Following is a summary of current US domestic news briefs.
Lawsuits filed over U.S. state restrictions on abortion pills
A maker of abortion pills and a doctor have filed lawsuits challenging state restrictions on the medication, in the first lawsuits of their kind since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the federal constitutional right to abortion. In a complaint filed in federal court in Huntington, West Virginia, GenBioPro Inc said the state cannot override the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval from 2000 of mifepristone by banning the drug, the first in a two-drug regimen for medication abortions.
U.S. finds Louisiana deliberately kept inmates past release date
The Justice Department found Louisiana violated the U.S. Constitution by confining people in its custody past the dates when they were legally entitled to be released, adding state authorities were “deliberately indifferent to the systemic overdetention.” “There is reasonable cause to believe that the Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections (LDOC) routinely confines people in its custody past the dates when they are legally entitled to be released from custody, in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment,” the Justice Department said in a statement on Wednesday.
Factbox-Georgia on his mind: Donald Trump troubled by more legal woes
Donald Trump could learn soon whether he or any associates will be charged or cleared of wrongdoing in a Georgia probe into his efforts to overturn his 2020 election defeat, one of a series of legal threats looming over the Republican former U.S. president: GEORGIA ELECTION TAMPERING PROBE
California mass shootings show limits of strict state gun laws
In a span of less than 72 hours, a massacre at a Monterey Park dance studio and a killing spree at two farms in Half Moon Bay left California in anguish. One man carried out his attack with a gun banned by the state, while the other used a gun he legally owned, police said. The twin attacks, which left 18 people dead, once again drew attention to the patchwork of laws and court rulings that have frustrated efforts to make deadly mass shootings less frequent in the United States. Even California’s gun laws, some of the country’s strictest, can be sidestepped.
Immigrant farm worker charged with 7 murders in northern California shooting
An immigrant farm worker accused of shooting seven people to death near San Francisco, some of them his co-workers, made his first court appearance on Wednesday after he was charged with murder in California’s second deadly gun rampage in recent days. Chunli Zhao, 66, the lone suspect in Monday’s massacre at two mushroom farms in the seaside town of Half Moon Bay, was formally presented with seven counts of premeditated murder and a single count of attempted murder lodged in a criminal complaint filed by local prosecutors.
Divided U.S. House members spar over national security committee seats
Members of the U.S. House of Representatives traded jabs on Wednesday over Republican Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s decision to remove three Democrats from the intelligence and foreign affairs committees, two years after Democrats ousted two Republicans from committee assignments. Reflecting the bitter divide in the newly seated House, where Republicans hold a slim majority, McCarthy on Tuesday formally rejected Representatives Adam Schiff and Eric Swalwell as members of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. Schiff is the panel’s former chair and Swalwell has been a long-standing member.
U.S. activists protest plan to ship Asha the wolf to Mexico
Environmentalists on Wednesday protested U.S. government plans to transfer an endangered Mexican Gray Wolf captured in New Mexico to Mexico, saying it should be allowed to roam free and repopulate the Rockies. The she-wolf, named Asha by schoolchildren, was captured near Taos, New Mexico, on Sunday after heading further north than any other Mexican wolf recorded since the species’ 1998 reintroduction after near extinction.
Chicago high-rise fire leaves one dead, eight injured
A fast-moving fire on Wednesday spread to nine floors of a high-rise apartment building on Chicago’s South Side, killing one person and injuring eight, including a firefighter, officials said. The blaze began on the 15th floor of the Harper Square Cooperative about 10 a.m. (1600 GMT) and spread vertically, Chicago Fire Department officials said in a news briefing.
Butcher or innocent man: jury hears arguments in South Carolina murder trial
The lead prosecutor in the case against Richard “Alex” Murdaugh said the disbarred South Carolina attorney lied about his whereabouts on the night his wife and son were murdered, attacking his credibility as the high-profile trial got underway on Wednesday. In his opening statement, Murdaugh’s lawyer painted a vastly different portrayal of his client, arguing that he had no reason to murder his wife, Maggie, 52, and 22-year-old son Paul, who were shot to death on the family’s property on June 7, 2021.
Splits emerge as U.S. House Republicans demand Biden negotiate on debt limit
Republicans who control the U.S. House of Representatives are divided over how hard a line to take on the debt ceiling, but were united on Wednesday in demanding that Democratic President Joe Biden agree to negotiate on spending as part of any deal. Hard-line Republican conservatives, who have the power to block any deal in the narrowly divided House, want to force deep spending cuts on Biden and the Democratic-led Senate in exchange for an agreement to avoid default on the $31.4 trillion debt.
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