IRAQ CELEBRATES “BIG VICTORY”
MOSUL, IRAQ» Iraq’s prime minister on Tuesday congratulated his fighters on “the big victory in Mosul” — even as fighting with Islamic State militants continued in Mosul’s Old City neighborhood where Iraqi forces are about 250 meters from the Tigris River and facing increasingly fierce resistance.
Haider al-Abadi spoke during a press conference in Baghdad, less than a week after he declared an end to the Islamic Statestyled caliphate after Iraqi forces achieved an incremental win by retaking the landmark al-Nuri Mosque in the Old City.
Lawsuit seeks to void Georgia congressional election results.
Georgia’s electronic touchscreen voting system is so riddled with problems that the results of the most expensive House race in U.S. history should be tossed out and a new election held, according to a lawsuit filed by a government watchdog group and six Georgia voters.
A judge in June threw out a related lawsuit earlier that attempted to force Georgia to use paper ballots.
Illinois senate overrides vetoes. SPRINGFIELD,
ILL.» The Illinois Senate voted Tuesday to override Gov. Bruce Rauner’s vetoes of a $36 billion budget package fueled by a $5 billion tax increase designed to start digging out of the nation’s deepest budget crisis since at least the Great Depression.
The Democratic-controlled chamber completed its work within 30 minutes of the Republican governor’s vetoes, sending the package back to the House for an override vote that would give Illinois its first annual budget since 2015.
Senators visit troops in Afghanistan.
Sen. John McCain, an Arizona Republican, led a group of senators to Pakistan and Afghanistan for the holiday weekend. They visited a military base in South Waziristan and met with Pakistani leaders in Islamabad before traveling to Kabul, Afghanistan.
Democratic senators Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island along with Republican senators Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and David Perdue of Georgia joined McCain on the trip.
Vatican acknowledges problems at “pope’s hospital.” VATICAN CITY»
The Vatican secretary of state acknowledged Tuesday that there were problems at “the pope’s hospital” for children in the past, but said the new administration is making a “serious effort to resolve them.”
Cardinal Pietro Parolin said some of the problems identified by current and former Bambino Gesu Pediatric Hospital staff in 2014 were “truly unfounded.” But for problems that were verified, “there was an attempt, and there is currently an attempt and serious effort to resolve them,” he said.
Parolin was responding to an Associated Press investigation that found under its previous 2008-15 administration, the mission of the children’s hospital had shifted to focus more on profits than on its young patients.
5-year-old killed playing with gun. LOUISVILLE,
MISS.» Mississippi authorities say a 5-year-old boy was killed when a gun went off while he and his 6-yearold brother played with it.
Winston County Coroner Scott Gregory tells The Clarion-Ledger the boys’ father and grandfather were asleep after working night shifts when the gun went off Tuesday afternoon. The boy was hit in the head and died instantly.
Auschwitz Memorial condemns video. NEW ORLEANS»
Officials at the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum have criticized a Louisiana congressman for narrating part of a five-minute video from inside a former gas chamber at the Nazi concentration camp in Poland.
Louisiana news outlets report that in the video, Republican U.S. Rep. Clay Higgins says the gas chamber killings took only about 20 minutes and show why the U.S. military “must be invincible.”
Commission votes to change street names.
HOLLYWOOD, FLA.» In a contentious meeting spanning three hours, the Hollywood City Commission voted Monday to begin the process of changing the streets named after three Confederate generals that lie in the heart of the city’s AfricanAmerican neighborhood.
Intense fighting at Syria’s Old City wall.
The Old City wall of Syria’s Raqqa that was the scene of intense fighting Tuesday in the battle against the Islamic State group was once a testament to the golden age of Islamic civilization.
The 1,300-year-old structure was breached by U.S.-backed Syrian opposition forces trying to capture Raqqa who brought the fight closer to the heart of the city.
Prince’s former drummer dies. TAMPA, FLA.»
One of Prince’s drummers, 43year-old John Blackwell Jr., has died in Florida.
Blackwell’s wife, Yaritza, said in a post Tuesday on his Instagram account that he died “peacefully.” Blackwell was Prince’s drummer for more than a decade.
The Hillsborough County Medical Examiner’s Office did not respond to a message seeking confirmation of Blackwell’s death.