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Bolivia’s president presents pope with bizarre-looking hammer and sickle crucifix

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Bolivia’s President Evo Morales handed Pope Francis an unusual and some say “provocative” gift Thursday during the pontiff’s visit to the country: a carving of Christ crucified on a wooden sickle and hammer.

The sculpted juxtaposition of two of the world’s most potent symbols, Christianity and communism, was made by Jesuit priest Luis Espinal.

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A poet and artist, Espinal was assassinated in 1980 by right-wing paramilitaries, and the pope paid tribute to him Wednesday on his way from the airport to La Paz, stopping at the site of his death.

Pope Francis is the first Jesuit pope.

Local Catholic leaders said the unusual gift fits with Morales’ quirky personality.

“We’re used to the creative originality of President Morales,” said Eugenio Coter, from the Church’s Bolivian Amazonian missionary region.

“This is a provocation, a joke” said Bolivian Bishop Gonzalo del Castillo.

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Bolivia’s communications minister, Marianela Paco, explained that the gift was symbolic: “The sickle evokes the peasant, the hammer the carpenter, representing humble workers, God’s people.”

“That was the intention of this gift, there was no other,” she told Radio Patria Nueva.

The Vatican said the pope made no specific comment on the gift.

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Religious expert Francisco Zaratti said the gift was anachronistic.

“In the ’70s such an object made sense, it represented a commitment to socialism. Today after the fall of the Berlin Wall, it belongs to the past,” he said.

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Nicolle Wallace tells Colbert why she cursed at Fox News host Laura Ingraham — and that she left the GOP

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MSNBC host Nicolle Wallace appeared on Stephen Colbert's "Late Show" Wednesday after spending hours analyzing the impeachment hearings that began that morning.

One of the first things Colbert asked about was the recent smackdown from Wallace about Fox News host Laura Ingraham and her guests going after Col. Alexander Vindman. Ingraham proposed that because Vindman was born in Ukraine that he was somehow a traitor to the United States for coming forward about President Donald Trump's admitted crimes.

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‘It takes a small mind to want to out a whistleblower’: Rachel Maddow blasts Trump and GOP

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In an analysis of the first day of impeachment, MSNBC host Rachel Maddow explained to late-night comedian Jimmy Fallon why the impeachment hearings were a lot more rational than she anticipated.

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) switched committees just to appear and ask questions and Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) humiliated himself, but aside from that, Maddow said she was surprised there were reasonable questions, and everyone remained calm.

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Seth Meyers mocks Devin Nunes saying Dems wanted to find nude photos of Trump: ‘Literally no one wants that’

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"Late Night" host Seth Meyers ridiculed Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) for his absurd line of questioning that accused Democrats of the impeachment is the same as the Russia scandal.

Nunes said that Democrats want the world to forget about their efforts to obtain nude photos of Trump, something Meyers countered with actual sense.

"Hey man, I guarantee you no one wants nude pictures of Donald Trump," Meyers said. "I'm not crazy about clothed pictures of Donald Trump. Also, I have to believe that if there were nude pictures of Donald Trump, the first person to show them would be Donald Trump. He'd probably hold a press conference with a giant poster board."

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