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Israel unearths remains of rare ancient mosque

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Israeli archaeologists said Thursday they had unearthed the remains of a rare ancient rural mosque from the seventh and eighth centuries AD in the country’s south.

The remains were discovered during preparations to construct a new building in the Bedouin town of Rahat, the Israel Antiquities Authority said.

It said the remains were of an open-air rectangular mosque with a mihrab, or prayer niche, facing Mecca.

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The authority called it one of the earliest known rural mosques worldwide.

“From this period there are large known mosques in Jerusalem and in Mecca, but here we have evidence of an ancient house of prayer, which seems to have served the farmers who lived in the area,” the authority said in a statement from the excavations’ directors, Jon Seligman and Shahar Zur.

It said no similar building had been found in the area where it was discovered.

The authority was “examining possible ways in which this special finding can be integrated into the new neighborhood,” it said.

Other finds in the area were a small settlement from the early Islamic period, the authority said. The Muslim conquest of the region occurred in the first half of the seventh century.

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Columnist drops the hammer on ‘Stalinist’ GOP’ for running a bogus ‘show trial’ to exonerate Trump

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In a brutal column for the Daily Beast, longtime political observer Michael Tomasky went all-in on an attack on Republican senators for turning the impeachment trial of Donald Trump into a "Stalinist show trial" where the outcome is known before it even starts.

Reflecting on the impassioned case laid out by Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) over the past three days, Tomasky wondered what it would take to get through to Republicans who seem uninterested in fulfilling their constitutional duties.

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‘Take her out!’ Leaked audio purportedly catches Trump demanding firing of Marie Yovanovitch

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An audio recording that has been reviewed by ABC News purportedly catches President Donald Trump demanding the firing of former American ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch.

According to ABC News, the recording was made in April 2018, which was more than a year before Yovanovitch was finally ousted from her position. Additionally, ABC News reports that the recording was made by Igor Fruman, the now-indicted henchman of Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani, who captured the president's voice during a private dinner where he also met with Fruman's co-conspirator, Lev Parnas.

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Republicans’ phony impeachment outrage can’t conceal their deep-seated anxiety

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When you watch a trial, whether you're on a jury yourself or on the couch in front of the TV, the prosecution's presentation always seems airtight — until you see the defense. So I don't want to say at this stage that the House managers in Donald Trump's Senate impeachment trial have made their case. But seriously, it's hard to see how the president's team can plausibly explain away this behavior. Their only choice will be to admit that all the evidence is true and tell the American people that it was perfect.

This article was originally published at Salon

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