Friday in our news wrap, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo denied that he has heard recordings of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi being murdered in Turkey. The investigation into Khashoggi’s fate continued with the questioning of consulate staffers. Also, the U.S. and South Korea suspended a second joint military drill this year in hopes the move will aid diplomatic progress with North Korea.
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In the day's other news, President Trump says it is still too early to determine a U.S. response in the disappearance of Saudi journalist and dissonant Jamal Khashoggi.
In Scottsdale, Arizona, the president suggested today that it could involve sanctions against Saudi Arabia if the kingdom were responsible. But he said he wants to consult Congress.
President Donald Trump:
I'm going to have very much Congress involved in determining what to do. We have $450 billion worth of things order from a very rich country, Saudi Arabia, 600,000 jobs, maybe more than that. And it would be very hurtful to this country if we said, oh, we're not going to sell it to you.
Meanwhile, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo denied a report that he has heard recordings of Khashoggi being murdered at the Saudi Consulate in Turkey.
Saudi Arabia said today that preliminary result of its investigation shows that Khashoggi is dead. Two top Saudi senior officials were fired soon after that announcement. Saad Alqahtani and Ahmed al-Assiri were advisers to the crown prince.
The U.S. and South Korean militaries today suspended a second joint military drill this year. Pentagon officials said they hope that the move aids diplomatic progress with North Korea. The North has long protested the annual exercises, insisting that they are in reality dress rehearsals for invading North Korea.
In Afghanistan, officials have postponed parliamentary elections in Kandahar province for a week. That is after a security guard killed the influential police chief and the local head of intelligence yesterday. The U.S. military commander in Afghanistan, General Scott Miller, escaped without injury. He told an Afghan news agency tech agency today that he doesn't believe he was the target.
Gen. Scott Miller:
What happened down there was an attack on the security forces. But I will tell you, I still — we still remain with the security forces.
The messages we had from the Kandahar people were unity and peace and confidence in the security forces, very specifically in preparation for the upcoming elections.
A U.S. official confirms to the "NewsHour" that Miller pulled his gun during the attack. The Taliban has claimed responsibility and said that it had targeted both the police chief and General Miller. The group has vowed to disrupt tomorrow's elections in the rest of Afghanistan.
In the Gaza Strip, the Health Ministry says that Israeli soldiers shot and wounded 130 Palestinian protesters today; 10,000 Palestinian demonstrators gathered along the border with Israel. Some threw burned tires and explosive devices at troops across the fence. Egypt is trying to broker a new cease-fire.
Some 3,000 migrants streamed through a border town in Guatemala today attempting to cross north into Mexico. They moved toward a border bridge and tore down a metal gate. About 50 got through before Mexican police intervened. The caravan has been traveling mostly on foot since the journey began in Honduras last week.
U.S. Secretary of State Pompeo voiced concern when he met with his Mexican counterpart today in Mexico City.
We are quickly reaching a point which appears to be a moment of crisis, record numbers of migrants. Foreign Secretary Videgaray and I spoke about the importance of stopping this flow before it reaches the U.S. border.
We are deeply aware that the way that Mexico will handle this, the way you will handle this, is your sovereign decision.
President Trump had threatened to send the U.S. military to the Mexican border. But, later today, he thanked Mexico for its efforts to stop the caravan.
China reported today that its economic growth has slowed to the lowest level since 2009. It slipped to an annual rate of 6.5 percent in the third quarter. The Chinese economy was already slowing under government-imposed credit controls before trade tensions heated up with the U.S.
Stocks were mixed on Wall Street today. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 63 points — 65 points to close at 25444. The Nasdaq fell 36 and the S&P 500 dropped a point.
And the Mega Millions lottery jackpot climb to $1 billion today, making it the second largest in U.S. history. The odds of winning remain at about one in 302 million. But that didn't stop many from testing their luck. The semi-weekly drawings have yet to pick a winner since June 24. If no one claims tonight's prize, next week's jackpot will grow to $1.6 billion.