Tag Archives: sources

Operations resume at Iraqi port, oil refinery after protesters leave: sources

Operations resume at Iraqi port, oil refinery after protesters leave: sourcesOperations resumed at a port and an oil refinery in southern Iraq on Thursday after protesters left both areas, port officials, security and oil sources said. Anti-government demonstrators had blocked roads at Umm Qasr commodities port, halting operations for more than a week. On Wednesday, they stopped fuel tankers entering or leaving Nassiriya oil refinery, causing shortages in the south.



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Exclusive: Iran intervenes to prevent ousting of Iraqi prime minister – sources

Exclusive: Iran intervenes to prevent ousting of Iraqi prime minister - sourcesIran has stepped in to prevent the ouster of Iraqi Prime Minister Abdel Abdul Mahdi by two of Iraq’s most influential figures amid weeks of anti-government demonstrations, sources close to both men told Reuters. Populist Shi’ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr demanded this week that Abdul Mahdi call an early election to quell the biggest mass protests in Iraq since the U.S.-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein in 2003.



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Nunes Aide Is Leaking the Ukraine Whistleblower’s Name, Sources Say

Nunes Aide Is Leaking the Ukraine Whistleblower’s Name, Sources SayPhoto Illustration by Sarah Rogers/The Daily Beast / Photos GettyA top aide to Rep. Devin Nunes has been providing conservative politicians and journalists with information—and misinformation—about the anonymous whistleblower who triggered the biggest crisis of Donald Trump’s presidency, two knowledgeable sources tell The Daily Beast. Derek Harvey, who works for Nunes, the ranking Republican on the House intelligence committee, has provided notes for House Republicans identifying the whistleblower’s name ahead of the high-profile depositions of Trump administration appointees and civil servants in the impeachment inquiry. The purpose of the notes, one source said, is to get the whistleblower’s name into the record of the proceedings, which committee chairman Adam Schiff has pledged to eventually release. In other words: it’s an attempt to out the anonymous official who helped trigger the impeachment inquiry.On Saturday, The Washington Post reported that GOP lawmakers and staffers have “repeatedly” used a name purporting to be the whistleblower during the depositions. The paper named Harvey as driving lines of questioning Democrats saw as attempting to determine the political loyalties of witnesses before the inquiry. A former official told the Post that Harvey “was passing notes [to GOP lawmakers] the entire time” ex-NSC Russia staffer Fiona Hill testified. “Exposing the identity of the whistleblower and attacking our client would do nothing to undercut the validity of the complaint’s allegations,” said Mark Zaid, one of the whistleblower’s attorneys. “What it would do, however, is put that individual and their family at risk of harm. Perhaps more important, it would deter future whistleblowers from coming forward in subsequent administrations, Democratic or Republican.” Zaid has represented The Daily Beast in freedom-of-information lawsuits against the federal government. More Potential Whistleblowers Are Contacting CongressThe whistleblower is not Harvey’s only target. Another is a staffer for the House intelligence committee Democrats whom The Daily Beast has agreed not to name due to concerns about reprisals against the staffer. Harvey, both sources said, has spread a false story alleging that the whistleblower contacted the staffer ahead of raising internal alarm about President Trump’s July 25th phone call attempting to get a “favor” from Ukrainian President Volodomyr Zelensky to damage Trump’s rival Joe Biden. In right-wing circles, contact with Schiff is meant to discredit the whistleblower as partisan. The eagerness of Republicans to go after the intelligence committee staffer so alarmed Democrats that they raised the issue with GOP leadership, according to a senior official on the intelligence committee.“We are aware of these unsupported and false attacks on a respected member of our staff,” the official told The Daily Beast. “It is completely inappropriate, and we have previously urged the Republican leadership to address this situation.”The official would not comment on any aspect of the depositions’ proceedings. Trump, who has called the whistleblower treasonous, has speculated baselessly that Schiff is the source of the whistleblower’s account of the Zelensky call, even though Schiff was not on the call and Trump’s own summary of the call corroborated the whistleblower’s second-hand account. Derek Harvey’s career has been extraordinary. As a Defense Intelligence Agency analyst, he played an important role in the 2007-8 troop surge in Iraq. David Petraeus kept Harvey aboard for an intelligence billet at U.S. Central Command. Harvey aligned with another member of the counterinsurgency coterie, DIA Director Mike Flynn, and followed Flynn onto Trump’s White NSC from there, Harvey became a crucial aide to Nunes, a pivotal Flynn and Trump ally. There is no reasonable definition of a Deep State that excludes Derek Harvey from elite membership.Harvey did not respond to a request for comment. The staffer declined to comment. A spokesperson for Nunes did not respond to a request for comment.Despite hearing of the Trump-Zelensky call secondhand, the whistleblower’s account of Trump’s pressure campaign against Ukraine has been corroborated by numerous witnesses before the impeachment inquiry, as well as Trump’s own of the July 25 call. Sources believe the persistent conservative focus on the whistleblower is both an attempt at deterring other would-be whistleblowers and discrediting the impeachment as politically motivated, though it is unclear what misconduct the whistleblower is alleged to have engaged in. Influential conservatives have claimed that the whistleblower’s identity is no secret at all. On Oct. 24, Fred Fleitz, formerly chief of staff of the NSC under John Bolton and a CIA official before that, claimed on CNN that OANN, Breitbart, the House intelligence committee, CNN and the White House “has the name.” Fleitz asserted as well that “the president knows who he is.” Fleitz cited no source for his information.  Harvey has a history of passing on information to damage colleagues. As The Daily Beast reported in March, an April 2017 email senior State Department official Brian Hook sent to himself, titled “Derek notes,” contained descriptions of State Department officials suspected of disloyalty or troublesomeness. Examples of such disloyalty included “butter[ing] up to Clinton people,” Hook wrote. The email is currently being examined by a State Department inspector general investigation into department politicization.Harvey is not the only Nunes ally involved in the Ukraine story. A former Nunes staffer who now works on the NSC, Kash Patel, gave Trump damaging information about Ukraine, Politico recently reported. Patel was a driving force behind Nunes’ efforts in 2017 and 2018 to discredit the origins of the FBI investigation into the Trump campaign’s connections with Russian election interference.Far right news groups like the Gateway Pundit blog and the OANN TV network have run pieces naming their guess at the whistleblower’s identity. The official identified by OANN and Gateway Pundit has been a target for fringe conservative media figures even before the whistleblower filed his complaint to the DNI Inspector General’s office.GOP criticism of the whistleblower has focused on their contact with Democratic investigators as people like Harvey spread the idea that they were in cahoots. That line of attack went into overdrive on Oct. 2, when Schiff’s camp confirmed that the whistleblower reached out to the Intelligence Committee before filing a formal complaint in order to get “guidance on how to report possible wrongdoing within the intelligence community.” But the whistleblower, per a spokesman for Schiff, did not tell the chairman the content of the complaint nor the identity of the whistleblower. Still, that seemed to contradict Schiff’s statement in late September that Democrats had “not spoken directly” with the whistleblower, a remark the congressman later told The Daily Beast he regretted he did not make “much more clear.”Trump’s Plan to Save His Presidency: Take a Hatchet to Adam SchiffThose statements have provided fuel for allegations from Trump and his allies that the whistleblower and Democrats were engaged in some unseemly coordination before the fact, or that they did not follow the proper whistleblower laws. Zaid, meanwhile, has stressed that the whistleblower acted properly and without any kind of coordination or interference. “The whistleblower drafted the Complaint entirely on their own. Legal counsel Andrew Bakaj provided guidance on process but was not involved in the drafting of the document and did not review it in advance,” Zaid told ABC News on Oct. 2. “In fact, none of the legal team saw the Complaint until it was publicly released by Congress,” Zaid said. “To be unequivocally clear, no Member or congressional staff had any input into or reviewed the Complaint before it was submitted to the Intelligence Community Inspector General.”That inspector general, Michael Atkinson, has said in letters to top lawmakers that the whistleblower’s complaint was credible and urgent. Though Joseph Maguire, the acting Director of National Intelligence, did not believe he had to notify the Intelligence committees of the complaint as required by law, he nevertheless testified before lawmakers on Sept. 26 that the whistleblower “followed the steps every step of the way.”Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.



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China detains journalist who covered Hong Kong protests: sources

China detains journalist who covered Hong Kong protests: sourcesA Chinese journalist who covered democracy protests in Hong Kong has been detained after returning to the mainland, sources with direct knowledge of the situation told AFP on Thursday. Huang Xueqin, who became known for her support of the #MeToo movement against sexual harassment in China last year, had travelled to Hong Kong this summer. When Huang returned to the mainland, authorities in the southeastern city of Guangzhou summoned her to a meeting and confiscated her travel documents, the sources said.



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GM and UAW union making progress in talks for new labor deal: sources

GM and UAW union making progress in talks for new labor deal: sourcesGeneral Motors Co and the union that represents its 48,000 striking hourly workers in the United States have made progress in talks toward a new labor deal but are grappling with issues over the pay and job security of newer and temporary workers, two people familiar with the talks said on Wednesday. United Auto Workers (UAW) Vice President Terry Dittes told union members in a statement issued late in the day that “all unsettled proposals are now at the Main Table and have been presented to General Motors. UAW members went on strike at GM on Sept. 16 seeking higher pay, greater job security, a bigger share of the leading U.S. automaker’s profit and protection of their healthcare benefits.



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Justice Department nears prosecution of ex-FBI official McCabe: sources

Justice Department nears prosecution of ex-FBI official McCabe: sourcesThe U.S. Justice Department moved closer to a politically sensitive prosecution of former top FBI official Andrew McCabe on Thursday by rejecting a request from his legal team to drop the case, according to two sources familiar with the investigation. The notice indicates that the department could soon bring criminal charges against the FBI’s former No. 2 official, who has endured years of criticism by President Donald Trump after playing a key role in the investigation into the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia in the 2016 election. McCabe has said those attacks are part of an effort to undermine law enforcement and intelligence professionals.



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Trump fires John Bolton amid concerns over leaks and policy disagreements, sources say

Trump fires John Bolton amid concerns over leaks and policy disagreements, sources sayPresident Trump announced in a tweet on Tuesday that he had asked his national security adviser, John Bolton, to resign. Sources say the departure was due to disagreements and suspicions that Bolton was involved in leaks. The shocking announcement came less than two hours before Bolton was set to participate in a press briefing at the White House with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.



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Taliban chief's brother killed in Pakistan blast: militant sources

Taliban chief's brother killed in Pakistan blast: militant sourcesThe Afghan Taliban leader’s brother was among four people killed in a blast at a mosque in southwestern Pakistan Friday, insurgent sources and a Pakistani official told AFP. The Taliban have not officially commented, but an unofficial statement circulating among Taliban fighters on WhatsApp and seen by AFP confirmed the claim. The blast comes at a delicate moment as a deal between the insurgents and Washington to end America’s war in Afghanistan is believed to be imminent.



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UPDATE 8-Jeffrey Epstein autopsy report shows broken neck -sources

UPDATE 8-Jeffrey Epstein autopsy report shows broken neck -sourcesNEW YORK/WASHINGTON, Aug 15 (Reuters) – An autopsy of the financier Jeffrey Epstein, who died in an apparent suicide while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges, found his neck had been broken in several places, according to two law enforcement sources. Epstein was found dead in his jail cell in New York City on Saturday. The circumstances of the multi-millionaire’s death are under investigation, and it was unclear when a report of the autopsy would be made public.



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Money row sparks deadly Nigeria jihadist infighting: sources

Money row sparks deadly Nigeria jihadist infighting: sourcesA dispute over money within a Nigerian jihadist faction affiliated to the Islamic State group has spiralled into clashes that has killed “scores” of fighters, sources said. The infighting — which erupted into gun battles on July 26 — has exposed divisions inside the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) group, three sources with deep knowledge of the faction’s internal workings told AFP. The disagreement centred on sharing income mainly generated by taxing cattle herders and fishermen in areas the jihadists control around Lake Chad, said the sources, who asked not to be identified for safety reasons.



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