CONGRESS TO BE BRIEFED ON STATE DEPARTMENT, UKRAINE DOCUMENTS… The State Department’s inspector general has called an “urgent” briefing this afternoon to brief staffers from eight House and Senate committees about documents related to the State Department and Ukraine. The briefing will be reportedly made at a secure location on Capitol Hill. The timing of the briefing is curious, as it is being called during a congressional recess.
FORMER STATE GOP CHAIRMAN TO TESTIFY AGAINST CO-DEFENDANTS… Former North Carolina state Republican chairman and member of Congress Robin Hayes is expected to testify against other defendants in the state’s largest-ever case of political bribery as part of a deal he has reached with federal prosecutors. Hayes is reportedly willing to plead guilty to a single felony count of lying to the FBI in entering a guilty plea in federal court today. Hayes was one of four men indicted last March on multiple charges of conspiracy and bribery.
COURT RULES ON NET NEUTRALITY… A federal appeals court yesterday ruled in favor of the Federal Communications Commission’s decision to strike down net neutrality but said the agency can’t prevent states from having their own open Internet laws. The FCC had lifted the Obama-era law, which treated all Internet data equally and barred Internet service providers from slowing or throttling speeds, blocking access to lawful content and offering “fast lanes” for large companies. Republicans in Congress criticized net neutrality for tougher regulations for larger ISPs. Supporters of net neutrality say it protects customers from Internet “gatekeepers” which could charge premium prices for faster speeds and block content from competitors.
JUDGE BLOCKS GEORGIA ‘HEARTBEAT’ ABORTION LAW… A federal judge in Georgia yesterday blocked the state’s so-called “heartbeat” abortion law. House Bill 481 would have taken effect on January 1, 2020. It outlawed abortions from being performed after a fetal heartbeat can be heard, effectively barring abortions after about six weeks of pregnancy. District Judge Steve Jones wrote that the Supreme Court has “repeatedly and unequivocally” held that a state may not ban abortion prior to viability, which is established as between 24 weeks and 26 weeks of pregnancy in Roe vs. Wade.
DALLAS POLICE OFFICER GUILTY OF MURDER… A Dallas jury has found former Dallas police officer Amber Guyger guilty of murder in the fatal shooting of a 26-year-old man who lived in the apartment directly above hers last year. Guyger had claimed that she entered victim Botham Jean’s apartment mistakenly thinking it was hers and thought he was an intruder. Guyger faces a possible punishment of five to 99 years in prison.
STACEY DASH SEEKS PUBLIC DEFENDER… Actress Stacey Dash says she can’t afford an attorney and is seeking to be represented by a public defender following her arrest on domestic assault. Dash was arrested on Sunday following a dispute with her husband and stepchildren. Dash is required to provide financial documentation listing all income, assets, liabilities and debts before she’ll be assigned a public defender.
R. KELLY WANTS TO BOND OUT… R. Kelly wants to be released on bond following his July arrest on sex-trafficking charges. The R&B singer has been jailed in the Chicago area while awaiting trial. He has complained about being allowed to see only one girlfriend at a time. Kelly also faces charges in New York on racketeering, kidnapping, forced labor and sexual exploitation of a child.
NL WILD-CARD GAME…
WASHINGTON 4 – Milwaukee 3… Juan Soto’s bases-loaded single in the bottom of the eighth inning skirted past Brewers right-fielder Trent Grisham and allowed all three runners to score and lift the Nationals over the Brewers in the NL Wild-Card game. Trea Turner smacked a third-inning homer for Washington, which advances to take on the Dodgers in the National League Division Series beginning tomorrow.
TONIGHT’S MLB SCHEDULE…
Tampa Bay (Charlie Morton) is at Oakland (Sean Manaea) for the AL Wild-Card game, 8 p.m. Eastern, ESPN
NHL REGULAR SEASON GETS UNDERWAY TONIGHT…
Eight teams are on the ice tonight to open the 2019-2020 regular season. The defending Stanley Cup-champion St. Louis Blues host Washington in the marquee matchup. In other games:
Ottawa is at Toronto…
Edmonton hosts Vancouver…
San Jose is at Vegas