US-Backed Syria Offensive Kills 35 Daesh Fighters
An offensive by U.S.-backed forces against the last redoubt of Daesh (ISIS) in eastern Syria killed 35 militants Saturday, a Britain-based war monitor said.

Twenty-eight Daesh members were killed in air strikes by the U.S.-led coalition around the town of Hajin, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

A further seven militants were killed in ground fighting with the Syrian Democratic Forces, who launched a coalition-backed offensive against the Daesh-held pocket in the Euphrates valley last month.

Kidnapped Tanzanian Tycoon Mohammed Dewji Freed
Tanzanian tycoon Mohammed Dewji, who was kidnapped earlier this month, said Saturday he had been released and had returned home safely.

"I thank Allah that I have returned home safely. I thank all my fellow Tanzanians, and everyone around the world for their prayers," he said in a tweeted message.

"I thank the authorities of Tanzania, including the Police Force for working for my safe return."

His father Gullam Dewji confirmed his son's release in comments to the Tanzanian daily Mwanachi. His uncle, Azim Dewji told Mwanachi the kidnappers had released him early Saturday in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania's economic capital.

"His abductors abandoned him and he was able to phone his father," he said in a video posted at the Mwanachi website, adding that his nephew was in good health. The footage also showed a tired-looking Mohammed Dewji, in a tee-shirt and jogging trousers, thanking the police.

Dar es Salaam police chief Lazaro Mambosasa told Mwanachi that he had already spoken with Dewji, who had told him that his abductors spoke an African language. The family had offered a reward of half a million dollars (€435,000) for information that would help police find him.

Jamal Khashoggi Is Dead, Saudi Arabian State Television Confirms 18 Detained
Saudi Arabia has said the journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who disappeared after visiting the country’s consulate in Istanbul on 2 October, is dead.

The news, which cited preliminary findings from an official investigation, was announced on state television on Friday. It said a fight broke out between Khashoggi and people who met him in the consulate, leading to the death of the reporter. Khashoggi was a US permanent resident who wrote for the Washington Post.

It was also announced the Saudis have set up a commission that will investigate Khashoggi’s death and will have one month to release a report. The commission will consist of national security officials, the foreign ministry and the interior ministry.

The Saudi Press Agency said 18 Saudi nationals have now been detained in the investigation.A royal order has also been issued to release Major General Ahmed al-Assiri from his duty as the deputy of the intelligence services, according the announcement.

Seven-Year Mission  to Mercury Ready for Ambitious Launch
A seven-year, eight-million-kilometer voyage expected to shed light on the mysteries of Mercury, the solar system's least-understood planet, is nearly ready for takeoff.

The ambitious BepiColombo spacecraft will be launched from a European space port in French Guiana early Saturday.  It will begin the most comprehensive journey ever made to the closest planet to the sun, which has puzzled scientists for centuries. When BepiColombo arrives in December 2025, it will place two probes in orbit around the smallest planet in the solar system.  They will tour Mercury for a year before feeding their findings back to earth.