delayed until July 24
WASHINGTON | Special counsel Robert Mueller’s testimony to Congress has been delayed until July 24 under an agreement that gives lawmakers more time to question him.
Mueller had been scheduled to testify July 17 before two house committees about the findings of his Russia investigation. But lawmakers in both parties complained that the short length of the hearings would not allow enough time for all members to ask questions.
Under the new arrangement, Mueller will testify for an extended period of time — three hours instead of two — before the House Judiciary Committee. He will then testify before the House intelligence committee in a separate hearing. The two committees said in a statement that all members of both committees will be able to question him.
The agreement will also give Mueller more time to prepare for the rigorous questioning. The statement said the postponement was “at his request.”
lead push to restrict president on Iran strikes
WASHINGTON | The Democratic-controlled House voted Friday to put a liberalized stamp on Pentagon policy, including a bipartisan proposal to limit President Donald Trump’s authority to make war against Iran.
The measure passed along party lines after a series of votes that pushed it further to the left. Among them was a 251-170 tally to require Trump get authorization from Congress to conduct military strikes against Iran, along with a repeal of a 2002 law authorizing the war in Iraq.
More than two dozen Republicans joined with Democrats on the Iran vote. Trump last month came within minutes of launching a missile strike against Iran in retaliation for Iran’s downing of a U.S. drone.
The broader measure passed by a 220-197 vote after several other provisions were tacked on by the Democratic Party’s progressive wing, which had been upset by leadership’s handling of a border bill last month.
R. Kelly hit with federal indictments in
New York, Chicago
NEW YORK | Accused pedophile R. Kelly allegedly forced his underaged sexual partners to call him “Daddy” — and paid their parents to say nothing.
The R&B superstar, in a pair of federal indictments, was accused Friday of spending more than $600,000 in a yearslong cover-up of his sexual contact with multiple underaged girls.
Kelly, 52, paid cash, financed overseas vacations and facilitated bribes to his victims or their families to protect himself, particularly in his efforts to locate missing videotapes made of his illegal sexual sessions with the teenage girls, according to a newly unsealed Chicago indictment.
A superseding indictment filed separately a short time earlier in Brooklyn detailed Kelly’s request for his victims to refer to him “Daddy.” The detail came in court papers accusing the singer and his underlings of coercing and grooming women to sleep with the Grammy winner.
Kelly was charged with racketeering, kidnapping, forced labor and sexual exploitation of a child in New York.
Somalia extremist attack in port city of Kismayo kills 10
MOGADISHU, Somalia | At least 10 people, including two journalists, were killed in an extremist attack Friday on a hotel in the port city of Kismayo, a Somali official said.
Abdi Ahmed, a local district official, told The Associated Press the death toll may rise as fighting is continuing inside the Asasey Hotel between the extremist gunmen and security forces. He said gunfire was continuing inside the hotel.
He said most of the victims were patrons of the hotel, which is often frequented by lawmakers and local officials. He said the victims include two journalists.
— From AP reports