Wednesday morning news: October 17, 2018

New details in investigation into Khashoggi disappearance » New details have emerged in the growing scandal over the suspected murder of a Washington Post columnist inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.

A Turkish official told the Associated Press police have found evidence that journalist Jamal Khashoggi was murdered inside the consulate. No word yet on what that evidence is. Turkish authorities also claim to have recordings to prove he did not leave the facility alive.

Khashoggi was a frequent critic of the Saudi royal family  and Vice President Mike Pence said Monday that while any loss of life is grievous…  

PENCE: It’s even more important that he was a member of a free and independent press. 

President Trump has vowed his administration will “get to the bottom of it,” but how the U.S. will respond remains to be seen.

TRUMP: It depends on whether or not the king or the crown prince knew about it in my opinion. Number one, what happened—but whether or not they knew about it. If they knew about it, that would be bad. 

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with King Salman and crown prince Mohammed bin Salman on Monday. Both claim to have no knowledge of what happened to Khashoggi.

But many U.S. lawmakers aren’t buying it. GOP Senator Lindsey Graham told Fox News…

GRAHAM: Nothing happens in Saudi Arabia without MBS knowing it. HOST: Who’s MBS? GRAHAM: He’s the 33-year-old crown prince who jumped over other people. He’s the son of the existing king, and I think he’s on a bad track. I can never do business with Saudi Arabia again until we get this behind us. 

The New York Times reported Tuesday that one of the suspects identified by Turkey in Khashoggi’s disappearance was a frequent companion of the crown prince on international trips. The report also claims “three others are linked by witnesses and other records to the Saudi crown prince’s security detail.”

Florida raises death toll from Hurricane Michael » The death toll from Hurricane Michael continues to rise. Officials in Florida say 16 people are now confirmed dead within the state, doubling the number previously attributed to the storm.

Officials say 12 of the deaths occurred in Bay County, which is home to Panama City and the devastated coastal town of Mexico Beach.

Hurricane Michael also killed 10 people in Georgia, Virginia, and the Carolinas.

War of words follows judge’s decision in defamation suit against Trump » President Trump took another jab Tuesday at Stephanie Clifford, also known as Stormy Daniels, one day after a federal judge dismissed her defamation lawsuit. WORLD Radio’s Kristen Flavin has more.

KRISTEN FLAVIN, REPORTER: U.S. District Judge S. James Otero tossed out Clifford’s defamation lawsuit against President Trump on Monday, saying his past negative statements about Clifford were protected speech under the First Amendment. Otero said it constituted “‘rhetorical hyperbole’ against a political adversary” and it would “hamper the office of the president” to label it defamation.

Clifford is an adult film actress who says Trump paid her to keep quiet about an affair years ago.

The president took to Twitter Tuesday, celebrating the judge’s decision and mocking Clifford’s looks while saying her claim of an affair was—quote—“a total con!”

Clifford fired back, saying the president had “demonstrated his incompetence, hatred of women, and lack  of self control.”

Clifford’s other lawsuit against Trump to end a $130,000 nondisclosure agreement is ongoing.

Reporting for WORLD Radio, I’m Kristen Flavin.

Markets rebound after rough week » AUDIO: [Sound of the NYSE closing bell]

U.S. stocks bounced back in a big way Tuesday after a rough ride last week, rocketing to their biggest gain in six months.

Good news on the U.S. economy fueled the rebound. The Labor Department said employers posted the most jobs in two decades in August, while hiring continued to increase.

Strong earnings from healthcare and tech companies also helped.  

The Dow, S&P 500, and NASDAQ all finished at least 2 percent higher with the NASDAQ up 2.9 percent.

Atlanta to pay $1.2 million to Christian fire chief » The Atlanta City Council voted this week to pay $1.2 million to a former fire chief who was fired for expressing his Christian beliefs about marriage. WORLD Radio’s Sarah Schweinsberg has that story.

SARAH SCHWEINSBERG, REPORTER: The city of Atlanta fired Kelvin Cochran in 2015 over a book he wrote for men at his church, in which he advocated a Biblical view of marriage and sexuality.

The city council voted Monday in favor of the settlement 11-to-3, according to WSB radio. Cochran won a lawsuit against the city and Mayor Kasim Reed late last year. A U.S. District Court ruled that Atlanta’s policies restricting speech outside of work, allowed city officials to unconstitutionally discriminate against employees with whom they disagreed.

Reed said Cochran didn’t have permission to write the book, which “required prior approval from the Board of Ethics,” and had compromised his ability to lead city employees who might be homosexual. But an investigation found no evidence that Cochran discriminated against any member of the fire department.

Reporting for WORLD Radio, I’m Sarah Schweinsberg.

I’m Kent Covington. Straight ahead: Henry Olsen previews midterm elections in the U.S. House. And Onize Ohikere hosts the second edition of World Tour. This is The World and Everything in It.

(AP Photo/Hasan Jamali, File) In this Dec. 15, 2014, file photo, Jamal Khashoggi, general manager of a new Arabic news channel, speaks during a news conference in Manama, Bahrain. 

WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.

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