President Trump and former President Obama. Photo: Rob Carr/Getty Images

The suspected leaker of confidential cables from Britain's ambassador to the U.S. has been identified, the Sunday Times reports, as fresh leaks to the Mail on Sunday claim President Trump abandoned the Iran nuclear deal to "spite" predecessor Barack Obama.

Details: The latest leak shows Kim Darroch, who resigned Wednesday, expressed his thoughts on the Iran situation to then-Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson — the front-runner to replace Prime Minister Theresa May as Conservative Party leader. He wrote that Trump withdrew the U.S. from the 2015 agreement for "personality reasons" as it was the former president's pact.

"The outcome illustrated the paradox of this White House: you got exceptional access, seeing everyone short of the president; but on the substance, the administration is set upon an act of diplomatic vandalism, seemingly for ideological and personality reasons — it was Obama's deal.
"Moreover, they can't articulate any 'day-after' strategy; and contacts with State Department this morning suggest no sort of plan for reaching out to partners and allies, whether in Europe or the region."
— Leaked Kim Darroch memo

The big picture: British Police said Friday they had launched a criminal investigation into the source of the leaks. The Sunday Times quoted an unnamed British government source as saying that the suspected leaker had been identified and investigators had ruled out that the leak was the result of a computer hack by a foreign state.

  • The Sunday Times reported that Member of European Parliament Richard Tice, the chairman of Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party, was implicated in the leaks scandal as he's dating Isabel Oakeshott, the Mail on Sunday journalist who's been writing the Darroch articles.

What they’re saying: Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu's warned journalists not to report on leaked diplomatic memos — prompting criticisms from Johnson and his leadership rival, Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, the BBC reports. Johnson said it's right for the leaker to be "hunted down and prosecuted," but it's wrong for police to target the media, according to the BBC.

This article has been updated with more details, including comment from Johnson and Hunt.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Fauci says U.S. may not return to normal until 2022 — Trump's testing czar: Surge "is real" and not just caused by more tests
  2. World: Taiwan reaches a record 200 days with no local coronavirus cases
  3. Europe faces "stronger and deadlier" wave France imposes lockdown Germany to close bars and restaurants for a month.
  4. Sports: Boston Marathon delayed MLB to investigate Dodgers player who joined celebration after positive COVID test.

In pictures: Storm Zeta churns inland after lashing Louisiana

Debris on the streets as then-Hurricane Zeta passes over in Arabi, Louisiana, on Oct. 28. It's the third hurricane to hit Louisiana in about two months, after Laura and Delta. Photo: Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images

Tropical Storm Zeta has killed at least two people, triggered flooding, downed powerlines and caused widespread outages since making landfall in Louisiana as a Category 2 hurricane on Wednesday.

The big picture: A record 11 named storms have made landfall in the U.S. this year. Zeta is the fifth named storm to do so in Louisiana in 2020, the most ever recorded. It weakened t0 a tropical storm early Thursday, as it continued to lash parts of Alabama and the Florida Panhandle with heavy rains and strong winds.

4 hours ago - World

Taiwan reaches a record 200 days with no local coronavirus cases

Catholics go through containment protocols including body-temperature measurement and hands-sanitisation before entering the Saint Christopher Parish Church, Taipei City, Taiwan, in July. Photo: Ceng Shou Yi/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Taiwan on Thursday marked no locally transmitted coronavirus cases for 200 days, as the island of 23 million people's total number of infections reported stands at 550 and the COVID-19 death toll at seven.

Why it matters: Nowhere else has reached such a milestone. While COVID-19 cases surge across the U.S. and Europe, Taiwan's last locally transmitted case was on April 12. Experts credit tightly regulated travel, early border closure, "rigorous contact tracing, technology-enforced quarantine and universal mask wearing" and the island state's previous experience with the SARS virus for the achievement, per Bloomberg.

Go deeper: As Taiwan's profile rises, so does risk of conflict with China