Following is a summary of current US domestic news briefs.
As Democratic voters warm to free trade, White House candidates struggle for positions
Democratic presidential contender Elizabeth Warren is churning out reams of policy proposals on everything from daycare to manufacturing. But despite her piles of written plans, she has yet to tackle trade. Warren and most of the other 23 Democrats seeking the party's 2020 White House nomination have avoided issuing a robust outline of how they would approach one of the central issues in Republican President Donald Trump's bid for re-election.
Ex-Stanford sailing coach avoids prison in U.S. college admissions scandal
A former Stanford University sailing coach avoided prison on Wednesday in the first sentencing to result from the U.S. college admissions scandal after admitting he took bribes to help children of wealthy parents gain admission to the school. John Vandemoer, 41, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Rya Zobel in Boston to six months of home confinement, rejecting prosecutors' request for a 13-month prison term after he pleaded guilty in March to racketeering conspiracy.
House panel backs contempt citations for two Trump Cabinet members over census
A U.S. House committee voted on Wednesday in favor of holding two of President Donald Trump's closest advisers in contempt of Congress for defying congressional subpoenas related to an effort to add a citizenship question to the 2020 U.S. Census. By a 24-15 bipartisan vote, the House Oversight Committee recommended the full House of Representatives find Attorney General William Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in contempt. For Barr, the top U.S. law enforcement official, it was the second time a House panel had made such a recommendation against him.
House panel approves permanent Sept. 11 victims' compensation
A U.S. congressional committee on Wednesday unanimously approved legislation to extend the fund compensating first responders to the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center for the next 70 years, a move that would avoid steep benefit reductions over a lack of money. The House Judiciary Committee acted one day after television personality and comedian Jon Stewart castigated lawmakers at a hearing for their slow response to helping New York City firefighters, police officers and other emergency personnel who rushed to the scene of the attacks that left two of Manhattan's most well-known skyscrapers in rubble.
Suspects offered $8,000 to kill baseball's David Ortiz
The alleged shooter of David Ortiz has been arrested along with four others in a group offered nearly $8,000 to kill the former Boston Red Sox star at a Dominican Republic bar, authorities said on Wednesday. The arrests came as Ortiz, 43, recovered in a Boston hospital following a second round of surgery on Tuesday, according to his family, which said he was sitting up and had taken a few steps.
Violent street clashes erupt in Memphis after marshals kill suspect
Violent clashes between police and protesters broke out on streets in Memphis, Tennessee, overnight after officers from the U.S. Marshals Service fatally shot a man during an attempted arrest, officials said on Thursday. At least two dozen police officers and two journalists were injured during the confrontation, Mayor Jim Strickland said in a statement, adding that six officers were taken to hospital. The injuries were mostly minor, the police department said. It was not clear how many civilians were hurt or whether anyone was arrested.
Trump praises ex-adviser Flynn, offers 'good luck' as sentencing nears
U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday praised his former adviser Michael Flynn, who had pleaded guilty as part of the federal Russia investigation, and offered him "good luck" one day before an update was due in the case ahead of sentencing. The former national security adviser during Trump's early weeks in office has shaken up his legal team in recent days, and Sidney Powell, a fierce critic of U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation, said on Wednesday she was taking on Flynn's case.
Advocacy groups ask Supreme Court to delay ruling on census citizenship question
Groups challenging the Trump administration's contentious decision to add a citizenship question to the 2020 U.S. census on Wednesday asked the Supreme Court to consider delaying a ruling on the issue in light of new evidence. In a court filing, immigrant advocacy groups represented by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) said that a judge in New York should review the evidence before the Supreme Court decides the legal question.
In Trump probes, Congress wary of power to arrest, fine
A power that the U.S. Congress has not wielded since the 1930s may remain unused for a while longer as Democrats turn to the courts -- not long-dormant rules -- to press home investigations of President Donald Trump and his administration.
Democratic leaders are reluctant to use the "inherent contempt" power, under which Congress can jail or fine people who defy its subpoenas, to end stonewalling by Trump's inner circle, said Representative Steve Cohen, a Democrat, and member of the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee.
Risky partner: Top U.S. universities took funds from Chinese firm tied to Xinjiang security
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology and at least one other university have research partnerships with a Chinese artificial intelligence company that has business ties with police in China's Xinjiang region, where a sweeping crackdown on Uighurs has drawn international condemnation. A 2016 government procurement announcement named a subsidiary of iFlytek as the sole supplier of 25 "voiceprint" collection systems to police in Kashgar, a city in Xinjiang. Another iFlytek subsidiary signed a "strategic cooperation framework agreement" with Xinjiang's prison administration bureau, according to a May 2017 company blog post on social media platform WeChat.
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