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12:35 PM ET, October 20, 2018


 Top Items: 
Washington Post:
The Saudi explanation for Jamal Khashoggi's death is a fable.  Still Trump plays along.  —  SAUDI ARABIA now has acknowledged that it lied to the world for 17 days about what happened to journalist Jamal Khashoggi when he entered its consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2.
Discussion: Political Wire and New York Times
New York Times:
Saudis' Image Makers: A Troll Army and a Twitter Insider  —  Each morning, Jamal Khashoggi would check his phone to discover what fresh hell had been unleashed while he was sleeping.  —  He would see the work of an army of Twitter trolls, ordered to attack him and other influential Saudis who had criticized the kingdom's leaders.
New York Times:
Trump, Breaking With U.S. Intelligence, Appears to Accept Saudi Explanation of Journalist's Death  —  WASHINGTON — President Trump broke with his own intelligence agencies on Friday, appearing to accept Saudi Arabia's explanation that the journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed by accident during a fistfight …
New York Times:
Uproar Over Dissident Rattles Saudi Royal Family  —  BEIRUT, Lebanon — As international outrage grew at Saudi Arabia over the apparent killing of the Saudi dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul, an alarmed King Salman dispatched a senior royal to address the matter with Turkey's president.
Associated Press:
Turkish reaction: we won't allow “cover-up” in Saudi killing  —  ISTANBUL (AP) — Turkey will “never allow a cover-up” of the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul, a senior official in Turkey's ruling party said Saturday after Saudi Arabia announced hours earlier …
Discussion: Splinter, Political Wire and Reuters
Hassan Hassan / The Atlantic:
What's Missing From the Saudis' Khashoggi Story  —  Seventeen days after the disappearance of U.S.-based Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, authorities in Riyadh finally confirmed his death.  According to the Saudi version of what happened, Khashoggi died after a fist fight between him and several men at the consulate in Istanbul.
David Von Drehle / Washington Post:
Mohammed bin Salman could bring his kingdom crumbling down  —  Among advisers to family-owned businesses there's a widely known adage : “Shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves in three generations.”  Difficult as it is to build a successful enterprise, it is more difficult to raise children with the ability and desire to keep it going.
Shane Harris / Washington Post:
Saudi claims that Khashoggi died in a ‘brawl’ draw immediate skepticism  —  Claims by the government of Saudi Arabia that Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi died in a physical altercation inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul drew immediate skepticism and contradicted earlier dueling accounts from Saudi and Turkish officials.
Discussion: Politico
Kareem Fahim / Washington Post:
Circumstances of Jamal Khashoggi's death will not be ‘covered up,’ Turkish official says  —  ISTANBUL — A spokesman for President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's ruling party vowed Saturday that Turkey would “uncover what has happened” to Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, hours after Saudi authorities …
Discussion: The Guardian
Jamal Khashoggi / Agence France-Presse:
Donald Trump says he finds Saudi explanation of Khashoggi death ‘credible’
Discussion: The Guardian
Vivian Nereim / Bloomberg:
Saudis Shocked by Official Flip-Flop on Khashoggi
Discussion: Raw Story
Nicholas Kristof / New York Times:
More Insulting Lies From Saudi Arabia
Discussion: Raw Story
Ben Hubbard / New York Times:
Jamal Khashoggi Is Dead, Saudi Arabia Says
Josh Rogin / Washington Post:   ‘America First’ doesn't work without American values
Washington Post:
How Turkey's president pressured the Saudis to account for Khashoggi's death
Washington Post:
Saudi government acknowledges journalist Jamal Khashaoggi died while in that country's consulate in Istanbul
Senator Mitch McConnell Confronted at Restaurant by Angry Customers  —  Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, was confronted Friday night by some angry diners who loudly berated him for his politics.  —  The Kentucky Senator was eating dinner with his wife at Havana Rumba in Louisville, when 4 men confronted Mitch.
Rep. Steve King Goes Full White Nationalist In Interview With Austrian Site  —  A shocking interview with a far-right propaganda site offers the clearest look yet at the congressman's racist ideology.  —  Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) visited Austria in August and gave an extensive interview …
Allison Kite / Kansas City Star:
Missouri GOP sent 10,000 voters false absentee voting information  —  The Missouri Republican Party sent mailers to 10,000 voters across the state with false information about when their absentee ballots are due, the party's executive director acknowledged Friday.
Dan Balz / Washington Post:
For President Trump, it's 2016 all over again  —  If you haven't looked up recently, President Trump is everywhere.  He is campaigning across the country at a frenetic pace.  His White House has clamped down on press briefings, but he is giving interviews by the bushelful.
Discussion: Outside the Beltway
John Bowden / The Hill:
GOP women's group backs Dem candidates in Michigan
Donald J. Mihalek / The Hill:
Attacks on public figures are growing  —  Recently, Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner boarded a flight from D.C. to New York.  This type of flight is termed a shuttle flight due to its quick and direct link between D.C. and New York.  Business people, power brokers and decision makers who need …
Washington Post:
'This country doesn't want them': Trump rails against migrants trying to enter the U.S.
Eli Rosenberg / Washington Post:
Hecklers curse and call Nancy Pelosi a ‘communist’ as far right disrupts a political event  —  A group of hecklers angrily confronted House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi during a campaign stop for a congressional hopeful in South Florida, cursing at her and calling her a communist in a moment that was captured on video.
Grant Stern / The Stern Facts:
Miami GOP Chairman just caught leading Proud Boys in attack on Democratic campaign office
Discussion: NBC News and New York Times
Anchorage Daily News:
Alaska Gov. Bill Walker ends campaign for re-election, endorses Mark Begich  —  Alaska Gov. Bill Walker announced Friday he is dropping his bid for re-election, and threw support to Democrat Mark Begich over Republican Mike Dunleavy.  —  Walker, elected as an independent …
Discussion: Vox and Joe.My.God.
Daniel Strauss / Politico:
Alaska governor Walker suspends campaign, endorses Democrat Begich
Discussion: TheBlaze and The Daily Caller
Air wars: Hawley flies on lobbyist's plane after blasting McCaskill  —  Missouri's Senate candidates duke it out over whose flights are more unsavory.  —  Josh Hawley has criticized Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill repeatedly for using a private plane to travel around Missouri.
Ariana Eunjung Cha / Washington Post:
As U.S. fertility rates collapse, finger-pointing and blame follow  —  New data confirms historic declines across all races, in both urban and rural areas.  —  As 2017 drew to a close, House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) urged Americans to have more children.  To keep the country great, he said, we're “going to need more people.”
Wesley Morgan / Politico:
Newest security worry: Trump without Mattis  —  National security leaders fear that Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is on his way out — and that Donald Trump's next Pentagon chief will be far more subservient to the president's unilateral and bombastic whims.  —  Mattis was instrumental …
Discussion: Raw Story
David Leonhardt / New York Times:
What if the Republicans Win Everything Again?  —  Total victory for the G.O.P. would mean Trump unleashed.  —  The end of Robert Mueller's investigation.  The loss of health insurance for several million people.  New laws that make it harder to vote.  More tax cuts for the rich.
Discussion: Washington Post
Andrew Higgins / New York Times:
Three Internet Trolls Convicted of Systematic Defamation Against Journalist in Finland  —  MOSCOW — For more than three years, a Finnish journalist who investigated Russia's army of vicious internet trolls faced a barrage of false accusations online that she was an American intelligence operative …
Rob Bluey / The Daily Signal:
How the Gun Made America Great  —  Author and columnist David Harsayni joined the Oct. 15 Daily Signal podcast to discuss his new book “First Freedom: A Ride Through America's Enduring History with the Gun.”  This is a lightly edited transcript of that interview.
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 More Items: 
Newt Gingrich / Fox News:
The caravan is an attack on America — Stop the caravan now
Discussion: Power Line and CNN
Georgia county facing lawsuits after rejecting absentee ballots
Bill Laitner / Detroit Free Press:
63 remains of fetuses removed from Perry Funeral Home in Detroit
Discussion: The Daily Beast and The Week
Mallory Hagan: More than 55K District 3 voters disqualified
Discussion: Refinery29
Ali Breland / The Hill:
Jack Dorsey complains about ‘unfairness’ in San Francisco homeless tax on corporations
Discussion: Joe.My.God.
The Guardian:
Moscow bans ceremony honouring victims of Stalin's Terror
 Earlier Items: 
Jared Gilmour / Fort Worth Star-Telegram:
Texas family paints a huge BETO sign on the front lawn, sparking a feud with the HOA
Dan Zak / Washington Post:
'It doesn't matter.' 'We'll see.' The Trump Doctrine is sounding more fatalistic every day.
Discussion: Law & Crime
Adam Satariano / New York Times:
Facebook Ads From Unknown Backer Take Aim at Brexit Plan
NBC News:
Paul Manafort shows up to court in a wheelchair, learns sentencing date
Discussion: HuffPost, CNN, Politico and ABC News
David Wasserman / NBC News:
Nine kinds of races that will decide the fate of the House
Emma Baccellieri / Sports Illustrated:
Meet the New York Teenager Who Created the ‘Mets Are a Good Team’ Super PAC
Greg Palast:
We Sued Brian Kemp This Morning