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Accused war criminal Charles Taylor worked for CIA: report

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NEW YORK — Liberia’s Charles Taylor, the first African head of state to be prosecuted for war crimes by an international tribunal, used to work for the CIA, the Boston Globe newspaper reported this week.

The report, based on information uncovered through a freedom of information request made six years ago, said that Taylor had a relationship with the US spy agency for years, although the details of what he actually did were unclear.

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“The Pentagon’s response to the Globe states that the details of Taylor’s role on behalf of the spy agencies are contained in dozens of secret reports — at least 48 separate documents — covering several decades. However, the exact duration and scope of the relationship remains hidden,” the daily said.

The former Liberian president is awaiting the verdict in his war crimes trial at the Special Court for Sierra Leone in The Netherlands.

He is accused on 11 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity on claims that he armed Sierra Leone’s Revolutionary United Front (RUF) in exchange for illegally mined, so-called “blood diamonds.”

The Sierra Leone civil war claimed some 120,000 lives in the 10 years to 2001, with RUF rebels, described by the prosecution as Taylor’s “surrogate army,” mutilating thousands of civilians by hacking off their limbs.

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Taylor pleaded not guilty to all charges.

The Boston Globe report backed up long-standing rumors of Taylor’s work with the Central Intelligence Agency.

According to the report, he started working with the agency in the early 1980s. After he was indicted and left the presidency in 2003, he lived openly in Nigeria, which the United States considers a regional ally. He was finally handed over to the international court in 2006.

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2020 Election

Deval Patrick considering a last-minute presidential bid: report

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Yet another Democrat is considering a late entry into the 2020 presidential campaign.

"Former Gov. Deval Patrick of Massachusetts has told Democratic officials that he is considering making a last-minute entry into the 2020 presidential race, according to two Democrats with knowledge of the conversations, the latest evidence of how unsettled the party’s presidential primary is less than three months before the Iowa caucuses," The New York Times reported Monday.

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CNN

Mick Mulvaney needs to get a lawyer: CNN’s Jim Acosta

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On Monday's edition of CNN's "The Situation Room," chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta said that acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney needs to hire a lawyer separately from the White House counsel, following new reports that the attorney for former National Security Adviser John Bolton is rejecting a legal alliance with him.

"There are reports that Mulvaney was sort of on thin ice as a result of that disastrous press briefing that he gave a couple of weeks ago," said anchor Wolf Blitzer. "Why does he need a private attorney, why isn't he represented by the White House counsel?"

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Uber chief walks back comment about murder of Saudi journalist Khashoggi

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Uber chief Dara Khosrowshahi apologized on Monday after he called the assassination of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, in which Riyadh admitted responsibility, a "mistake."

"There's no forgiving or forgetting what happened to Jamal Khashoggi & I was wrong to call it a 'mistake,'" Khosrowshahi tweeted Monday morning as he walked back his remarks Sunday in an interview with Axios.

"I said something in the moment I don't believe. Our investors have long known my views here & I'm sorry I wasn’t as clear on Axios."

Khashoggi, a columnist for The Washington Post, was strangled and dismembered at the kingdom's consulate in Istanbul on October 2, 2018, prompting harsh criticism of the country and de facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

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