Turkish Official Says Jamal Khashoggi’s Remains May Have Been Taken Outside Istanbul

(ISTANBUL) — A Turkish official said Friday that investigators are looking into the possibility that the remains of missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi may have been taken to a forest in the outskirts of Istanbul or to another city — if and after he was killed inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul earlier this month.

The official told The Associated Press that police have established that two vehicles belonging to the consulate, left the building on Oct. 2 — the day Khashoggi had walked into the consulate and vanished.

One of the vehicles traveled to the nearby Belgrade Forest while the other traveled to the city of Yalova, across the Sea of Marmara from Istanbul, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity due to the secrecy of the ongoing investigation.

It was not immediately clear if police had already searched the areas.

Turkish reports say Khashoggi was brutally murdered and dismembered inside the consulate by members of an assassination squad with ties to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. The Saudis have dismissed those reports as baseless but have yet to explain what happened to Khashoggi, a columnist for The Washington Post who wrote critically of Prince Mohammed’s rise to power.

President Donald Trump, who first came out hard on the Saudis over the disappearance but had since has backed off, said Thursday that it “certainly looks” as though Khashoggi is dead, and that the consequences for the Saudis “will have to be very severe” if they are found to have killed him.

Saudi Arabia has not responded to repeated requests for comment from The Associated Press over recent days over Khashoggi’s disappearance.

On Friday, Turkey’s pro-government Sabah newspaper printed more surveillance camera photographs allegedly showing members of a Saudi team that was brought in to Turkey to dispose of Khashoggi.

A leaked surveillance photo published by the same paper on Thursday showed that a member of Prince Mohammed’s entourage during several trips abroad had walked into the Saudi consulate, just before the writer disappeared there on Oct. 2.

The man, identified by Turkish officials as Maher Abdulaziz Mutreb, has been photographed in the background of Prince Mohammed’s trips to the United States, France and Spain this year.

This week, Turkish crime-scene investigators searched the Saudi consul general’s residence in Istanbul and carried out a second search of the consulate itself. Authorities have not said specifically what they found, although technicians carried out bags and boxes from the consul …read more

Source:: Time – World


China Plans to Launch an ‘Artificial Moon’ to Light Up the Night Skies

The night skies might soon have company: Chinese scientists are planning to launch an artificial moon into orbit by 2020 to illuminate city streets after dark.

Scientists are hoping to hang the man-made moon above the city of Chengdu, the capital of China’s southwestern Sichuan province, according to a report in Chinese state media. The imitation celestial body — essentially an illuminated satellite — will bear a reflective coating to cast sunlight back to Earth, where it will supplement streetlights at night.

Scientists estimated that it could be eight times more luminous than the actual, original moon. It will also orbit much closer to Earth; about 500 km (310 miles) away, compared to the moon’s 380,000 km (236,000 miles).

But the ambitious plan still wouldn’t “light up the entire night sky,” Wu Chunfeng, chief of the Tian Fu New Area Science Society, told China Daily. “Its expected brightness, in the eyes of humans, is around one-fifth of normal streetlights.”

Wu estimated that new moons could save the city of Chengdu around 1.2 billion yuan ($173 million) in electricity costs annually, and could even assist first responders during blackouts and natural disasters. If the project proves successful, it could be joined by three more additions to the night sky in 2022, he said.

Read more: Science: Space Mirror

But much more testing needs to be done, Wu said, to ensure the plan is viable and will not have a detrimental effect on the natural environment.

“We will only conduct our tests in an uninhabited desert, so our light beams will not interfere with any people or Earth-based space observation equipment,” he told the Daily.

China’s space goals are not unprecedented. In the 1990s, Russia experimented with using an orbital mirror to reflect sunlight on some of its sun-deprived northern cities, according to the New York Times. The project was abandoned in 1999 after the mirror failed to unfold and was incinerated in the atmosphere.

In January, American firm Rocket Lab launched an artificial star into space, the Times reported. But scientists criticized the “Humanity Star,” as the reflective mini-satellite was dubbed, for contributing to artificial light pollution and cluttering in Earth’s orbit.

…read more

Source:: Time – World


An Australian Woman Has Been Charged After Faking Cancer to Raise Money

An Australian woman has been arrested and charged for allegedly obtaining tens of thousands of dollars through a fraudulent crowdfunding campaign after claiming she was battling cancer.

Lucy Wieland allegedly raised A$55,000 ($39,00) through a GoFundMe campaign she claimed was meant to treat ovarian cancer, the BBC reports. A public tip-off alerted police to the case.

Wieland reportedly used social media to document her fraudulent illness, posting images to her Instagram account that appeared to show her wearing an oxygen mask, receiving intravenous medication and losing her hair.

It is unclear whether Wieland’s partner, who appears in some of the photos posted online, was complicit in the fraud. The Instagram account appears to have since been suspended.

Queensland police detective inspector Chris Lawson called the case “disheartening,” Australia’s ABC News reports.

“The real victims here are the people from the community that have heard the stories, have tried to assist as best they can…in the honest belief they are trying to help people,” he told reporters outside a Queensland courthouse on Thursday.

Wieland, 27, did not have a previous criminal history and was granted bail. She is due to return to court in December.

GoFundMe said in a statement that Wieland’s campaign had been banned and money donated to it would be refunded, according to the BBC.

But Lawson also urged social media users to “do a bit of due diligence and check” before donating to online crowdfunding campaigns to avoid being caught in a scam.

…read more

Source:: Time – World