Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi has been missing since last week. Most recently, his newspaper published news that the crown prince ordered the operation to lure Khashoggi back to Saudi Arabia and then detain him, U.S. intercepts show. That piece was written by Shane Harris.
Jonathan Swan at Axios adds to the Khashoggi intrigue with this tweet: “On Monday afternoon, I received an unsolicited note on the encrypted messaging service, WhatsApp, from the Saudi ambassador to the United States, Prince Khalid bin Salman.” Read more about it in his story: A text from the Saudi ambassador, then silence.
For a comprehensive report on Khashoggi's mysterious whereabouts, we recommend The Daily podcast from the New York Times. You can listen to it here on Spotify or wherever else you like to listen to your podcasts.
Following Khashoggi’s disappearance and possible murder in Turkey, lobbyists, financiers, high-tech executives and even media figures are confronting the risk of doing business with Saudi Arabia; which is “under harsh scrutiny for its role in the case,” according to Mark Landler, Kenneth Vogel, and Kate Kelly at the New York Times.
In light of recent news, reporters wondered what Trump thinks about the Saudis and he said: “I like them very much.” David Fahrenthold and Jonathan O'Connell wrote in the Washington Post that Trump has long-standing business ties with Saudis, who have boosted his hotels since he took office.
Voter suppression tactics
A man named Shawn Moody is currently campaigning to become Maine’s next governor. According to the New York Times’ Jonathan Martin, Moody Settled a Sex Discrimination Complaint. Now He Wants to Lead Maine. Michael Shepherd tweets, “@nytimes has details of @Moody4Gov’s 2006 settlement of a sex discrimination complaint. A woman says he fired her after she had a baby and paid a $20,000 settlement.”
Sheera Frenkel at the New York Times reports on something that’s now Made and Distributed in the U.S.A.: Online Disinformation. Frenkel added, “For the first time, Facebook is taking down a network of sites run by U.S. citizens that spread disinformation.” It comes out to about 559 pages and 251 accounts run by Americans, “many of which amplified false and misleading content in a coordinated fashion ahead of the midterms.”
A pair of Republicans apparently posed as communists trying to make a donation to a Democratic congressman, Ben Jacobs writes at The Guardian, in an “attempt to tie [the politician] to the far left.” Jacobs calls it, “one of the strangest stories I have ever reported on.”
You can Watch the Georgia Minority Vote Disappear Before Your Eyes from Jamil Smith at Rolling Stone. The magazine tweeted, “The voter suppression tactics on display in Georgia should be national news.”
An increasingly menacing message
Another day, another Trump-getting-rid-of-Jeff-Sessions story. This time it’s Trump Is Mulling Candidates Who Could Replace Jeff Sessions, written by Michael Bender from the Wall Street Journal. Bender added on Twitter, “Preliminary discussions to replace him have focused on Alex Azar, Steven Bradbury, Bill Barr, John Sullivan & retired Judge Janice Rogers Brown.”
After the president met with Kanye West again, CNN’s Jake Tapper tweeted: “So campaigning and spending time with a superstar rapper is inappropriate while Americans are reeling from a major storm, or....?”
New York Magazine’s Olivia Nuzzi wrote an account of her Private Oval Office Press Conference With Donald Trump. She admits, “I had a very weird day yesterday.” David Wallace-Wells shared this bit of the story: ”At the top, underlined, bold, all-caps, it read, “TRUMP ADMINISTRATION ACCOMPLISHMENTS.” On the second page, there were puzzling accomplishments like, “Republicans want STRONG BORDERS and NO CRIME. Democrats want OPEN BORDERS which equals MASSIVE CRIME.” Jebediah Reed added, “This is pretty wild.”
Thanks to Jason Leopold’s FOIA request at BuzzFeed News, we know that John Kelly Called Elizabeth Warren An "Impolite Arrogant Woman" In An Email. Leopold tweeted that the emails “follow[ed] a conversation [Kelly] had with [Warren] about Trump's travel ban. ‘Absolutely most insulting conversation I have ever had with anyone,’ Kelly wrote.”
I Listened to All Six Trump Rallies in October. You Should, Too, Susan Glasser urges in her latest Letter From Washington in the New Yorker. Justin Hendrix “could not agree more.” Kathleen Atkins had an even more frightening title for it: “The Increasingly Menacing Message of Donald Trump’s Rallies.”
In The Atlantic, Jemele Hill explains What the Black Men Who Identify With Brett Kavanaugh Are Missing. Adrienne LaFrance shouted out, “Oh, hey, it’s @jemelehill’s first byline in @TheAtlantic.”
The AP looked through newly unsealed court documents to report that the U.S. Army expelled 500 immigrant recruits in 1 year. Those people had previously been “recruited for their language or medical skills and promised a fast track to citizenship in exchange for their service.”
It gets worse, much worse
This might be the most horrifying and heartbreaking thing we’ve ever heard. Sarah Stillman at the New Yorker writes about The Five-Year-Old Who Was Detained at the Border and Convinced to Sign Away Her Rights. Sean Lavery points out “a contract, designed for children, with an option to forfeit their rights.”
There are fresh allegations against BJP Minister MJ Akbar in which a young woman went on the record with Huffington Post India to say that Akbar allegedly molested her when she was an intern at Asian Age. Aman Sethi, who wrote the story with Betwa Sharma and Alok Nath, tweeted, “We have reviewed emails, and interviewed 3 people to triangulate her account.” Bina Shah tweeted this quote from the piece: "As more and more women joined newsrooms in the 1990s, the presumed equality and informality of the Indian newsroom became an excuse for men to push themselves onto women.” Patralekha Chatterjee added, “The moral of the story -you can be talented and an utter creep.”
Finlay Young and Kathleen Flynn filed a heartbreaking story titled Unprotected in ProPublica. Charles Ornstein wrote, “This story left me so mad and sad. A charity raised millions to protect Liberian girls from sexual exploitation. Then one of its co-founders raped them. It gets worse, much worse.”
Elsewhere around the world
Reuters’ Noah Barkin reports exclusively that Five Eyes intelligence alliance is building a coalition to counter China. If you’re wondering about Five Eyes, it’s the five nations in the world’s leading intelligence-sharing network. They’ve apparently been exchanging classified information on China’s foreign activities since the start of the year in response to “the sudden shock from authoritarian regimes.”
- To celebrate the Day Of The Girl, the New York Times published This is 18 Around the World - Through Girls’ Eyes from Jessica Bennett and Anya Strzemien. “LOVE this @nytimes project that hands the camera over to teenage girls to capture the experience of being a girl in the world,” Masuma Ahuja praised.
- Matthew Shepard Will Be Interred at the Washington National Cathedral, 20 Years After His Death, according to Jacey Fortin at the New York Times.
- A man named Stephen Elliot is suing a woman named Moira Donegan over the Shitty Media Men List. Donegan created the list back in 2017 and Elliot was featured on the aforementioned list. He’s asking for $1.5 million. Esther Wang wasted no time calling the plaintiff a “Shitty media man” in her story about the lawsuit. Tomi Obaro wrote, “What a piece of shit.” E. Alex Jung added, “jfc.”
- We leave you on this Friday with a project from Tim Wallace, Derek Watkins, and John Schwartz at the New York Times called Where We Live. It’s just a collection of “maps showing almost every building in the United States.” Schwartz wrote, “Here is the online version of the big, weird, fun thing I was telling you about yesterday. But you really should see it in print as a special section this weekend. I loved working on this.” Cal Perry added, “Extraordinary. Who doesn’t love maps? These maps should take over for a while.”