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Wednesday
Nov142018

Man pays for iPhone XS with a bathtub full of coins in Russia

Apple(MOSCOW) -- A group of people on Tuesday dragged an entire bathtub full of coins to a shopping mall in Moscow to buy an iPhone XS.

A video posted on Instagram early Wednesday showed the young men filling the bathtub before loading it into a Jeep and driving it to the Yevropeisky mall in central Moscow.

The group was able to get the tub to the Apple store after encountering security guards, according to the video that was posted by blogger Svyatoslav Kovalenko.

The tub, filled to the top with thousands of ruble coins, weighed 350 kilograms or 770 pounds, according to Kovalenko, who in his post, dubbed the tub, “The legendary bath of change.”

A public relations representative for the store posted a photograph on Facebook showing staff counting out the coins from the metal bathtub. The Apple spokeswoman, Lyudmila Semushina, wrote that it had contained 100,000 coins, enough to buy a new iPhone XS, which retails for about $1,050 in Russia.

“What is it to be #clientorientated? It’s when a customer decides to do some hype and brings in a bathtub of change to buy an iPhone and the seller calmly and patiently sits down to count out the bath,” Semushina wrote, noting it had taken two hours to finish the counting.

The local English-language daily, The Moscow Times reported that there has been a recent run of stunts by Russians buying new iPhones with colossal heaps of change.

A video posted on YouTube in September that garnered almost 2 million views showed a man buying a iPhone X using an estimated 100 kilograms or 220 pounds of coins.

In another video
posted last month, which attracted almost 4 million views, a prankster brought in a bucket apparently filled with small change to buy an iPhone XS. To the staff's relief, the bucket had a false bottom. The man ended up paying by credit card and giving away his new phone to a little girl.

The new iPhone has attracted intense demand in Russia. In September people camping out overnight to be the first to get hold of the phones. Some Russians reportedly paid thousands of dollars just to secure a place in line on the first day of sales.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Wednesday
Nov142018

Theresa May clears one hurdle as UK cabinet agrees to draft Brexit deal

BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images(LONDON) -- British Prime Minister Theresa May said late Wednesday her cabinet has agreed to a draft withdrawal agreement about the terms of the United Kingdom'sexit from the European Union.

"The collective decision of cabinet was that the government should agree the draft withdrawal agreement and the outline political declaration," May said after an hours-long cabinet meeting. "This is a decisive step which enables us to move on and finalize the deal in the days ahead."

The agreement over the terms laid out in a 500-page document represents a major step forward in the Brexit process. May faced an uphill struggle getting all of her cabinet ministers to support the deal before the process could progress any further.

Ministers in May’s government had been receiving briefings from her -- one by one -- at her residence at 10 Downing Street since Tuesday evening and throughout Wednesday to go over what terms are covered in the proposals.

A crunch meeting of the whole government on Wednesday afternoon was expected to be a pivotal moment in the process.

If not enough members of the cabinet had backed the agreement, May faced difficult options: going back to the European Union (EU) negotiators to try and find further concessions, facing the prospect of a challenge to her leadership from within her own ranks, or even triggering a general election.

Now that her cabinet backs the agreement, the Brexit process goes to the next stage: a vote in Parliament where all members of Parliament (MPs) will take a vote on whether they support the agreement on the terms of withdrawal.

Since Tuesday night details have leaked from European negotiators, and "Brexiteer" MPs who advocate having fewer ties with the EU after the exit have warned that they will not back May’s deal on the basis of leaks that they say indicate the deal puts the U.K. in a weaker position than the EU.

On the other hand, MPs who supported the Remain movement have also said they will not vote for the deal because, from what they have heard, the agreement does not go far enough in securing a close relationship with the EU and they believe it will harm Britain’s economy.

Many of those MPs are also pushing for a second referendum on Brexit –- a contentious idea for many parliamentarians who say that holding a second vote on the question is a subversion of democracy and will anger the British public.

May also faces a looming challenge from the opposition.

Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn says he wants a general election.

He is expected to instruct his MPs to vote against the agreement or at least abstain, when it comes to a Parliamentary vote.

If too many Labour MPs reject the agreement, it could pave the way for a general election, and possibly the prospect of Corbyn becoming Britain’s next prime minister.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Wednesday
Nov142018

'Every reason to believe' American journalist still alive in Syria: US envoy

Fort Worth Star-Telegram/TNS via Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The U.S. government believes that journalist Austin Tice, missing for more than six years in Syria, is still alive, according to the Trump administration's top official for freeing hostages.

The FBI is still chasing down leads, including from his fellow journalists, but the U.S. "has every reason to believe" Tice is still alive and being held captive in Syria, said Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs Robert O'Brien in his first public remarks on the case.

Also on Tuesday, several groups announced a new effort to raise money to increase the reward for information leading to Tice's freedom.

O'Brien would not say who the U.S. believes is holding Tice, but he blamed Iran for detaining several other U.S. citizens and not being helpful with Tice's case. The Iranian regime has supported the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad with troops and weapons throughout its conflict.

Tice is believed to have been kidnapped by pro-Syrian regime forces while he was covering the civil war in August 2012. Over a month after he was taken, a video was released, showing him blindfolded, removed from a car, and led by armed men up a hill, saying "Oh, Jesus."

"The Iranians are not helpful, and they're heavily involved in Syria," said O'Brien, a lawyer who served in the Marines, advised Mitt Romney and Scott Walker's presidential campaigns and now, as special envoy, leads diplomatic efforts to free Americans unjustly detained abroad and work with their families.

A State Department spokesperson later told ABC News that O'Brien "did not intend in his comments to link Iran to Tice's disappearance."

While Tice has not been heard from publicly since that 2012 video, O'Brien declined to say whether the U.S. has received any additional proof of life, instead referencing Tice's physical fitness and age. Still, the U.S. is "deeply concerned" about his well-being, O'Brien added.

While President Donald Trump has never publicly commented on Tice's case, O'Brien said the president has been briefed regularly on it and would take steps to publicize Tice's case if it helped.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has been "intimately involved" in Tice's case, O'Brien said, including meeting with his parents. U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley has also been leading efforts, in particular working with countries at the U.N. who could help pressure the Syrian regime to assist with his case, like Russia.

"We continue to call on the Russians to exert whatever influence they can in Syria to bring Austin home," said O'Brien. "It's something the United States would be grateful for."

Because the U.S. closed its embassy in Damascus, the U.S. works through the Czech Republic "to obtain information about Austin Tice's welfare and whereabouts" within Syria, another State Department spokesperson told ABC News.

Also important to these efforts is an FBI reward of $1 million that was announced in April for information leading to Tice's safe location, recovery and return. O'Brien said it was an important tool that has helped in other American hostage cases.

Tice's father Marc and National Press Club President Andrea Edney announced a new campaign to raise up to $1 million to add to the FBI reward. Next year, restaurants in the Washington metro area are set to partner with the Free Austin Tice coalition and donate a portion of their profits on a "Night Out for Austin Tice" to the reward fund. Set for May 2, 2019, the date is the eve of World Press Freedom Day, and Edney said they hope to expand the event nationwide.

"We know Austin longs to walk free. 2,282 days," his father Marc said, referring to the number of days his son has now spent missing. "Austin urgently needs to be freed. Maybe soon."

Marc and Debra Tice, his parents, will make another trip to the Middle East this month -- at least their seventh -- as they search for a breakthrough on their son's case. And they will again apply for visas to Syria while they are in Lebanon to try get close to where their son is being held.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Wednesday
Nov142018

New royal family photos released for Prince Charles' 70th birthday

SUNDAY ALAMBA/AFP/Getty Images(LONDON) -- Clarence House released two new images Tuesday to mark Prince Charles' 70th birthday on Nov. 14.

The new photographs are the first that include Prince Charles and the entire family since the christening of Prince William and Princess Kate's youngest child, Prince Louis, in July.

The images show the three men who will each be king: Prince Charles, Prince William and Prince George.

The informal photographs feature Charles and Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, posing with William and Kate, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, and their three children -- George, 5, Charlotte, 3, and 6-month-old Louis -- as well as Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

“I was delighted to have been asked to take these portraits of the Prince of Wales surrounded by his family to celebrate the important milestone of his 70th birthday," said photographer Chris Jackson. "It was particularly special to capture such an informal and relaxed family portrait over a fun afternoon in the gardens of Clarence House.”

Earlier this week, a never-before-seen image of Louis was shared in a BBC documentary celebrating Charles' milestone birthday.

In the heartfelt moment, Prince Louis is playing with his grandfather Charles, clutching his grandfather’s hand as the Duchess of Cambridge holds the fifth in line. The photograph, taken in the back garden of Clarence House, Charles and Camilla’s official residence, captures a personal side of Charles we rarely see.

The BBC documentary gives an unprecedented look at Prince Charles ahead of his 70th birthday next week. The film, Prince, Son and Heir: Charles at 70, tracked the Prince of Wales for the last year providing an intimate look at Charles as a father and grandfather behind palace walls.

"He will get down on his knees and crawl about with them for hours, you know making funny noises and laughing," Camilla says in the documentary of how Charles interacts with her grandchildren. "He reads Harry Potter and he can do all the different voices and I think children really appreciate that."

The public is also getting a glimpse of life behind palace walls through a collaboration between Clarence House and Google Arts & Culture.

The online project, which is also supported by 10 charities connected to Prince Charles, gives people the ability to virtually walk inside Clarence House and stroll the gardens of Highgrove.

The project also includes photos and videos from Charles' personal collection on his milestone birthday.

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Wednesday
Nov142018

Trial of 'El Chapo' begins in federal court

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- His nickname means "shorty," but the list of crimes attributed to Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman -- including drug trafficking, murder and torture -- is lengthy and spelled out in a 17-count indictment that forms the backbone of a trial that started Tuesday in a Brooklyn, New York federal court with opening statements.

Guzman waved to supporters as he entered the courtroom, dressed in a suit, under extremely tight security. The drama began immediately as two jurors asked to be excused before opening statements could even begin.

The first claimed her appointment to the jury, which is being kept anonymous and under tight security, was causing her tremendous anxiety. The judge, saying he was afraid her participation would "cause a breakdown of crying" dismissed her. The other juror was also dismissed after he said he was self-employed and the lengthy trial was prohibitive for his work.

Both jurors were replaced with alternates before opening statements.

Federal prosecutor Adam Fels said the government will outline Guzman's relationship with the largest drug cartels in Colombia and a small outfit that eventually escalated to 10 to 15 planes stuffed with cocaine taking off every night.

“Guzman had his people kill his rivals just as his rivals targeted his people,” Fels said.

“Despite all the hoopla and the folklore about El Chapo, this Robin Hood mystique, he is a vicious criminal,” said James Hunt, who just retired as the special agent-in-charge of the New York Office of the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Federal prosecutors have said they can link Guzman himself to nearly three dozen murders. The DEA believes the death count from the Sinaloa cartel he allegedly controlled is far higher.

“Him personally, yes in the dozens,” Hunt said. “His organization, in the thousands. Thousands dead. Either murdered or dying from drug overdoses.”

The government's key witness will likely be Ismael "Mayo" Zambada, who Fels claimed was co-leader of the Sinaloa Cartel, while other witnesses include law enforcement officials who were personally involved in the criminal enterprise.

Attorney Jeffrey Lichtman opened Guzman's defense with an astonishing claim, saying Zambada paid off the current and former presidents of Mexico. He claimed that Guzman became the fall guy for complicit and corrupt U.S. and Mexican officials and said the prosecutors will use “a group of witnesses who have lied every single day of their lives.”

A spokesman for the current president, Enrique Pena Nieto, called the claims “completely false and defamatory.”

Former Mexican President Felipe Calderon immediately denied the defense's claims as well, saying in Spanish on Twitter, “The claims made by Joaquín 'El Chapo' Guzmán's lawyer are absolutely false and reckless. Neither he, nor the Sinaloa cartel, nor any other made payments to me.”

The defense will also bring forward DEA agents who Lichtman said will testify the Sinaloa Cartel wasn't nearly as powerful as prosecutors claim.

According to the indictment, El Chapo shipped “multi-ton quantities” of cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine and marijuana into the United States. Along the way he allegedly amassed a $14 billion fortune he protected “through a network of corrupt police and political contacts” and by employing “hitmen who carried out hundreds of acts of violence including murders, assaults, kidnappings, assassinations and acts of torture.”

Guzman was extradited to the Eastern District of New York almost two years ago from Mexico, where he had twice escaped from prison. The Brooklyn federal courthouse has been turned into a fortress. Jurors are being kept anonymous. Witnesses, including some of Guzman’s former henchmen, are being kept under federal protection.

After nearly two years in solitary confinement, Guzman had sought permission to embrace his wife in court. The judge denied the request citing the necessity of strict security measures.

“This is someone who is responsible for thousands of Americans being dead,” Hunt said. “Those people can never see their loved ones again never mind hug them. Don’t feel sorry for him.”

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Tuesday
Nov132018

Even if we did hack the DNC, they can’t sue us: Russia

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The Russian government recently argued that even if it were true that its cyber spies were responsible for the hack of the Democratic National Committee in 2016, U.S. law should protect Russia from a civil suit filed by the DNC. The hypothetical argument appears to be the closest Moscow has come to acknowledging its interference in the 2016 presidential U.S. election, as alleged by the U.S. intelligence community.

In a “statement of immunity” sent from the Russian Ministry of Justice on Nov. 6 to the State Department and a federal court in New York, Russia does not admit to the hacking operation. But it says that “assuming the plaintiff’s allegations are true” that operatives from Russia’s military intelligence agency infiltrated DNC networks, stole a trove of emails and leaked them online, it should be considered a “military” action and therefore should be shielded by the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act, a 1976 law that provides some legal protections against lawsuits for foreign governments’ actions inside the U.S.

“Any alleged ‘military attack’ is a quintessential sovereign act that does not fall within any exception to the FSIA or the customary international law or foreign sovereign immunity,” the statement says. “The Russian Federation’s sovereign immunity with respect to claims based upon such allegations is absolute.”

Russia said the “fulfillment of ‘military orders’ is a textbook example of a discretionary function” and added that if the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act did not apply to Russia in this case, it would open the U.S. up to a host of lawsuits for what it said were America’s “frequent acts of cyber intrusion and political interference” abroad.

“Moreover, these are State-to-State matters,” the statement said. “[T]he U.S. District Court should reject the DNC’s efforts to distort the meaning of the existing FSIA exceptions and to involve the U.S. District Court in this political and diplomatic issue.”

In January 2017, the U.S. intelligence community published a report that said it assessed “with high confidence” that Russia’s military intelligence agency, known as the General Staff Main Intelligence Directorate or GRU, was behind the DNC hack and the effort to leak the contents of thousands of emails from top DNC officials online through the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks and another site called DCLeaks during the 2016 presidential race. CrowdStrike, the cybersecurity firm that investigated the hack for the DNC, said it discovered two hacking teams with links to Russia prowling the DNC systems – one believed to be from the GRU and the other from Russia’s civilian intelligence agency known as the FSB.

In July 2016 DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz announced she would resign after leaked emails appeared to show party officials attempting to help then-presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton during the primary races against fellow Democrat Bernie Sanders.

In April 2018, the DNC sued the Russian government, the GRU, Russian nationals, WikiLeaks, the Trump campaign and several individuals linked to Donald Trump for what the DNC alleged was a wide-ranging “Russia-Trump conspiracy.” President Donald Trump is not a named defendant in the civil suit, and the president has vehemently denied allegations of pre-election collusion with Russia.

In an amended complaint filed in October, the DNC argued that Russia should not be protected by the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act because, in part, the hacking operation involved “commercial activities” that are not protected by the law. In the ongoing suit, the DNC is seeking unspecified damages and an official declaration from the court confirming the broader alleged conspiracy, according to court documents.

At the time of the DNC’s initial filing, Brad Parscale, Trump campaign manager for the upcoming 2020 race, described the legal action as a “sham lawsuit about a bogus Russian collusion claim filed by a desperate, dysfunctional, and nearly insolvent Democratic Party.”

The Russian government has long denied the allegations of pre-election hacking or collusion. In June 2017, Russian President Vladimir Putin said the Russian state was not responsible for any cyber intrusions, but he couldn’t speak for whatever “patriotic” hackers were up to.

GRU operatives are also facing criminal legal action from special counsel Robert Mueller, who in June accused a dozen of them in the purported hacking conspiracy. Neither the alleged operatives nor the Russian government have formally responded to those charges in court, stalling the case.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Tuesday
Nov132018

UK police arrest 'Ross from Friends' look-alike

Blackpool Police(LONDON) -- The "Ross Gellar look-alike" wanted by a regional English police force has been found after a weeks-long search.

"Do you recognize this man?" Blackpool Police asked in a Twitter post, appealing to the public to help identify a man caught on CCTV camera and wanted in connection with a suspected robbery.

Many remarked on the suspect's uncanny resemblance to the character Ross Gellar from Friends, played by American actor David Schwimmer.

The tweet garnered so much attention that Schwimmer himself responded, clearly under pressure to provide an alibi to prove he wasn't behind the Blackpool burglary.

"Officers, I swear it wasn't me," he tweeted, with a video of him hurriedly sneaking in a bodega in New York with a case of beer. "As you can see, I was in New York. To the hardworking Blackpool Police, good luck with the investigation. #itwasntme"

The London Metropolitan Police arrested a 36-year-old man in Southall on suspicion of theft of a coat, cellphone and wallet at a restaurant in Blackpool on Sept. 20.

The image of the suspect was taken later at a shop where he was buying a case of beer.

"Thank you for the support, especially @DavidSchwimmer!" tweeted Lancashire Police on Tuesday morning.

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Tuesday
Nov132018

Saudi Arabian official 'shocked' by audio recording of Khashoggi's murder: Erdogan

Getty Images(ISTANBUL) -- A Saudi Arabian intelligence official was "shocked" after listening to an audio recording of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi's murder during a recent visit to Istanbul, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said.

Erdogan described the content of the recording as a "calamity" and insisted that Riyadh take decisive action against Khashoggi's alleged killers, according to a report in Turkey's Hurriyet Daily newspaper.

Speaking to local media Monday night while returning to Istanbul from Armistice Day ceremonies in Paris, Erdogan claimed the unnamed Saudi official "was shocked after he listened to the recording and he uttered that 'only a person on heroin can commit such an action,'" as the Daily Sabah reported.

Erdogan did not elaborate on how and when the Saudi official listened to the recording.

A source close to Turkish intelligence authorities confirmed to ABC News that Saudi Arabia's chief prosecutor, Saud al Mojeb, was played the audio recordings by Turkish intelligence officers last month during an investigative trip to Istanbul.

A story in The New York Times reported Turkish authorities claimed a member of the assassination team instructed a superior over the phone to "tell your boss" the operatives had completed the mission. The Times article attributed this information to three people familiar with recordings of Khashoggi's murder.

The New York Times article also said American intelligence officers believe the "boss" in the that phone conversation refers to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the de-facto ruler of the Saudi Kingdom.

The Times report went on to claim that a recording was shared last month with CIA Director Gina Haspel and is considered by intelligence officials as some of the strongest evidence linking Mohammed to Khashoggi's murder.

Reinforcing an assertion he made over the weekend, Erdogan said Monday night that Saudi Arabia, the U.S., France, Canada, Germany and the U.K. have been given audio recordings of the murder and said they are patiently waiting for the Saudis to shed light on the issue "as promised by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman."

Erdogan said that he discussed the Khashoggi murder with U.S. President Donald Trump, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron during a dinner in Paris and told them it was obvious that Khashoggi's murder was ordered and instructed by the high echelons of the Saudi hierarchy.

"From their reactions I believe they were disturbed about it too," Erdogan said to Hurriyet.

Erdogan added that he told Trump "there is no need to look elsewhere for the murderers since they are surely among the 18 people detained by Saudi authorities, including the 15-member team that came to Istanbul before Khashoggi's disappearance."

Khashoggi was a Saudi citizen and a resident of the United States who wrote columns for the Washington Post critical of bin Salman. He was reported missing by his fiancée, Hatice Cengiz, after entering the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul to obtain marriage documents on Oct. 2.

At the end of October, al-Mojeb made headlines during his visit to Istanbul by admitting that the killing of Khashoggi was premeditated, contradicting a previous official statement from Riyadh saying it was an accident.

At around the same time in late October, a Turkish prosecutor publicly revealed shocking details of the murder, claiming Khashoggi was strangled as soon as he stepped into the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul and that his body was dismembered.

A statement from the Turkish prosecutor, Irfan Fidan, said Khashoggi's killing was planned in advance.

Erdogan said Monday night that Turkish authorities have asked the Saudis where they disposed of Khashoggi's body and are still waiting for a response.

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Tuesday
Nov132018

Less than 1% of migrant caravan may reach border near San Diego in five days

ULISES RUIZ/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Approximately 100 of an estimated 11,000 migrants, less than 1 percent of those U.S. officials are tracking across four groups, may reach the U.S. border south of San Diego on Sunday.

The overwhelming majority of those from Central America fleeing hardship on foot are hundreds of miles away, weeks from nearing U.S. soil.

A U.S. official speaking on the condition of anonymity confirmed to ABC News that border authorities are girding for the first group of about 100 to arrive in Tijuana by the end of the weekend.

The San Ysidro port of entry there is "at capacity," and border officials anticipate asylum seekers will be stranded in Mexico until they can be processed, according to a statement emailed to ABC News by U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

The so-called ports of entry aren't designed to house hundreds of individuals at a given time while still enabling trade and travel between the two nations.

"Balancing these demands, keeping illicit goods and people out of the country, and managing the influx of Central Americans seeking asylum (along with everything else we do) requires a careful balance of our resources and space," the statement said. "Depending upon port circumstances at the time of arrival, individuals presenting without documents may need to wait in Mexico as CBP officers work to process those already within our facilities."

President Donald Trump has threatened to use force against the migrants at the border should it come to that.

"They're throwing rocks viciously and violently," said Trump, referring to an incident between migrants and police in Mexico. "They want to throw rocks at our military, our military is going to fight back."

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Monday
Nov122018

Khashoggi recordings being used as 'political game,' French foreign minister says

Jack Taylor/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- A diplomatic dispute broke out between France and Turkey after French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian accused Ankara of playing political games in the murder of Saudi journalist and Washington Post writer, Jamal Khashoggi.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan claimed over the weekend that Turkey gave tape recordings related to Khashoggi's killing to the United States, Saudi Arabia, Germany, France and Britain, according to The Associated Press.

However, during an interview Monday on French TV, Le Drian denied receiving any tapes.

"The truth isn't out yet. We want to know the truth, the circumstances of his death and the identity of the culprits. Then we will take the necessary actions," Le Drian told France 2 television. "If the Turkish president has information to give us, he must give it to us. For now, I don't know about it."

When asked if that meant Erdogan was lying, Le Drian said: "It means that he has a political game to play in these circumstances."

In response, Turkey's foreign minister fired back, saying that if Le Drian were not aware of intelligence given to other branches of the French government it did not mean the information was false.

"Our intelligence shared information with them on Oct 24, including the voice recordings," Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told Turkey's state Anadolu news agency. "It is very impudent for them to accuse our president of playing political games."

"The French minister of foreign affairs has, above all, overstepped and should know how to speak to a president," Cavusoglu added.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia admitted that Khashoggi was killed in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul last month in an assassination that Erdogan claimed was ordered at the "highest levels" of the Saudi government.

Khashoggi was a Washington Post columnist and a critic of Saudi Arabia's controversial Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the son of aging King Salman. The crown prince has taken over as de-facto ruler of the wealthy Gulf nation while his father has become increasingly infirm.

Canada and Germany have both acknowledged receiving intelligence from Turkey about recordings of the murder. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said: "We are in discussions with our like-minded allies as to the next steps with regard to Saudi Arabia."

Britain's top diplomat flew to Riyadh on Monday to meet with King Salman, where he was expected to press the kingdom to fully cooperate with a Turkish investigation into the murder. The state-run Saudi News Agency said British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt is also scheduled to meet with the crown prince.

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