President Donald Trump says the U.S. will not levy additional punitive measures at this time against Saudi Arabia over the killing of Jamal Khashoggi. Trump said in a statement Tue that the U.S. does not condone the killing of the U.S-based Saudi columnist, but that “foolishly” canceling $110 billion in arms sales — as some in Congress have suggested — would only mean that Saudi Arabia would go to other countries to acquire them.
Trump says the king and crown prince of Saudi Arabia “vigorously deny” any knowledge of the planning and execution of the Oct. 2 murder of The Washington Post columnist at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul. He says “it could well be that the crown prince had knowledge.” Trump says “maybe he did and maybe he didn’t.”
Chinese President Xi Jinping said negotiations between Beijing and Southeast Asian nations on a nonaggression pact to prevent clashes in the disputed South China Sea could be concluded in three years and promised that any differences will be dealt with peacefully. Xi made the assurances after holding talks with President Rodrigo Duterte and other officials on a visit to the Philippines aimed at deepening relations with the American treaty ally. Xi’s overnight visit to the Philippine capital, Manila, was his last stop on a three-nation swing through Asia, where he has offered infrastructure loans and aid and championed free trade amid a rivalry for regional influence with the United States.
“We will continue to manage contentious issues and promote maritime cooperation through friendly consultation,” Xi said. He said China aims to conclude the talks on the “code of conduct” in the disputed waters with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations within three years. Four members of the 10-nation bloc — Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam — along with China and Taiwan have overlapping claims in the South China Sea. Many fear the long-simmering disputes could spark an armed conflict that could shatter Asia’s bustling economies.
About 4,000 residents fled Guatemala’s Volcano of Fire as red-hot rock and ash spewed into the sky and cascaded down the slopes toward an area devastated by a deadly eruption earlier this year. Guatemala’s volcanology unit said that explosions from the 12,300-foot (3,763-meter) high mountain shook homes with “constant sounds similar to a train locomotive.”
Incandescent material burst as high as 1,000 meters (3,200 feet) above the crater and flows of hot rock and ash extended nearly 2 miles (3 kilometers) down one flank of the volcano. Hot blasts of pyroclastic material pushed down canyons on the slopes, while a column of ash rose nearly 23,000 feet (7,000 meters) above sea level and drifted toward Guatemala City to the east. The Volcano of Fire is one of the most active in Central America and an eruption in June killed 194 people. Another 234 are officially missing, although organizations supporting the communities have insisted there are thousands of missing persons.
The Swedish Academy, which has awarded the Nobel Literature Prize since 1901, said it would expand its prize jury to include outsiders for the first time following a scandal that forced it to postpone this year’s award. The venerable institution has been in crisis mode since November 2017, after a deep rift emerged among Academy members about how to manage its longstanding ties to a Frenchman accused — and now convicted — of rape. For the first time in 70 years, the Academy postponed this year’s literature prize by a year while it attempts to sort out its problems.
The Academy said that its Nobel Prize committee — usually made up of five members who recommend a laureate to the rest of the Academy — would in 2019 and 2020 also include “five external experts”, including critics, publishers and authors ranging in age from 27 to 73. The Academy’s permanent secretary, Anders Olsson, said the two-year appointment was “temporary”. The chairman of the Nobel Foundation, which manages the finances and administration of the Nobel prizes, admitted to daily Dagens Nyheter that it had forced the Academy to take in independent outsiders. The Foundation has long been critical of the Academy’s handling of the crisis.