FILE PHOTO: Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Director Mike Pompeo testifies before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, U.S., February 13, 2018.  REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein/File Photo
Pictured in this file photo, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) director Mike Pompeo testifies before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC on February 13, 2018. Aaron P.

Mike Pompeo: From soldier and spy chief to diplomat



Mike Pompeo has everything that Donald Trump wants in a senior appointment: A hawkish demeanour, a history of doggedly pursuing Hillary Clinton, and above all a military uniform.

That makes him a "winner" in Trump world and a more natural fit in his administration than Rex Tillerson, a Texas oilman many considered an odd choice as America's top diplomat. Mr Tillerson's steady and independent approach had put him at odds with the president on crucial issues from Qatar to Russia, and he had long seemed to be on borrowed time.

Mr Pompeo has quietly got on with the job in his role as director of the CIA, never notably clashing with Mr Trump. When he has spoken out he has denounced efforts to rein in some of the most controversial counterterrorism programmes introduced after 9/11 and has criticised Iran's sprawling role in the Middle East. Like Mr Tillerson, however, Mr Pompeo has said America should stand with allies such as Britain and France, who want to keep the nuclear deal reached with Tehran in 2015.

In his new secretary of state, however, the president also now has an ally playing down the impact of Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

"It is true" that Russia interfered in the vote that took Mr Trump to the White House, he said at the Aspen security conference last year, "and the one before that, and the one before that." The remarks chimed with the president's view that there was nothing untoward last time around.

Mr Pompeo's career bears all the firsts and bests that Mr Trump appreciates.

He graduated top of his class from the US military academy at West Point in 1986, before taking a degree from Harvard. A stint in private industry - setting up an aerospace and security company – was followed by election to Congress in 2010 as part of the Tea Party surge and he served on the House intelligence committee.

He was accused of Islamaphobia in the aftermath of the 2013 Boston marathon bombing, when he took to the House floor to suggest that Muslim leaders were failing in their duty to discourage terrorism.

"Instead of responding, silence has made these Islamic leaders across America potentially complicit in these acts and, more importantly still, in those that may well follow," he said.

Mr Pompeo, who is 54, became an ardent critic of Mrs Clinton, the former secretary of state, when he joined the committee investigating the 2012 attack on US diplomats and personnel in Benghazi, in Libya.

When asked why the inquiry had taken longer than the Watergate investigation – which prompted the resignation of President Richard Nixon in 1974 – he had a simple response.

"This is worse, in some ways," he said, during an appearance on NBC's Meet the Press.

It was a line later echoed Mr Trump, who announced him as his pick to head the CIA soon after winning the election in November 2016. His appointment worried many career officers dismayed that such a partisan figure would lead an organisation that was supposed to rise above politics.

He has shown a particularly hawkish line on Iran – describing it recently as a "thuggish police state" - and expressed frequent disdain for the deal that limited Tehran's nuclear programme, without joining Mr Trump in saying the agreement should be completely abandoned.

In the Middle East, Mr Pompeo is known to have close relationships with Israeli intelligence agencies and after a 2015 visit said: "Prime Minister Netanyahu is a true partner of the American people.”

But he also played a role in developing links with the Palestinian Authority and was the first senior official from Mr Trump's team to meet Mahmoud Abbas in February last year.

MATCH INFO

Uefa Champions League last 16, second leg
Liverpool (0) v Atletico Madrid (1)
Venue: Anfield
Kick-off: Thursday, March 12, midnight
Live: On beIN Sports HD

Company Profile

Name: Direct Debit System
Started: Sept 2017
Based: UAE with a subsidiary in the UK
Industry: FinTech
Funding: Undisclosed
Investors: Elaine Jones
Number of employees: 8

The specs

Engine: 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8
Power: 666hp at 6,000rpm
Torque: 850Nm at 2,300-4,500rpm
Transmission: 8-speed auto
On sale: Q1 2023
Price: from Dh1.15 million (estimate)

It's Monty Python's Crashing Rocket Circus

To the theme tune of the famous zany British comedy TV show, SpaceX has shown exactly what can go wrong when you try to land a rocket.

The two minute video posted on YouTube is a compilation of crashes and explosion as the company, created by billionaire Elon Musk, refined the technique of reusable space flight.

SpaceX is able to land its rockets on land once they have completed the first stage of their mission, and is able to resuse them multiple times - a first for space flight.

But as the video, How Not to Land an Orbital Rocket Booster, demonstrates, it was a case if you fail, try and try again.

Developer: Ubisoft Montreal / Ubisoft Toronto
Publisher: Ubisoft
Platforms: Playstation 4, Xbox One, Windows
​​​​​​​Release Date: April 10

THE SPECS

Engine: 1.5-litre

Transmission: 6-speed automatic

Power: 110 horsepower

Torque: 147Nm

Price: From Dh59,700

On sale: now

Kill

Director: Nikhil Nagesh Bhat

Starring: Lakshya, Tanya Maniktala, Ashish Vidyarthi, Harsh Chhaya, Raghav Juyal

Rating: 4.5/5

A Cat, A Man, and Two Women
Junichiro
Tamizaki
Translated by Paul McCarthy
Daunt Books 

Sarfira

Director: Sudha Kongara Prasad

Starring: Akshay Kumar, Radhika Madan, Paresh Rawal

Rating: 2/5

How it works

Booklava works on a subscription model. On signing up you receive a free book as part of a 30-day-trial period, after which you pay US$9.99 (Dh36.70) per month to gain access to a library of books and discounts of up to 30 per cent on selected titles. You can cancel your subscription at any time. For more details go to www.booklava.com

Things Heard & Seen

Directed by: Shari Springer Berman, Robert Pulcini

Starring: Amanda Seyfried, James Norton

2/5

The biog

Born November 11, 1948
Education: BA, English Language and Literature, Cairo University
Family: Four brothers, seven sisters, two daughters, 42 and 39, two sons, 43 and 35, and 15 grandchildren
Hobbies: Reading and traveling

THE SPECS

Engine: 2.4-litre four-cylinder
Power: 210hp
Torque: 320Nm
Price: Starting from Dh89,900
On sale: Now

Dates for the diary

To mark Bodytree’s 10th anniversary, the coming season will be filled with celebratory activities:

  • September 21 Anyone interested in becoming a certified yoga instructor can sign up for a 250-hour course in Yoga Teacher Training with Jacquelene Sadek. It begins on September 21 and will take place over the course of six weekends.
  • October 18 to 21 International yoga instructor, Yogi Nora, will be visiting Bodytree and offering classes.
  • October 26 to November 4 International pilates instructor Courtney Miller will be on hand at the studio, offering classes.
  • November 9 Bodytree is hosting a party to celebrate turning 10, and everyone is invited. Expect a day full of free classes on the grounds of the studio.
  • December 11 Yogeswari, an advanced certified Jivamukti teacher, will be visiting the studio.
  • February 2, 2018 Bodytree will host its 4th annual yoga market.
ON TRACK

The Dubai Metaverse Assembly will host three main tracks:

Educate: Consists of more than 10 in-depth sessions on the metaverse

Inspire: Will showcase use cases of the metaverse in tourism, logistics, retail, education and health care

Contribute: Workshops for metaverse foresight and use-case reviews

Anghami
Started: December 2011
Co-founders: Elie Habib, Eddy Maroun
Based: Beirut and Dubai
Sector: Entertainment
Size: 85 employees
Stage: Series C
Investors: MEVP, du, Mobily, MBC, Samena Capital

The specs

Engine: 2-litre 4-cylinder
Power: 153hp at 6,000rpm
Torque: 200Nm at 4,000rpm
Transmission: 6-speed auto
Fuel consumption: 6.3L/100km
Price: Dh106,900
On sale: now

Russia's Muslim Heartlands

Dominic Rubin, Oxford


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