The U.S. House of Representatives' Oversight Committee has issued a subpoena for Secretary of State John Kerry to testify at a May 21 public hearing concerning the 2012 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, the committee said on Friday. Committee Chairman Darrell Issa said the panel wanted Kerry to answer questions about the State Department's response to the congressional investigation of the Benghazi attack. Issa, a California Republican, said the State Department has not fully complied with previous subpoenas for documents related to the attack on September 11, 2012, that killed four Americans. Separately, House Speaker John Boehner, said he intends for the House to vote to create a new select committee to investigate the Benghazi incident.
By Colleen Jenkins CARY, North Carolina (Reuters) - "American Idol" runner-up Clay Aiken readily signs autographs and poses for selfies with voters in his bid for a North Carolina congressional seat, but tries hard to keep his pitch at campaign stops focused on political issues. "I have done my very best not to sing," said Aiken, 35. In April, the Washington-based Cook Political Report admitted surprise after Aiken proved to be well-versed on political affairs, "washing away any notion he's another superficial, stage-managed Hollywood star dabbling in politics as a new hobby." Even so, political experts say the first-time candidate is in an uphill, perhaps futile, battle to win the primary and then unseat the incumbent in a district North Carolina's Republican-led legislature re-drew to favor their party. U.S. Representative Renee Ellmers, 50, a former nurse, beat a moderate Democrat for the seat during the Republicans' national electoral sweep in 2010 and two years later won her second term with 56 percent of the vote.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday reaffirmed their commitment to completing the U.S.-EU trade agreement. Merkel, speaking alongside Obama at the White House following their meeting, also said the pact will help Europe with its energy issues. "This is a very important issue. It will be very important for us to bring the negotiations very quickly to a close," Merkel said. (Reporting by Susan Heavey)