US pulled spy from Kremlin: Report
WASHINGTON • US agents extracted a high-level mole in the Russian government who had confirmed President Vladimir Putin's direct role in interfering in the 2016 presidential election, CNN reported.
The individual had been providing information to US intelligence for decades and had access to Mr Putin, CNN reported on Monday. It said that the spy was pulled out of Russia in 2017.
But Mr Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov yesterday downplayed the report, saying the man who was identified as the alleged spy by Russian media was a low-level official who had worked in the Kremlin. Mr Peskov also said the official had been fired and did not have direct contact with the Russian leader.
31 die in stampede at Iraq shrine
BAGHDAD • At least 31 pilgrims died yesterday in a stampede at a major shrine in Iraq's Karbala where they were marking the holy day of Ashura.
A spokesman for the health ministry said the toll could rise further, as another 100 people were injured including 10 in critical condition. It is the deadliest stampede in recent history during Ashura, when Shi'ite pilgrims from around the world swarm Karbala to commemorate the death of Hussein, Prophet Mohammed's grandson.
Heathrow ready to face drone disruption
LONDON • Britain's Heathrow Airport said it will work to ensure it stays open and can operate safely during a planned drone disruption by climate activists due to start on Friday.
A group calling itself Heathrow Pause has said it plans to disrupt the airport with toy drones, a step they hope will ground flights and put pressure on the government to take tougher steps to reduce carbon emissions.