U.S. report on Khashoggi murder due Tuesday
Plus, the silence on granting asylum to Asia Bibi continues
SAUDI ARABIA: King Salman avoided any mention of murdered Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in his address to the kingdom’s Shura Council Monday. President Donald Trump said the United States will issue a “full report” on the killing Tuesday, but he does not intend to listen to a tape of the killing in U.S. government possession because it is “a suffering tape.” The Washington Post on Friday reported that the CIA has concluded that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the Khashoggi assassination, while the U.S. State Department called such reports “inaccurate.”
PAKISTAN: Ireland joined the list of countries “likely to respond favorably” to an asylum request from exonerated Christian Asia Bibi, who remains confined in Pakistan. But the West’s response to ensuring her safety remains characterized by “passive hand-wringing.” One U.S. official told me over the weekend, “There’s a lot going on we can’t and shouldn’t talk about publicly.”
EGYPT: Authorities sentenced to death an Egyptian ISIS supporter in the fatal 2017 stabbing of an 82-year-old Christian doctor in Cairo.
CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC: At least 42 people, including a priest, were killed in an attack last week on a Catholic cathedral in Alindao, in a conflict pitting Muslim forces against Christian militia. This month, more than 10,000 people have sought shelter in a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Batangafo to escape fighting.
IRAQ: Remains of Yazidis killed by ISIS were found Sunday in a village south of Sinjar—another of more than 200 mass graves containing more than 12,000 bodies. As 2018 Nobel Peace Prize laureate and Yazidi survivor Nadia Murad noted, “The world failed to protect Yazidis, now the world fails to deliver justice.”
Last week, U.S. officials visited Alqosh—a historically Jewish and Christian town in Nineveh province that became the front line in the battle to hold back ISIS in 2014—and pledged to help preserve the religious sites. I wrote about the survivors in Alqosh and the keeper of Nahum’s tomb in They Say We Are Infidels.
ISRAEL: The Palestinian Authority has suspended Hebron’s police chief after photos circulated on social media showed him helping Israeli officers change a tire. Hebron is the largest city in the West Bank—an area controlled by the Palestinian Authority—but under a protocol in the Oslo Agreement, security inside the city is split between Israeli and Palestinian forces.
SRI LANKA: After parliamentarians threw fists, a garbage can, some chili powder, and a copy of the country’s constitution, talks to resolve a government in crisis might finally be going somewhere. Or not.
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