Howard Hunt, the veteran CIA spy who helped plan the break-in at Washington's Watergate complex which brought down president Richard Nixon in the most notorious political scandal in US history, has died at 88, his church said.
Hunt, who reportedly had battled pneumonia, plotted the nighttime burglary on June 17, 1972, at the Watergate offices of the Democratic National Committee, together with fellow White House conspirator G. Gordon Liddy.
The accidental discovery of the break-in snowballed into the scandal which embroiled the White House and led to Nixon's stepping down.
"He passed away today, in Miami," said a source who did not wish to be identified at Hunt's Miami Shores Presbyterian church, where he was a regular worshipper. "He died from natural causes."
Hunt served 33 months in jail for conspiracy, wiretapping and burglary for his part in Watergate, which revealed the existence of a secret White House slush fund, sparked a cover-up and eventually saw Nixon become the only US president to resign in August 1974.
Fellow operative Liddy went to prison for four-and-a-half years for the break-in, which aimed to plant listening devices to spy on the Democrats during the Republican president's re-election campaign.
Hunt's phone number was famously found in address books belonging to the Watergate burglars and helped investigators and famed Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein link the break-in to Nixon's campaign.
During World War II, Hunt was part of the Office of Strategic Services, the shadowy wartime US intelligence service which eventually evolved into the CIA and other US espionage agencies. As a CIA officer, he had a hand in the botched 1961 US-backed Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba.
He also churned out a string of spy novels under his own name and pseudonyms.
India has moved additional troops along its northern border as it prepares for an extended conflict with China, after several rounds of talks failed to ease tensions between the nuclear-armed rivals. China has already placed about 5,000 soldiers and armored vehicles within its side of the disputed border in the Ladakh region, an Indian government official said, asking not to be identified, citing rules. India is adding a similar number of troops as well as artillery guns along the border to fend off the continuing incursions by the Chinese army, the official said. The standoff began on May 5, when troops clashed
CLOSELY TRACKED: A US officer said that the warplanes were watched as they flew from Russia by way of Iran and Syria to Libya and were photographed multiple times The US Africa Command flatly rejected Russian claims that Moscow did not deploy fighter jets to Libya, saying on Friday that the 14 aircraft flown in reflect Russia’s long-term goal to establish a foothold in the region that could threaten NATO allies. US Brigadier General Gregory Hadfield, deputy director of intelligence, said that the US tracked the MiG-29s and Su-24 fighter bombers flown in by Russian military, passing through Iran and Syria before landing at Libya’s al-Jufra air base. The base is the main forward airfield for Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar and his self-styled Libyan National Army, which has been waging an
Singapore’s otters, long adored by the city-state’s nature lovers, are popping up in unexpected places during the COVID-19 lockdown, but their antics have angered some and even sparked calls for a cull. With the streets empty, the creatures have been spotted hanging out by a shopping center, scampering through the lobby of a hospital and even feasting on pricey fish stolen from a pond. While many think of tiny Singapore as a densely populated concrete jungle, it is also relatively green for a busy Asian city, and has patches of rainforest, fairly clean waterways and abundant wildlife. There are estimated to be about
Indonesian officials are forcing people who break social distancing rules to recite Koran verses, stay in “haunted” houses and submit to public shaming on social media as the country battles to contain surging novel coronavirus infections. The Southeast Asian archipelago began deploying about 340,000 troops across two dozen cities to oversee enforcement of measures aimed at halting transmission of the disease, such as wearing masks in public. However, provincial leaders are buttressing these efforts with their own zealous campaigns to fight the coronavirus. Police in western Bengkulu Province have assembled a 40-person squad to find lockdown scofflaws and force them to wear