October 20, 2018

This is VOA news. I'm Tommie McNeil.

Turkish police continue looking for the remains of Saudi journalist, Jamal Khashoggi, in a forest near Istanbul and at a rural location of 90 kilometers south of the city.

In another development, Turkish authorities continue to deny that they have shared an audio recording of his murder with U.S. officials.

Media reports said U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo heard the recording earlier in the week when he visited Turkey.

Meanwhile, as Reuters Lucy Fielder reports, the Saudi crown prince has been suspected of being involved in Khashoggi's disappearance and there is political backlash.

Shockwaves from the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi have shaken the heart of the Saudi royal family. Five sources close to the royal court told Reuters that the de facto ruler, Crown Prince Mohammed, lost control of the crisis as it went global, and had to ask his father, King Salman, to step in.

Uproar from the United States, an old ally, was a major factor.

Turkish officials say they believe Khashoggi, a U.S. resident, was murdered inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul early this month.

Riyadh denies the increasingly gruesome reports. But his disappearance has deepened questions about whether 33-year-old Prince Mohammed, known as MBS, is fit to rule.

That's Reuters Lucy Fielder reporting.

Pakistan is criticizing and downplaying rival India's acquisition of the Russian-made S-400 Triumph air defense system, claiming Islamabad can counter that threat.

New Delhi recently signed a $5.4 billion deal with Moscow to purchase what experts believe is the most modern ballistic missile defense system available. India has said it needs the missile system that provides high-altitude protection from incoming missiles to bolster its defenses against China and Pakistan.

Pakistan's Foreign Ministry warned that the purchase of the system will "further destabilize strategic stability."

This is VOA news.

Afghanistan's election commission has postponed parliamentary elections for a week in the southern province of Kandahar, following the assassination of two top officials that includes a powerful police commander.

With more, Kathy Gannon of the Associated Press.

The election commission decided today to postpone a parliamentary poll in the province of Kandahar, following the attack yesterday at the governor's palace where the police chief, Abdul Raziq, was killed, where another top intelligence official was killed.

Another reason for postponing poll was not because of security in the east, according to the commission, but it was to allow for the funeral rites to take place.

Police commander General Abdul Raziq was killed Thursday in the shooting incident during a visit of the top U.S. general in Afghanistan. American General Scott Miller was unharmed.

The U.S. and South Korea are canceling another major military exercise.

AP Washington correspondent Sagar Meghani reports from the Pentagon.

Vigilant Ace is an annual exercise with both the U.S. and South Korean air forces. It's been suspended, with officials here at the Pentagon saying the Trump administration wants to give the diplomatic process with North Korea every chance to continue.

The announcement comes as defense chief Jim Mattis meets with Asian counterparts in Singapore.

The military canceled another major exercise shortly after President Trump met with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un over the summer when the president abruptly called the training maneuvers provocative and too expensive.

Sagar Meghani, at the Pentagon.

Mass street demonstrations are expected Saturday in Taiwan over growing anger against perceived bullying by its militarily and economically more powerful rival, China.

The advocacy group Formosa Alliance predicts tens of thousands of people will gather for its demonstration in central Taipei. Some protesters are expected to push the Taiwan government for more action on China. The ruling Democratic Progressive Party is organizing its own demonstration in southern Taiwan, according to a party spokesman.

A former diplomat said Thursday that some American authorities' prejudice against China has resulted in groundless accusations on China, which is harming relations with the United States.

Charles Freeman is an American diplomat who worked as the main interpreter for Richard Nixon during his 1972 visit to China.

He believes that the Bloomberg report accusing China planting chips is groundless.

"We have a group of people in power who do not understand China, who do not want to make the effort to understand China, who have preconceived ideas, who do not want to listen to facts."

Bloomberg Businessweek published an article on its website on October 4, saying that there is a tiny chip that China is implanting its ware to infiltrate U.S. companies.

I'm Tommie McNeil, VOA news.