Vox Sentences is your daily digest for what's happening in the world. Sign up for the Vox Sentences newsletter, delivered straight to your inbox Monday through Friday, or view the Vox Sentences archive for past editions. President Trump will not ...
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Vox Sentences is your daily digest for what’s happening in the world. Sign up for the Vox Sentences newsletter, delivered straight to your inbox Monday through Friday, or view the Vox Sentences archive for past editions.
President Trump will not seriously punish Saudi Arabia over Jamal Khashoggi’s murder; a Russian official may be the next Interpol president.
Trump’s bizarre statement on Saudi Arabia
Jim Lo Scalzo-Pool/Getty ImagesAfter weeks of scrutiny over the lack of US response to Saudi Arabia’s brutal murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, President Trump and the White House released a statement Tuesday that indicates the Arab nation will not be seriously punished. [Vox / Alex Ward]
Titled “Standing with Saudi Arabia” and riddled with exclamation points, the statement allies Trump with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the de facto Saudi ruler largely thought to have orchestrated the killing, saying that the White House doesn’t know if he had knowledge of the event — “maybe he did and maybe he didn’t!” [ABC News / Mariam Khan]
Trump’s statement is also egregiously misinformed, as Vox’s Zack Beauchamp notes. Along with reducing Khashoggi’s murder to an intercontinental “he said, she said,” the president also exaggerates Saudi Arabia’s investment in the US economy and minimizes its role in the Yemen civil war. [Vox / Zack Beauchamp]
In the meantime, the CIA has definitively concluded that MBS ordered the assassination and dismemberment of the Saudi dissident, contradicting both Trump and the crown prince’s refutation of the evidence. [Washington Post / Shane Harris, Greg Miller, and Josh Dawsey]
The US did recently impose sanctions on 17 Saudis it accused of assisting in the murder of the journalist. However, a bipartisan of lawmakers have strongly urged the White House to take a harsher stance on the issue by halting weapons trade with Saudi Arabia. [NYT / Mark Landler and Gardiner Harris]
Trump seems unwilling to let go of America’s foreign ties to Saudi Arabia that easily, though. Riyadh said in April it would invest $20 billion in US infrastructure, fulfilling the president’s promise to rebuild America’s crumbling roads, bridges, and airports. Last May, Trump also expressed a desire to sell $110 billion worth of weapons and armory to the Saudis. [Vox / Stavros Agorakis]
Trump told reporters Tuesday that he’s willing to meet with MBS at the G20 summit in Argentina next month if he makes an appearance. [Twitter / Peter Alexander]
Saudi Arabia’s ruling family is eager to prevent MBS from becoming king, with a new report showing that US officials will back the crowning of Prince Ahmed bin Abdulaziz, who served as deputy interior minister for nearly 40 years. [Al Jazeera]
Another controversial nomination involving Russia
A Russian official has been tapped to become the next leader of the global police agency Interpol, a nomination that’s brought about international criticism and pushback from Western nations. [WSJ / Ann M. Simmons]
Alexander Prokopchuk, a former head of Russia’s interior ministry, is one of two candidates running for the seat, which has been vacant since current president Meng Hongwei was reported missing in China last month. (Hongwei was later found detained and is being investigated on corruption charges.) Prokopchuk is the favorite for the Interpol position. [Independent / Tom Embury-Dennis]
The Kremlin has backed Prokopchuk’s nomination, but, needless to say, the US and UK have been very critical. Op-eds from the Washington Post to Bloomberg and the Guardian are calling for a different Interpol leader, saying the organization will lose its legitimacy if it puts a Russian at its helm. Critics have previously accused Moscow of using Interpol to target its enemies. [Bloomberg / Eli Lake]
Interpol delegates from 192 countries are meeting this week in Dubai to elect a new president. [BuzzFeed News / Mitch Prothero]
Though former news anchor Megyn Kelly exited NBC News on a bitter note, amid backlash over comments she made about blackface, sources say she will likely receive a $30 million exit deal and might be planning a TV comeback. [Page Six / Sara Nathan and Emily Smith]
Lego Movie fans should prepare to scrap their Black Friday plans, as YouTube has announced viewers can stream the film for free on the platform for 24 hours as part of a promotion deal for the upcoming sequel. [TechCrunch / Anthony Ha]
Massachusetts recently became the first state on the East Coast to legalize the sale of recreational marijuana. And in Northampton, where a store will soon open, Mayor David Narkewicz plans to be first in line. [CBS News / Tony Dokoupil]
Before the fire department in Kuragino, Russia, was alerted to smoke rising from a garage, two local police officers helped put out the fire armed with nothing more than snowballs. [Moscow Times]
“I’m more than just a piece of meat. It’s true. I’m a piece of meat with feelings.” [Actresses Kristen Bell and Mila Kunis ask Channing Tatum to strip for charity while hosting the Jimmy Kimmel Live shopathon / E! News]
Watch this: The roots of America’s democracy problem
Minority rule is a majority problem. [YouTube / Ezra Klein and Mallory Brangan]
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