Paris has taken the extraordinary step of recalling its ambassador from Rome, in the worst crisis between the two neighboring countries since the second world war. Italy’s two deputy prime ministers, the far-right Matteo Salvini and Luigi Di Maio of the populist, anti-establishment Five Star Movement, have in recent months criticized the French president, Emmanuel Macron, on a host of inflammatory issues, from immigration to the gilets jaunes (yellow vest) anti-government demonstrations.
Venezuela‘s military have barricaded a bridge at a key border crossing with Colombia in a challenge to a US-backed effort by the opposition to bring humanitarian aid into the beleaguered nation. Nicolas Maduro‘s regime blocked the Tienditas International Bridge with a giant orange tanker, two large blue containers and makeshift fencing. Armed soldiers stood guard at the customs building, with instructions to turn back any attempt to cross the border. Mr Maduro argues Venezuela is not a nation of “beggars” and has rejected the idea of receiving humanitarian assistance, regarding it as a foreign intervention.
A U.N. human rights expert said Thursday that Saudi Arabia undermined Turkey’s efforts to investigate the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, which she described as a “brutal and premeditated killing” planned and carried out by Saudi officials. Agnes Callamard, the U.N. special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, made her assessment Thursday after visiting Turkey. Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist who wrote critically about Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, was killed inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2. His remains have not been found.
In an explosive tell-all blog post published Thursday, Jeff Bezos accused the publisher of the National Enquirer of trying to extort him. The post by Bezos on the blogging platform Medium revealed what he said were the full text of emails his representatives got from executives at AMI, the publisher of the National Enquirer. In the text, he shared what he said was an email from AMI’s chief content officer, Dylan Howard, in which Howard threatened to release intimate and personal photos and text messages of Bezos and a woman the National Enquirer said he was having an affair with.
Conjoined twin boys born in Yemen are in urgent need of treatment abroad, but are unable to leave because the war there has closed the capital city’s airport. Doctors treating two-week-old Abd al-Khaleq and Abd al-Rahim said Yemen’s war-ravaged health system cannot keep them alive, and the parents are poor. The tiny boys, who are being helped to breathe in an incubator, have separate heads. The doctors are appealing to the United Nations and international humanitarian organizations to arrange for the boys’ transfer abroad.