Saudi warns against sanctions

Saudi Arabia rejected threats to punish it over the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul, saying the kingdom would retaliate against any sanctions with tougher measures, the official state news agency said on October 14. The comments came after US President Donald Trump threatened "severe punishment" for Riyadh if it turned out Khashoggi was killed in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. "The Kingdom affirms its total rejection of any threats and attempts to undermine it, whether by threatening to impose economic sanctions, using political pressures, or repeating false accusations..." the official Saudi Press Agency quoted an unnamed government source as saying. The threat caused the stock market of the world's biggest oil exporter to lose as much as $33 billion of its value in one of the first signs of the economic pain that Riyadh could suffer over the affair.

Anwar makes political comeback

Anwar Ibrahim won an overwhelming mandate in a parliamentary by-election on October 13, officials said, setting the stage for his return to frontline Malaysian politics and sealing the once-jailed opposition figure's remarkable resurrection. Figures released by the Election Commission showed he got more than 71 percent of the total votes cast in a seven-way contest which included a former aide who lodged the sodomy charges that landed Anwar in prison for a second time in 2014. Winning the seat was a key requirement for Anwar to succeed 93-year-old Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, who jailed his former protege and heir apparent on sodomy and corruption charges in 1998 when their relationship soured.

#MeToo shakes entertainment, political, media world in India

A year after the fall of US movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, a flurry of allegations of sexual misconduct and inappropriate behavior has shaken the Indian media and entertainment industries as the #MeToo movement finally beginning to take shape in the world's largest democracy. The movement appears to have been prompted by allegations late last month by former Bollywood actress Tanushree Dutta, who spoke publicly about being a victim of assault allegedly at the hands of a former co-star in 2008. Away from Bollywood, the country's political and media industries have also come under scrutiny, with female journalists sharing incidents of sexual harassment. The most prominent person to be named so far is MJ Akbar, a former prominent journalist and currently a junior foreign minister in Modi's government.

Prince Harry, Meghan expecting first baby

Forget Brexit. Prince Harry and his wife Meghan announced yesterday they were expecting their first baby, sparking a media frenzy, debates over the royal name, and expressions of delight from the queen. Kensington Palace said Queen Elizabeth II's 34-year-old grandson and the 37-year-old US actress, who had just arrived in Sydney ahead of a 16-day tour of the Pacific, would be having a child in the spring. "The Royal Highnesses the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are very pleased to announce that the Duchess of Sussex is expecting a baby in the spring of 2019," their Kensington Palace residence said in a statement. The queen was said to be "delighted", Prime Minister Theresa May tweeted her "warmest congratulations", and Meghan's mother Doria Ragland said she was "very happy about this lovely news".

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