Separately, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats said that U.S. intelligence officials haven't seen any evidence that foreign countries are working to interfere in any specific race in the upcoming midterm elections. Russia, China, and Iran "may seek to influence voter perceptions," he said, but no specific races have been targeted.

Source: Department of Justice, The Daily Beast

President Trump on Friday said he did not regret applauding Rep. Greg Gianforte (R-Mont.) for assaulting a journalist last year. At a rally in Montana on Thursday night, Trump said that "any guy that can do a body slam ... he's my guy." He called the congressman a "great guy, tough cookie." In 2017, Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs asked Gianforte a question about the Republican health care plan. Gianforte body-slammed Jacobs, who was treated for an elbow injury. Gianforte denied the attack then pleaded guilty to a charge of assault. Violence against journalists is in the news because of the presumed murder of Jamal Khashoggi, likely by the Saudi government. Trump has been hesitant to blame the Saudis.

Source: The Associated Press

University of Southern California officials said Friday that the school is prepared to pay a $215 million settlement to women who have accused a former university gynecologist of sexual misconduct. Ninety-three women came forward Thursday to allege abuse, joining nearly 400 more who have previously reported wrongdoing by Dr. George Tyndall. Many of the women are suing USC for its handling of the alleged abuse, saying the school ignored their complaints, which were filed against Tyndall as early as 1988. Allegations against Tyndall first became public earlier this year, when the Los Angeles Times reported that he had been accused of misconduct, including making inappropriate remarks, groping, and taking pictures of patients' genitals. Tyndall has denied the allegations. He was suspended in 2016 and resigned in 2017.

Source: Los Angeles Times, HuffPost

Early voting has surged in some states, analysts reported Friday, foreshadowing a possible turnout of between 45 and 50 percent of eligible voters in November's midterm elections. That would be the highest figure since at least 1970, when turnout hit 47 percent, and could possibly be the highest since 1966, when turnout was 49 percent. This is a significant turnaround from the 2014 midterms, when just 36 percent of eligible voters cast ballots, the worst showing since World War II. Turnout was also way up in primary elections earlier this year; about 37 million people participated in House primaries, compared to 24 million four years ago.

Source: Talking Points Memo, NPR
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