Outside the School #2 – Saudi Arabian journalist, Honduras migrant caravan, and more

As part of this year’s Editors’ column, “Inside Out,” Reena Mathews makes her tri-weekly contribution with coverage of some of the biggest headlines.


Saudi Arabia journalist killed in Turkey

Jamal Khashoggi had been a Saudi Arabian journalist for years, even serving as an advisor to Saudi Arabia’s intelligence chief in the past. But when he began to fear for his freedom and safety in 2017, he fled to Washington D.C. in self-imposed exile.

His name has been in headlines now after he disappeared in Turkey, catapulting Saudi Arabia into international controversy.

Back on the second of this month, Khashoggi traveled to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey to obtain documents for his divorce from his wife in Saudi Arabia in order to marry his Turkish fiance. His fiance accompanied him to the consulate, waiting outside for him. Security footage certifies him entering the building; however, there is no footage of him ever exiting.

More suspicion arose when it came out that Khashoggi reportedly feared a gruesome outcome, previously telling his fiance to contact an advisor to the Turkish president if he never returned.

By the third, the situation had captured international interest. Saudi Arabia was claiming that Khashoggi did, in fact, leave the consulate, while Turkey insisted he was still inside. As time progressed, Turkey’s accusations grew; they alleged that Khashoggi was murdered inside the consulate, and his dismembered body was then removed from the building.

Saudi Arabia continues to deny all accusations, but in the two weeks since Khashoggi’s disappearance, they have failed to provide any evidence to back their claims, and it’s thus becoming increasingly evident that Khashoggi’s murder was ordered by the Saudi Arabian government.

This turn of events has since maligned Saudi Arabia and their leader’s reputation and the Trump administration’s formerly warm relationship with the country. Trump, though originally hesitant to condemn Saudi Arabia, has now stated that he believes Khashoggi was murdered and has threatened consequences for Saudi Arabia.

Traveling caravans of Honduras immigrants

In recent years, Central Americans looking to immigrate have begun to band together before facing the journey. The newest manifestation of this assembled last week in Honduras, when a migrant caravan of about 200 formed. Since then, 4,000 have joined the group as they travel North, all escaping various plights like poverty, violence, and oppression.

Though this is not the first migrant caravan, it is certainly the largest and has thus caught international attention.

On Monday they reached the Guatemalan border and were reportedly blocked by Guatemalan police. After hours of waiting, they were finally permitted to cross the border. The group continues to attract more migrants as they travel; in light of this, the Mexican government has reportedly sent another 500 patrol officers to their border.

The other administration that is not too happy with this, of course, is Trump’s. Trump has been very vocal in his anger with the situation, threatening Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador with foreign relation ramifications and the halting of foreign aid if they further enable the caravans.

Honduras has directed their citizens not to follow suit and increased border security to prevent others from leaving as well, and the presidents of Guatemala and Honduras have both committed to controlling the situation and ensuring the safe return of the migrants.

Former USA Gymnastics president arrested

After years of gross exploitation of power and horrid sexual abuse, Larry Nassar finally faced a court of law in a very high profile trial for the hundreds of young gymnasts he’s abused.

In his wake, many have called for the punishment of those at Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics who enabled and covered for Nassar.

The most recent addition to this continuing story is the arrest of former USA Gymnastics president Steve Penny. He is charged with evidence tampering in the Nassar case, facing up to ten years in prison if convicted.

More specifically, Penny is accused of ordering the “removal of documents from the Karolyi Ranch in Walker County, Texas that were related to the activities of Nassar at the ranch.” This was allegedly done so in order to “impair the ongoing investigation by destroying or hiding the documents.” Moreover, Penny reportedly made these orders after he learned of the investigation, and the said documents have since not been found.

Nevertheless, Penny is certainly not the only player in the cover-up game that USA Gymnastics has been playing for years now, and more shall hopefully be brought to justice.