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9:40 AM ET, October 18, 2018


 Top Items: 
Jamal Khashoggi / Washington Post:
What the Arab world needs most is free expression  —  I received this column from Jamal Khashoggi's translator and assistant the day after Jamal was reported missing in Istanbul.  The Post held off publishing it because we hoped Jamal would come back to us so that he and I could edit it together.
New York Times:
U.S. Spy Agencies Are Increasingly Convinced of Saudi Prince's Ties to Journalist's Disappearance  —  WASHINGTON — American intelligence officials are increasingly convinced that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia is culpable in the killing of the dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi …
Shane Harris / Washington Post:
Crown prince under scrutiny in journalist's disappearance even as Saudis search for exculpatory explanation  —  The Trump administration and the Saudi royal family are searching for a mutually agreeable explanation for the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi — one that will avoid implicating …
John Hudson / Washington Post:
Saudi Arabia transfers $100 million to U.S. amid crisis over Khashoggi  —  The United States received a payment of $100 million from Saudi Arabia on Tuesday, the same day Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrived in Riyadh to discuss the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi …
Nicholas Kristof / New York Times:
A President Kowtowing to a Mad Prince  —  Trump is providing cover for Saudi barbarism.  —  American presidents have periodically engaged in cover-ups of their own corruption or licentiousness, but President Trump is breaking new ground.  He is using the United States government to cover up a foreign despot's barbarism.
Discussion: Jacobin and Outside the Beltway
Jonathan Swan / Axios:
A private prod to the Saudis  —  While President Trump took a soft stance, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman he had 72 hours to complete his “investigation” into the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, or risk wrecking the kingdom's place on the world stage.
John Wagner / Washington Post:
Biden knocks Trump for ‘coddling’ Saudi leaders after Khashoggi's disappearance
Discussion: Politico and Axios
Tara Isabella Burton / Vox:
Prominent evangelical leader on Khashoggi crisis: let's not risk “$100 billion worth of arms sales”
Washington Post:   Secret recordings give insight into Saudi attempt to silence critics
Washington Post:
Amid global outrage over Khashoggi, Trump tries to protect Saudis
Associated Press:   Man linked to Saudi prince at consulate when writer vanished
Max Fisher / New York Times:
How One Journalist's Death Provoked a Backlash That Thousands Dead in Yemen Did Not
Sadie Gurman / Wall Street Journal:
Rod Rosenstein Defends Mueller Probe as ‘Appropriate and Independent’  —  In interview, deputy attorney general says investigation has revealed widespread Russian effort to meddle in 2016 election  —  Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein defended the special counsel's investigation …
Mueller's quiet period has not been very quiet  —  Is Mueller feeling pressure to wrap up probe?  —  Washington (CNN)Ever since reaching a deal with special counsel Robert Mueller, Paul Manafort has kept the Russia prosecutors busy.  —  The former Trump campaign chairman and his lawyers …
New York Times:
McGahn, a Soldier for Trump and a Witness Against Him, Departs White House  —  WASHINGTON — Donald F. McGahn II departed as White House counsel on Wednesday, ending a tumultuous 21-month tenure where he spearheaded some of President Trump's most significant political accomplishments …
Byron York / Washington Examiner:
Rosenstein talks to press, but not to Congress; Republicans irate
Discussion: HuffPost
Greg Norman / Fox News:
Trump threatens to call US military to close southern border as 4,000-strong migrant caravan pushes north  —  President Trump warned Thursday he will “call up the U.S. Military and CLOSE OUR SOUTHERN BORDER” with Mexico if officials there don't stop the northward flow of a growing migrant …
Sonia Perez D. / Associated Press:   Food, water, ride: Guatemalans aid Honduran caravan migrants
Washington Post:
Trump threatens to summon military to close U.S.-Mexico border, upend trade deal in response to migrant caravan
The Guardian:
Revealed: Russian billionaire set up US company before Trump Tower meeting  —  Aras Agalarov, who attended the meeting with Donald Trump Jr in June 2016, formed a shell company with an accountant who has had clients accused of money laundering and embezzlement
Sheryl Gay Stolberg / New York Times:
Senate Truce Collapses as G.O.P. Rush to Confirm More Judges Begins Anew  —  WASHINGTON — Senate Democrats struck a deal last week with Republicans that saw the quick confirmation of 15 more conservative judges in exchange for a rapid flight to the campaign trail.
Discussion: The Week, CNN, Vox and Washington Times
David Morgan / Reuters:
McConnell says Senate Republicans might revisit Obamacare repeal
Politico:   Senate GOP midterm agenda: Judges, judges and more judges
Brooke Singman / Fox News:
Dem operative for Soros-funded group arrested for ‘battery’ against Nevada GOP candidate's campaign manager  —  A Democratic operative for American Bridge 21st Century, a group founded by David Brock and funded by liberal billionaire George Soros, was arrested Tuesday after the female campaign manager …
Fox News:
Soros-backed group fires operative after arrest over alleged battery against GOP campaign manager
Michelle Rindels / The Nevada Independent:   Employee of Dem super PAC jailed, fired after allegedly grabbing, twisting arm of Laxalt campaign manager
Gregg Re / Fox News:
State Department provided ‘clearly false’ statements to derail requests for Clinton docs, ‘shocked’ federal judge says  —  In a combative exchange at a hearing Friday in Washington, D.C., a federal judge unabashedly accused career State Department officials of lying and signing “clearly false” …
Joel Ebert / The Tennessean:
New Vanderbilt poll finds Bredesen with narrow edge over Blackburn in Senate race  —  A look at the several polls detailing the race of Marsha Blackburn and Phil Bredesen for U.S. Senate Michael Schwab, The Tennessean  —  Democratic nominee Phil Bredesen has a slight edge over Republican Marsha Blackburn …
Discussion: Political Wire and Washington Post
Elaina Plott / The Atlantic:
Heidi Cruz Didn't Plan for This  —  A whole new world—that is what Ted Cruz wanted to give her.  —  It was the spring of 2001, and Heidi Nelson was planning her nuptials to the man she'd met just over a year earlier.  On Christmas break from Harvard Business School, she'd encountered …
Adam Davidson / New Yorker:
Is Fraud Part of the Trump Organization's Business Model?  —  A new investigation shows a pattern in different projects around the country and the world.  —  What, exactly, is Donald Trump's business?  The Trump Organization is unusual in that it doesn't appear to do the same thing for very long.
Christopher Mathias / HuffPost:
The Proud Boys, The GOP And ‘The Fascist Creep’  —  Gavin McInnes spoke at a GOP club, then his followers violently attacked leftist protesters.  Modern American fascism finds its foot soldiers.  —  NEW YORK — Gavin McInnes, the founder of the violent neo-fascist gang the Proud Boys …
Alex Thompson / Politico:
Sanders 2020?  Many Bernie backers aren't feeling it  —  A large contingent of his 2016 campaign staffers is wary of a Sanders sequel.  —  Bernie Sanders has a problem as he decides whether to run in 2020: Many of his former staffers are looking elsewhere.
Alex Isenstadt / Politico:
Mitt makes his move  —  Weeks away from his own election, the 2012 GOP standard bearer is using his clout to help embattled Republicans in the midterms.  —  A sleepy Utah Senate race was always a small playing field for a former presidential nominee.  Now, Mitt Romney is going national again.
Ronald Brownstein / The Atlantic:
The 2018 Midterms Are All About Trump  —  In its final stages, the tumultuous 2018 midterm election appears to be moving in contradictory directions, with Democrats and Republicans alike finding legitimate reasons for optimism amid the daily flurry of new polls.
Sean Illing / Vox:
Cosmologist Martin Rees gives humanity a 50-50 chance of surviving the 21st century  —  But he's still an optimist.  —  Martin Rees is Britain's astronomer royal, a professor at Cambridge University, and one of the leading cosmologists in the world.  In a 2003 book, titled Our Final Hour …
Discussion: Raw Story
Charlotte Alter / TIME:
How the Anti-Trump Resistance Is Organizing Its Outrage  —  Carolyn Eberly is an unlikely warrior.  A former chemist from Waxhaw, N.C., she works at the local library, plays volleyball and wears her blond hair pulled back in a big clip.  Her husband has always followed politics …
Ed Morrissey / Hot Air:
Collins Husband: Ricin Threat Specified Kavanaugh Vote  —  “There's absolutely no reason to have this level of vitriol over a single vote,” says Thomas Daffron, who found out firsthand that it doesn't take a reason.  Daffron, the husband of Susan Collins, tells local CBS affiliate WABI …
Jennifer Levitz / Wall Street Journal:
You Want 20% for Handing Me a Muffin?  The Awkward Etiquette of iPad Tipping  —  Countertop payment tablets turn gratuities into a public ordeal; ‘It guilts you into it’  —  Mina Dimyan frequents a Stamford, Conn., cafe, where he orders a cup of strong coffee for $3.  It comes with a splash of guilt.
Mujib Mashal / New York Times:
Afghan Leader Blindsided by U.S. Meeting With Taliban, Officials Say  —  KABUL, Afghanistan — When the White House ordered American diplomats this summer to engage the Taliban directly in the hopes of jump-starting an Afghan peace process, many in Afghanistan welcomed it as a vital first step …
Laurie Everett / The Wilson Post:
Blackburn backlash shocks Mt. Juliet restaurant owner  —  Courtney's Restaurant and Catering owner Tom Courtney said he's experienced a strong social media backlash because he rented the event room at his Mt. Juliet business to U.S. Senate candidate Rep. Marsha Blackburn on Saturday.
Discussion: Power Line
Jason Hancock / Kansas City Star:
McCaskill demands Hawley's office investigate hidden-camera videos of her campaign  —  JEFFERSON CITY  —  U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill's campaign is demanding Attorney General Josh Hawley open a fraud investigation into hidden-camera videos released this week by a nonprofit run by conservative activist James O'Keefe.
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 More Items: 
Isaac Arnsdorf / ProPublica:
GOP Senator Pushed VA to Use Unproven “Brainwave Frequency” Treatment
Steven Shepard / Politico:
POLITICO race ratings: Democrats blaze Midwestern path
Discussion: The Week
Washington Post:
Opinion |  :  —  In his last Post column before his disappearance …
Michelle Cottle / New York Times:
Hillary Clinton's Master Class in Distraction
Discussion: CNN and Althouse
Jonathan Karl / ABC News:
President Trump on historic media blitz: ANALYSIS
The Sun:
EU WHAT?  Brexit deal latest - Theresa May says Britain could stay tied to EU for another year …
Discussion: BBC, The Guardian and Politico
Max Blumenthal / Harper's:
Nikki Haley at the Council for National Policy
Discussion: Raw Story
Ernest Luning / Colorado Politics:
Denver TV station pulls GOP ad attacking Jared Polis
 Earlier Items: 
Charles V. Bagli / New York Times:
Liberal Upper West Siders Get Their Revenge: Trump Place Sign Is Coming Down
Discussion: Raw Story
Laura M. Holson / New York Times:
Where Has All the Tab Gone? A Shortage Panics Fans
Philippe Bohstrom / Haaretz:
Huge if True: The Archaeological Case for Goliath
Discussion: Daily Wire
Nate Silver / FiveThirtyEight:
Odds Are, Your Next Governor Will Be A Democrat
Discussion: Daily Kos, Raw Story and Joe.My.God.
Joseph Bernstein / BuzzFeed News:
Twitter Won't Suspend Louis Farrakhan For His Tweet Comparing Jews To Insects