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Israel destroyed Syrian nuclear reactor in 2007, leaked cable reveals

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Israel destroyed a Syrian nuclear reactor in an air raid just weeks before it went online in 2007, said a US diplomatic cable released by WikiLeaks and published on Friday in an Israeli daily.

“On September 6, 2007, Israel destroyed the nuclear reactor built by Syria secretly, apparently with North Korea’s help,” then US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice wrote in the cable published in Yediot Aharonot newspaper.

“Our intelligence experts are convinced that the attack targeted by the Israelis is in fact an atomic reactor of the same type built by North Korea in Yongbyon,” she wrote in the message dated April 2008.

“We have good reason to believe that the reactor was not built for peaceful purposes,” she said, adding the attack came only weeks before the reactor was to become operational.

Rice also noted the secrecy surrounding the construction of the nuclear facility, with the Syrian authorities refusing to invite the International Atomic Energy Agency or any media to inspect the site.

Syria has always denied that the structure targeted by Israeli warplanes was a nuclear reactor, although it has admitted it was a “military site under construction.”

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Israel has for its part never denied that its air force attacked a target in Syria, without ever officially claiming responsibility for the action.

Former US president George W Bush recounted in his memoirs that he resisted Israeli pressure to bomb the site.

In 2008, current US President Barack Obama said when he was a Democratic hopeful for the White House that Israel was right to bomb the suspected nuclear facility in Syria.

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Trump’s horsewhip-carrying chief of protocol will resign after intimidating State Department staff: report

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President Donald Trump's chief of protocol plans to step down just ahead of the G-20 summit in Japan, according to Bloomberg News.

Sean Lawler, whose job includes assisting the president in diplomatic talks overseas and with foreign leaders in the White House, faces an investigation from the State Department's inspector general for intimidating subordinates, including carrying a horsewhip around the office.

The president reportedly did not care for Lawler, at one point asking officials why he still works at the White House.

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Jerry Falwell, Jr blasted as ‘un-Christian prat’ after trying to defend Donald Trump in battle with Southern Baptist ethics chief

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Liberty University President Jerry Falwell, Jr. was ripped online for attempting to rationalize President Donald Trump's detention camps for children.

Dr. Russell Moore, the president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, posted on Twitter an Associated Press story on the "perilous conditions" at a Texas Border Patrol station holding 300 children.

"The reports of the conditions for migrant children at the border should shock all of our consciences. Those created in the image of God should be treated with dignity and compassion, especially those seeking refuge from violence back home. We can do better than this," Moore wrote.

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Prosecutors offered indicted GOP congressman a deal to keep his multiple taxpayer-funded trysts quiet — but he refused

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On Tuesday, CNN reported that Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA), facing indictment for stealing campaign funds and falsifying spending reports, was offered a deal by to keep secret the incidents in which he used taxpayer money to finance affairs with lobbyists — but he refused.

"Prosecutors told a judge they tried to cut a deal with Hunter to avoid revealing the alleged tryst, but his attorneys refused," reported CNN's Tom Foreman.

The affairs were made public shortly after it was revealed that Hunter's wife Margaret, an alleged co-conspirator in the scheme, was cooperating with prosecutors. Hunter had previously tried to blame the entire scheme on his wife — a claim that looks increasingly dubious.

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