Happening Today: Comey Testimony, Cosby Trial, Terror in London, Common Cancers, Peter Sallis

What to Know

  • President Trump will not assert executive privilege to block fired FBI Director Comey from testifying on Capitol Hill, the White House says
  • Drugs are scoring big wins against common cancers, setting new standards for how to treat many prostate, breast and lung tumors
  • Actor Peter Sallis, who played irrepressible, cheese-loving inventor Wallace in the "Wallace and Gromit" cartoons, has died, his agent says

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Trump Won't Seek to Block Comey's Testimony, White House Says

President Trump will not assert executive privilege to block fired FBI Director James Comey from testifying on Capitol Hill, the White House said, setting the stage for a dramatic public airing of the former top law enforcement official's dealings with the commander in chief. White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the president's power to invoke executive privilege is "well-established." But she said Trump wanted to allow for a "swift and thorough examination of the facts" related to Comey's ouster and the multiple investigations into his campaign's possible ties to Russia. Comey is scheduled to testify before the Senate intelligence committee. His appearance will mark his first public comments since he was abruptly fired by the president on May 9. White House officials had weighed trying to block Comey by arguing that his discussions with the president pertained to national security and that there was an expectation of privacy. However, officials ultimately concluded that the optics of taking that step would be worse than the risk of letting the former FBI director testify freely.

First Accuser Testifies as Cosby Trial Gets Underway

Bill Cosby went on trial on charges he drugged and sexually assaulted a woman more than a decade ago, with prosecutors immediately introducing evidence the 79-year-old TV star once known as America's Dad had done it before to someone else. The prosecution's opening witness was not the person Cosby is charged with abusing, but another woman, who broke down in tears as she testified that the comedian violated her in the mid-1990s at a hotel bungalow in Los Angeles. Cosby is on trial on charges he assaulted Andrea Constand, a former employee of Temple University's basketball program, at his suburban Philadelphia mansion in 2004. His good-guy reputation already in ruins, he could get 10 years in prison if convicted.

2 of 3 London Attackers Identified After Neighbors Reportedly Raised Concerns

Neighbors of Khuram Shazad Butt, one of the alleged assailants in the London terror attack, have told Reuters they reported him to authorities at least twice after he attempted to convert their children to radical Islam in a local park. Seven people were killed and 48 wounded in the attack, with three alleged attackers killed by police. Police identified Butt and a second attacker, Rachid Redouane, both from the town of Barking in east London. NBC security analyst Duncan Gardham told NBC News that Butt, 27, was part of a radical group in East London that supports ISIS. Butt had attracted concern from friends and neighbors. "I said: 'These four people, they don't look right to me. They look like they are radicalizing the kids. I don't like it,'" neighbor Erica Gasparri told Reuters.

Drugs Score Big Wins Against Lung, Prostate, Breast Cancers

Drugs are scoring big wins against common cancers, setting new standards for how to treat many prostate, breast and lung tumors. There's even a "uni-drug" that may fight many forms of the disease. What's striking: The drugs are beneficial in some cases for more than a year, much longer than the few months many new drugs provide. Janssen Biotech's Zytiga improved survival and delayed cancer growth for 18 months when added to standard care in a study of 1,200 men with advanced prostate cancer. The drug is approved to treat tumors that are resistant to hormone therapy; this study tested it as initial treatment. Roche's Alecensa stopped cancer growth for 15 months longer than Pfizer's Xalkori did in a study of 303 people with advanced lung cancer and a mutation in a gene called ALK. About 5 percent of lung cancer patients — 12,500 in the U.S. each year — have an ALK mutation, especially younger people and nonsmokers who get the disease. For the first time, a new type of drug called a PARP inhibitor showed promise in a major study of women with inherited BRCA gene mutations that raise their risk of developing breast cancer. PARP inhibitors keep cancer cells from fixing problems in their DNA, and some are approved now for some ovarian cancers.

Quickly Reporting Cancer Complications May Boost Survival, Study Shows

If you're being treated for cancer, speak up about any side effects. A study that had patients use home computers to report symptoms like nausea and fatigue surprisingly improved survival — by almost half a year, longer than many new cancer drugs do. The online tool was intended as a quick and easy way for people to regularly report complications rather than trying to call their doctors or waiting until the next appointment. Researchers had hoped to improve quality of life but got a bonus in longer survival. "I was floored by the results," said the study leader, Dr. Ethan Basch. "We are proactively catching things early" with online reporting. Patients were able to stick with treatment longer because their side effects were quickly addressed, he said. People shouldn't assume that symptoms are an unavoidable part of cancer care, said Dr. Richard Schilsky, chief medical officer of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

Peter Sallis, Voice of “Wallace and Gromit,” Dead at 96, Agent Says

British actor Peter Sallis, who played irrepressible, cheese-loving inventor Wallace in the "Wallace and Gromit" cartoons, has died, his agent said. He was 96. Sallis' talent agency, Jonathan Altaras Associates, said he died Friday at a retirement home for actors in London. Born in London in 1921, Sallis began his working life in a bank, but caught the acting bug as a Royal Air Force serviceman during World War II. After the war, he attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and built up a diverse career onstage and in British film and television. He became famous in Britain as a star of the long-running sitcom "Last of the Summer Wine." Sallis was proud to have appeared in every episode during the show's 37-year run. Millions around the world know his voice from animator Nick Park's "Wallace and Gromit," which charted the adventures of a cheese-loving Yorkshireman with a passion for inventing wild contraptions and his level-headed, silent dog, Gromit.

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