10 things you need to know today: October 14, 2018

Trump promises 'severe punishment' if missing journalist was murdered in Saudi consulate, Trump touts migrant family separation as illegal immigration deterrent, and more

President Trump
(Image credit: Pool/Getty Images)

1. Trump promises 'severe punishment' if missing journalist was murdered in Saudi consulate

In a preview clip of a CBS interview to air Sunday, President Trump promised "severe punishment" for Saudi Arabia if it is confirmed, as Turkey alleges, that missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was murdered last week inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. "Nobody knows yet" if the Turkish allegations are true, Trump told 60 Minutes host Lesley Stahl, "but we'll probably be able to find out." The president did not specify exactly what punishment he would prefer, though he shied away from proposals to cut off arms sales to Saudi Arabia.

CBS News The Week

2. Trump touts migrant family separation as illegal immigration deterrent

President Trump on Saturday confirmed The Washington Post's Friday report that his administration is considering ways to legally revive its suspended policy of separating migrant children from their parents at the border. "We're looking at a lot of different things having to do with illegal immigration," he said. "We're going to do whatever we can do to get it slowed down." Splitting up families, Trump argued, could serve as a deterrent. "If they feel there will be separation, they don't come," he claimed. After a decline in 2017, border apprehensions have increased this year.

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Reuters The Washington Post

3. Hurricane Michael death toll continues to rise

The death toll from Hurricane Michael's lethal sweep across the Southeast rose to 18 on Saturday when another victim was found in Virginia. State officials in affected areas, particularly Florida, expect it to go higher yet. For survivors, meanwhile, rebuilding is a daunting prospect. "Everybody just needs to help each other right now," said Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) on Saturday. "They might have lost their house. They worry about their kids getting into school. You know, people don't sit and have a whole bunch of extra money in the bank just waiting for a disaster."

CNN The Associated Press

4. Trump at Kentucky rally claims Democratic immigration policy would 'kill us all'

President Trump slammed Democrats and praised Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in dramatic language at a campaign rally in Richmond, Kentucky, Saturday night. "The Democrats have become the party of crime; the Republicans are the party of safety," the president claimed, saying Democratic immigration policy would "open America's borders and turn our country into a friendly sanctuary for murderous thugs from other countries who will kill us all." McConnell he declared "the greatest leader, in my opinion, in history," praising the Kentucky senator's handling of the contentious confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

ABC News USA Today

5. U.S., Taliban negotiators talk in Qatar

The State Department's special adviser for Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, met with representatives of the Taliban in Doha, Qatar, on Friday, The Wall Street Journal reported and the Taliban confirmed to Al Jazeera Saturday. Neither the State Department nor the Afghan government would comment on the talks. The specific topic of conversation is unknown, but this is reportedly the second time the two sides have met directly this year. The Trump administration is seeking a diplomatic solution to the United States' 17-year war in Afghanistan.

The Wall Street Journal Al Jazeera

6. Trump reportedly taps Pat Cipollone as new White House counsel

White House counsel Don McGahn announced his forthcoming resignation in late August, and President Trump has reportedly selected Pat Cipollone, a veteran litigator at Stein Mitchell Cipollone & Missner, to serve as his replacement. Cipollone worked in former President George H.W. Bush's Justice Department, and he has the support of Jay Sekulow, another Trump lawyer. "Pat's a great guy," Trump said Saturday. "I don't want to say, but he's a great guy. He's a very talented, and he's a very good man, but I don't want to say yet."

Politico Fox News

7. Freed pastor meets Trump in Oval Office

Pastor Andrew Brunson, newly released from nearly two years of prison and house arrest in Turkey, flew to Washington Saturday to meet with President Trump in the Oval Office. Brunson prayed for God to give Trump "supernatural wisdom to lead the country," thanking the president for supporting his release. "Right now the whole world is fan of yours," Trump said. "The whole world is your fan and your family's fan." Later, on Twitter, he dubbed the Brunson family "great people."

The Washington Post NBC News

8. Pope canonizes murdered Salvadoran archbishop and Pope Paul VI

Pope Francis on Sunday canonized Pope Paul VI and murdered Salvadoran Archbishop Oscar Romero, declaring the two new saints before a crowd of 70,000 at the Vatican. He called Paul, who was pope from 1963 to 1978, a "prophet of a church turned outwards," and praised Romero's sacrificial life to "be close to the poor and his people." Romero was murdered while giving a Mass in El Salvador in 1980, shot as he spoke of "the benefits of human dignity, brotherhood, and freedom across the earth." Five other new saints were announced Sunday as well.

The Associated Press NBC News

9. Snowstorm leaves 8 climbers dead in Nepal

At least eight members of a mountain climbing expedition were killed Saturday after a major snowstorm struck Nepal's Mount Gurja. A ninth climber from the group remains missing. Rescue and retrieval operations are stalled as harsh weather conditions continue to make the camp where the climbers died inaccessible to helicopter crews. However, villagers in the area have been able to collect six bodies from the mountainside. South Korean climber Kim Chang-ho is reportedly among those dead. Kim held the world record for speed in summiting the globe's 14 highest peaks without using supplemental oxygen.

BBC News The Week

10. Alec Baldwin returns to SNL to skewer Trump's meeting with Kanye West

Alec Baldwin reprised his role as Saturday Night Live's President Trump with a cold open taking on the president's strange Thursday meeting with Kanye West. A recent SNL guest, West did most of the writers' work for them, allowing SNL's Chris Redd to barely embellish the real thing. Trump, in voiceover thoughts, soon realizes the whole wild man schtick feels familiar. "[West] doesn't stop. He doesn't listen to anyone but himself," he muses. "Who does he remind me of? Oh my god, he's black me!"

NBC News The Week

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