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Good morning. New details of Jamal Khashoggi’s death, the fate of the Amazon and a tour of Tuscany’s biodynamic vineyards.
Here’s the latest:
• Gruesome details in the Khashoggi case.
A senior Turkish official described audio recordings of the death of Jamal Khashoggi, the dissident Saudi journalist. Brace yourself.
According to the official’s account, killers were waiting for Mr. Khashoggi inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul two weeks ago. They severed his fingers during an interrogation. Then they beheaded and dismembered him. Above, Turkish investigators searching the residence of the Saudi consul.
• A student gunman killed at least 19 people and wounded dozens more at a college in Kerch, Crimea. He was later found dead in his dorm with a gunshot wound. Above, a makeshift memorial near the scene of the attack.
The assault, which marks the greatest loss of life in school violence in Russia since the Beslan terror attack in 2004, was initially classified as a terrorist attack, but officials reclassified it as a mass murder after discovering the shooter’s student status.
No motive has been reported, although a friend said the student was a loner who had expressed interest in the 1999 Columbine school shooting.
• Canada lights up.
Pot enthusiasts, above, from Winnipeg to Montreal had “End of Prohibition” parties. Government-run dispensaries greeted a rush of customers. There was a “bud drop” at the stroke of midnight.
It’s been one day since Canada legalized recreational marijuana use, only the second country in the world to do so, reflecting its progressive politics.
But critics worry about public health. And cannabis stocks didn’t see a lift.
They worry about how new tools allowing them to home in on the genetic basis of traits like intelligence could be misconstrued to fit racist ideologies, or misused to fuel arguments over school achievement gaps, immigration and policing.
Scientists need to be more aware of the racial lens through which some of their findings are being filtered, one researcher said, and do a better job of pointing out how they can be twisted.
• The fate of the Amazon, the largest tropical forest in the world, could be shaped by the next president of Brazil.
The front-runner in the Oct. 28 runoff is Jair Bolsonaro, above, a far-right congressman who has said that Brazil’s environmental policy is “suffocating the country” and recently received an unwelcome endorsement from David Duke, the former grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan.
Mr. Bolsonaro has promised to fold the Environment Ministry into the Agriculture Ministry, which tends to favor those who would convert forests into farmland. He also dismissed the idea of setting aside any reservations for native Brazilians, who have lived in the Amazon for centuries and may provide some of the best protection against deforestation.
• Don McGahn, above, departed as White House counsel after a 21-month tenure during which he spearheaded President Trump’s most significant political accomplishments but also became a witness against him in the special counsel inquiry. [The New York Times]
• Prime Minister Theresa May of Britain asked for an extension of the proposed 20-month “standstill” period following her country’s withdrawal from the E.U., a sign that negotiations are likely to go down to the wire. [The New York Times]
• Israeli fighter jets attacked targets in the Gaza Strip hours after a rocket fired overnight by militants in the territory struck a house in southern Israel. [The New York Times]
• Prime Minister Erna Solberg of Norway issued a government apology to Norwegian women who were mistreated after World War II because of their relationships with Nazi soldiers. [BBC]
• The conservative Australian state of Queensland scrapped a century-old law that made abortion an offense punishable with prison time. [The New York Times]
• An Indian cabinet minister, M.J. Akbar, quit his post amid growing sexual harassment allegations. [The New York Times]
• The Greek foreign minister, Nikos Kotzias, resigned after clashing with the defense minister over a deal for Macedonia to rename itself “The Republic of North Macedonia.” [Reuters]
Tips for a more fulfilling life.
Fall foliage is peaking around New York, home to many of your Briefings writers and editors. The yearly marvel never ceases to amaze us, so we wanted to share an explanation we first published a couple of years ago
The leaves of deciduous trees change colors as nights lengthen and cooler weather prevails, according to the U.S. Forest Service. The structures of photosynthesis have to be dismantled, and all the energy possible has to be packed up and delivered to the trunk for its winter reserve.
That results in the exhilarating array of colors in the fall forests. The green of the leaf, from chlorophyll, breaks down, allowing the emergence of previously hidden yellow-orange pigments.
All the changes render the leaf unstable and more vulnerable to solar rays than in the height of summer.
The auburn, scarlet and ruby hues are caused by a chemical the leaf manufactures to help protect it from the sun. The same compound colors beets, raspberries and apples.
Halfway around the world, Japan’s leaf season is also peaking. Theirs, called momijigari, offers a fall parallel to spring’s cherry blossom festivals.
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