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London expels Israeli diplomat over assassin team’s forged passports

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As a response to apparently forged British passports having allegedly been used to facilitate a team of Israeli assassins who targeted a high-ranking Hamas figure in Dubai, an unnamed Israeli diplomat has been expelled from the United Kingdom.

A founder of the Palestinian Islamist Hamas organisation’s military wing, Mahmud al-Mabhuh was found dead in a room of the luxurious Al Bustan Rotana hotel near Dubai’s airport on January 20. After an investigation, police in the gulf state claimed the assassination was carried out by Mossad, the Israeli intelligence service, and they subsequently issued arrest warrants for the Israeli prime minister and Israel’s spy chief.

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“The killers used the drug succinylcholine to sedate (Mahmud) al-Mabhuh before they suffocated him,” Major General Khamis Mattar al-Mazeina, deputy commander of Dubai police, said in a statement.

“The assassins used this method so that it would seem that his death was natural,” Mazeina said, adding that “there were no signs of resistance shown by the victim.”

Al-Mabhuh died of an apparent electrocution.

Palestinian groups immediately placed responsibility for the death at the doorstep of the Israeli intelligence service and vowed bloody vengeance.

Israel has sternly denied carrying out the assassination and mocked critics as having watched too many James Bond films.

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Yet London, one of Israel’s key allies, is still huffing mad over the whole affair: especially for the 12 forged British passports, which U.K. politicians blamed squarely on Israel.

“The foreign secretary said officers from Britain’s Serious Organised Crime Agency (Soca) had investigated the matter of the passports,” the BBC noted. “It had concluded the passports used were copied from genuine British passports when handed over for inspection to individuals linked to Israel, either in Israel or in other countries, he said.”

The expelled Israeli diplomat’s name was not released to the press and Israel reportedly plans no diplomatic reprisal.

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British Foreign Minister David Miliband told reporters the affair shows that Israel has a “profound disregard” for U.K. sovereignty. Israeli officials called London’s move “disappointing.”

Israel has a history of forging passports, having admitted in 1987 to faking British identification documents as Mossad agents conducted terrorist reprisals against foes abroad. The Foreign Office later claimed Israel had apologized and promised it would not happen again, according to The New York Times.

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Trump issues veiled threat at NPR after Pompeo blow-up with reporter over Ukraine

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President Donald Trump issued a veiled threat against National Public Radio on Sunday morning, just days after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo went on an expletive-filled rant at an NPR reporter that she revealed to the public afterward.

On Sunday, the president retweeted Fox News host Mark Levin who argued, "Why does NPR still exist? We have thousands of radio stations in the U.S. Plus Satellite radio. Podcasts. Why are we paying for this big-government, Democrat Party propaganda operation."

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Mitch McConnell is manipulating Trump to keep him from prolonging impeachment trial: NYT’s Haberman

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Appearing on CNN on Sunday morning, the New York Times' Maggie Haberman said Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is stringing an anxious Donald Trump along and manipulating him to go along with his plan to wrap up the Senate impeachment trial.

Speaking with host John King, Haberman claimed that McConnell is speaking to Trump in such a way that the president may think that McConnell's ideas are his own.

"Do you think the president will -- e could do this over two more days but does he give up a day of TV time?" King asked about the impeachment trial

"McConnell has convinced him, it's taking him some time, back and forth," B Haberman explained. "The president had to be allowed to believe it's his idea or that he wasn't being led along but he's generally done what McConnell wanted. He [McConnell] wants this over quick."

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‘Stop lying’: Experts and observers discredit Trump attorney’s impeachment defense with readily available facts

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After three days of House impeachment managers’ brilliant prosecution of President Donald Trump – and “prebuttal” of the arguments the president’s team was expected to make – White House attorneys Saturday morning began their defense of President Trump.

It’s not going well.

Deputy White House Counsel Mike Purpura (photo) has been making the majority of today’s arguments – they have decided that not enough people will be watching on TV so Saturday’s defense will last not eight but just two hours.

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