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Russia denies US news report it bombed 4 Syria hospitals in 12 hours

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Russia on Monday denied a US newspaper report that its warplanes bombed four hospitals in rebel-held territory in Syria over a period of 12 hours this year.

The Russian defence ministry rubbished the claim in a report by The New York Times, saying “the alleged ‘evidence’ provided by the NYT is not worth even the paper it was printed on”.

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The May strikes — which the newspaper tied to Moscow through Russian radio recordings, plane spotter logs and accounts by witnesses — are part of a larger pattern of medical facilities targeted by forces supporting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in the country’s devastating civil war.

Nabad al Hayat Surgical Hospital — which staff had fled three days earlier in anticipation of the facility being bombed — was one of those struck during the 12-hour period beginning on May 5, according to the Times’ investigation.

A Russian ground controller gave the exact coordinates of the hospital to the pilot, who reported having it in sight a few minutes later, the newspaper said.

The controller gave the go-ahead for the strike at the same time that a spotter who was tasked with warning civilians about impending strikes logged a Russian jet in the area.

The pilot then reported releasing bombs, and local journalists filming the hospital recorded three bombs going through its roof and exploding.

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Kafr Nabl Surgical Hospital — just a few miles (kilometers) away — was bombed multiple times shortly afterwards.

As with the earlier strike, a spotter registered one of Moscow’s jets circling, and a Russian air force transmission recorded a pilot saying he had “worked” the target before delivering three strikes that were confirmed by a doctor, the Times said.

The Kafr Zita Cave Hospital and Al Amal Orthopedic Hospital were also bombed by Russian aircraft during the 12-hour period. All four facilities had provided their coordinates to the United Nations for inclusion on a list to avoid strikes.

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Russian defence ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov in a lengthy statement reacting to the report claimed The New York Times had become a “victim of manipulation by terrorists and British security services”.

He took issue with a number of details in the report including the anonymity of the newspaper’s sources and said that radioed voice commands are not used to pass coordinates to pilots of Russian fighter planes in Syria.

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UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres announced last month that he was setting up an internal investigation into the bombing of hospitals in Syria that had previously flagged their coordinates.

Several dozen medical facilities with links to the UN have been damaged or destroyed by bombs this year. Russian has denied deliberately targeting civilian installations.


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GOP will be ‘aided and abetted’ by Russian bots and trolls defending Trump: Former FBI counter-intel chief

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The former assistant director for counterintelligence at the Federal Bureau of Investigation warned Americans to "hunker down" because Russian intelligence will be repeating Republican talking points.

Frank Figliuzzi was interviewed Thursday by MSNBC's Brian Williams on "The Last Word."

"Frank, Fiona Hill -- who richly deserves it -- has been awarded front page status tomorrow morning on the front page of The New York Times, and I imagine newspapers and websites across this country," Williams noted.

"It was extraordinary today when she -- in effect, begged -- asked, certainly, members of the committee to stop supplying Russian talking points, to stop advancing Russian propaganda in the Congress of the United States," he continued.

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Trump has committed 6 impeachable offenses: Harvard Law’s Laurence Tribe says ‘the evidence is all there’

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Constitutional law expert Laurence Tribe broke down the six impeachable offenses President Donald Trump has committed during a Thursday appearance on MSNBC's "The Last Word" with Lawrence O'Donnell.

Tribe has argued 36 cases before the United States Supreme Court and taught at Harvard Law for 50 years. He co-authored the 2018 book To End a Presidency: The Power of Impeachment with Joshua Matz.

"Everyone was in the loop, it was no secret. That was the testimony from Ambassador Gordon Sondland yesterday as he implicated the president, Secretary of State, White House chief of staff, and former National Security Advisor John Bolton and other administration officials in the plot to bribe the president of Ukraine to publicly launch an investigation into Joe Biden in exchange for U.S. military aid to Ukraine that was authorized by Congress and that the president was withholding," O'Donnell reported.

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Rachel Maddow breaks down how public opinion is catching up with the facts of Trump’s impeachment

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MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow on Thursday broke down how the details from the televised impeachment hearings are being reported in local newspapers.

The host read the headlines from multiple newspapers following the damning testimony by Ambassador Gordon Sondland.

The Los Angels Times headlined, "Sonland implicates president." "Envoy says Trump directed effort," was The Wall Street Journal headline.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch headlined, "'Everyone was in the loop. It was no secret': Defiant Sondland says he followed Trump's orders."

"Trump directed pressure on Ukraine, ambassador says," headlined The Kansas City Star.

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