THE US Justice Department has agreed to turn over some of the underlying evidence from special counsel Robert Mueller’s report, including files used to assess whether Donald Trump obstructed justice, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee said.

In the first breakthrough in weeks of negotiations over the report, representative Jerrold Nadler said the department will begin complying with the committee’s subpoena and provide some of Mueller’s “most important files”.

In response to the agreement, Nadler said plans to resort to criminal contempt statutes to enforce the subpoena would be put on hold.

THE president of Greece has accepted a request from Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to dissolve parliament after a heavy defeat in European parliamentary elections.

Greece is now on track for a general election on July 7, three months ahead of schedule.

During a brief meeting with President Prokopis Pavlopoulos, Tsipras said he wanted the early election to avoid months of campaigning that might have endangered the bailed-out country’s economy.

In last month’s European vote, Tsipras’s governing Syriza party lost by more than nine percentage points to the main opposition, the conservative New Democracy party. Opinion polls point to New Democracy winning the upcoming election comfortably.

THE Egyptian Government is

trying to halt an auction of a 3000-year-old stone sculpture of the famed boy pharaoh Tutankhamun at Christie’s in London, demanding documents proving its ownership.

The statue – a brown quartzite head depicting Tutankhamun – is scheduled to be auctioned off in July and could generate as much as £4 million.

According to a 1983 law regulating the ownership of antiquities, any ancient artefacts found in Egypt are considered state property, “with the exception of antiquities whose ownership or possession was already established at the time this law came into effect”.

Christie’s said Prinz Wilhelm von Thurn und Taxis reputedly had the sculpture in his collection by the 1960s.

THE high court of Botswana has rejected sections of the penal code that criminalise same-sex relations and impose up to seven years in prison.

The unanimous ruling in the southern African nation called the sections unconstitutional.

This comes less than a month after Kenya’s high court upheld similar sections of its penal code in another closely watched case.

More than two dozen countries in sub-Saharan Africa have laws criminalising gay sex.