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Al-Qaeda leader arrested in Algeria

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Three armed Islamists, including a senior member of Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) thought to be close to its leader, have been arrested in southern Algeria, official media reported Monday.

Necib Tayeb, also known as Abderrahmane Abou Ishak Essoufi, one of the oldest members of Al-Qaeda’s north African branch, headed its so-called “judicial committee” and had been wanted since 1995, the APS news agency said.

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The three men were arrested last Wednesday in the town of Berriane, some 600 kilometres south of Algiers, as they were travelling towards the Sahel border region in a 4X4 vehicle, APS reported, citing well-informed sources.

The operation, which was carried out by the Algerian army’s special forces, dealt a “fatal blow” to AQIM, according to the same sources, given Tayeb’s close links to AQIM chief Abdelmalek Droukdel.

An Algiers court in June sentenced Droukdel to death in absentia for a series of murders and bombings.

AQIM, which stems from a group started in the late 1990s by radical Algerian Islamists, formally subscribed to Al-Qaeda’s ideology in 2007, but after a string of high-profile attacks, the army managed to severely curtail its operations.

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It has since been boosted by the turmoil in neighbouring Mali that followed a coup there in March, with hardline Islamist occupying the country’s vast northern region.


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‘Smart rats jump a sinking orange ship’: Columnist predicts more Republicans will flee Trump

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New York Times contributing columnist Wajahat Ali predicted that more Republicans would likely flee President Donald Trump in the coming weeks.

Already, Trump's own officials, appointees, and staff are lining up to testify to the House committees, despite Trump saying they will not cooperate with any investigations.

"I believe smart rats jump a sinking orange ship, and if you don't believe me, you haven't paid attention to the last week," Ali told CNN's Don Lemon. In the past week, several of Trump's appointees have lined up to give a deposition or testify. Even outgoing Energy Secretary Rick Perry revealed in a Wall Street Journal interview, that Rudy Giuliani was to be the point person on all things related to Ukraine.

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CNN panel mocks the White House for promoting a photo of Trump looking ‘subservient’ to Pelosi

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The White House posted a series of photos of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) Wednesday after their meeting, showing Pelosi being the only person in the room literally standing up to President Donald Trump. It was an image that baffled the mind of at least one CNN panelist as to why the Trump people would be promoting Pelosi.

According to reports from those who were in the room, the president flew off the handle after Pelosi quipped that it seems all roads lead back to Russia for this president. It was at that point that Trump called Pelosi a "third-grade politician," though presumably, he meant "third-rate," and the meeting broke apart.

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Max Boot calls BS on Republicans for trying to claim Syria is Nancy Pelosi’s fault because of impeachment

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President Donald Trump is conducting foreign policy like a 1980s television character, according to conservative Washington Post columnist Max Boot.

In a panel discussion about the letter Trump sent to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdo?an, Boot mocked Republicans for suddenly trying to claim that Trump's withdrawal from Syria was Speaker Nancy Pelosi's fault because of impeachment. It is unclear if Republicans are confessing the president is too distracted by impeachment to be making foreign policy decisions or if they are blaming Pelosi for military decisions.

"I mean there's a lot of really lame Republican talking points out there, Don," Boot said to CNN host Don Lemon. "But to suggest, as Rep. Liz Cheney and others have done that somehow Trump's inexplicable decision to give the Turks the green light to invade Syria — that was somehow the fault of Nancy Pelosi because of the impeachment process? What?"

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