‘Sawed while still alive’? Gruesome ‘taped’ details of Khashoggi’s alleged murder cause media stir

After a Turkish daily said it obtained a recording from the Saudi consulate in Istanbul related to journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a London-based outlet published an ultra-graphic description of his alleged murder and dismemberment.

A three-minute audio recording of Khashoggi’s said to reveal what happened to him at the Saudi consulate has been leaked to the Turkish daily Sabah, but the paper has yet to release it. It is said to have been recorded by the journalist’s Apple Watch.

READ MORE: ‘Guilty until proven innocent’? Trump defends Saudi Arabia from rush to judgment in Khashoggi case

But the London-based Middle East Eye claims to know what’s on the tape citing a source. It alleges the journalist was dragged into a study, where he was dismembered with a bone saw while he was still alive. The source also cites alleged witnesses hearing harrowing screams which only stopped, according to the claims, when the journalist was drugged with an unknown substance.

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File Photo: President Trump and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman at the White House, March 20, 2018 © Reuters/Jonathan Ernst

Salah Muhammad al-Tubaigy, the head of forensic evidence in the Saudi general security department, was singled out, as he can reportedly be heard in the recording urging his colleagues to listen to music while dismembering Khashoggi’s body with a bone saw.

The task took some “seven minutes” to complete. Sabah claimed that the Saudi officials then tried to delete the recordings first by trying to guess Khashoggi’s PIN on the watch, then using the journalist’s finger. This detail has raised suspicions since Apple Watches do not have a fingerprint-enabled unlock mechanism.

And while it’s true that an Apple Watch can theoretically sync with a nearby iPhone if the devices share a Bluetooth connection, Sabah did not elaborate on how the alleged recordings found their way out of the Saudi consulate.

This recording is said to be reviewed by the Turkish investigators, who have so far neither confirmed nor denied its existence. Khashoggi’s fiancée, who was waiting outside the consulate and could potentially have received the haunting audio files, has made no mention of any recordings.

READ MORE: Police found evidence in Saudi consulate that Khashoggi was killed there – Turkish official to AP

Khashoggi was last seen entering the Saudi consulate on October 2, on an administrative errand to get documents to allow for him to get married.

Tubaigy is one of five suspects so far identified by Turkish police as part of their investigation into the disappearance and killing. The others are said to have links to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman.

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‘I ain’t dead, bitches’: Roseanne Barr reacts to her character’s ‘grim’ opioid death

Beleaguered sitcom star Roseanne Barr has hit out at ABC network chiefs after her comedy sitcom character was unceremoniously killed off via a “grim and morbid” opioid overdose.

Barr is famous for her turn as Roseanne Conner in the eponymously titled sitcom which first aired on ABC in 1988. The show was brought back for a revival earlier this year but an eleventh series was subsequently scrapped following racist remarks made by Barr about former White House senior advisor Valerie Jarrett.

READ MORE: ‘Roseanne’ canceled after star’s racist tweets

The sitcom, about a family in middle America, was a ratings hit, with Roseanne Barr starring alongside John Goodman, who played her husband Dan Conner. But the Roseanne character has now been killed off in new show The Conners, which charts the family without Barr’s involvement.

Responding to her character’s demise, Barr described the death from opioid use as “grim,” “morbid” and unnecessary. Her statement coincided with a Twitter post from the actress, which stated: “I ain’t dead, bitches”.

“After repeated and heartfelt apologies, the network was unwilling to look past a regrettable mistake, thereby denying the twin American values of both repentance and forgiveness,” Barr said about the final nail in her show’s coffin. “The cancellation of Roseanne is an opportunity squandered due in equal parts to fear, hubris, and a refusal to forgive.”

The character’s death, which was addressed at the beginning of The Conners debut episode, provoked a mixture of debate online. Some people labelled Roseanne’s off-screen death in the first seconds of the show as a “brutal” and “disgusting” way to punish the actor.

Others, however, backed the decision, saying Barr simply had to go because of her offensive comments.

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Was the ‘Desert Fox’ a Nazi? German defense ministry official sparks debate with Rommel tweet

A German defense ministry official became the target of an angry Twitter mob after paying tribute to Erwin Rommel, igniting furious debate about whether the German general was a hero or a Nazi war criminal.

Peter Tauber, a senior defense ministry official who previously served as the Secretary General of Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU), took to Twitter on Sunday to commemorate the anniversary of Rommel’s death.

“Erwin Rommel, who was forced to commit suicide by the Nazis, died 74 years ago today,” Tauber wrote.

The tweet was poorly received, with many pointing to Rommel’s alleged crimes as a field marshal serving Hitler’s Nazi Germany.

“Sorry, was your account hacked?” Petra Pau of the Left Party replied. “Rommel participated in war crimes (to put it mildly), like so many others.”

“That war crimes were committed under his command in Italy should not be forgotten here,” Green MP Omid Nouripour said.

As per tradition, the tweet was also bombarded with a hailstorm of sarcastic memes.

However, others came to Tauber’s defense, with one Twitter user noting that “the barracks where I am stationed is still called Rommel Barracks.”

In a follow-up tweet, Tauber dismissed“leftist” anger over his comment as mere hyperventilation. He also defended his tweet in an interview with Bild, in which he claimed that Rommel had “repeatedly disregarded criminal orders” and had heroically plotted against Hitler.

Known as the “Desert Fox” for his crafty tactical displays in North Africa, Rommel was forced to commit suicide on Hitler’s orders, after being implicated in a plot to kill the Nazi leader.

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'I saw you slap Conor. That’s not our custom': Chechen leader Kadyrov to Tukhugov after UFC229 brawl

Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov has advised Russian UFC fighter Zuybara Tukhugov to next time strike “according to Chechen custom” after he “slapped” Conor McGregor following Khabib Nurmagomedov’s win over the Irishman at UFC 229.

READ MORE: ‘Send me my broken contract’: Khabib threatens to quit UFC if ‘brother’ banned for Conor punch

Tukhugov had his fight with McGregor teammate Artem Lobov on October 27 called off by the promotion after the Chechen fighter vaulted the octagon and became involved in a bust-up with McGregor seconds after Khabib’s fourth-round victory.

Blows were exchanged between the two, which resulted in questions about Tukhugov’s future within the organization being raised. But Kadyrov believes Tukhugov’s behavior was not in-keeping with “custom,” and advised to next time strike “like you were taught in the meadows of your village.”

In a lengthy post to Instagram, Kadyrov wrote: “Zubair, you know who you are and where you’re from! I remember you from when a spritely young boy from the Tukhugov family regularly fought in the fields near Tsentaroy.

Khabib had already sensationally threatened to quit the UFC should they punish Tukhugov, goading the UFC to send his “broken contract.” Kadyrov offered similar support in numbers for the fighter, who has had three fights in the UFC and holds a record of 18 wins and 4 losses in professional MMA. 

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FILE PHOTO: Zubayra Tukhugov © TT News Agency

“You are not on your own, don’t worry about that. You have us – your countrymen. You have the best club under the sun – Akhmat MMA, which arranges fights for you on the highest possible level. And what’s more…I saw the slap you gave Conor. That’s not according to our custom.

READ MORE: ‘UFC offered Khabib $ 15mn for McGregor rematch, but we want Ferguson’ – Nurmagomedov uncle

“If it was, it would be entirely different. If you give your word to stand up for your friend again, remember! Strike like you were taught in those same meadows – silently, briskly and sharply. On the button, as they say…that’s it Zubair!”

Tukhugov received the kind words by thanking his “big brother” Kadyrov for his support, and promised, in his own Instagram post, that the fighters of Akhmat “will show just how sharp we are.”

UFC president Dana White pledged that despite a recent strained relationhip, Khabib would stay with the promtion, but was undecided on the future of Tukhugov, telling TMZ Sports:Well, [Khabib’s] staying in the UFC…I don’t know what is going to happen. We’ll see how it plays out.”

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‘I don’t give a damn’: Secret service agent blocks reporter’s Kushner-Saudi questions (VIDEO)

US secret service agents are expected to take a bullet for those they’ve sworn to protect. But in a bizarre exchange a bodyguard for White House senior advisor Jared Kushner swooped in to block a reporter’s questions.

The US president’s son-in-law was spared potentially tough questioning on Saudi Arabia when an unidentified special agent pushed in front of Errol Barnett, telling the CBS journalist there is a “time and a place” for such questions.

READ MORE: Kushner touts ‘deal’ to Palestinians as Middle East peace process in tatters after US Embassy move

The incident occurred as Kushner was disembarking a plane in New York. According to Barnett he was attempting to ask Kushner about the crown prince of Saudi Arabia and the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi. Kushner is believed to have been instrumental in greasing the wheels of a US-Saudi Arabia multimillion dollar arms deal.

Meanwhile, Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist, is thought to have been killed earlier this month soon after he entered an Istanbul consulate building belonging to his home nation.

Footage of the moment Barnett was obstructed from asking questions was caught on the journalist’s camera phone. In the clip, the special agent appears to take umbrage at Barnett’s presence, also stating he does not “give a damn” when the reporter reveals his White House approved credentials.

READ MORE: Kushner wants ‘honest effort to disrupt’ Palestinian refugee agency, Abbas up in arms

“Jared Kushner did not answer my question and the secret service informs me, while obscuring my phone, that despite identifying as WH press, there is a “time and a place” for questions,” Barnett said about the incident.

In a statement to CBS News, the US Secret Service said the incident is under review.

“Pending receipt of additional facts, details and full circumstances surrounding the incident, appropriate action will be taken if necessary,” the statement added.

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#Romanovs100 & #1917LIVE to showcase at America's biggest education forum SXSW EDU 2019

Educational history projects #Romanovs100 & #1917LIVE panel at America’s major education fair SXSW EDU will take place in March 2019.

SXSW EDU will run for the 9th time since 2011 when South by Southwest branched out into a separate education festival. A prestigious international platform, SXSW EDU supports the community’s desire to connect, collaborate and impact the future of education.

Thanks to a three-stage vote including an open vote, the team behind #Romanovs100 and #1917LIVE will host a panel at the festival in Texas in 2019. While historian Helen Rappaport will travel all the way from England, the project’s other contributor, Artist Marina Amaral will fly over from Brazil.

Both projects are dedicated to Russian history, but work on reviving the events of early 20th century has become truly international with the Moscow-based team reaching out to professionals and history enthusiasts from all over the world. Award-winning #1917LIVE ran for a year in 2017 on Twitter, allowing any user to join as a historical character who lived through the Russian Revolution of 1917 and tweet on their behalf, as if social media existed 100 years ago.

It was followed by #Romanovs100 with accounts on 4 social networks reviewing the last decades of the Empire as seen through the lenses of the Romanov family’s cameras, each platform showcasing its own narrative, format and content. #Romanovs100 features short documentary videos, original music, 100-year-old photos in spherical mobile view, digital colorization, an artwork contest, real-time blogs by historical characters, VR animation and more.

The team would like to thank everyone who cast their vote for the projects making this panel possible. #Romanovs100 shortly plan to release an original soundtrack with music written by prominent Russian musician, Peter Nalich. It will be available for download for free.

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‘Oh, we fighting’: Mayweather ‘looking at 9-figure payday’ for Khabib bout (VIDEO)

Floyd Mayweather has stoked rumors he will face UFC lightweight king Khabib Nurmagomedov, saying “we can make it happen” and adding that the potential payday would be even bigger than the ‘Money Fight’ with Conor McGregor.

Nurmagomedov recently called out the retired boxing great, having extended his perfect MMA record to 27-0 by destroying McGregor in the pair’s megafight in Las Vegas.

READ MORE: ‘There’s only one king in the jungle’ – Khabib calls out Mayweather (VIDEO)

Mayweather, 42, who has a perfect record of 50-0 in the ring, heeded the call by telling broadcasters to “get the checkbooks out.”

READ MORE: ‘Get the checkbook out!’ – Mayweather responds to Khabib call-out

Speaking to TMZ Sports, Mayweather added further fuel to the speculation by claiming that he was deadly serious about meeting the 30-year-old Dagestani fighter.

“Oh, we’re fighting,” Mayweather said. “I’m my own boss, I can’t say what’s going on on Khabib’s end, but on my end we can make it happen.”

The US boxing icon touched on Nurmagomedov’s condition that, should the fight happen, it would have to be outside Las Vegas – where the Russian star is facing suspension and has had his $ 2 million McGregor fight purse withheld due to the post-fight brawl that marred his victory.    

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© Instagram / khabib_nurmagomedov

“I’ve seen on IG (Instagram) and on social media, he put basically he’ll fight but he doesn’t want to fight in Vegas,” Mayweather said. “Of course we know, Vegas is the fighting capital, and after the fight you have to conduct yourself like a true professional, not just in the in the ring, but outside the ring also… it was a big melee [with McGregor’s team], I haven’t had a chance to see it, but from what I heard it was a crazy melee.”

When asked whether a potential fight with ‘The Eagle’ would be in the ring or cage, the former five-weight world champ said Nurmagomedov would have to step into the world of boxing for it to happen.

“Who’s the A-side? He called me out, he’s got to come to my world.”

Nurmagomedov claimed that he already had one over on Mayweather by putting McGregor down in their bout, which the boxer failed to do in his 10th-round TKO win over  the Irishman – although Mayweather dismissed that notion.

“He said he knocked Conor McGregor down and I didn’t, well, OK, Khabib, you go my leftovers, whoopee-do.”

The man nicknamed ‘Money’ even predicted that a potential fight with the Russian MMA star would eclipse the reported $ 275 million he earned from the McGregor fight in Las Vegas.   

“When I face Khabib, of course I’m getting a nine-figure payday. It’s more than the McGregor fight… probably $ 100 million more… I’m going to say somewhere between $ 110 and $ 200 million guaranteed.”

Nurmagomedov’s future has been the subject of fervent speculation since his win over McGregor. The Russian has threatened to quit the UFC over the cancelation of his friend Zuybara Tukhugov’s fight on the next UFC card, over his role in the post-fight melee.  

However, UFC chief Dana White insisted earlier this week that the promotion “was good” with Khabib and that the Russian fighter was remaining with the organization.

READ MORE: ‘He’s staying!’ Khabib to remain in UFC, says Dana White

That followed talk that Nurmagomedov had rejected $ 15 million to take a rematch with McGregor, and instead had his sights on a match-up with fellow lightweight Tony Ferguson.    

READ MORE: ‘UFC offered Khabib $ 15mn for McGregor rematch, but we want Ferguson’ – Nurmagomedov uncle

Mayweather, meanwhile, has also been touted for a potential rematch with Philippine great Manny Pacquiao – although rumors of a fight with Khabib have cast that into the shadows somewhat.    

Nurmagomedov’s father and trainer, Abdulmanap, has said that if the Mayweather fight does go ahead, they want Mike Tyson and Ukrainian coach Anatoly Lomachenko in their corner.  

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Rape victim data gathering by police is unlawful – London victims’ commissioner

The gathering of intrusive data from possible rape victims, by police, is unlawful and could prevent them from reporting the crime, London’s victims’ commissioner has stated. A complainant told RT the process is ‘violating.’

Claire Waxman, the capital’s first victims’ commissioner, stated in a letter to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), that victims were being told that their cases would be dropped unless they gave police access to intimate information and personal items, reported the Guardian.

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FILE PHOTO © Reuters / Kacper Pempel

Alleged victims routinely signed consent forms that would provide defence lawyers, along with alleged attackers access to intimate details of the complainants lives, details which could then be revealed in court.

“Victims are very concerned that they are being asked for so much sensitive material – not only their phones, but also past medical history, their social services records and more,” stated Waxman, who works from the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime.

“Victims often don’t feel it useful, relevant or reasonable, but have to give consent to it if they want to access justice. The justice process has just lost a grip on this; on the ground it is getting worse and worse.”

London-based rape complainant, Frances (name changed to protect her identity) described to RT UK how police still have her phone ten months after she reported the alleged incident, despite them telling her they would only keep it for a “few days.” While investigating officers also requested Frances’ Facebook and Instagram passwords as well as details of her GP and therapist, both of whom treated her in the aftermath of the incident.

“It definitely feels weird the idea of the police interviewing my therapist – someone who has probably a better grasp than anyone of how bad I have felt at times, and a person whom things I tell are supposed to be confidential,” Frances said.

READ MORE: Bill Cosby sentenced to at least 3 years in first celebrity conviction for #MeToo

In the capital, police request that complainants give over access to their social media, location data, web browsing history, instant messages, emails, deleted data, images, apps, videos, audio files, contacts and MMS/SMS messages. The data can be stored for up to 100 years.

Waxman argued that women were left with little choice but to hand over their data as police told them they could not continue the investigation without their consent. New data protection laws could make the process unlawful, suggested the victims’ commissioner.

In response to Waxman’s letter and her own experiences, Frances said that “Being raped makes you feel acutely vulnerable, and imbues trust issues, and knowing that people you don’t know have access to all this personal information is really tough at times.”

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‘Lyin’” Ted Cruz and ‘extreme’ Beto O’Rourke: Midterm debate descends into insults and barbs

Ahead of next month’s crucial midterm elections, Texas Senator Ted Cruz (R) squared up against challenger Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D) as the two political opposites largely played to their own crowds.

The candidates sparred over healthcare, tax cuts and border security, in the final debate of a race that has captured the nation’s attention and, for O’Rourke, has drawn a record-breaking $ 38 million in donations in just three months, many of these from out-of-state supporters.

In San Antonio on Tuesday night, O’Rourke struck a combative tone, and tried to paint Cruz as a self-serving elitist, beholden to corporate interests. When Cruz implied that O’Rourke had at one point supported a $ 10-per-barrel oil tax, O’Rourke denied this, and referenced one of President Trump’s 2016 nicknames for Cruz, perhaps the only time the punk-rocking, skateboarding Democrat will ever give Trump credit.

“Senator Cruz is not going to be honest with you,” O’Rourke said. “He’s dishonest, and it’s why the president called him Lyin’ Ted, and it’s why the nickname stuck — because it’s true.”

“It’s clear Congressman O’Rourke’s pollsters have told him to come out on the attack,” Cruz replied.

Cruz in turn tried to portray O’Rourke as “extreme” and a radical, and said his support for “Bernie Sanders’ socialized medicine” would “triple your taxes.”

With the Mexican border a two-hour drive away, talk of walls featured prominently.

Cruz attacked O’Rourke’s position on immigration, an issue polls say is a top priority for Texas voters. O’Rourke supports granting an amnesty to so-called ‘Dreamers’ –illegal immigrants who arrived in the US as children– and opposes the building of a border wall. Cruz, meanwhile, favors tough immigration legislation.

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© AFP / Drew Angerer

“Congressman O’Rourke not only opposes a wall…he wants to tear down the ones we have,” Cruz claimed.

“I care about the safety of every single person in the state of Texas,” O’Rourke said. “No wall is going to solve legitimate security concerns, but smart policy will.”

“Let me say there’s no race in this country where there is a starker divide on immigration,” Cruz said.

Predictably, the specter of ‘Russian election meddling’ came up. O’Rourke hit out at Trump for his relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin, and accused Russia of planning to interfere in the upcoming elections. “We know they will attack us again, in this election and the next,” he said, before pledging to “stand up” to Trump on Russia.

Cruz replied that he had supported legislation to better protect ballot boxes from interference, but focused more on the “political bias of big tech, of Facebook and Google,” whom he claimed were not properly protecting free speech online.

Both candidates played to their respective bases. Cruz to conservatives and senior citizens worried that socialized healthcare and health cover for immigrants would cut into their Medicare funding; and O’Rourke to progressives, and the state’s latino voters, many of whom bitterly oppose Trump’s proposed border wall. Picking a winner on Tuesday night depended largely on which side you support already, making the discussion little more than political theatre.

While a CNN poll shows Cruz leading O’Rourke by seven points, the media attention and fundraising dollars on O’Rourke’s campaign has been unprecedented. Texas has not elected a Democrat to any statewide office since 1994, however, and GOP political strategist Allen Blakemore told the New York Times that “The polls are beginning to reflect the reality that is Texas — we are a conservative state where Republicans dominate.”

Nevertheless, O’Rourke’s team are hoping to pull off a Texas-sized upset when voters go to the polls on November 6.

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Kerch carnage: What we know so far about attack on Crimean college

An assailant, armed with a gun and a homemade bomb, burst into a technical college in Crimea, killing at least 18, mostly underage students. In the aftermath of the attack, we sum up what is known so far.

How it unfolded

The attack took place on Wednesday afternoon in the city of Kerch, the entry point for a new Crimean bridge connecting the peninsula to mainland Russia.

READ MORE: ‘Bodies lying everywhere’: Shooting at Crimea college has echoes of Columbine massacre

First reports said a powerful blast rocked the college building and it was initially thought to have been caused by a gas explosion. But soon a homemade device was found at the scene. It had detonated, shooting shrapnel in all directions. Firefighters and bomb disposal teams were deployed.

The attack initially was classified as an act of terrorism. As witnesses started to come forward they spoke of a gunman on a shooting spree. The young man, armed with a gun hit students and staff.

It seems the shooting followed the explosion, and it is thought that the victims were killed by the gunfire, Russia’s Investigative Committee confirmed. The crime is now being investigated as murder and not a terrorist attack.

At least 18 people have been killed and many more wounded at the college. Most of them turned out to be underage students. The attack saw people jumping out of windows and running for their lives. Students and staff described scenes of carnage inside the college as panicked pupils tried to flee the building.

One survivor said she was lucky to escape with her life. “My friend was killed right in front of me. I saw her fall and simply stop moving. I saw boys dropping dead and blood spilling everywhere.”

READ MORE: ‘We want to live’: Terrifying VIDEOS of students fleeing Kerch college massacre

Another student described fleeing from the college. “My friends and I were standing outside. Then there was an explosion, all the windows blasted out. We ran, climbed over the fence. There were more explosions or some similar noise. We just ran as far as we could.”

The gunman

The Investigative Committee said the attacker was 18-year-old student of the college named Vladislav Roslyakov.

Roslyakov carried a high-powered firearm – a shotgun or an assault rifle. After the shooting spree, he shot and killed himself in the college library. His motive for the rampage is still unclear. Media speculation focused on his family and personal life, while his friend told Russia’s RBC broadcaster that he “hated the college very much.”

Security lapse?

A college employee, Natalya, who spoke to RT after being treated for an injury in hospital, said the gunman probably entered the building through the back door. “The fence there can be easily climbed over. There is no CCTV either, no secure door,” she said.

This is the first major attack on Crimean soil since the region was reunited with Russia following the 2014 referendum. Gun violence is rare in Russian schools.

The last deadly shooting happened in 2014, when a student armed with two rifles opened fire in a high school in Moscow, killing a geography teacher and a police officer. He also held about two dozen students hostage and battled police officers responding to the situation before his father entered the classroom in a bulletproof vest and persuaded him to surrender.

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