Tuesday morning news: December 18, 2018

Comey once again testifies before House committees » Former FBI Director James Comey was back on Capitol Hill Monday for a second round of questioning before House panels.

He met once again behind closed doors with lawmakers on the Oversight and Judiciary committees.

Comey later told reporters he was frustrated to again face questions about the FBI’s handling of the Clinton email investigation and the Russia probe.

COMEY: So another day of Hillary Clinton’s emails and the Steele dossier. This while the president of the United States is lying about the FBI, attacking the FBI, and attacking the rule of law in this country? How does that make any sense at all? 

Comey also ripped GOP lawmakers who he said are not standing up for the FBI.

Many Republicans say Comey has not been fully cooperative with House investigators.

Flynn to learn sentence today » Former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn will learn his fate at a sentencing hearing today. Flynn pleaded guilty last year to lying to the FBI in questioning related to the Russia probe.

Special counsel Robert Mueller has praised Flynn’s cooperation and recommended against prison time.

But Flynn’s lawyers have suggested investigators misled Flynn and discouraged him from having an attorney present during an interview last year.

Republican Congressman Darrell Issa told Fox News that he believes Flynn’s conviction could ultimately be overturned.

ISSA: And that in fact we go all the way to the Supreme Court with new protections when the FBI and the Department of Justice lies to somebody and tricks them into making statements, and then charges them with a lie that they entrap them in. 

Mueller responded to the accusations by saying no one but Flynn is responsible for his false statements.

On Monday prosecutors charged two of Flynn’s former business partners with illegally lobbying for Turkey as part of a campaign to pressure the U.S. to expel a Turkish cleric. Bijan Kian and Kamil Alptekin are charged with conspiracy and acting as an unregistered agent of a foreign government.

Saudi Arabia fires back at U.S. Senate » Saudi Arabia fired back at U.S. lawmakers on Monday, just days after the Senate voted to rebuke the kingdom over the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. WORLD Radio’s Sarah Schweinsberg reports.

SARAH SCHWEINSBERG, REPORTER: Saudi Arabia issued an unusually strong statement Monday aimed at the U.S. Senate.

The chamber voted last week in favor of a resolution that laid the blame for Khashoggi’s murder at the feet of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

The Saudi government responded by saying—quote—“The kingdom categorically rejects any interference in its internal affairs, any and all accusations, in any manner, that disrespect its leadership.” It also suggested the Senate vote undermines the kingdom’s sovereignty.

But Saudi Arabia also made clear it wants to maintain close ties to the U.S.  The statement described the Senate as “an esteemed legislative body of an allied and friendly government.”

Reporting for WORLD Radio, I’m Sarah Schweinsberg.

U.S. launches airstrikes in Somalia » The Pentagon has confirmed that the U.S. military carried out six airstrikes over the weekend in Somalia killing more than 60 al-Shabaab terrorists south of Mogadishu.

The military launched four airstrikes on Saturday and two more on Sunday. No civilians were among those killed or injured.

The U.S. said the strikes were aimed at preventing militants from using remote areas to recruit and plot future attacks. Al-Shabaab has killed dozens of people in bombings in Somalia since early November.

Chinese government raids another Christian church » Chinese authorities have raided another house church in southern China in an ongoing crackdown on unregistered congregations. WORLD Radio’s Kristen Flavin has that story.

KRISTEN FLAVIN, REPORTER: More than 60 police and other government officials stormed a church in Guangzhou during a children’s Bible class over the weekend. Authorities seized more than 4,000 books and other items.

The government said the congregation violated Religious Affairs regulations and asked members to attend any of the 15 registered Protestant churches in the city.

The raid came just days after police detained more than 100 members of Early Rain Covenant Church in Chengdu. Lead pastor Wang Yi and his wife are still imprisoned. Authorities on Sunday arrested about 60 members of the church who tried to gather for worship at a riverside park, in the field of a nearby university, and at the closed church building. Chinese authorities also closed down Zion Church in Beijing in September.

Reporting for WORLD Radio, I’m Kristen Flavin.

CBS denies former boss Les Moonves severance payout » Former CBS chief executive Les Moonves will not receive his $120 million severance package after the company’s board of directors determined he was fired “with cause” over sexual misconduct allegations.

The board said Monday it reached its decision after finding that Moonves failed to cooperate fully with investigators looking into the allegations. The board also cited what it called Moonves’ “willful and material misfeasance,” a violation of company policies and a breach of his contract.

Moonves was ousted in September after several women accused him of harassment and assault.

(AP Photo/Susan Walsh) Former FBI Director James Comey, center, standing with his attornery David Kelley, right, speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, Dec. 7, 2018.

WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.

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