Biden doesn't 'have any plans' to meet Saudi crown prince at G-20
President Joe Biden is unlikely to confront Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman face to face while they are in Indonesia next week for this year's G-20 summit, despite preelection tough talk regarding the kingdom's role in cutting global oil production. But White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan told reporters aboard Air Force One that the Asian leg of Biden's foreign trip could be updated amid tensions between the United States and Saudi Arabia after OPEC+, led by the latter, announced its decision before the midterm elections that it would decrease production by 2 million barrels a day starting this month.
The US has determined that Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has immunity from a lawsuit over the murder of Jamal Khashoggi. © Reuters
Mr Khashoggi, a prominent critic of the government in Riyadh, was murdered at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in October 2018.
US intelligence has said it believes Prince Mohammed ordered the killing.
But in court filings, the US State department said he has immunity due to his new role as Saudi prime minister.
"The doctrine of head of state immunity is well established in customary international law," said Justice Department lawyers in a document filed in US District Court for the District of Columbia.
US moves to shield Saudi crown prince in journalist killing
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration declared Thursday that Saudi Arabia's crown prince should be considered immune from a lawsuit over his role in the killing of a U.S.-based journalist, a turnaround from Joe Biden's passionate campaign trail denunciations of Prince Mohammed bin Salman over the brutal slaying. The administration said the senior position of the crown prince, Saudi Arabia's de facto ruler and recently named prime minister as well, should shield him against a suit brought by the fiancée of slain Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi and by the rights group Khashoggi founded, Democracy for the Arab World Now.
The 37-year-old was handed the role in September and denies any role in the killing of Mr Khashoggi.
But the Biden administration was keen to emphasise that the ruling was not a determination of innocence.
"This is a legal determination made by the State Department under longstanding and well-established principles of customary international law," a spokesperson for the White House National Security Council said in a written statement. "It has nothing to do with the merits of the case."
Mr Khashoggi's ex-fiancée, Hatice Cengiz, wrote on Twitter that "Jamal died again today" with the ruling.
Saudi Arabia said the former Washington Post journalist had been killed in a "rogue operation" by a team of agents sent to persuade him to return to the kingdom.
However, US officials said the CIA had concluded, "with a medium to high degree of certainty", that MBS - as the prince is known - was complicit.
The murder caused a global uproar and damaged the image of Prince Mohammed, Saudi Arabia's de facto rule.
Why Saudi Arabia Is So Quiet About Iran’s Protests .
This is the harrowing moment a distressed elephant collapsed while being beaten and forced into a truck in Thailand. The male jumbo named Plai Tongkhun had a mahout on his back wielding a bullhook to make him walk up the vehicle in Surin province, northeast Thailand.However, testosterone-fuelled Plai Tongkhun became irritable because of the current mating season which lasts until the end of December and early January.Footage from the incident on November 17 shows how the agitated jumbo repeatedly rammed its head against the side of the truck. It then fell off the ramp and apparently lost consciousness.Shocked onlooker Sujitta Jumjit said: 'Plai Tongkhun was in musth so the caretakers were trying to get him back to the camp. 'One of his eyes was blinded from the liquid that is secreted during musth so I guess he must have lost balance and fallen off the truck while being irritated at everything around him. 'Nobody was seriously injured and Plai Tongkhun is now resting at the camp safely.'Male elephants or bulls periodically enter a state called ‘musth' which can last several months. A bull in musth experiences increased testosterone production and aggressive behaviour, resulting in clashes between adult males.Elephants are Thailand's national animal. The country has an estimated 2,000 Asian elephants living in the wild, where they wander freely among protected forests.