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Former CIA chief Michael Hayden ‘uncomfortable’ with Iran’s growing influence in Iraq

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Former CIA chief Michael Hayden said Tuesday he was “uncomfortable” with Iran’s growing influence in Iraq, made especially evident by an offensive in Tikrit.

The city, which is the home town of former president Saddam Hussein, is the target of as assault led by Iraqi troops and Shiite militias backed by Tehran.

“I am made uncomfortable by the growing Iranian influence in Iraq. I am made uncomfortable by the fact that it looked like a Shia advance against a Sunni town,” said Hayden, who headed the Central Intelligence Agency between 2006 and 2009.

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“And the proof would be what happens if and when they retake Tikrit… How the militias act toward the local population,” he added, during a roundtable on international intelligence sharing at the New America Foundation.

Hayden said the United States should not be sharing intelligence with the Iranians on Iraq, despite their shared desire to wipe ou the Islamic State group.

“The Islamic republic’s ultimate objective is different,” he explained.

“We are looking for an inclusive government with minority rights and the participation of all the major religious and ethnic groups.

“It’s clear to me that the Iranian policy is based upon Shia dominance of the new Iraqi state, and that effort in itself feeds the Sunni opposition, which ISIL then lives off of to resurrect their movement,” Hayden added, using an alternative acronym for the Islamic State group.

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Some 30,000 men have been involved in a week-old operation to recapture Tikrit, one of the IS fighters’ main hubs since they overran large parts of Iraq nine months ago.


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How climate change reduced the flow of the Colorado River

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The massive Colorado River, which provides water for seven US states, has seen its flow reduced by 20 percent over the course of a century -- and more than half of that loss is due to climate change, according to new research published Thursday.

Two scientists at the US Geological Survey developed a mathematical model of the water movements -- snowfall, rainfall, run-off, evaporation -- in the upper Colorado River basin for the period from 1913 to 2017.

To do so, they used historical temperature and precipitation data, along with satellite readings of radiation, in order to understand how climate change had affected those water movements.

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‘Possibly the craziest and scariest thing he has done’: Conservative blasts Trump for DNI Richard Grenell

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Conservative Washington Post columnist Max Boot blasted President Donald Trump's new appointee Richard Grenell to take over as acting director of national intelligence.

Previously, Trump was furious at his acting DNI when he learned that Democrats were given an intelligence briefing. The source speaking to the Post said that Trump gave Maguire a “dressing down” that left the former acting DNI “despondent.”

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FBI investigating Erik Prince for arms trafficking after attempt to modify crop dusters into attack aircraft: report

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The Federal Bureau of Investigation is reportedly investigating prominent Donald Trump supporter Erik Prince for violating arms trafficking laws.

"Prince, an heir to a billion-dollar fortune who is widely viewed as a shadow adviser to the president, is under federal investigation for his 2015 attempt to modify two American-made crop-dusting planes into attack aircraft — a violation of arms trafficking regulations," The Intercept reported Thursday, citing "two people familiar with the investigation."

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