U.S. diplomats in Saudi Arabia, Australia embraces royal couple, and other news in pictures

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (second right in front) walks with Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir after arriving in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on October 16, 2018.   | Photo Credit: AP

 

1:00 pm

Top US diplomat in Saudi Arabia for talks over Khashoggi

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrived on Tuesday in Saudi Arabia for talks with King Salman over the disappearance and alleged slaying of Saudi writer Jamal Khashoggi, who vanished two weeks ago during a visit to the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.

Mr. Pompeo landed in Riyadh on Tuesday morning and was to immediately meet the king over the crisis surrounding Mr. Khashoggi. He made no remarks on landing.

Turkish officials say they fear Mr. Khashoggi was killed and dismembered inside the consulate. Saudi officials previously have called the allegations “baseless,” but reports in U.S. media on Tuesday suggested the kingdom may acknowledge the writer was killed there.

11:30 am

West Bengal celebrates Maha Saptami

A gathering of devotees perform rituals with sacred banana plant during the ongoing Durga puja festival, on the bank of river Ganga in Kolkata on October16, 2018.

A gathering of devotees perform rituals with sacred banana plant during the ongoing Durga puja festival, on the bank of river Ganga in Kolkata on October16, 2018.   | Photo Credit: PTI

 

After a fascinating start, the Durga Puja spirit soared on Tuesday which marked Maha Saptami — day two of the Puja — as thousands of revellers, adorned up in their best, hit the streets of Kolkata and across West Bengal.

The day started off with morning prayers, as the rituals commenced with “pran pratistha” where the deity was symbolically endowed with life and invoked in a group of nine plants bunched together —— the ‘Navapatrika’

The “Kola Bou”, a tender banana plant symbolising a bride, was given a river bath amidst drum beats, wrapped in a sari and placed next to the idol of Ganesha.

Through “pran pratistha”, the spirit of Durga as a warrior goddess is awakened, and she starts her battle against the manifestation of all evils in the form of Mahishasura — the buffalo demon.

9:30 am

Australia embraces royal couple after pregnancy announcement

Britain's Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex receive native flowers from Finley Blue and Dasha Gallagher, left, at Taronga Zoo in Sydney, Australia on Oct. 16, 2018. Prince Harry and his wife Meghan are on a 16-day tour of Australia and the South Pacific.

Britain's Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex receive native flowers from Finley Blue and Dasha Gallagher, left, at Taronga Zoo in Sydney, Australia on Oct. 16, 2018. Prince Harry and his wife Meghan are on a 16-day tour of Australia and the South Pacific.   | Photo Credit: AP

 

Crowds thronged the Sydney Opera House and shores of the city's sparkling harbour on Tuesday to catch a glimpse of Prince Harry and his wife Meghan during their first public appearances in Australia since the announcement they were expecting a child.

Kensington Palace said on Monday the Duke and Duchess of Sussex were expecting their first baby in the northern spring. The child will be seventh in line to the British throne and Queen Elizabeth's eighth great-grandchild.

The royal couple started their official tour of Australia on Tuesday and were ferried across the harbour to greet cheering crowds packed in front of the Opera House, which was opened by Harry's grandmother almost nearly 45 years ago.

8:30 am

New Zealand lawmaker accuses Opposition leader of corruption

New Zealand opposition leader Simon Bridges speaks to reporters on October 16, 2018, in Wellington, New Zealand.

New Zealand opposition leader Simon Bridges speaks to reporters on October 16, 2018, in Wellington, New Zealand.   | Photo Credit: AP

 

New Zealand’s conservative Opposition party was in turmoil on Tuesday after one of its own lawmakers accused leader Simon Bridges of corruption for hiding a donation from a wealthy Chinese businessman.

Jami-Lee Ross made the allegation and then said he was resigning from Parliament. Mr. Ross said he regretted his own complicity in a scheme to split the party donation into a series of smaller amounts to avoid it being publicly disclosed.

Mr. Ross said he planned to provide evidence to police and to release a phone conversation with Bridges that he’d secretly taped. “I believe Simon Bridges is a corrupt politician,” Mr. Ross said.

(With inputs from Agencies)

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