Published 6:15 PM EDT Oct 18, 2018
The Short List is coming to end for this week and in today's top stories we take a look at Trump's admission for the first time that he thinks Jamal Khashoggi is dead, the nation's winter outlook and the world's largest organism.
But first, we take a look at the latest episode of lottery fever gripping the nation.
1.4 billion reasons to do this when winning the lottery
They just keep growing and growing and growing. The Mega Millions jackpot has now grown into its largest jackpot ever: $970 million. And the Powerball jackpot now stands at $430 million. That’s a combined $1.4 billion up for grabs at week’s end. But before you dream of quitting your job and traveling the world, here is the best piece of advice you will get if you win: Keep your mouth shut and call a lottery lawyer. Expect long lines at your nearby convenience store. Very long lines.
• Playing in your office lottery pool? Get it in writing or end up in court
• You’ve won the jackpot. Now what?
• Crazy rich lottery winners: What would you buy with all that money?
Can the U.S.-Saudi relationship survive the apparent death of Khashoggi?
It has now been more than two weeks since Jamal Khashoggi, a prominent Saudi dissident and journalist who obtained U.S. residency last year over fears for his safety, vanished after visiting Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul for routine paperwork needed to marry his Turkish fiancée. And now President Donald Trump is finally saying that it appears that Khashoggi is dead. “It certainly looks that way to me, it’s very sad,” Trump said in brief remarks to reporters before boarding Air Force. Trump vowed "very severe" consequences for Saudi Arabia if the government is found responsible for the journalist's death. But he did not elaborate on what action his administration would take and is waiting for the results of Saudi and Turkish investigations. Turkish officials have said he was murdered inside the building, but Saudi officials have strenuously denied that.
Will Jack Frost be nipping at your nose?
Are you dreading the approaching cold, winter weather? Well, fear not, it might not be all that bad this year. Warmer-than-average temperatures for most of the nation are expected, according to federal forecasters from the Climate Prediction Center in their official winter weather forecast released Thursday. The reason: A developing El Niño, a natural climate pattern defined as unusually warm seawater in the central Pacific Ocean.
The world's largest organism is dying. It might be our fault.
The Pando clone is a cluster of more than 40,000 trees at a national forest in Utah, all of which were cloned from an individual tree. And it's in danger. Researchers with Utah State University released a study claiming the Pando is shrinking, between wildlife grazing preventing new trees from growing and older trees dying off. Human efforts to prevent its decline have failed thus far, said the study. As lead author Paul Rogers puts it: "One clear lesson emerges here: we cannot independently manage wildlife and forests."
And last, but not least, we leave you with this:
Picture it! Target stores. 2018. The Golden Girls get their own cereal ...
But no one can buy it. Why? Because your new breakfast obsession is sold out in Target stores. The cereal inspired by Blanche, Dorothy, Rose and Sophia features blue loops and a bonus collectible toy of one of the four Golden Girls. A box will cost $7.99. If you're lucky enough to find one, be sure to thank Target for being a friend.
The Short List is a compilation of stories from across the USA TODAY Network. Today, it was brought to you by editors Cara Richardson, Brett Molina and David Carrig.