Traci Mitchell Blog Excerpt – Returns

Weight Loss with Apple Cider Vinegar

 

 

Can you really achieve weight loss with apple cider vinegar? This is one of the most common questions I get from people when we talk about supplements is about ACV’s effect on managing a healthier body weight.  For some people…it might. But let’s look at the facts, including the pros and cons of adding this sometimes hard-to-swallow vinegar into your diet on a daily basis.

Above all, I’m going to dig into how ACV might be able to help you with weight loss.

Full disclosure –  I’m a big fan of apple cider vinegar. Not so much for weight loss, but because of a few other reasons I’ll get to in just a minute. I actually incorporate apple cider vinegar into my famous 3-Day Cleanse dressing in my book, The Belly Burn Plan and recommend people supplement with it everyday. It’s really popular and wouldn’t have been nearly as loved if it didn’t have ACV in it. I’m happy I included it!

Despite its popularity, apple cider vinegar and its effects on weight loss haven’t been  studied as much as other foods. In fact, weighing at 3 calories per tablespoon, ACV has negligible nutrition. So how can it be so beneficial?

Let’s start looking into that now.

TraciDMitchell.com for more of this article and others

Jamal Khashoggi disappearance: US asks Turkey for recording evidence

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Media captionPresident Trump said he wanted answers on the issue

The US has asked Turkey for a recording said to provide strong evidence that Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed at Istanbul’s Saudi consulate.

“We have asked for it, if it exists,” President Donald Trump told reporters at the White House.

Mr Khashoggi has not been seen since entering the building on 2 October. Saudi Arabia denies killing him.

Meanwhile, the Washington Post has published the last column Mr Khashoggi wrote before his disappearance.

In the column he talks about the importance of a free press in the Middle East.

The newspaper’s Global Opinions editor Karen Attiah said its release had been delayed in the hope that Mr Khashoggi would return safely.

“Now I have to accept: That is not going to happen. This is the last piece of his I will edit for The Post,” she wrote. “This column perfectly captures his commitment and passion for freedom in the Arab world. A freedom he apparently gave his life for.”

What did the last column say?

Mr Khashoggi presented a strong criticism of the state of press freedoms in the Arab world: “The Arab world is facing its own version of an Iron Curtain, imposed not by external actors but through domestic forces vying for power.

“The Arab world needs a modern version of the old transnational media so citizens can be informed about global events. More important, we need to provide a platform for Arab voices.”

He mentioned the case of his fellow Saudi writer, Saleh al-Shehi, who he said “is now serving an unwarranted five-year prison sentence for supposed comments contrary to the Saudi establishment”.

“Such actions no longer carry the consequence of a backlash from the international community,” he wrote. “Instead, these actions may trigger condemnation quickly followed by silence.”

What is Trump’s latest position?

Saudi Arabia is one of Washington’s closest allies and the Khashoggi disappearance is putting the administration in an awkward position.

Confirming that the tape said to provide evidence of the killing had been requested, Mr Trump added: “I’m not sure yet that it exists, probably does, possibly does.”

Mr Trump said he expected a report from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo who has just been to Saudi Arabia and Turkey.

The president said the truth would come out “by the end of the week”.

He rejected suggestions he was trying to provide cover for Saudi Arabia: “No, not at all, I just want to find out what’s happening.”

Over the past few days, Mr Trump has raised the possibility of “rogue killers” being behind the journalist’s disappearance. And he has cautioned against rushing to blame Saudi leaders, telling the Associated Press news agency that they were being treated as “guilty until proven innocent”.

What is reported to be on the recording?

Early on in their inquiry, Turkish investigators said they had evidence that Mr Khashoggi – a critic of Saudi leaders – was murdered.

Reports in Turkish media give gruesome details of what are said to be his final minutes.

A Turkish newspaper says the consul himself, Mohammed al-Otaibi, can be heard in the audio recording of Mr Khashoggi’s death.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The search of Saudi consular buildings continues

Yeni Safak, which is close to the government, quotes him as telling alleged Saudi agents sent to Istanbul: “Do this outside. You’re going to get me in trouble.”

Mr Otaibi flew back to Riyadh on Tuesday.

How is Turkey’s investigation progressing?

On Wednesday and into Thursday, investigators spent almost nine hours searching the Saudi consul’s residence, then moving on to the consulate itself about 200m (650ft) away, according to Reuters news agency.

The team included prosecutors and forensics experts in white overalls.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Police inside the Saudi consul’s residence

Several vehicles with Saudi diplomatic number plates were filmed by CCTV cameras moving from the consulate to the residence just less than two hours after Mr Khashoggi entered the consulate on the day he vanished.

The consulate building was searched for the first time on Monday.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan

On Tuesday, Mr Pompeo was in Riyadh for talks with Saudi Arabia’s King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who he said “strongly denied” any involvement in the journalist’s disappearance.

The events of 2 October

Mr Khashoggi is a US resident and columnist for the Washington Post newspaper who went into self-imposed exile last year after reportedly being warned by Saudi officials to stop criticising the crown prince’s policies.

He arrived at the consulate at 13:14 local time for an appointment to obtain paperwork so he could marry his Turkish fiancée.

Saudi officials have insisted Mr Khashoggi left the consulate soon afterwards and came to no harm.

Media playback is unsupported on your device

Media captionCCTV footage shows missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

But Turkish officials believe an assault and struggle took place in the building.

They allege that Mr Khashoggi was killed by a team of Saudi agents who were pictured entering and leaving Turkey on CCTV footage released to media outlets.

The New York Times reports that four of the 15 agents have links to Crown Prince Mohammed, while another is a senior figure in the country’s interior ministry.

On Tuesday, G7 foreign ministers called for Saudi Arabia to conduct a “transparent” investigation into the issue.

Meanwhile, International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde has become the latest high-profile figure to withdraw from a major Saudi investment conference next week following Mr Khashoggi’s disappearance.

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Norway apologises to its World War Two ‘German girls’

Norwegian women and their children on their way to Germany from Elverum, Norway in April 1945 Image copyright AFP
Image caption Many of the women were expelled from the country with their children

Norway’s Prime Minister Erna Solberg has issued an official government apology to Norwegian women who were mistreated over World War Two-era relationships with German soldiers.

Norway, a neutral country, was invaded by Nazi forces in April 1940.

Up to 50,000 Norwegian women are thought to have had intimate relationships with German soldiers.

The Germans were also encouraged to have children with them by SS leader Heinrich Himmler.

Himmler, one of the most powerful men under Adolf Hitler, favoured Norwegian women, hoping they could help promote the Nazi concept of an Aryan master race.

Many of the Norwegian-German children were born in the German-administered Lebensborn (Fountain of Life) maternity facilities set up from 1941 by the Nazis in the country.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption A swastika in the Norwegian capital Oslo following the Nazi takeover

The women who had relationships with the soldiers became known by the nickname the “German Girls”, and were targeted for reprisals in Norway when the war ended – standing accused of betraying the country.

Punishments included being deprived of civil rights, detained or expelled from the country to Germany along with their children.

‘Undignified treatment’

“Young Norwegian girls and woman who had relations with German soldiers or were suspected of having them, were victims of undignified treatment,” Ms Solberg said at an event to mark the 70th anniversary of the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights on Wednesday.

“Our conclusion is that Norwegian authorities violated the rule fundamental principle that no citizen can be punished without trial or sentenced without law.”

“For many, this was just a teenage love, for some, the love of their lives with an enemy soldier or an innocent flirt that left its mark for the rest of their lives.

“Today, in the name of the government, I want to offer my apologies.”

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Lebensborn facilities were set up in Germany and Nazi-conquered countries

The apology was based on a report about Norway’s post-war actions published by the country’s Centre for Holocaust and Minority Studies.

More than seven decades on from the war, not many of the women directly affected are likely to still be alive to hear it.

“A good apology can have a lot of power. An apology can mean that groups receive answers to their treatment,” Guri Hjeltnes the head of the centre said.

Reidar Gabler attended the event and told Norwegian media that the apology meant a lot to his family.

His mother, Else Huth from Sarpsborg was just 22 in 1944 when she fell in love with a 25-year-old German soldier.

“The people directly affected are no longer with us… but this also touches their families and the children,” said Mr Gabler.

“We just had to come. This is amazing,” he said, after meeting Ms Solberg.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Erna Solberg admitted Norwegian authorities had violated fundamental rights with their actions

About 10-12,000 children are thought to have been born as a result of relationships between Norwegian women and German soldiers.

Some of the children were also targeted for acts of revenge, given up to foster families or placed in institutions.

In 2007 a group of children took Norway to the European Court of Human Rights, but their case was ruled inadmissible because of the amount of time that had passed since the offences occurred.

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Exclusive: Science journal to withdraw chronic fatigue review amid patient activist complaints

LONDON, Oct 17 (Reuters) – A respected science journal is to withdraw a much-cited review of evidence on an illness known as chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) amid fierce criticism and pressure from activists and patients.

The decision, described by the scientists involved as “disproportionate and poorly justified”, is being seen as a victory for activists in a research field plagued by uncertainty and dispute over whether CFS, also known as myalgic encephalopathy (ME), has physical and psychological elements.

Emails seen by Reuters show editors at the influential Cochrane Review journal asking researchers who conducted the analysis, which was published in April 2017, to agree to it being temporarily withdrawn.

 They also ask the review’s authors to agree to a statement saying their analysis requires “further work in response to feedback and complaints”.

Published on the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Cochrane’s evaluations are considered a gold standard in scientific literature and known internationally as dispassionate analyses of the best evidence on a given subject.

It is unusual for Cochrane to withdraw a review without the authors’ agreement and unless new scientific evidence emerges for inclusion in an update. 

Research into CFS and ME, widely referred to by the joint acronym CFS/ME, is highly contentious — in part because the illness is poorly understood. It is a severe, chronic illness characterized by long-term physical and mental fatigue.

Patient groups in the United States, Europe, Australia and elsewhere often challenge each other about the nature of the disorder, how it should be diagnosed and whether it can be treated. Scientists conducting studies on potential therapies say they are often harassed and verbally abused by groups that disagree with their approach.

Colin Blakemore, a professor of neuroscience and philosophy at London University’s School of Advanced Studies, said the withdrawal decision set a worrying precedent for scientific evidence being over-ridden by the opinions of activists.

The withdrawal would also be “a departure from the principle that has always guided Cochrane reviews — that they should be based on scientific and clinical evidence … but not influenced by unsubstantiated views or commercial pressures.”

Blakemore has no affiliation with the Cochrane review authors and has not conducted studies in CFS/ME, but he experienced lobbying by activists when he was chief executive of Britain’s Medical Research Council from 2003 to 2007.

EVIDENCE

    The review at the center of this dispute, written by a team headed by Lillebeth Larun, a scientist at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, looked at eight randomized controlled studies of exercise therapy as a treatment for patients with CFS/ME.

Graded exercise therapy involves taking a patient’s activity level right back to a minimum, and then gradually increasing it within their capability.

    The review found “moderate quality evidence” to show the approach can help some CFS/ME patients, concluding: “Exercise therapy had a positive effect on people’s daily physical functioning, sleep and self-ratings of overall health.”

    But in an email seen by Reuters, Cochrane editors Rachel Churchill and David Tovey say the review had received “extensive feedback” which they now considered grounds for it to be temporarily removed.

Tovey confirmed to Reuters that he had made a decision to withdraw the review temporarily, saying this would give the authors time to respond to several points in a complaint which “we felt … raised issues we needed to address”.

“This not about patient pressure,” he added in a telephone interview. “This was a decision we reached with difficulty because we know the incredibly challenging environment this review sits in.”

In their Oct. 15 email, addressed to Larun, Churchill and Tovey wrote: “We are … temporarily withdrawing your review to allow you and your co-authors time to adequately address the feedback received. Consequently, your review will shortly be removed from the Cochrane Library.”

    Larun told Reuters she was “extremely concerned and disappointed” with the Cochrane editors’ actions. “I disagree with the decision and consider it to be disproportionate and poorly justified,” she said.

    In an emailed response to questions from Reuters, Tovey said: “We are in discussion with the review author team about this review following a formal complaint to me as Cochrane’s editor in chief, which we judged to raise important questions.”

    Larun said she would not characterize this as a discussion, but as a unilateral decision made by Cochrane editors.

    “ANTAGONISTIC”

    CFS/ME is thought to affect as many as 2.5 million people in the United States and around 250,000 people in Britain, although estimates vary widely due to a lack of formal diagnostics.   

    The condition can bring crushing fatigue, joint pain, headaches and sleep problems and can render patients bed- or house-bound for years. While the cause is a mystery, some theories point to a viral trigger.

    On treatments, evidence from at least 10 published studies — including the 2017 Cochrane Review — shows psychological approaches such as graded exercise and cognitive behavioral therapy can help some CFS/ME patients improve. 

    Yet critics say this amounts to a suggestion that the syndrome is a mental disorder, or “all in the mind”. They campaign fiercely to block or discredit any research looking at psychological or behavioral treatments, arguing that they are physically, not psychologically, debilitated. 

    Tovey and Churchill said in their email to Larun that “in response to concerns raised by members of the CFS community” they are considering moving responsibility for research reviews on CFS/ME away from their mental health department into another section — possibly the “long-term conditions” section.  

Categorizing CFS/ME under mental health disorders “has been antagonistic to some in the CFS community, potentially impacting on the confidence people have in our reviews”, they wrote.

Blakemore said this was a sign of Cochrane’s editors sidelining evidence under pressure from CFS/ME campaigners who insist their illness is a physical disease and not a psychological disorder.

    He also warned of the risk of wider effects on all patients if a respected scientific journal like Cochrane “capitulates” to lobbying from small numbers of vocal patient campaign groups.

    “This could change medical practice,” he said. “And that could mean that patients with this very serious condition are denied access to treatments that might help them, and which evidence suggests can help some of them.”

On the decision to move CFS/ME work out of the Cochrane’s mental disorders section, Tovey confirmed to Reuters that this was made in response to feedback from CFS/ME patients and campaigners.

CFS/ME is a “complex” disorder and categorizing it in the mental health section “clearly causes some offense”, he said.

Reporting by Kate Kelland, Editing by Elyse Tanouye and Catherine Evans

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Crimea attack: College assault kills 17

Scene of Crimea school shooting, 17 October 2018 Image copyright PA

At least 17 people have been killed and dozens more wounded in an attack at a college in Russian-annexed Crimea.

Officials initially said an “unidentified explosive device” detonated, but now say all the victims died of gunshot wounds at the technical college in Kerch.

Russian investigators said an 18-year-old student blamed for the attack had killed himself.

Russia seized Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 in a widely criticised move.

The annexation followed a disputed vote that was condemned by many Western powers.

The alleged perpetrator of the college attack has been identified as Vladislav Roslyakov, who is said to have opened fire on those in the building. Forty people were injured.

Russia’s RBC TV interviewed a friend who said he “hated the technical school very much”.

Image copyright PA

The incident had initially been described as a “terrorist act”, but Russia’s investigative committee has now reclassified it as “mass murder”.

President Vladimir Putin described it as a “tragic event” and expressed condolences to the victims’ relatives.

Image copyright PA
Image caption National guard soldiers were deployed

A local official said most of the victims were students of the technical college, which is a vocational school for 850 teenagers.

A major emergency response operation launched as the victims were taken to hospitals.

Four military planes were ready to evacuate the wounded and military hospital facilities were ready to accept victims if necessary, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said.

Investigators had at first released a statement saying an explosive device filled with “metal objects” had detonated in the dining area.

In earlier reaction, the director of the college, who was not at the scene at the time of the attack, told Russian media that unknown armed men had broken into the building. She compared it to the school siege of Beslan in 2004, during which about 330 people died.

Reuters news agency said that schools and pre-schools were being evacuated in the city.

Kerch is situated at the point where Russia built a bridge between the Crimean peninsula and Russia.

Relations between Russia and Ukraine remain strained by the Crimea annexation and a continuing conflict involving Russia-backed rebels in eastern Ukraine.

The speaker of the Russia-backed Crimean parliament, Vladimir Konstantinov, suggested Kiev may have been behind the attack, saying “the entire evil inflicted on the land of Crimea is coming from the official Ukrainian authorities”.

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The key to a better malaria vaccine | Faith Osier

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Jamal Khashoggi: Pressure grows on Saudis as US envoy meets king

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (L) meeting Saudi King Salman in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, 16 October 2018 Image copyright EPA
Image caption Mr Pompeo thanked the king for his “commitment” to an investigation

Pressure is growing on Saudi Arabia to explain the fate of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, as US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met King Salman in Riyadh.

Mr Khashoggi was last seen at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul two weeks ago.

Turkish officials believe Mr Khashoggi was murdered by Saudi agents but the Saudis have denied this.

However, US media are reporting that the Saudis may be preparing to admit that Mr Khashoggi died as a result of an interrogation that went wrong.

Overnight, Turkish police completed a search of the consulate after being admitted by Saudi authorities.

What’s likely to come from the Pompeo meeting?

The secretary of state and the king have now met in Riyadh.

While much of what was discussed during has yet to be announced, the US State Department said that Mr Pompeo had used the time to thank the king for his “commitment to a thorough, transparent investigation” into Mr Khashoggi’s disappearance.

Mr Pompeo was also expected to seek further clarification over a conversation between the king and President Donald Trump on Monday.

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Media captionPresident Trump and the King of Saudi Arabia discussed the disappearance of the Saudi journalist

Tweeting earlier about the call, Mr Trump said: “Just spoke to the king of Saudi Arabia who denies any knowledge of whatever may have happened ‘to our Saudi Arabian citizen’.”

He later told reporters: “The denial was very, very strong. It sounded to me like maybe these could have been rogue killers. Who knows?”

There is a lot at stake given the strength of Saudi-US ties. Mr Trump has already ruled out cancelling a lucrative arms deal, although he did threaten “severe punishment” if the kingdom were found to be responsible for the death.

King Salman ordered an investigation into the missing journalist on Monday. Saudi statements up to now have dismissed allegations of a killing as “baseless” and “lies”.

The kingdom has also angrily rejected what it called political and economic “threats”, saying it would respond to any punitive action, such as sanctions, “with a bigger one”.

Mr Pompeo is also expected to meet Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman during his day in Riyadh. The secretary of state may then head to Turkey.

What is this US media line about?

It appeared in the New York Times and on CNN, quoting unnamed sources.

They said Saudi Arabia would acknowledge that Mr Khashoggi’s death was the result of an interrogation that went wrong and the intention had been only to abduct him from Turkey.

This may explain in part Mr Trump’s “rogue killers” line.

Who such killers could be and how it fits into reports of a Saudi team being despatched to the consulate before Mr Khashoggi’s arrival will presumably need to covered.

CNN said the Saudis may argue the operation was conducted without clearance and those responsible would be held accountable.

The Khashoggi family in Saudi Arabia issued a statement calling for an “independent and impartial international commission”.

Reputations may be forever tainted

By Frank Gardner, BBC News

The recent, highly charged exchange of words between Washington and Riyadh now appears to have given way to a mutual search for the least bad explanation. Both countries’ leaders know they have an enormous amount to lose if this affair ended up splitting apart their 73-year old strategic partnership.

Iran, as the regional rival to Saudi Arabia, would be the prime beneficiary if the Saudis were to lose their defensive US umbrella. President Trump is also correct when he says thousands of US jobs would be lost, with China and Russia to be among those lining up to replace them.

Which begs the wider question: is the West’s relationship with Saudi Arabia so important that it outweighs the need to condemn and punish what many believe was a state-sponsored murder of a journalist inside a consulate?

Hence the urgent dispatching of US Secretary of State for talks with the Saudi leadership. In private there may well be some strong words, in public both countries may want to present a united stand. But one thing is certain: whatever narrative emerges, the international reputation of the Saudi Crown Prince and power-behind-the-throne Mohammed Bin Salman will forever be tainted by this affair.

What happened with the consulate search?

For the first time since the journalist disappeared on 2 October, Turkish investigators were allowed to enter the building.

Image copyright EPA
Image caption Turkish officers search the Saudi consulate in Istanbul

A Saudi team entered first on Monday, followed roughly an hour later by Turkish forensic police.

The Turkish investigators, some wearing overalls, gloves and covered shoes. stayed for about eight hours, leaving in the early hours of Tuesday.

They reportedly took with them samples, including of soil from the consulate garden.

Saudi Arabia agreed last week to allow Turkish officials to conduct a search but insisted it would only be a superficial “visual” inspection.

Turkey rejected that offer. The Sabah daily newspaper said investigators had wanted to search the building with luminol, a chemical which shows up any traces of blood. It is not clear whether that happened.

Reports on Tuesday said Istanbul police would also search the Saudi consul’s residence.

What allegedly happened in Istanbul?

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Media captionCCTV footage shows missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

Mr Khashoggi, a critic of the Saudi government who has written for the Washington Post, was last seen walking into the consulate on 2 October.

Reports suggest an assault and struggle took place in the consulate after Mr Khashoggi went to get paperwork for his forthcoming marriage.

Turkish sources allege he was killed by a 15-strong team of Saudi agents but Riyadh insists that he left the consulate unharmed.

Mr Khashoggi was once an adviser to the Saudi royal family but fell out of favour with the Saudi government and went into self-imposed exile. He is a US resident.

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Jamal Khashoggi: Turkey ‘to search Saudi consulate’ in Istanbul

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Media captionJamal Khashoggi: What we know about the journalist’s disappearance

Turkish officials investigating the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi will search Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul later on Monday, according to reports.

Turkish officials believe Mr Khashoggi was murdered in the consulate by Saudi agents nearly two weeks ago, but Riyadh strongly denies this.

Diplomatic pressure is growing on the Saudis to give a fuller explanation.

On Monday, Saudi Arabia’s King Salman ordered an investigation into the case.

“The king has ordered the public prosecutor to open an internal investigation into the Khashoggi matter based on the information from the joint team in Istanbul,” an official quoted by Reuters news agency said.

Last week, Turkey accepted a Saudi proposal to form a joint working group to investigate Mr Khashoggi’s disappearance.

The latest moves come as more leading business figures say they will not attend a major investment conference in Riyadh later this month.

The head of JP Morgan, Jamie Dimon, is one of the latest high-profile executives to pull out.

When will the search take place?

Turkish diplomatic sources said the consulate would be searched by a joint Turkish-Saudi team in the late afternoon or evening.

Details of how the search will be carried out have not been revealed.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Police barricades have been set up in front of the Saudi consulate in Istanbul

Saudi Arabia agreed last week to allow Turkish officials to search the building but insisted it would only be a superficial “visual” inspection.

Turkey rejected that offer. The Sabah daily newspaper said investigators had wanted to search the building with luminol, a chemical which shows up any traces of blood.

King Salman and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan spoke by telephone on Sunday evening, officials said, and stressed the importance of the two countries working together on the case.

What is alleged to have happened in Istanbul?

Media playback is unsupported on your device

Media captionCCTV footage shows missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

Mr Khashoggi, a critic of the Saudi government who has written for the Washington Post, was last seen walking into the consulate on 2 October.

A Turkish security source has told the BBC that officials have audio and video evidence proving Mr Khashoggi was murdered inside the building.

Reports suggest an assault and struggle took place in the consulate after Mr Khashoggi went to get paperwork for his forthcoming marriage.

Turkish sources allege he was killed by a 15-strong team of Saudi agents, but Riyadh insists that he left the consulate unharmed.

Mr Khashoggi was once an adviser to the Saudi royal family but fell out of favour with the Saudi government and went into self-imposed exile. He is a US resident.

How have other countries reacted?

US President Donald Trump has threatened Saudi Arabia with “severe punishment” if it emerges that Mr Khashoggi was killed inside the consulate.

In an interview with CBS News, Mr Trump said that, if true, the fact that a journalist was murdered was “terrible and disgusting”.

However, he ruled out halting big military contracts with Riyadh.

On Sunday, Riyadh angrily rejected political and economic “threats” over the missing journalist and said it would respond to any punitive action “with a bigger one”.

The UK, Germany and France have called for a “credible” investigation into the disappearance.

Their foreign ministers said that if anyone were found responsible they should be held accountable, and urged a detailed response from Riyadh.

UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said that whatever happened now was “absolutely up to Saudi Arabia”.

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Kangaroo attacks couple in northeastern Australia, injures woman

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australian wildlife carers Jim and Linda Smith are lucky to be alive, an ambulance official said, after they were attacked by a kangaroo in northeastern Queensland state.

The Smiths were feeding wild kangaroos on their property in the Darling Downs when a grey kangaroo buck struck out at Jim Smith, knocking him to the ground.

The kangaroo attacked his wife, Linda, when she ran to help him, leaving her with a collapsed lung, broken ribs, cuts and scratches.

“It’s scary, it knocked me over once or twice and once they grab you, you can see what they do”, Jim said, showing his injuries.

It was only when their son came out and hit the kangaroo with a piece of wood that the marsupial stopped the attack and returned to nearby bushland, Australian media reported.

Linda Smith was taken to Toowoomba Hospital, where she underwent surgery, media reports said.

“If the kangaroo was able to continue to inflict further injury, her life was, yes, in danger,” Queensland Ambulance Service’s senior operations supervisor Stephen Johns said.

Australia has roughly 45 million kangaroos and it is not unusual for them to come into conflict with people as housing has expanded to areas where the marsupials live.

They are even more likely to be driven into populated areas in search of food and water in drought-stricken areas.

Reporting by Stefica Nicol Bikes; Writing by Karishma Singh

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Jamal Khashoggi case: Saudis defy ‘threats’ over missing writer

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Media captionJamal Khashoggi: What we know about the journalist’s disappearance

Saudi Arabia rejects political and economic “threats” over missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a source quoted by state news agency SPA says.

The country would respond to any punitive action “with a bigger one”, the unnamed senior source said.

Mr Khashoggi, a critic of the Saudi government, vanished on 2 October after visiting its consulate in Istanbul.

US President Donald Trump said he would “punish” Saudi Arabia if it were found responsible for killing him.

The authorities in Istanbul believe Mr Khashoggi was murdered in the consulate by Saudi agents – claims Riyadh has dismissed as “lies”.

Britain and the US are considering boycotting a major international conference in Saudi Arabia this month.

What is the latest from the Saudis?

The source quoted by SPA said: “The kingdom affirms its total rejection of any threats or attempts to undermine it whether through threats to impose economic sanctions or the use of political pressure.

“The kingdom also affirms that it will respond to any action with a bigger one. The Saudi economy has vital and influential roles for the global economy.”

The Saudis have come under considerable international pressure over the disappearance.

Diplomatic sources told the BBC’s James Landale that both US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and UK International Trade Secretary Liam Fox might not attend next month’s investment conference in Riyadh, which has been dubbed “Davos in the Desert”.

The event is being hosted by the kingdom’s Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman to promote his reform agenda. Several sponsors and media groups have decided to pull out.

A joint statement of condemnation, if it is confirmed that Mr Khashoggi was killed by Saudi agents, is also being discussed by US and European diplomats.

What has Mr Trump said?

The president has said the US will inflict “severe punishment” if Saudi Arabia is found to be responsible for the death of Mr Khashoggi.

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Media captionDonald Trump says he’d be very angry if Saudi Arabia ordered the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi

He said he would be “very upset and angry if that were the case”, but ruled out halting big military contracts.

“I think we’d be punishing ourselves if we did that,” he said. “If they don’t buy it from us, they’re going to buy it from Russia or… China.”

Where is the investigation now?

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevut Cavusoglu said Saudi Arabia had not so far co-operated with the investigation – despite a statement from Saudi Interior Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Saud bin Naif bin Abdulaziz saying his nation wanted to uncover “the whole truth”.

Mr Cavusoglu has urged the kingdom to allow Turkish officials to enter the consulate.

Saudi share reaction

On Sunday, stocks on the Tadawul All-Shares Index plummeted 7% in early trading, wiping out all the gains made this year, before recovering slightly around noon.

In two sessions it lost $50bn (£38bn) of its $450bn capitalisation, AFP news agency reported.

Salah Shamma, of Franklin Templeton Emerging Markets Equity, told Reuters: “The market is reacting negatively to sentiment around the Khashoggi case.”

What is alleged to have happened in Istanbul?

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Media captionCCTV footage shows missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

A Turkish security source has told the BBC that officials had audio and video evidence proving Mr Khashoggi, who wrote for the Washington Post, was murdered inside the consulate.

Reports suggest an assault and struggle took place in the consulate after Mr Khashoggi entered the building to get paperwork for a marriage.

Turkish sources allege he was killed by a 15-strong team of Saudi agents.

Turkish TV has broadcast CCTV footage of the moment Mr Khashoggi walked into the consulate.

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Media captionSecretary General Antonio Guterres told the BBC’s Kamal Ahmed “we need to know exactly what has happened”

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