Sources tell Gestetner Updates that Mark Murphy will announce on Wednesday his candidacy for Congress on the democratic ticket, in an effort to unseat Republican congressman Michael Grimm of the 13th Congressional district of New York that covers parts of Staten Island and Brooklyn.
As reported earlier in the week by City & State, Mark Murphy, a staffer in Public Advocate Bill de Blasio’s office, has resigned from the office in order to run against Staten Island Republican Congressman Michael Grimm, a source close to Murphy said.
The son of a former congressman, Murphy is seen as the preferred candidate of the Staten Island Democratic Party, which is believed to see him as the most charismatic potential challenger to Grimm and the one best able to raise money. Grimm was elected in 2010 in a tight race against Democrat Mike McMahon. The district is about 70 percent in Staten Island and 30 percent in Brooklyn.
National Post: “There is a likelihood of military escalation of the conflict, towards which Israel is pushing the Americans,” Nikolai Patrushev, who heads the Kremlin’s Security Council, told Interfax news agency.
Patrushev, a former head of the main successor to the Soviet-era KGB, said Tehran could respond by blocking the Strait of Hormuz between Oman and Iran, through which 35 percent of the world’s seaborne traded oil passes.
It cannot be ruled out that the Iranians will be able to carry out their threat to shut exports of Saudi oil through the Strait of Hormuz if faced with military actions against them,” Patrushev said in an interview published on Thursday.
Daily Telegraph: British police will investigate if the secret services were involved in handing over two men to Muammar Gaddafi’s regime.
The news came as prosecutors announced they would not bring criminal charges against British agents accused of complicity in the torture of other terror suspects, including former Guantanamo Bay detainee Binyam Mohamed.
Claims of British involvement in the ill-treatment of Libyans, including Abdel-Hakim Belhaj, now the military commander of Tripoli, are due to be investigated by a wide-ranging government-ordered inquiry into torture.
But London’s Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) said yesterday it believed two cases, identified by legal charity Reprieve as those of Mr Belhaj and Gaddafi opponent Sami al Saadi, warranted criminal investigation.
“The allegations raised in the two specific cases concerning the alleged rendition of named individuals to Libya and the alleged ill-treatment of them in Libya are so serious that it is in the public interest for them to be investigated now rather than at the conclusion of the detainee inquiry,” said the MPS and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) in a joint statement.
Bloomberg: European Union embargo on imports of Iranian oil will probably be delayed for six months to let countries such as Greece, Italy and Spain find alternative supplies, an EU official with knowledge of the talks said.
The embargo, which would need to be accepted by the 27-nation bloc’s foreign ministers on Jan. 23, also is likely to include an exemption for Italy, so crude can be sold to pay off debts to Rome-based Eni SpA, Italy’s largest oil company, according to the official, who declined to be identified because the talks are private.
A ban on petrochemical products would start sooner, about three months after EU ministers agree to the measure, the official said. Crude oil prices dropped on the news, falling $1.77, or 1.8 percent, to $99.10 a barrel yesterday on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the lowest settlement since Dec. 30.