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Militants claim they want to return Paiute artifacts from Oregon reserve in new video

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Members of Ammon Bundy’s militant group released a video on Wednesday claiming they want to “open a dialogue” with members of the Burns Paiute Tribe regarding artifacts stored inside the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge.

The video, posted on YouTube by multiple-time felon Stanley Blaine Hicks under his “Blaine Cooper” alias, shows LaVoy Finnicum walking through a storage room at the facility, saying it contains artifacts shoved into boxes.

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“You can see there’s some rat’s nests in here,” Finnicum says, motioning toward one group of boxes. However, no rats are visible at any moment during the three-minute video.

“My question is, why do they just keep them down here?” Finnicum asks.

“Don’t they belong to the natives, to their rightful owners?” Cooper responds.

Neither man mentions in the video that the tribe has already criticized their presence on the reserve. Earlier this month, chairperson Charlotte Rodrique described the militants as “a bunch of glory hounds.” She has also contacted federal officials asking that Finnicum and his companions be charged if they “disturb, damage, remove, alter or deface any archaeological resource on the refuge property.”

According to the Washington Post, around 4,000 tribal artifacts are stored at the reserve, all of them protected under the Archaeological Resources Protection Act. The Paiute have refused to enter any type of negotiations with Bundy’s group.

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“That’s our history, our ancestors’ possessions and remains,” Rodrique told the Associated Press. “It’s hard to explain, as a native person, what that means to us. That’s the very proof of our existence in this country.”

Watch the video, as posted online on Wednesday, below.

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Trump slams religious leaders who criticized his church photo-op

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President Donald Trump declared on Fox News Radio religious leaders who criticized his visit to St. John's Episcopal Church to be members of the "opposition party."

The president has drawn widespread criticism for his visit to the vandalized church, which came after the U.S. Park Service and National Guard troops used chemical irritants to clear peaceful protesters from the area.

"Most religious leaders loved it," Trump told Fox host Brian Kilmeade. "I heard Franklin Graham this morning thought it was great. I heard many other people think it was great, and it's only the other side that didn't like it, the opposing -- the opposition party, as the expression goes."

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Activism

Defense secretary throws Trump under the bus: ‘I do not support invoking the Insurrection Act’

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Secretary of Defense Mark Esper on Wednesday seemed to be at odds with President Donald Trump when it comes to invoking the Insurrection Act to quell protests over the killing of George Floyd.

Esper explained at a press conference that members of the National Guard had been deployed to keep order "in support of local law enforcement."

"The option to use active duty forces should only be used as a matter of last resort and only in the most urgent and dire of situations," he explained. "We are not in one of those situations now."

"I do not support invoking the Insurrection Act," Esper insisted, referencing Trump's threat to use the law against protesters.

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CNN

Black students brutalized by Atlanta cops call for ‘total reset in policing’ on CNN

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The two black students who were brutalized by police in Atlanta went on CNN Wednesday to demand fundamental change from American police departments.

In an interview on CNN, students Taniyah Pilgrim and Messiah Young, who were pulled out of their car by Atlanta police and tased earlier this week, said that police behavior toward peaceful demonstrators shows exactly why protesters are taking to the streets in the first place.

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