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German spy chief admits HQ blue prints stolen

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BERLIN — Germany’s foreign intelligence chief Ernst Uhrlau Tuesday admitted that blueprints for his service’s new headquarters in Berlin had been stolen, but played down the danger posed by the loss.

The missing blueprints are those of a parking area and of a “power generating centre”, not those “at the heart” of BND intelligence-gathering offices currently under construction and due for completion in 2014, Uhrlau told reporters.

There was no reason to amend building plans, he added.

He did not know when the blueprints, kept at the building site, vanished, saying only that “at some point it appears something went missing”.

The documents were labelled confidential, but not top secret, he added.

The government had announced on Monday that the BND was investigating the loss.

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The BND has its headquarters in Pullach, on the outskirts of the southern city of Munich. Following reunification it was decided however to move them to Berlin and building started there in 2006.

Construction on the site in the former communist east of the city is expected to cost 1.6 billion euros ($2.2 billion).

The BND, one of Germany’s three secret services, is responsible for gathering intelligence abroad.

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Trump ‘lit his own house on fire’ by pulling out of Iran nuclear deal: International relations expert

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Kelly Magsamen, the VP of National Security and International Policy for the Center for American Progress explained during an MSNBC interview Thursday that the president is causing his own problems with Iran.

Speaking to host Ali Velshi, Magsamen said that it was Trump who "lit his own house on fire" when he breached the Iran treaty known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

"I think we are definitely in the middle of an escalatory (sic) cycle, and how do we get out of it," Magsamen told the host. "And unfortunately, the White House has left itself very few options in terms of escalating or de-escalating and same for the Iranians, frankly. [The Iranians] probably perceive this as an attack from their perspective."

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Lindsey Graham shoves Trump toward war: ‘Anyone would believe we’re one step closer’

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President Donald Trump seemed to try and deescalate the situation between Iran and the U.S. in wake of the former shooting down an American drone. But Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) seems to be shoving the president toward war.

"I think anybody would believe that we’re one step closer" [to war], Graham told the press in the hallways of Congress Thursday. "They shot down an American asset, well within international waters -- trying to assess the situation. What are you supposed to do?"

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Trump advisor John Bolton to hold ‘regional security’ talks in Israel

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US National Security Advisor John Bolton will travel to Israel at the weekend for "regional security talks" with top Russian and Israeli officials, the White House said Thursday amid spiking tensions with Iran.

Bolton will meet Sunday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, followed by talks with his Israeli and Russian counterparts, Meir Ben-Shabbat and Nikolai Patrushev, NSC spokesman Garrett Marquis said.

Bolton also will meet with the director general of the Israel Atomic Energy Commission Zeev Snir.

The NSC announcement came just hours after Iran shot down a US drone in what Washington called an unprovoked attack.

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