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Alaska’s Independent Governor Bill Walker Suspends His Re-election Bid 3 Days After Lieutenant’s Resignation

(JUNEAU, Alaska) — Alaska Gov. Bill Walker suspended his re-election bid Friday, three days after the sudden resignation of his lieutenant governor over what Walker described as an inappropriate overture toward a woman.

Walker's announcement, made during the Alaska Federation of Natives conference in Anchorage, was met with gasps.

Walker, the only independent governor in the country, took swipes at Republican rival Mike Dunleavy and did not explicitly endorse Democrat Mark Begich. But he said Begich's stand on important issues more closely aligned with Walker's priorities.

Walker's campaign was rocked Tuesday by the resignation of Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott, a Democrat who was replaced by former state health commissioner Valerie Davidson.

Throughout the campaign, some Democrats and independents worried that Walker and Begich would split the vote, giving the election to Dunleavy. Walker was elected in 2014 with Democratic support.

Walker campaign manager John-Henry Heckendorn earlier this week said Walker and Begich had been in talks about a “path forward for Alaska” but would not elaborate. On Thursday, Begich and Walker had sought to downplay any suggestions of a potential deal between them ahead of the Nov. 6 election.

Mallott, in a resignation letter, apologized for “inappropriate comments I made that placed a person whom I respect and revere in a position of vulnerability.”

Walker spokesman Austin Baird said the incident that led to Mallott's resignation happened Sunday. Walker said he learned of it Monday. Few details have been released because Walker said he is honoring the wishes of the woman involved.

The partnership of Walker and Mallott — and blurring of partisan lines — was a central theme of their administration and of their campaign. Walker said he considers Mallott his closest friend and “soul mate.”

In 2014, Walker and Mallott were each running for governor, trying to unseat Republican Gov. Sean Parnell. Walker was a Republican mounting an outsider bid. Mallott was the Democratic candidate and an Alaska Native leader.

With the support of the Democratic party, the two men, who had developed a friendship, combined their campaigns and defeated Parnell. Walker changed his affiliation from Republican to undeclared, and Mallott remained a Democrat but became Walker's running mate.

In the succeeding four years, the two men became as close as brothers.

This year, their desire to run together helped seal what some had already seen as an uphill battle for Walker because of the three-way fight between him, Begich and Dunleavy. Though Democrats now allow independents to run in their primaries, Walker opted against that when it appeared Begich would run. He instead gathered signatures to appear on the general election ballot, which ensured he and Mallott could run together.

Walker, 67, is no stranger to the underdog role and embraced it through much of the campaign. He often speaks of the emotional and financial toll of rebuilding his hometown of Valdez after the devastating 1964 Good Friday earthquake. As a kid, he worked odd jobs to help make ends meet and helped his father with his construction business. He said the quake changed him — teaching him lessons about faith, perseverance and working together.

As governor, he faced criticism for halving the size of the check Alaskans received from the state's oil-wealth fund in 2016. He has defended his decision as proper; it came amid a massive budget deficit and legislative gridlock over how to address it. But critics labeled him a thief.

“I ran for the job to do the job, not to keep the job,” he said in a recent interview, describing that and other difficult decisions.

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An Anonymous Group Spent $330,000 on Facebook Ads Urging Brits to Reject Brexit Deal

A group with no publicly available information about its owners has spent up to $330,000 urging Brits to reject Theresa May’s Brexit deal, according to evidence submitted to a British government inquiry on fake news.

The website, called the Mainstream Network, is the latest group to have been linked to “dark ads” – advertisements targeted at specific users that doesn't reveal who is paying for them.

“Here we have an example of a clearly sophisticated organization spending lots of money on a political campaign, and we have absolutely no idea who is behind it,” said Damian Collins, a lawmaker who chairs the British government’s fake news inquiry.

There is no guarantee that the group is British, even though its ads directly target U.K. lawmakers. “They could be a foreign state, they could be foreign individuals,” Mike Harris, CEO of 89up, the group that compiled the evidence, tells TIME.

“The issue is, this is a website that has absolutely no contact details on it, and it has been set up in a way that they deliberately try to disguise who’s behind it,” Harris said.

89up, the communications agency who carried out the research, have previously worked for Best for Britain, a campaign to keep the U.K. in the E.U.

Collins said Facebook knows who is behind the ad buy, but hasn't released details.

The news comes the same week as Facebook pledged to crack down on “dark ads.” It will force advertisers to register and verify their identity by Nov. 7.

The goal of the ads, 89up said, was to convince these lawmakers to reject the prime minister's Brexit deal in favor of a more complete break with the European Union.

Many Facebook posts paid to be shared by Mainstream Network included the words, “We voted to leave the E.U, to take back control of our money and borders. The Chequers proposal [Theresa May’s proposed deal] does not deliver this.”

As many as 10.9 million users may have been reached, 89up estimated.

The “Chequers proposal” refers to a British government plan to maintain significant economic and trade ties to the E.U. after Brexit. It is named after the prime minister's country estate, where the deal emerged. The proposal has proved controversial among Brits who advocate a “hard Bexit” that would free the U.K. from all E.U. laws and requirements.

The evidence provided to the government committee says the Mainstream Network appeared to be set up to target voters in the constituencies of key lawmakers who Theresa May would depend upon to get parliamentary support for her deal.

89up also said the anonymous group appeared to be in breach of GDPR, an E.U. data protection law.

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Saudi Arabia State Media Confirms Jamal Khashoggi Is Dead

(DUBAI, United Arab Emirates) — Saudi Arabia acknowledged early Saturday that Saudi writer Jamal Khashoggi was killed in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul in a fight, and said 18 Saudis were being held as suspects.

The overnight announcements in Saudi state media came more than two weeks after Khashoggi entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul for paperwork required to marry his Turkish fiancée, and never came out. Saudi Arabia had rejected as baseless reports that Khashoggi was killed and dismembered inside the consulate, but had been facing growing pressure to explain what happened to him.

The overnight announcement in Saudi State media also said a royal court adviser close to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was fired along with three leaders in the kingdom's intelligence services and other officials. Saudi King Salman also had a plan to restructure the kingdom's intelligence services.

The statement contradicts reports by pro-government media in Turkey, which have published surveillance video and other material suggesting Khashoggi was killed by an assassination squad with ties to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

On Wednesday, the Turkish pro-government newspaper Yeni Safak, citing what it described as an audio recording of Khashoggi's slaying, said the squad immediately accosted the journalist after he entered the consulate, cutting off his fingers and later decapitating him.

“Preliminary investigations carried out by the Public Prosecution Office into the disappearance of Saudi citizen Jamal bin Ahmad Khashoggi revealed that the discussions that took place between him and the persons who met him during his presence at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul (leading) to a brawl and a fist fight with the citizen, Jamal Khashoggi, which led to his death, may his soul rest in peace,” the Saudi prosecutors' statement read.

The Saudi statements did not identify the 18 Saudis being held by authorities.

Turkish crime scene investigators this week searched the Saudi Consulate building in Istanbul and the nearby residence of the Saudi consul general, and came out carrying bags and boxes. On Friday, investigators questioned staff and explored whether his remains could have been dumped outside Istanbul after his suspected killing, Turkish media and a security official said.

The prominent journalist had written columns critical of the Saudi government while living in self-imposed exile in the U.S.

President Donald Trump has said that the consequences for the Saudis “will have to be very severe” if they are found to have killed him, but has insisted insisted that more facts must be known before making assumptions.

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Fraser reported from Ankara, Turkey. Associated Press journalists Mehmet Guzel and Ayse Wieting in Istanbul and Munir Ahmed in Islamabad contributed.

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The Military Moves Hundreds of Thousands of Families Each Summer. Many of Them Don’t Go Well

Traci Mayes knew there would be times her husband would be away when he joined the military. As a First Class Petty Officer in the Navy, being stationed on a destroyer ship in the middle of an ocean is just part of William Mayes' job description. But that didn't prepare Mayes for what happened in August, when William received a new assignment and her family had to move closer to his base.

Somewhere in or between Florida and Illinois, Mayes says, the moving company the military contracted to pack and ship the contents of their home lost or damaged $26,000 worth of furniture and prized possessions, including her 6-year-old son’s bed, her great grandmother’s jewelry, her children’s birth announcements and her husband’s golf clubs from his great-great grandfather. Though their claim was $26,000, she said her family “would be lucky to see $10,000 of that.”

Shur-Way Moving & Cartage's long distance operations manager, Eric Brzezinski told TIME the company is going through their vaults everyday to locate Mayes' missing items.

“The situation is that we put the stuff into our storage and we accidentally misplaced two of her vaults out of seven,” he said. “We do apologize. We've done everything we can at this point, but we are still looking for the items and once we get them, before or after the claim is settled, they will still receive their items when we locate them.” Brzezinski says they have found and delivered one of the two missing vaults, and believe the other one is somewhere on the property.

But that doesn't help Mayes, who has waited months to be reunited with her prized possessions. And her family isn't alone.

The United States Armed Forces orchestrates between 420,000 and 450,000 Permanent Change of Station (PCS) moves for military families annually, Rear Admiral Peter Clarke, director of strategy, capabilities, policy and logistics of United States Transportation Command, tells TIME. About 40% of them take place in the summer. During the season, the satisfaction rate dips to as low as 80%, Clarke said. That means, every summer, thousands — if not tens of thousands — of Permanent Change of Station moves don't go as planned for military families.

The issue stems from the contracted packers and shippers not having the capacity to service the thousands of families that need to move in a relatively short time period, Clarke says. U.S. Transportation Command is considering a number of solutions to minimize the number of Permanent Change of Station transitions that have to take place during peak season. Outside of the summer months, about 95% of families report satisfactory moves, Clarke said.

“[Moving companies] have a business model that provides capacity to be able to satisfy the needs of America, and as a result, the needs of the Department of Defense for the average number of moves that happen per week, per month, throughout the year,” he says. “They don't have the capacity to fully support our peak of the peak move period with quality movers and with sufficient truckers to prevent some of the problems that occur periodically and that have been exasperated this year.” At the same time, Clarke says, many families want to move during the summer months, so that their kids aren't disrupted during the school year.

More than 100,000 people have signed a Change.org petition demanding better. The petition originated as an open letter posted to Facebook by Megan Harless, a stay-at-home mother of three. She says her family has sacrificed too much to have to go through a complicated and disorderly ordeal every time they pack up their family so it can serve the country. The family has moved nine times in the four years she served in the Army, lastly as a battalion maintenance officer, and the 13 years her husband has, currently as a logistics officer.

“When you're asking a family to pick up and move every two years — across the country and around the world — when things get broken and things get lost, it becomes a financial burden on that family,” Harless says. “Some of the things we are able to put prices on and hope to get reimbursed for them. Other things you can't really put a price on.”

Shelly, a mother of five children whose husband is in the Air Force, knows what that’s like. She’s a professional artist who sells watercolor and oil paintings online. When her husband's assignment required they move from Monterey, California, to Fort Meade in Maryland in 2014, she purchased cardboard packaging tubes for her pieces to ensure they’d arrive at her new destination safely. But instead of rolling the artwork into the tubes, Shelly, who asked that her last name not be used, says the movers folded her masterpieces and put them into boxes. The oil paintings ripped and the watercolor ones got wet, making the colors run. “I can't sell them anymore,” she lamented.

And while losing the paintings was a financial burden, it’s not the worst thing contracted movers have done to her family over the years, Shelly said. Four of her children have special needs. When the family relocated from Maryland to Nebraska, the movers lost needles her daughter with spina bifida needs for medication, according to Shelly, who says it took a month and a half for the family to get new ones. “They never treat us families right,” she said.

The contractors the military uses are responsible for 100% of the damages incurred, Clarke said, but getting them to pay isn't always a simple process. During peak season, the contractors sometimes have to contract out more help. Shelly says that during her move from California to Maryland, there were so many contractors involved that it was hard to find who to hold accountable for their broken goods and furniture. TIME, therefore, was unable to reach the responsible party for comment.

Sen. Jon Tester, a Montana Democrat and ranking member of the Committee on Veterans' Affairs, says military families deserve to have simpler moves. “Troops and their families frequently have to pack up their lives to move across the country or even the world in the service of our nation,” he told TIME in a statement. “These folks should be focused on their mission, and shouldn’t be forced to deal with cancelled moves, lengthy delays, and scheduling blackouts that cause personal hardships for them and their families. Moving companies working with the military must be held to the highest standard of service, transparency and accountability.”

The Department of Defense knows the stakes are high.

“We owe it to our service members and their families to ensure that the family relocation experience during the Permanent Change of Station is as low stress as possible,” Clarke says. “We recognize that with the exception of a deployment of a service member away from home, this is the second-most stressful time period that most service members and their families will experience.”

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Migrant Caravan Breaks Through Guatemala’s Border Fence and Rushes Into Mexico

(TECUN UMAN, Guatemala) — Central Americans traveling in a mass caravan broke through a Guatemalan border fence and streamed by the thousands toward Mexican territory Friday, defying Mexican authorities' entreaties for an orderly migration and U.S. President Donald Trump's threats of retaliation.

Arriving on the Mexican side of a border bridge, they were met by a phalanx of police with riot shields. About 50 managed to push their way through before officers unleashed pepper spray and the rest retreated.

The gates were closed again, and a federal police officer used a loudspeaker to address the masses, saying, “We need you to stop the aggression.”

Waving Honduran flags and carrying umbrellas to protect against the sun, the migrants arrived earlier at the Guatemalan side of the muddy Suchiate River that divides the country from Mexico, noisily demanding they be let in.

“One way or another, we will pass,” they changed, clambering atop to U.S.-donated military jeeps parked at the scene as Guatemalan police looked on.

Young men began tugging on the fencing and finally succeeded in tearing it down, and men, women and children rushed through and toward the border bridge just up the road.

Edwin Santos of San Pedro Sula was one of the first to race past helpless Guatemalan police, clutching the hands of his father and wife.

“We are going to the United States!” he shouted euphorically. “Nobody is going to stop us!”

Earlier Friday, Mexico's ambassador to Guatemala said his country intended to enforce what he called a policy of orderly entry in the face of the thousands trying to cross.

Ambassador Luis Manuel Lopez Moreno added that more than 100 migrants had been allowed to cross the bridge to apply for refugee status, including some who were from the caravan and others who were not.

Meanwhile, the rafts that normally ferry throngs of people across the river were carrying mostly merchandise and the raft operators said they had been warned by Mexican authorities not to carry people.

Jose Porfirio Orellana, a 47-year-old acorn and bean farmer from Yoro province in Honduras, said he hopes to reach the United States due to woeful economic conditions in his country.

“There is nothing there,” Orellana said.

The first members of the 3,000-strong caravan began arriving in the Guatemalan border town of Tecun Uman on buses and trucks early Thursday, but the bulk of the group sloshed into town on foot in a downpour late in the afternoon and into the evening.

As the sun rose, a military helicopter flew along the Mexican side of the river foreshadowing the difficulties they could face. At the same time, several busloads of Mexican federal police in riot gear deployed at the border crossing in Ciudad Hidalgo.

Jonathan Guzman, who joined the mass procession caravan en route, said he dreams of finding a construction job in Los Angeles. “It's the third time that I'm trying to cross,” the 22-year-old Salvadoran said.

Mexican Foreign Relations Secretary Luis Videgaray said those with passports and valid visas would be let in immediately, though he acknowledged that “we anticipate those are the minority.”

Those who want to apply for refuge in Mexico will be welcome to do so “if they have a vulnerable situation in their country of origin,” Videgaray said in an interview with the Televisa network.

Any who decide to cross illegally and are caught will be detained and deported, the Mexican government has said.

Trump has made it clear to Mexico that he is monitoring its response. Early Thursday, he threatened to close the U.S. border if Mexico let the migrants advance. Later, he retweeted a video of Mexican federal police arriving at the Guatemalan border and wrote: “Thank you Mexico, we look forward to working with you!”

In April, Mexican immigration officials had some success in dispersing a smaller caravan by processing many who decided to seek refugee status in Mexico, but some did continue on to the U.S. border.

Asked in the Televisa interview whether Mexico was doing Trump's “dirty work,” Videgaray said Mexico “defines its migration policy in a sovereign manner” and the country's priority is to protect the migrants and ensure their human rights.

He did not seem concerned about Trump's threat to close the U.S.-Mexico border, saying the threat should be viewed in light of the hotly contested midterm elections in the United States, in which Trump has made border security a major campaign issue.

The foreign secretary noted that 1 million people transit the border legally every day, and about $1 million in commerce crosses every minute.

“Before taking decisions of that kind,” Videgaray said, “there would be many people in the United States … who would consider the consequences.”

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This 13-Year-Old’s Tool Could Change Pancreatic Cancer Treatment

An Oregon teenager's innovation could change the way doctors treat pancreatic cancer, a deadly form of the disease that has just a 7% five-year survival rate.

Rishab Jain, a 13-year-old from Stoller Middle School in Portland, on Tuesday won the Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge with an algorithm that uses machine learning to help doctors zero in on the pancreas during cancer treatment. Doing so can be difficult, since the pancreas is often obscured by other organs, and since breathing and other bodily processes can cause it to move around the abdominal area. As a result, doctors sometimes need to deploy radiation treatment with an “error circle” that ensures they'll hit the pancreas, but that may kill some healthy cells as collateral damage.

Jain's algorithm could relieve some of those problems by helping doctors locate the pancreas with precision.

“In the radiotherapy treatment where radiation is applied to kill tumor cells, my tool tracks the pancreas in the scan itself,” Jain explains. “When the radiation hits, it hits the pancreas accurately and efficiently so it can help treat the tumor much more effectively.”

Jain, who took home the Young Scientist Challenge's $25,000 prize for his idea, says he first became interested in pancreatic cancer last year during a trip to Boston, and became even more passionate when a family friend died of cancer. “[In Boston] I learned about the low survival rate and how deadly the disease was,” Jain says. “I'm also into programming, so I was learning about artificial intelligence. I decided to combine the two areas into trying to solve a real-world problem using artificial intelligence.”

With help from 3M mentor scientist Dr. Döne Demirgöz, Jain's work paid off this week at the competition in Minnesota. He says his software could work with hospitals' existing radiotherapy equipment, or be incorporated directly into new machines. He's currently in touch with doctors at both local Oregon and big-name national hospitals — including Johns Hopkins Hospital and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center — in hopes of fine-tuning and eventually implementing his idea.

For now, he says he'll use his winnings to advance his machine learning project and fund the nonprofit he created, Samyak Science Society, which is meant to promote STEM learning for “other children who might not have that opportunity like I did,” and raise pancreatic cancer awareness. He says he'll also put some of the money toward a college fund, so he can study to become either a biomedical engineer or a doctor.

“For undergraduate, I'm not entirely sure yet,” Jain says. “But I'm thinking of maybe biomedical engineering, because it has both fields in it. Biomedical engineering and then probably medical school for becoming a doctor.”

Of course, the middle schooler has some time to figure it out — and in the meantime, he's got plenty of ways to fill his time.

“I flew back to Portland [after I won], so I went to my school to visit my teachers and tell them about the news,” Jain says. “And also catch up on homework.”

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Russian Woman Is Charged With Interfering in the U.S. Midterm Elections

(WASHINGTON) — The U.S. accused a Russian woman Friday of a sweeping effort to sway American public opinion through social media in the first federal case alleging foreign interference in the 2018 midterm election.

The Justice Department unsealed the criminal complaint soon after U.S. intelligence agencies, in a rare public statement, asserted that Russia, China, Iran and other countries were engaged in continuous efforts to influence American policy and voters in the upcoming congressional elections and beyond.

The U.S. is concerned about the campaigns “to undermine confidence in democratic institutions and influence public sentiment and government policies,” the officials said in a joint statement. “These activities also may seek to influence voter perceptions and decision-making in the 2018 and 2020 U.S. elections.”

The two-page statement about foreign influence was issued just weeks before the Nov. 6 elections by the Office of the Department of National Intelligence, the Justice Department, the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security.

Foreign countries are using social media to amplify divisive issues in American society by sponsoring content in English-language media, such as Russia's RT and Sputnik news outlets, the statement said. They also distribute propaganda and plant disinformation against political candidates, the departments said.

They statement did not provide specific examples of foreign interference.

The agencies said they currently do not have any evidence that voting systems have been disrupted or compromised in ways that could result in changing vote counts or hampering the ability to tally votes in the midterms, which are fewer than 20 days away.

But they said, “Some state and local governments have reported attempts to access their networks, which often include online voter registration databases, using tactics that are available to state and nonstate cyber actors.”

So far, they said, state and local officials have been able to prevent access or quickly mitigate these attempts.

President Donald Trump has often cast doubt on U.S. intelligence findings that Russia interfered with the 2016 election, as special counsel Robert Mueller investigates potential ties between Russia and Trump's campaign.

But Trump recently accused China of meddling in the midterms, and Vice President Mike Pence said in a speech this month that Russia's actions in 2016 pale in comparison to the covert and overt activities by China to interfere in the current elections and counter Trump's tough trade policies against Beijing.

China has denied that it is interfering in U.S. affairs.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said recently that his country has no intention to interfere in the midterm elections in the U.S. or meddle elsewhere.

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U.S. National Security Officials Worried About Voter Influence From Russia, China and Iran

WASHINGTON (AP) — Russian, China, Iran and other countries are engaged in continuous efforts to influence American policy and voters in the upcoming elections and beyond, U.S. national security officials said Friday.

“We are concerned about ongoing campaigns by Russia, China and other foreign actors, including Iran, to undermine confidence in democratic institutions and influence public sentiment and government policies,” the officials said in a joint statement. “These activities also may seek to influence voter perceptions and decision-making in the 2018 and 2020 U.S. elections.”

The two-page statement about foreign influence in U.S. elections was issued just weeks before the Nov. 6 elections by the Office of the Department of National Intelligence, the Justice Department, the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security.

Other countries are using social media to amplify divisive issues in American society, sponsor content in English-language media, such as Russia's RT and Sputnik news outlets, the statement said. They also distribute propaganda and plant disinformation against political candidates, the departments said.

They statement did not provide specific examples of foreign interference.

The agencies said they currently do not have any evidence that voting systems have been disrupted or compromised in ways that could result in changing vote counts or hampering the ability to tally votes in the midterms, which are fewer than 20 days away.

“Some state and local governments have reported attempts to access their networks, which often include online voter registration databases, using tactics that are available to state and nonstate cyber actors,” they said.

But so far, they said state and local officials have been able to prevent access or quickly mitigate these attempts.

President Donald Trump has often cast doubt on U.S. intelligence findings that Russia interfered with the 2016 election, as special counsel Robert Mueller investigates potential ties between Russia and Trump's campaign.

But Trump recently accused China of meddling in the midterms, and Vice President Mike Pence said in a speech this month that Russia's actions in 2016 pale in comparison to the covert and overt activities China is taking to interfere in the U.S. midterm elections and counter Trump's tough trade policies against Beijing.

China has denied that it is interfering in U.S. affairs.

Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said recently that Russia has no intention to interfere in the midterm elections in the U.S. or meddle elsewhere.

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I’m a Young Saudi Journalist. Jamal Khashoggi’s Disappearance Will Not Silence Us

When news broke out that Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi reportedly met a tortuous end at the hands of agents of a country I hold so dear, I fell into despair. Not only would these details be gruesome for any decent human being, but I had a personal and professional connection to what Khashoggi’s plight was for. I’m a Saudi journalist living in the West. I grew up in Saudi Arabia and was taught by its school system. I still have an immense love for the country that raised me. I also am not ignorant, however, of the very real consequences for angering powers that stealthily hover over us from all directions.

I graduated from a Saudi high school a few months before 9/11. Despite hesitations from friends and relatives, I went to university in Miami, where my Cuban grandmother lived. I graduated with degrees in studio art and journalism. The reason I chose those two majors was because I knew my country lacked those professions and, like many Saudi women, I was a quiet rebel. I knew the Saudi people had so many stories to tell, and I wanted to be the one to tell them. As Khashoggi mentioned in his final Washington Post column, published posthumously, we in the East read about ourselves in the Western papers.

I had neither the talent nor the ego to be a famous artist, so I settled on another medium: Journalism. My art became telling other people’s stories. In 2013, my classmate and I became the first two Saudi women to ever graduate from the Columbia Journalism School, which has existed for more than 100 years. (Two men graduated in the years before us.) This is significant because it shows that most Saudis didn’t see journalism as a viable form of expression. It certainly wasn’t a profession most pursued willingly, especially in the West.

Because I am a journalist, though, this week has left me speechless — but not voiceless.

Before the news of the mysterious question mark over the end of Khashoggi’s life, I was elated at the launch of a yearlong initiative in New York City, my adopted home, that would being Arab artists to tell their Eastern stories to a Western audience. It’s titled New York/Arab World Art & Education Initiative. The major New York City museums participating in the initiative will not use Saudi funds for its programs.

I had written about many of the artists for nearly a decade in different platforms and formats, but I was finally seeing a bit of home in my other home. Like a music journalist becomes kind of a groupie, I considered anyone in this niche circle to be friends and an extended family. Many of us were scared to ruffle feathers but were eager to try to fly anyway.

The timing, however grim, has a poetry to it, because Jamal Khashoggi unknowingly launched the initiative. Under the backdrop of the early days of the last Gulf War in 2003, Khashoggi, then still the editor at the Al Watan newspaper in Saudi Arabia, introduced artists to each other who later formed a collective centered on Arab art globally, called Edge of Arabia. Many of those artists are now taking part in the New York/Arab World initiative. Edge of Arabia’s non-Saudi co-founder, Stephen Stapleton, mentioned his personal connection to Khashoggi in his opening speech at the official launch of the forum. Stapleton, a former educator, is in many ways leading the way to strengthen the dialogue between Saudis and non-Saudis via this platform on a global scale. For the last decade, Edge of Arabia has created programs and artist residencies, many of which were created and amplified by Stapleton.

“[In 2003,] I had crossed the border from Yemen into Saudi Arabia on a public bus and was dropped off under the light of a neon palm tree. Jamal was the first person I met in Saudi Arabia,” Stapleton told the hushed crowd.

“We have been under some pressure to postpone or cancel this program in light of the terrible news about Jamal Khashoggi and our organization’s long-term connections with Saudi Arabia,” he said. “We collectively decided to move forward with the initiative. With Jamal and his family in our thoughts and prayers, we want to reiterate our commitment to amplifying the voices of artists trying to make the world a better place and getting their voices out into the public domain.”

There are so many narratives in the Arab world that deserve a larger life. Kuwaiti curator Razan Al Sarraf opened a show centered on Young Arab Artists two nights ago at a converted nightclub in the Meatpacking District. She didn’t shy away from painting 100 portraits of ISIS terrorists; giving us all a chance to pause and reflect on how those faces got there to begin with. Social stigma and isolation promoted those individuals to join this cult, and social media was likely the tool that was used to lure them in. She mentioned on the Asia Society panel on Oct. 16 that she knew that, living in the West, she could say and do art that wouldn't be “allowed” in her home country.

Similarly, while we Saudi women are elated that we can now legally drive, it was more fundamentally freedom of movement that we needed most. At a deep level, our joy was really about being able to use our own voices to tell our narratives and have the space to explore those feelings. Saudi, like many Arab countries, is a complex and sometimes contradictory place. And although many of us Arabs living in the West have gotten comments about losing our “Arab card” by leaving, the common thread is that we usually hold a pure love for the country in which we were raised.

Let us not allow Khashoggi’s life to end in vain. Although prompted by tragedy, dialogue is what I have wanted my whole life. I believe that the next true revolution will come in the form of paintbrushes, pens and pixels. Among this negativity in the Arab and Western Worlds, there’s a burst of hope underneath.

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A $215 Million Settlement Proposed in Alleged USC Gynecologist Abuse

(LOS ANGELES) — The University of Southern California on Friday announced an agreement in principle for a $215 million class-action settlement of claims involving alleged sexual harassment and abuse by a gynecologist who treated students for decades.

The agreement with plaintiffs' lawyers will provide compensation ranging from $2,500 up to $250,000 to the women who have claimed abuse by Dr. George Tyndall between 1988 and 2016, USC Interim President Wanda Austin said in a statement.

About 500 current and former students have now made accusations against Tyndall. They contend he routinely made crude comments, took inappropriate photographs, forced them to strip naked and groped them under the guise of medical treatment.

Tyndall spent about three decades as a USC staff gynecologist before retiring last year after a USC investigation concluded that there was evidence that Tyndall sexually harassed students during physical examinations.

Tyndall has denied the allegations and has not been charged with a crime. USC has denied accusations of a cover-up.

The university was first criticized in the case after the Los Angeles Times reported earlier this year that complaints and comments about Tyndall's care went unheeded by the school for decades and that USC failed to report him to the medical board even after the school quietly forced him into retirement last year.

Two administrators were fired and President C.L. Max Nikias stepped down following the criticism.

The Los Angeles police and the Los Angeles County district attorney's office are reviewing allegations against Tyndall.

Austin said in a statement that since she became interim president, “a fair and respectful resolution for as many former patients as possible has been?a priority for the university and for me personally.”

“Many sweeping changes have been made and we continue to?work every day to prevent all forms of misconduct on our campuses, to provide outstanding care to all students, and to ensure we have policies and procedures that prioritize respect for our students and our entire university community,” she said.

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