Reuters US Domestic News Summary
Following is a summary of current US domestic news briefs.
“All clear” given at Patrick Air Force Base in Florida after bomb threat
An “all clear” signal was given at Patrick Air Force Base in Florida on Friday an hour after a bomb threat forced authorities to evacuate the area, the base said in a tweet. “There is no credible threat to the area at this time,” the air force base said.
Buttigieg pledges billions to curb education disparities
Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg vowed on Saturday to spend hundreds of billions of dollars to improve public education if elected, with a plan that boosts funds for “underserved children” and expands early childhood learning. Buttigieg, who has campaign stops this weekend in Iowa where he has surged into the lead in opinion polls, has faced skepticism among black voters, some of whom have said economic gains in South Bend, Indiana, where he is mayor have left behind minorities.
Bankrupt PG&E reaches $13.5 billion settlement with California wildfire victims
California’s bankrupt power producer PG&E Corp said on Friday it had reached a $13.5 billion settlement with victims of some of most devastating wildfires in the state’s modern history. The agreement helps smooth the way for the beleaguered company to emerge from bankruptcy. It filed for Chapter 11 protection in January, citing potential liabilities in excess of $30 billion from wildfires in 2017 and 2018 linked to its equipment.
U.S. Supreme Court rejects Trump bid to resume federal executions
The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday rejected a request by President Donald Trump’s administration to proceed with plans to carry out the first executions of federal death row inmates since 2003. The justices left in place a hold imposed by a federal judge on four executions that had been scheduled by U.S. Attorney General William Barr for this month and next month as Trump’s administration embraces the death penalty at a time when increasing numbers of states have given up the practice.
United States and Iran swap prisoners in rare act of cooperation
The United States and Iran each freed a prisoner on Saturday in a rare act of cooperation between two longtime foes whose ties have worsened since President Donald Trump took office. Iran released Xiyue Wang, a U.S. citizen who had been held for three years on spying charges, while the United States freed Iranian Massoud Soleimani. He had been facing charges of violating U.S. sanctions against Tehran.
In East Hartford, a new effort to help workers left behind
For the first time in a while, Diomedes Dilone is earning enough money that he can afford to take the weekends off. Until February, Dilone was waking up at 3 a.m. to drive for Uber, but the money wasn’t enough to cover his bills. The Navy veteran and married father of two would split his shift between the morning and afternoon so that he could shuttle other workers to and from their office jobs. He supplemented his earnings with savings, food stamps and Medicaid.
Saudi airman may have become radicalized before U.S. Navy base attack
The Saudi airman accused of killing three people at a U.S. Navy base in Florida appeared to have posted criticism of U.S. wars and quoted slain al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden on social media hours before the shooting spree, according to a group that tracks online extremism. Federal investigators have not disclosed any motive behind the attack, which unfolded at dawn on Friday when the Saudi national is said to have begun firing a handgun inside a classroom at the Naval Air Station Pensacola. U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said during a public appearance on Saturday he was not ready to label it an act of terrorism.
Trump says U.S. will finalize new fuel efficiency rules next year
U.S. President Donald Trump said on Friday that his administration will finalize its rollback of Obama-era vehicle emissions standards next year and expected it would provoke a new legal challenge by California. The administration had signaled in recent months it could finalize its proposed revisions to the requirements before the end of 2019. The administration has argued that the rollbacks are necessary for economic and safety reasons but California and environmentalists reject that analysis, saying consumers would spend hundreds of billions more in fuel costs.
Trump takes aim at trickle-down toilets, faucets
President Donald Trump said on Friday he has directed his environmental regulators to find answers to what he said is a big problem – water-conserving showers, faucets and toilets. “We have a situation where we’re looking very strongly at sinks and showers and other elements of bathrooms,” Trump told a meeting of small business leaders at the White House. “You turn the faucet on in areas where there’s tremendous amounts of water … and you don’t get any water,” he added.
Democrats huddle to draft impeachment charges against Trump
Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives met behind closed doors on Saturday to prepare for what could be the final week of their months-old impeachment inquiry that has imperiled Donald Trump’s presidency. The House Judiciary Committee’s Democratic lawmakers were working through the weekend to sift through evidence against the Republican president and draft formal charges, known as articles of impeachment, that the panel could recommend for a full House vote as early as Thursday.
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