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Iran unveils home-grown missile defense system

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Iran unveiled its new home-grown air defence system on Thursday at a time of increased tensions with the United States.

Iranian officials have previously called Bavar-373 the Islamic republic’s first domestically produced long-range missile defense system.

Tehran began making Bavar — which means “believe” — after the purchase of Russia’s S-300 system was suspended in 2010 due to international sanctions.

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President Hassan Rouhani attended the unveiling ceremony for the mobile surface-to-air system and ordered it to be added to Iran’s missile defense network, state news agency IRNA reported.

“The long-range Bavar-373 missile system is suited to Iran’s geography with a range of more than 200 kilometers (124 miles) … and competes with Russian and American systems such as S-300 and Patriot,” IRNA said.

The system is “better than S-300 and close to S-400”, Rouhani said in televised remarks after the ceremony, held on Iran’s “national defense industry day”.

Pictures released by his office showed the system mounted on the back of military trucks in Tehran.

Iran installed the S-300 system in March 2016 following several years of delays, after a nuclear agreement reached with world powers the previous year allowed the lifting of international sanctions.

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Thursday’s unveiling takes place against a backdrop of rising tensions with Washington since President Donald Trump last year withdrew the United States from the nuclear deal and reimposed sanctions.

Iran shot down a US Global Hawk drone with a surface-to-air missile in June for allegedly violating its airspace, which the United States denies.

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Watch Rachel Maddow and Lawrence O’Donnell on the GOP effort to convict Trump for President Pence

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MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow on Tuesday reported on the effort by "Republicans for the Rule of Law" to convince GOP senators that the party may be better off with Mike Pence in the Oval Office.

If Trump is convicted in his impeachment trial and removed from office, Vice President Pence would ascend to the presidency.

"Here it is in the wild. This is a billboard truck that puttered around Washington, D.C. all day, shuttling between the capitol and the White House and the Trump Hotel," Maddow reported, showing images of the moving billboard.

Moddow noted that on one side the truck read, "Remove Trump for Pence" and on the other, "Pence, it could be worse."

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GOP choice could be a fair Senate trial now — or a criminal trial in New York this summer: law professor

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The decision facing Senate Republicans is not whether or not to allow witnesses, but is actually whether they want Donald Trump's trial to take place in the U.S. Senate now, or in New York state criminal court closer to the 2020 presidential election, according to Fordham Law Prof. Jed Shugerman.

Shugerman was interviewed on Tuesday by MSNBC's Chris Hayes.

The host noted recent reporting showing it is the vulnerable Senate Republicans up for re-election in 2020 who are most opposed to calling witnesses.

"I think they're panicked, but they're not gaming this out. They would prefer, if they understood what else could happen outside the halls of the Senate, they would prefer for the Senate to control this process," Shugeman explained.

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White House lawyers’ defense of Trump was ‘grossly misleading and a violation of ethical duties’: Preet Bharara

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On CNN Tuesday, former Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara pointed out that if White House lawyers had any advance knowledge of former National Security Adviser John Bolton's testimony, they had an ethical obligation not to hide it from the Senate.

"There is ... an ethical question," said Bharara. "They were asked today in a briefing, where they had a source, who was asked the question, did you review the manuscript, and they said no, we didn't review the manuscript. They were then asked where you briefed on the contents of the manuscript and they said, that's all we're going to say."

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