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Ancient Irish coronation stone Lia Fail vandalized by hammer

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One of Ireland’s ancient monuments, the Lia Fail standing stone which according to legend served as the coronation stone for the high kings, has been vandalised, the government said Wednesday.

Heritage Minister Jimmy Deenihan said the granite Lia Fail, which is Gaelic for Stone of Destiny, appeared to have been damaged last weekend.

An archaeologist from the National Monuments Service examined the stone and concluded that it had been struck — possibly with a hammer — at 11 places, on all four of its faces.

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Fragments of the standing stone have been removed and police are investigating.

Describing it as “extremely important” monument, Deenihan said the stone was associated with the inauguration rites for the Kings of Tara and featured extensively in ancient texts.

“Vandalism, by definition, is a mindless act. I condemn in the strongest terms the damage that has been caused to this monument,” he said.

The stone was moved to its present location in Tara, County Meath, in the early 19th century.

Located about 30 miles (50 kilometres) northwest of Dublin, Tara was the focus of political and religious life in pagan Ireland but the site was largely abandoned by the sixth century.

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Mythology gives Tara (from the Gaelic “Teamhair”, or lofty place) an exalted status as the top royal site in Ireland and there are many national monuments in the area.


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Two impeachment articles expected against President Trump: reports

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Democrats are expected to announce on Tuesday two articles of impeachment against Donald Trump, US media reported Monday evening, after laying out their case at a hearing against a president they branded a "clear and present danger" to national security.

The articles will focus on abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, The Washington Post said, citing three official familiar with the matter.

It added that the full House of Representatives would vote on the articles next week, ahead of a trial in the Senate.

CNN said a third article on obstruction of justice was still being debated, and the network's sources cautioned that plans were still being finalized.

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Ambassador McFaul ‘shocked’ Trump invited Sergey Lavrov back to the Oval Office: ‘What are they thinking?’

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Former Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul repeatedly said he was shocked that President Donald Trump will meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Tuesday.

McFaul was interviewed Monday evening by Lawrence O'Donnell on MSNBC "The Last Word," where he contrasted how Trump is treating the Russian government of President Vladimir Putin to the Ukrainian government of President Volodymyr Zelensky.

"Ambassador McFaul, I want to get your reaction to the Russian foreign minister meeting tomorrow at the White House, in the Oval Office, with President Trump," O'Donnell said. "That's his second time. President Zelinsky still hasn't gotten that meeting and Donald trump apparently, apparently may be voted articles of impeachment in committee this week because of his interactions with President Zelensky."

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House Judiciary to vote on Thursday to impeach Donald Trump: report

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Democrats are moving ahead with the impeachment of President Donald Trump following another day of testimony on Monday.

"House Democrats plan to unveil at least two articles of impeachment Tuesday, charging President Donald Trump with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, according to multiple lawmakers and aides. The Judiciary Committee plans to vote on the articles on Thursday, setting up a vote on the House floor next week to make Trump the third president in history to be impeached," Politico reported Monday evening.

"Democratic leaders plan to formally announce the articles at a press conference Tuesday morning. Judiciary Committee Democrats intend to meet ahead of the announcement and review the articles," Politico reported. "The decision to move forward with specific impeachment charges is the most significant move yet for the year-old Democratic House majority, a legacy-defining moment for Speaker Nancy Pelosi that sets up a Senate trial for Trump in early 2020."

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