Saudi Arabia denies killing journalist

In her weekly presidential briefing, Samantha Vinograd warns that as Saudi officials are still denying any involvement in Jamal Khashoggi's disappearance, their global PR campaign will swing into full force.

Posted: Oct 15, 2018 7:59 PM
Updated: Oct 15, 2018 8:04 PM

We've got big British royals news this morning. Meghan Markle is expecting her first child with Prince Harry. The baby is due in spring 2019. The couple arrived in Australia this morning for a two-week tour. And here's what else you need to know to Get Up to Speed and Out the Door.

1. Sears

Sears filed for bankruptcy early this morning, after the once-dominant retailer couldn't make a $134 million debt payment that was due today. Sears, which also owns Kmart, says it will stay in business and keep open profitable stores as well as its online shopping sites. But it will close at least 142 more stores this year, on top of the 46 store closings it had already planned for next month. Sears, a 132-year-old company, changed how Americans shopped, but it has struggled in the era of big box stores and internet shopping and has been drowning in debt.

2. German elections

German Chancellor Angela Merkel's fragile coalition government just got a lot more fragile. A political party allied with her in the state of Bavaria lost its majority in Bavaria's parliament in an election yesterday. The party, the Christian Social Union, had pretty much ruled Bavaria since the end of World War II, but the refugee crisis in the country fueled the rise of far-right, anti-immigration parties that gained seats in parliament for the first time. Bavaria bore the brunt of the 2015 refugee crisis; at its peak, thousands of asylum seekers were crossing into the state every day. Since then, both Merkel and her CSU allies have been criticized for their management of the influx. The outcome of the election further weakens Merkel's coalition, which took four months to form and almost imploded over refugee issues.

3. Hurricane Michael

Five days after Hurricane Michael slammed into the Florida Panhandle, dozens of people are still missing. About 30 to 35 people remain unaccounted for in hard-hit Mexico Beach. Conditions are dire for survivors, with long lines for food and bottled water. There's also some reports of looting. And local schools are scrambling to get students back in class. The misery extends beyond Florida, with more than 250,000 customers still without power in seven states from Florida to Virginia. Later today, President Trump and first lady Melania Trump visit to survey the damage.

4. Saudi Arabia

International pressure has been mounting on Saudi Arabia for days for an explanation into the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Turkey. The UK, Germany and France demand an investigation. Businesses are pulling out of conferences there. Politicians in the US have talked of sanctions. Over the weekend the Saudis pushed back, threatening to retaliate if the US imposed sanctions. Saudi Arabia's King Salman spoke with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, which resulted in talk of the two countries possibly putting together a "working group" to deal with the matter.

5. Affirmative action

A lawsuit that could spell the beginning of the end of affirmative action goes to trial today in a federal court in Massachusetts. The suit was filed by a group of conservative advocates on behalf of Asian-American students who failed to gain admission to Harvard. The group wants Harvard's racial admissions practices, that traditionally benefit African-American and Latino students, overturned. This case is all but certain to reach the Supreme Court, where the group's ultimate hope is that the court's new conservative majority will be more inclined to reverse the landmark 1978 Supreme Court case that upheld race-based admissions policies.

NUMBER OF THE DAY

The number of people killed after a snowstorm hit a group of mountain climbers' camp on Nepal's Mount Gurja

BREAKFAST BROWSE

People are talking about these. Read up. Join in.

Not so sweet

Looks like things have turned sour for "Sweetener" singer Ariana Grande and "SNL's" Pete Davidson. Their engagement is off.

Go your own way

Fleetwood Mac is known as much for its drama as its hits. Now ex-member Lindsey Buckingham is suing over getting kicked off the band's latest tour.

Road warrior

She'll visit her 50th state this week -- and she's just 5 months old. What are you doing with your life again?

Let her rest in peace

So there's going to be an Amy Winehouse hologram tour next year. We all miss Amy but bringing her back via hologram is just too creepy.

Got eyes for you

Some prankster put googly eyes on a historic monument in Savannah, Georgia, but city officials don't find it funny at all.

AND FINALLY ...

Smash mash

These elephants at the Oregon Zoo get into the fall spirit by smashing up some giant pumpkins. (Click to view)

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 8 p.m. ET)

Confirmed Cases: 33068

Reported Deaths: 2068
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion9524558
Lake3494175
Cass15897
Allen141966
St. Joseph122134
Hendricks114268
Hamilton113292
Elkhart110128
Johnson1092106
Madison58459
Porter50522
Bartholomew49034
Clark47941
LaPorte42022
Tippecanoe3823
Howard37824
Delaware37636
Jackson3721
Shelby36822
Hancock32727
Floyd31739
Boone30535
Morgan27724
Vanderburgh2592
Montgomery23417
White2308
Decatur22431
Clinton2221
Noble20421
Grant19721
Dubois1903
Harrison18921
Henry16910
Greene16824
Monroe16512
Warrick16528
Dearborn16521
Vigo1538
Lawrence15223
Miami1401
Putnam1357
Jennings1294
Orange12422
Scott1203
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Franklin1098
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Sullivan341
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Brown331
Starke323
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Benton260
Huntington262
Knox250
Tipton241
Crawford230
Blackford222
Parke190
Spencer191
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Posey160
Gibson142
Adams131
Ohio130
Warren121
Vermillion100
Martin90
Union80
Pike60
Unassigned0161

Illinois Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 7 p.m. CT)

Confirmed Cases: 115833

Reported Deaths: 5186
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Cook753063519
Lake7933281
DuPage7460350
Kane6083167
Will5356268
Winnebago209153
McHenry148870
St. Clair105077
Kankakee83644
Kendall75119
Rock Island63923
Champaign5957
Madison54557
Boone42416
DeKalb3704
Sangamon34328
Randolph2674
Jackson25610
McLean21613
Ogle2002
Stephenson1992
Macon19219
Peoria1918
Out of IL1831
Clinton18017
Union1519
Unassigned1490
LaSalle14113
Whiteside13412
Iroquois1314
Coles12313
Warren1130
Jefferson10116
Knox960
Grundy952
Monroe9311
McDonough847
Lee791
Tazewell704
Cass690
Henry670
Williamson602
Marion500
Jasper457
Adams441
Macoupin442
Perry410
Pulaski410
Montgomery391
Vermilion381
Morgan341
Christian334
Jo Daviess320
Livingston322
Douglas260
Fayette203
Ford201
Jersey201
Menard190
Mason180
Washington180
Woodford182
Hancock160
Mercer160
Shelby161
Bureau151
Carroll142
Bond121
Franklin120
Piatt120
Schuyler120
Clark110
Crawford110
Fulton110
Brown100
Cumberland100
Logan100
Moultrie100
Wayne91
Alexander80
Henderson80
Johnson70
Massac70
Saline70
Effingham61
Greene50
Marshall50
De Witt40
Lawrence40
Richland30
Stark30
Clay20
Edwards20
Gallatin20
Hamilton20
Wabash20
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Putnam10
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