Appointment RUMINT

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The White House is expected to notify Congress as soon as tonight that it is re-nominating Carlos Pascual to be Assistant Secretary of State for Energy Resources, sources tell the Back Channel.

Probably not coincidentally, Pascual is due to join National Security Advisor Tom Donilon at the launch Wednesday of a new Columbia University Center on Global Energy Policy.

A former US ambassador to Mexico and Ukraine, Pascual has been in the acting job for over a year, and the young bureau is eager to get the assistant secretary in place. His nomination last year was put on hold, rumored to be by Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyoming), and it’s unclear as yet whether he or others plan to maintain it. Pascual recently married the daughter of Francisco Rojas, the head of Mexico’s CFE electricity company and PRI politician, officials said.

Near East: Two US officials say they now believe that Stuart Jones, the U.S. Ambassador to Jordan and former Deputy Ambassador to Iraq, may be leading the pack of candidates to succeed Beth Jones as Assistant Secretary of State for Near East Affairs. Other possibilities mentioned are US Ambassador to Iraq Robert Stephen Beecroft, as well Ambassador to Egypt Anne Patterson, Ambassador to Syria Robert Ford, and Ambassador to Turkey Francis Ricciardone.

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‘Homeland’ actor raises alerts at airports

The actor who plays terrorist leader Abu Nazir on the breakout spy thriller television series “Homeland” finds himself often stopped at airports, Navid Negahban tells CNN.

“When I’m at the airport, the agents look at my passport and they look at me and there is something in their eyes, and you can see them thinking, ‘I know this guy. Where have I seen him before?'”  Negahban told CNN’s Suzanne Kelly.

The Iranian-born actor was going through the security line at New York’s LaGuardia airport last year en route to Toronto, he recounted to Kelly, when the “agent locked eyes with me and I thought ‘Oh, here we go again'”: Continue reading