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Iraqi forces retake archaeological museum in Mosul that was vandalized by the Islamic State

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Iraqi security forces recaptured the Mosul museum, where Islamic State group militants infamously filmed themselves smashing priceless artefacts, police said on Tuesday.

Iraqi forces “recaptured the archaeological museum,” Lieutenant General Raed Shakir Jawdat said in a statement, without specifying when this occurred.

The museum was on a police list of sites recaptured from IS during an ongoing offensive to reclaim Mosul, along with the central bank building, which was looted by the jihadists.

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Lieutenant Colonel Abdulamir al-Mohammedawi of the Rapid Response Division, the special forces unit that usually spearheads operations with the federal police, also confirmed the museum’s recapture, saying it was retaken on Monday.

IS “stole the artefacts and completely destroyed the museum,” Mohammedawi said.

The jihadist group released a video in February 2015 of militants destroying ancient artefacts at the museum, after overrunning the city of Mosul the previous June.

The five-minute video shows militants at the museum in Mosul knocking statues off their plinths and smashing them to pieces.

In another scene, a jackhammer is used to deface a large Assyrian winged bull at an archeological site in the city.

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IS also smashed stone carvings and detonated explosives at the site of Nimrud near Mosul, and vandalised sculptures at Hatra, another ancient city located in north Iraq.

The destruction at the museum and the archaeological sites has drawn widespread condemnation internationally and inside Iraq.

While IS has cast its destruction of Iraqi heritage as a religiously mandated removal of idols, the jihadists have had no qualms about selling smaller artefacts to fund their operations.

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IS overran large areas north and west of Baghdad in 2014, but Iraqi forces backed by US-led air strikes have since recaptured most of the territory they lost.

Iraqi forces launched the operation to retake Mosul on October 17, first recapturing its eastern side and then setting their sights on the west in a push launched last month.

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Trump is wallowing in ‘self-pity’ even though McConnell promised to protect him: Morning Joe

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Appearing on MNBC's "Morning Joe," New York Times reporter Peter Baker said Donald Trump is wallowing in "self-pity" that fluctuates with "combativeness" as he worries about the effect being impeached will have on his legacy.

Speaking with host Joe Scarborough, Baker filled in the blanks from his Times report, saying the president is obsessed with the impeachment hearings and Senate trial still to come.

Asked by host Scarborough about Trump's "humiliation," Baker said, "He can count on the Republican-controlled Senate to hold the trial where he seems almost certain to be acquitted, or at least see the charges dismissed in some fashion."

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WATCH LIVE: House holds historic vote on the impeachment of Donald Trump

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After a 14-hour House Judiciary Committee Thursday hearing considering the impeachment of Donald Trump, Democrats and Republicans on the committee will reconvene once again Friday morning where they are expected to finally vote on the articles of impeachment before sending them to the House floor for a full vote scheduled for next week.

According to NBC, "In a surprise move, Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler delayed the vote until Friday morning at 10 a.m. after more than 14 hours of debate. There were five votes on Thursday: one to eliminate the first article on abuse of power, a second to strike a reference to former Vice President Joe Biden, a third to note the aid withheld from Ukraine was eventually released, a fourth to strike entire second amendment on obstruction of Congress and a fifth to strike the last lines in each article. All were voted down and along party lines."

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‘Trump was caught’: Every major GOP excuse for president’s conduct destroyed by ex-prosecutor

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Former federal prosecutor Barbara McQuade said Thursday's marathon impeachment hearing left her "shouting" at her television, so she gathered her thoughts and blew up Republican defenses one by one.

McQuade, an MSNBC legal analyst and former U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan, exposed the weaknesses in each of the GOP's sometimes contradictory defenses of President Donald Trump against impeachment by the House of Representatives.

Here are the GOP defenses I have heard so far to articles of impeachment, along with the knee-jerk responses I have been shouting at my television.

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