Jamal Khashoggi, Saudi journalist, Global Opinions columnist for the Washington Post, and former editor-in-chief of Al-Arab News Channel Jamal Khashoggi offers remarks during POMED's "Mohammed bin Salman's Saudi Arabia: A Deeper Look."

Fortnightly News Roundup 30th September – 14th October 2018

Jamal Khashoggi, Saudi journalist, Global Opinions columnist for the Washington Post, and former editor-in-chief of Al-Arab News Channel Jamal Khashoggi offers remarks during POMED's "Mohammed bin Salman's Saudi Arabia: A Deeper Look."
Photo credit: April Brady/Project on Middle East Democracy. https://www.flickr.com/photos/pomed/26087328517


Being well informed isn’t easy, but it doesn’t have to be time consuming. In this feature, The Yorker is bringing you a fortnightly roundup of politics free national and international news. From the stories you’ve seen to some you might not have, this is everything you need to know from the past two weeks.

What happened to Jamal Khashoggi?

Last week, Jamal Khashoggi, a well-known journalist and critic of the Saudi government, entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to obtain some documents. He had tried to get these documents a few days earlier, but was told he would have to return. He arranged to come back on the 2nd of October. Also on the 2nd of October, it has been reported that two private jets from the Saudi capital landed in Istanbul. They carried 15 Saudi officials and crew. These officials arrived with boxes and suitcases, and went to the bazaar and bought more suitcases. A rather gory detail is that one of the pieces of equipment these officials brought with them was a bone saw.


About an hour before Mr Khashoggi’s arrival, the Saudi officials arrived at the consulate in cars and black vans. A senior Turkish official said that within two hours of Mr Khashoggi’s arrival, he had been killed. It is suspected that he was dismembered and then taken away on the two private jets that left later that day. Mr Khashoggi’s fiancé waited outside the consulate for ten hours. She had been told by Khashoggi that if he did not emerge, she should call a friend of his, an adviser to President Erdogan.


The Turkish government have agreed to a joint investigation with the Saudis, but Turkey’s official line is that they know “for sure” that he is dead. Saudi leadership have vehemently denied the allegations and have said they have nothing to hide. President Trump vowed “severe punishments” when the U.S. determines what happened, but Saudi Arabia said that it rejects the “threats” and political pressures.

UK doctors will be able to prescribe medicinal cannabis

From the 1st of November, specialist doctors will be able to legally prescribe cannabis-based medications. This new law will not limit the number of conditions that can be considered, nor will doctors have to seek approval from a panel. The decision to prescribe these products cannot be made by a GP, but by doctors listed on the General Medical Council’s specialist register. These decisions must be made on a case-by-case basis and only when the patient has needs that cannot be met by licensed products. The Home Secretary said, “having been moved by heartbreaking cases involving sick children, it was important to me that we took swift action to help those who can benefit from medicinal cannabis”. However, he emphasised that this does not pave the way towards cannabis for recreational use, and that the penalties for unauthorised possession and supply remain the same.

What else do you need to know?

Hurricane Michael hit Florida last week. The death toll has reached 18.


The death toll of the earthquake that struck Indonesia weeks ago continues to rise. It is now up to 1,407.


Another tropical storm is heading towards Japan, typhoon Kong-rey.


Cyclone Titli hit India and so far the death toll stands at 24. Thousands have been flooded and, but the restoration of the electricity and water supply is ongoing.


Flash flooding in Mallorca leaves 10 people dead.


A dramatic report has told world leaders to act now on climate change.


Fracking has been allowed to continue in UK after a legal bid failed.


A decades old plastic bottle has been found washed up on a UK beach.


The second suspect in Salisbury poisoning has been identified.


A rocket launch bound for the ISS malfunctioned. The crew had to abort and eject, but none of them were hurt.


In lighter news, the Prime Minister proposed a law that would allow restaurant staff to keep all tips.


An auction room was left stunned after a just-sold piece of Banksy art shredded itself. Experts say the value of the work has now increased by around 50%.


In some U.S. towns, some teens are too old to trick or treat.


A meteorite worth $100,000 was used as a doorstop for 30 years.


New research by the University of York suggested that Neanderthals embraced healthcare practices.


Cambridge to accept students from disadvantaged backgrounds even if they don’t meet the entry requirements through a Transitional Year programme.


In the second Royal wedding of the year, Princess Eugenie married Jack Brooksbank.

And finally

Surprise attack!