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Erdogan has said that the order for Khashoggi's killing probably did not come from Saudi Arabian King Salman, putting the spotlight instead on the crown prince.

Earlier this week, a select group of senators was briefed behind closed doors by CIA Director Gina Haspel on what the USA intelligence community knows about the journalist's death.

Despite President Donald Trump's desire to maintain close ties to Saudi Arabia, several of his fellow Republicans have joined Democrats in blaming the crown prince for Khashoggi's death and backing legislation to respond by ending USA support for the Saudi-led war effort in Yemen, imposing new sanctions and stopping weapons sales. Senator Lindsey Graham, (Republican from South Carolina), introduced a resolution on Wednesday that would call bin Salman "complicit" in the slaying.

US lawmakers eager to castigate Saudi Arabia for killing a journalist and its conduct of a military campaign in Yemen hope the Senate soon will pass one or more measures reflecting Washington's growing anger.

Dianne Feinstein, the resolution says the Senate believes MBS "was in control of security forces" during the killing and has "a high level of confidence" that the crown prince was "complicit" in the murder, based on "evidence and analysis made available". Earlier this year, MIT welcomed the crown prince and his entourage, including a guard linked to the Khashoggi murder, to campus.

Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker, R-Tenn., said he is working with the group to modify the legislation in a way that could gain his support. He was killed in what United States officials have described as an elaborate plot as he visited the consulate for marriage paperwork.

"Saudi Arabia should immediately allow independent global monitors to access Saudi women's rights advocates detained since May 2018 to ensure their safety and well-being", the HRW said Friday in a statement.

Mattis was also thrust into the spotlight last month in the run-up to the midterm elections, as Trump repeatedly attacked "caravans" of Central American migrants headed for the USA border.

He also said he expected a vote in the Senate next week on a war powers resolution to stop USA support for the war in Yemen, which has produced one of the world's worst humanitarian disasters. Both had strong ties with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, but were removed from their positions in October.

Saudi Arabia has said the crown prince had no prior knowledge of the murder.

He explained how steps have been taken to punish those who are known to have been involved with Khashoggi's murder.

"His Royal Highness the ambassador is in Washington", embassy spokeswoman Fatimah Baeshen told Agence France-Presse (AFP).

The preliminary report, which was sent to the MIT community on Thursday, acknowledges "the large-scale violations of political, civil and human rights" in Saudi Arabia, but concludes that withdrawing from partnerships would have little effect on the Middle East government.


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