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Police accuse three over toppled Confederate statue in Chapel Hill, North Carolina

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University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill police accused three people of violations related to the toppling of a statue of a Confederate soldier on campus, a university police spokesman said on Friday.

About 300 demonstrators gathered on Monday evening for a protest and march at the base of Silent Sam, a memorial erected in 1913 to soldiers of the pro-slavery Confederacy killed during the Civil War. Protesters pulled the statue down with rope, cheering as it lay face down in the mud, its head and back covered in dirt.

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Each of the three people faces misdemeanor charges of riot and defacing of a public monument, university police spokesman Randy Young said in an emailed statement.

The three are not affiliated with the University of North Carolina, Young said. The police investigation is ongoing and there may be additional arrests, he said.

The incident was part of a recent movement to dismantle U.S. Civil War symbols that critics say glorify the South’s legacy of slavery. Many Americans see statues such as Silent Sam as symbols of racism and glorifications of the Southern states’ defense of slavery. Supporters view them as important symbols of American history.

University of North Carolina police reviewed video on Tuesday to identify the protesters who toppled the statue.

The UNC system board chair, Harry Smith Jr, and president, Margaret Spellings, denounced the toppling of the statue.

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Last year UNC students threatened to sue the school, alleging that the university violated federal anti-discrimination laws by allowing the statue to remain on campus.

Reporting by Suzannah Gonzales in Chicago; Editing by Alistair Bell

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‘I demand to speak!’ Republican bursts into anger over Adam Schiff’s closing remarks

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Republican Rep. Mike Conaway (TX) was not pleased that House Intelligence Committee chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) got the last word at the second public impeachment hearing on Friday.

During his closing remarks, Schiff said Trump had engaged in "an effort to coerce, condition or bribe a foreign country into doing [his] dirty work."

"The fact that they failed in this solicitation of bribery doesn’t make it any less bribery. Doesn’t make it any less immoral or corrupt. It just means it was unsuccessful. And to that we owe other dedicated public servants who blew the whistle. Had they not blown the whistle we wouldn’t be here and I think it is appalling that my colleagues continue to want to out this whistleblower so that he or she can be punished by this president," Schiff said.

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‘I’m sorry — is there a question there?’ Yovanovitch snaps back at Jim Jordan’s jumbled posturing

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As questioning of former Ukraine ambassador Marie Yovanovitch resumed on the second day of the House's public hearing in their impeachment inquiry, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) tried to suggest that there was a culture of anti-Trump sentiment amongst elements of the Ukrainian government and its US envoys.

Jordan then questioned Yovanovitch as to why she didn't try to intervene to make the environment less politicized.

"One of the things we've heard so much over the last six weeks in depositions, and frankly in the hearing on Wednesday, is how important bipartisan support is for Ukraine," Jordan said addressing Yovanovitch. "Democrats and Republicans agree they want to help Ukraine, in fact, [Ambassador Bill Taylor] said, 'Ukraine's most strategic asset is this bipartisan support...'"

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Trump ‘blew up’ Republicans’ Yovanovitch strategy with bone-headed tweet: Former GOP House Intel chair

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Former Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI), who once served as the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, shredded President Donald Trump for his widely panned decision to tweet out smears of former American ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch.

When asked by CNN's Jake Tapper on Friday what he made of the Yovanovitch hearing so far, Rogers didn't mince words about the president's behavior.

"I think the president blew up any Republican plan to treat the witness with respect when he tweeted out this morning," he said. "So I think that kind of screwed up their rhythm a little bit."

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