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Europe briefing: Six stories to know about today

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Europe briefing: Six stories to know about today

Europe briefing: Six stories to know about today
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Erdogan details events leading up to Khashoggi’s murder

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan made a statement on the killing of Saudi journalist and critic Jamal Khashoggi, giving an outline of what happened before and after his death.

He said there was "strong evidence" the killing was premeditated.

Erdogan did not absolve Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman of responsibility for the murder. MbS has continuously denied being involved.

At least 18 suspects in the killing have been arrested, the Saudi King Salman told Erdogan in a phone call. Erdogan has called for the suspects, including those who ordered the killing, to be tried in Istanbul.

Erdogan also called into question diplomatic law, which he said should not be used as "armour" for murder.

'Bomb' is found outside Soros' home

A suspected bomb has been found outside the home of George Soros, a billionaire hate figure for right-wing campaigners in eastern Europe.

The explosive device was found in a mailbox outside the 88-year-old’s New York residence, police said.

An employee at Soros’ home opened the package, and, after realising what it was, left the device in a wooded area.

Authorities were called and bomb squad technicians detonated it, a police official told the New York Times.

Trump to relaunch nuclear arms race with Russia?

President Donald Trump has been panned after announcing his intention to scrap a landmark nuclear weapons agreement signed by President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in 1987. The deal was designed to keep ground-based nuclear missiles out of Europe.

Trump said that Russia has for years been violating the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty, or INF, and many experts agree.

But despite that, some say ripping up the agreement is a bad idea. Gorbachev told Russia's Interfax news agency Sunday that Trump's decision was "very strange" and not the work of "a great mind."

Italy stands by budget which breaches EU rules, Brussels to ‘seek revision’

Giuseppe Conte’s government wants to raise its deficit target – the gap between government spending and income – from 1.8% to 2.4% of GDP, thought to be ‘too big’ a shift and ‘unrealistic’ by some economists.

REUTERS

Today the European Commission meets to discuss and decide the next steps in the procedure for assessing Italy’s 2019 draft budget, and has to decide whether to formally ask Italy to revise and resubmit the budget, something it hasn’t done before with other member states, according to NBC News.

If it does so, Italy would have three weeks to amend its budgetary plans from the date of the Commission’s rejection.

If by that deadline Italy decides not to revise its budget, then the commission has another three weeks to decide whether to impose sanctions.

Dead sea scroll fragments are found to be fake

Artefacts in a US museum thought to be part of the Dead Sea Scrolls - ancient Jewish religious texts - have been found to be fake and will be withdrawn from display.

German-based researchers tested the fragments and found five "show characteristics inconsistent with ancient origin and therefore will no longer be displayed," The Museum of the Bible in Washington said in a statement on Monday.

Decisions on the status of the remaining fragments are yet to be finalised.

The Dead Sea Scrolls, composed of hundreds of manuscripts and thousands of fragments of ancient Jewish religious texts, were discovered in the West Bank by Bedouin shepherds in the 1940s. Scholars say the ancient manuscripts give modern scholar an unprecedented insight into what The Bible was like 2,000 years ago.

British and European Scientists appeal against no-deal Brexit

Nobel-prizewinning scientists have called on Theresa May and Jean Claude Juncker to maintain the “closest possible cooperation” between British and European scientists post-Brexit.

“All parties in the negotiations on the UK’s departure from the EU must now strive to ensure that as little harm as possible is done to research,” reads the letter, which was sent to the UK PM and EU Commission President on October 19. “It is widely recognised that investing in research and innovation is increasingly crucial for shaping a better European future.”

Scientists fear the UK's exit from the European Union could spell the end of British participation in EU research programmes worth tens of billions of euros.

As it happened on Tuesday, October 23

This is how we covered key developments this morning: