The Slatest

All the Non-Mueller News That Broke While Mueller Testified

Queen Elizabeth II welcomes Boris Johnson.
Queen Elizabeth II welcomes Boris Johnson.
Photo by Victoria Jones - WPA Pool/Getty Images

Special counsel Robert Mueller’s congressional testimony has been dominating media coverage throughout Wednesday morning. Pictures of Mueller’s dour visage and telling quotes from his testimony have been occupying prime real estate on the homepages of almost all news outlets, including Slate. Takeaways from Mueller’s cautious performance are consuming Twitter feeds, and the top post on Reddit’s front page as of this morning is a discussion thread for the hearing.

But major news regarding big tech, the U.K. government, and other matters of import have continued to flood in. Here’s a rundown of all the other news that you may have missed while following Mueller’s testimony.

Boris Johnson Officially Becomes Prime Minister of the U.K.

Theresa May formally tendered her resignation, which Queen Elizabeth II accepted on Wednesday. Former Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, who won the race to lead the ruling Conservative Party on Tuesday, met with the queen in Buckingham Palace shortly afterward to officially assume the role of the U.K.’s prime minister.

Upon assuming the role, Johnson said there were “no ifs, ands, or buts” in his vow to carry out Brexit and leave the EU by Oct. 31.

The U.S. Sues Facebook

The Department of Justice filed a lawsuit against Facebook on Wednesday for violating the terms of an FTC order.

The filing reads, “This action seeks to hold Facebook accountable for its failure to protect consumers’ privacy as required by the 2012 Order and the FTC Act.” Facebook recently agreed to pay $5 billion to the FTC for privacy breaches, a recording-setting fine that will still just be a drop in the bucket for a company that is expected to earn $69.43 billion this year.

Federal Judge Allows Trump’s Asylum Restrictions to Proceed

U.S. District Judge Timothy J. Kelly of D.C. ruled on Wednesday that the Trump administration can severely restrict requests from asylum-seekers at the U.S-Mexico border. The rules now dictate that people who pass through a third country on their way to the U.S. cannot apply for asylum if they do not first try to settle in that intermediary country.

Advocacy groups, such as the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services, challenged the administration’s directive in a lawsuit filed on July 16. The ACLU is also currently challenging the new rules in a San Francisco court.

Suicide Bombing in Somalia

Somalian police announced that a suicide bomber had detonated explosives in the office of the mayor for Mogadishu, the country’s capital city, on Wednesday. Mayor Abdirahman Omar Osman and his deputy are in the hospital with critical injuries. Two district commissioners were among those killed. The bombing occurred during a security meeting, shortly after the mayor had met with the new United Nations envoy to Somalia. This attack comes shortly after a bombing at a hotel near the city’s international airport killed at least 17 people and injured 28 on Monday.

Meek Mill’s Conviction is Overturned

A Pennsylvania appeals court overturned the 2008 conviction of Philadelphia rapper Meek Mill on Wednesday. Meek Mill, whose actual name is Robert Rihmeek Williams, was arrested in 2007 at the age of 19 for possessing drugs and a firearm. He served eight months in prison and was kept on parole for 10 years. Common Pleas Judge Genece Brinkley sent Williams back to prison in 2017 for a parole violations, which led to protests from criminal justice reform advocates. A three-judge appeals court granted Williams a new trial, which his lawyers requested on the basis of police corruption and Brinkley’s alleged lack of impartiality. The judges also noted that he would likely be acquitted if retried.

Rutger Hauer Passes Away

Actor Rutger Hauer died last week at the age of 75 after battling an illness, his agent confirmed on Wednesday. Hauer was an actor for more than 50 years and appeared in over 100 movies. One of his most famous roles was as the replicant Roy Batty in the seminal 1982 sci-fi film Blade Runner, and he played villains in Sin City and Batman Begins. He also appeared in various TV series, such as True Blood. Rutger was an active sponsor of Greenpeace and founded an AIDS awareness non-profit called the Starfish Association.

We’ve updated this post throughout the day as Mueller testified.