Court exonerates crown prince’s inner circle of involvement in murder of dissident journalist
Saud al-Qahtani: who is fixer cleared by Saudis over Khashoggi murder?
A commemoration event for Jamal Khashoggion 11 November 2018. Five people were sentenced to death for his murder, but two top aides to the powerful crown prince were exonerated. Photograph: Ozan Köse/AFP via Getty Images
A commemoration event for Jamal Khashoggi on 11 November 2018. Five people were sentenced to death for his murder, but two top aides to the powerful crown prince were exonerated. Photograph: Ozan Köse/AFP via Getty Images
ARE the 8 convicted killers of Jamal Khashoggi among those captured on video stills (above) during the infamous operation at the Saudi Consulate in Turkey?
However, the veteran Hollywood star said that the US president does not have the same “honour” that is often exhibited by the characters in traditional gangster films.
De Niro, who is known for starring in a number of mafia and mobster-themed films over the years – including The Godfather Part II and Goodfellas – talked about the genre’s ongoing appeal, telling The Graham Norton Show: “I guess it’s because they defy the law, yet have their own laws, structure and culture.
“There’s more honour. Especially with The Godfather at the time of the Vietnam War.
“The idea of respect and knowing right from wrong (amongst the gangsters) was more than we were seeing from our leaders, we were not being told the truth about what was really going on.”
De Niro, who is a vocal critic of Trump, added: “Today, we have a weird twisted president who thinks he’s a gangster, who’s not even a very good gangster.
“Gangsters have honour, you shake a hand and they have your word and you have theirs and that’s it. But with this guy, it’s not the case.”
The actor has joined forces director Martin Scorsese, his long-time collaborator, for new gangster film The Irishman, which also stars Al Pacino, Joe Pesci and Harvey Keitel, actors he has worked with on numerous occasions.
De Niro plays gangland enforcer Frank Sheeran in the Netflix production, which runs to three-and-a-half hours.
The movie spans several decades and shows De Niro’s character from when he is in his 20s up to his 80s, using cutting-edge technology to alter his appearance over time.
Described as “an epic saga of organised crime in post-war America”, the film is adapted from the book I Heard You Paint Houses.
De Niro told Norton of working with Pacino: “When Marty (Scorsese) and I read the book, we thought Al would be great and then it was a lot of to-ing and fro-ing and a matter of waiting for everyone to be able to do it.”
Asked if Pesci had come out of retirement to star alongside him in the film, De Niro said: “I don’t know about that, but he wasn’t doing anything at the time, and I said: ‘Who knows if we’ll ever have the chance to do this again? We won’t, so come on, let’s just do it.’
“There was a lot of talking, but he loves Marty and I think he loves me, so he said: ‘Let me do it.’”
U.S. and Kurdish officials expect Turkey to launch a military operation within 24 hours as Trump tries to backpedal
US and Kurdish officials said late Tuesday that they expect Turkey to launch a major offensive into northeast Syria within the next 24 hours, after Trump appeared to give Ankara the green light to begin the operation///AIWA! NO!//
Foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt has attacked Donald Trump as “disrespectful and wrong” over his extraordinary outburst at Theresa May.
The US President fired off a series of explosive tweets, some of which were aimed at the prime minister, after leaked messages to the UK government by Britain’s US ambassador Sir Kim Darroch suggested his administration was “dysfunctional”.
He also launched a personal attack on May over Brexit, accusing her of ignoring his advice and “going her own foolish way”.
Tory leadership contender Hunt has now waded into the extraordinary row, warning the president that “allies need to treat each other with respect”.
He called Trump’s comments about May “disrespectful and wrong” and pointed out that US ambassadors to Britain “give their private opinions” to his administration also.
Trump’s latest intervention came as the cabinet reiterated its full support for Darroch following the leak of a series of diplomatic dispatches in which he branded the US administration as “inept”.
Trump said: “The wacky ambassador that the UK foisted upon the United States is not someone we are thrilled with, a very stupid guy.
“He should speak to his country, and Prime Minister May, about their failed Brexit negotiation, and not be upset with my criticism of how badly it was handled.
“I told Theresa May how to do that deal, but she went her own foolish way – was unable to get it done. A disaster!
“I don’t know the ambassador but have been told he is a pompous fool.
“Tell him the USA now has the best economy and military anywhere in the world, by far and they are both only getting bigger, better and stronger.
“Thank you, Mr President!”
The war of words comes as the two candidates prepare to debate one another on ITV at 8pm.
While the prime minister again denounced the leak of Darroch’s dispatches as “unacceptable”, she stressed it was important ambassadors were able to provide “honest, unvarnished” advice to ministers.
“She said we had made clear to the US how unfortunate that this leak is and that the extracts were selective and do not reflect the closeness of our relationship,” the prime minister’s official spokesman said.
“The prime minister said that at the same time – while the views expressed in the documents are not necessarily the views of ministers or the government, it is hugely important that ambassadors are able to provide honest, unvarnished assessments of the politics in their country.
“She said therefore it is absolutely right that we continue to give Sir Kim Darroch our full support.
“The ambassador remains in post and continues to carry out his duties with the full support of the PM.”
The Foreign Office, which originally described the leak as “mischievous”, launched a formal leak inquiry on Sunday.
In the memos, obtained by The Mail On Sunday, Darroch suggested that in order to communicate with the president “you need to make your points simple, even blunt”.
In a scathing assessment of the White House, he said: “We don’t really believe this administration is going to become substantially more normal; less dysfunctional; less unpredictable; less faction riven; less diplomatically clumsy and inept.”
Eyes and ears of the countries they represent, not host country.
Representation at diplomatic level:
Cultural exchange programmes
Trade and commerce
Welfare of Nationals in the hosting country
Embassies are supposed to be home away from home to nationals of the sending country. Once one enters their Diplomatic Mission, they literally have entered their country. For example; the murdered Washington Post Saudi Journalist Jamal Khashoggi entered Saudi Arabia Embassy in Istanbul, Turkey; where he never came out. Ironically the Saudi Embassy would have been expected to look after the welfare of their nationals; security and all. But alas; they assassinated him.
Murdered Saudi Journalist Jamal Khashoggi in March 2018
Khashoggi had entered the consulate in order to obtain documents related to the marriage he and his fiancée were planning. Because no security camera footage of him exiting the building could be found, he was declared a missing person amid news reports claiming that he had been assassinated and dismembered inside the consulate. When the disappearance of Khashoggi was first reported by the news media, Saudi Arabia claimed he had left the consulate and denied having any knowledge about his fate. Turkish media published evidence suggesting that Khashoggi never came out of the consulate. Saudi Arabia subsequently denied any involvement in his disappearance
Former British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson should know far better than anyone else to not be coy on his understanding of Sir Kim Darroch’s former role as British Ambassador to the United States.
“I don’t necessarily think it was the right thing for him to do,” Johnson added.
The former foreign minister and London mayor refused to say whether he would keep Darroch in his post, calling the question “presumptuous” and noting the ambassador is scheduled to retire by the end of the year.
“I have got a good relationship with the White House and I have no embarrassment in saying that,” he said.
“I think it’s very important that we have a strong relationship with our most important ally. The United States is, has been, will be and for the foreseeable future our number one political military friend.”
“I think there is a chance to do things differently, a chance to break away from the failed old can-kicking approaching. Now is the time to really get a grip on this. Stop being so defeatist in our approach to the EU negotiations and maybe be a lot more positive about our country and what it can do.”
Sixteen people including a baby were killed and 21 were wounded by an Israeli attack on multiple Syrian and Iranian targets on the outskirts of Damascus and Homs, Syrian state-run al-Ikhbariya broadcaster reported, citing its correspondent.
Israeli warplanes fired missiles at Syria that targeted Syrian military positions in Homs and Sahnaya, south of Damascus, the Syrian military said on Monday.
“The first assessment is that a Russian-made missile, part of the air defense system, which was part of the air defense system that took place last night in the face of an air strike against Syria, completed its range and fell into our country after it missed,” Turkish Cypriot Foreign Minister Kudret Ozersay said in a social media post.
The object hit a mountainside north of the capital Nicosia.
Syrian air defenses confronted the attack, which was launched from Lebanese airspace, the Syrian defense ministry said in a brief report on its Telegram feed.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 16 people were killed, among them three children and ten Iranian militias and Hezbollah members. The observatory added that the Israeli Navy also took part in the strike, targeting ten Hezbollah bases, including compounds that were used by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards.
SANA said the dead included a baby and that other children were among the wounded in Sahnaya. It was unclear whether the civilians were killed in the strike or in the resulting blasts.
Social media pages affiliated with the Assad regime have been sharing posts saying a man named Anas Albiat and his wife Rama Arnaout. along with their infant son, were killed in the strike.
According to the observatory, among the sites hit were Revolutionary Guards’ compounds south of Damascus, a strategic research center northwest of Damascus, Hezbollah facilities near the Syrian-Lebanese border, where large fires were reported after several arms depots were hit.
In addition, a research center in Homs was reportedly struck, in addition to an airbase south of Homs that serves Iranian and Hezbollah forces.
The Israeli army has yet to comment on the incident.
Syrian state TV station al-Ikhbariya, citing its correspondent, said the pressure of explosions over Damascus had caused damage to some homes in Sahnaya, south of the capital, breaking glass and slightly injuring a number of people.
State news agency SANA cited its correspondent as saying Syrian air defenses had brought down a number of the missiles.
In recent years, Israel has carried out hundreds of strikes in Syria that it says have targeted its regional arch foe, Iran, and the Lebanese Hezbollah group, which it calls the biggest threat to its borders.
Iran and Hezbollah are fighting on the side of President Bashar Assad in the Syrian war, and Israel says they are trying to turn Syria into a new front against Israelis.
On June 12, SANA reported that Syrian Air Defenses thwarted an Israeli attack on Tal al-Hara in southern Syria and shot down a number of missiles.
Located in Daraa Governorate, Tal al-Hara is considered as a strategic hill overlooking the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights.
The missile attack resulted only in damage and Israel then conducted an “electronic war” in which radars were subjected to interference, SANA added.
Hours after the incident, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a message saying that Israel responds “decisively and forcibly to any attack against us,” yet did not claim responsibility for the alleged attack.