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Civil rights pioneer Chief Standing Bear honored in US Capitol

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Chief Standing Bear, the courageous Ponca leader whose 19th century defense of Native American equality made him a civil rights hero, was honored Wednesday with a statue in the US Capitol.

Some 140 years after Standing Bear’s legendary 1879 legal battle — in which he declared to a judge “I am a man, God made us both” — a bronze likeness of the chief took its place in Statuary Hall, alongside other American giants like Rosa Parks and Daniel Webster.

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The Nebraska-born chief was “one of the most important civil rights leaders in our country that almost nobody knows about, and we hope to be able to correct that today and tell his story,” Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts told a crowd including present-day Ponca elders.

Shortly after the Civil War, Standing Bear’s tribe was forced under government order from Nebraska to Indian country in the state of Oklahoma.

He was arrested when he left the reservation to take his dying 16-year-old son to be buried back in his homeland.

In court, Chief Standing Bear rose with his hand outstretched and addressed the judge.

“That hand is not the same color as yours, but if I pierce it, I shall feel pain. If you pierce your hand, you will also feel pain,” Standing Bear said in Ricketts’s retelling.

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“The blood that will flow from my hand will be the same color as yours. I am a man, God made us both.”

Chief Standing Bear’s defiance made him an icon among Native American, but his feat is not commonly recounted today.

“I’ll be honest… I did not know the story,” admitted House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.

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By honoring this hero, “we are building on their solid foundation,” McCarthy said of the nation’s founding fathers. “We definitely are forming a more perfect union.”

A man and woman in colorful native dress carried the US flag and the tribe’s flag as the national anthem was played.

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A Ponca tribesman with a lone feather in his hair somberly beat a drum as he sang a prayer, and dignitaries spoke of the legacy of Chief Standing Bear, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

“We touch the nobility of another person’s life, and we connect to the universal meaning of that person’s sacrifice,” said congressman Jeff Fortenberry of Nebraska.


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Jewish groups slam Fox News for inviting back pro-Trump lawyers after anti-Semitic remarks

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Less than a month after inviting backlash from Jewish groups for voicing antisemitic tropes during an interview on Fox Business, conservative lawyers and Trump loyalists Joe diGenova and Victoria Toensing are back on Fox's airwaves as of this Monday night.

In a series of statements released this Tuesday, the Anti-Defamation League and J Street called diGenova’s return “disturbing," adding that his appearance shows a "lack of remorse" on the network's part for inviting him back on, The Daily Beast reports.

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GOP’s Kevin McCarthy repeatedly lies in Trump defense against articles of impeachment

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House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy defended President Donald Trump from the articles of impeachment issued by Democrats, and he was roundly criticized for lying about the evidence.

The California Republican complained that the minority was not allowed to call witnesses during impeachment hearings, and then cited testimony from a GOP witness to defend the president.

"We watched in a hearing, a Democrat constitutional scholar that did not vote for President Trump say this was the weakest, the thinnest, the fastest impeachment in the history of America," McCarthy said. "He then went to say if there was an abuse it would be abuse on the Democrats to move forward. The speaker must not have listened to that hearing. If the speaker had only waited 48 hours to release the transcript, America would not be put through the nightmare."

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Trump to meet with top Russian foreign minister amid impeachment battle

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Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Tuesday opened a visit to Washington in which he will meet Donald Trump, the very day when Democrats unveiled impeachment charges against the president.

The timing marks a redux of the veteran Russian diplomat's last visit to Washington in May 2017, when Trump was fighting off allegations that he cooperated with Russia and was accused of sharing classified information with Lavrov.

Lavrov began the day of talks by meeting with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who said the Trump administration was determined to pursue its work despite the politics at home.

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