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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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“But let’s underscore once again, while you are the beginning of this story, you’re not the end of it — but nonetheless, the beginning is important, because the beginning of the story is an effort to get you out of the way… to get you out of the way, because they felt you were an impediment to the political investigations the president so desperately wanted.

“Giuliani has made it abundantly clear he was in Ukraine on a mission for his client for the president to investigate the Bidens. And you were viewed as an obstacle that had to go. Not just by Giuliani but by the president of the United States, and if people had any doubt about it, they should do what the president asks. Read the transcript. What they will see in the transcript is the president praises the corrupt, he praises the corrupt, Lutsenko. He condemns the just, you. And then he asks for an investigation of the Bidens. There is no camouflaging that corrupt intent,” Schiff concluded.

“Chairman, you disparaged those members on this side of aisle and we should have a chance to respond to your disparaging remarks,” Conaway fired back.

“Chairman, I demand to speak. Mr. Chairman, Mr. Chairman, Mr. Chairman,” he shouted, to no avail.

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North Korea conducts ‘crucial test’ at Sohae launch site: report

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North Korea has conducted another "crucial test" at its Sohae satellite launch site, state media reported Saturday, as nuclear negotiations between Pyongyang and Washington remain stalled with a deadline approaching.

The announcement comes a day before US Special Envoy on North Korea Stephen Biegun is set to arrive in Seoul for a three-day visit, and after the United States tested a medium-range ballistic missile over the Pacific Ocean on Thursday.

"Another crucial test was successfully conducted at the Sohae Satellite Launching Ground from 22:41 to 22:48 on December 13," a spokesman for the North's National Academy of Defence Science said in a statement carried by the official KCNA news agency.

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US-China trade deal gets tepid reception

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US officials announced a truce in the trade war with China with much fanfare, but economists and trade experts call it largely a victory for Beijing.

After a dispute that raged for close to two years, with several fumbled efforts at a resolution, the US agreed to cancel planned tariffs and rollback others immediately, without a similar commitment from China to lift tariffs it imposed on the US.

"Pardon me if I don't pop champagne, but aside from a cessation of continued escalation, there is not much worth cheering," leading China expert Scott Kennedy said in an analysis of the agreement.

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Is Donald Trump a supporter of Israel? Sure — he’s also an anti-Semite

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On Wednesday, Jared Kushner, who is both a White House senior adviser and President Trump's son-in-law, published an op-ed article in The New York Times defending the president's recent executive order supposedly meant to combat anti-Semitism. The controversial measure will establish that "Title VI of the Civil Rights Act’s prohibition against discrimination based on race, color or national origin covers discrimination against Jews" and defines anti-Semitism using the language of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance.

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