Reuters US Domestic News Summary

Following is a summary of current US domestic news briefs.

Thousands turn out to mourn Kobe Bryant as Lakers return to the court in LA

Tens of thousands of Kobe Bryant fans flooded the grounds around Staples Center on Friday ahead of his former team's first game since his death in a helicopter crash earlier this week that stunned basketball fans in the city and worldwide. Fans wearing Bryant's Los Angeles Lakers jerseys laid flowers, wrote messages on temporarily erected white walls and shared stories of the 41 year old, who perished along with his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven other people on Sunday.

Alleged leader of Iraqi al Qaeda group arrested in Arizona

A man accused of killing two police officers while acting as the leader of an al Qaeda group in the Iraqi city of Fallujah was arrested in Phoenix, Arizona, federal officials said on Friday. Ali Yousif Ahmed Al-Nouri, 42, is wanted in Iraq on charges of premeditated murder of the Iraqi police officers in 2006, according to a statement by the U.S. Attorney's Office District of Arizona.

LeBron celebrates his 'brother' Kobe in emotional speech

Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James delivered an emotional speech honoring his "brother" Kobe Bryant prior to the first Lakers game since the NBA great, his 13-year-old daughter and seven others died in a helicopter crash on Sunday. James began by reading the names of all nine victims of the tragedy and then throwing a piece of paper containing his prepared remarks on the court.

Billionaires bombard U.S. presidential campaign with hundreds of millions in cash

Two billionaire Democratic presidential hopefuls, Michael Bloomberg and Tom Steyer, collectively spent about $389 million last year on their campaigns, more than the rest of the remaining Democratic field combined, according to disclosures filed on Friday. Bloomberg launched his campaign in November and spent more than $188 million in two months, a sum sourced entirely from his personal wealth.

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U.S. confirms its eighth case of coronavirus; Pentagon to provide quarantine housing

U.S. health officials on Saturday confirmed an eighth case of the fast-spreading new coronavirus in the United States and the Pentagon said it would provide housing for people arriving from overseas who might need to be quarantined. The latest U.S. patient, who is in Massachusetts, recently returned from Hubei province in central China, the epicenter of the outbreak, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said in an emailed statement. The person was not identified and no other details were provided.

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Biden slams for cutting health programs before coronavirus outbreak

Democratic presidential contender Joe Biden on Friday criticized President Donald for reducing U.S. oversight of global health issues before the coronavirus outbreak in China, which has spread rapidly to several countries including the United States. "We have, right now, a crisis with the coronavirus," said Biden, who is in Iowa campaigning before the Midwestern farm state holds Democrats' first nominating contest on Monday. "This is no time for Donald 's record of hysteria and xenophobia - hysterical xenophobia - and fearmongering to lead the way instead of science."

Senate rejects witnesses in impeachment trial, clearing way for acquittal

The U.S. Senate voted on Friday against calling witnesses and collecting new evidence in President Donald 's impeachment trial, clearing the way for 's almost certain acquittal next week. By a vote of 51-49, the Republican-controlled Senate stopped Democrats' drive to hear testimony from witnesses like former national security adviser John Bolton, who is thought to have first-hand knowledge of 's efforts to pressure Ukraine to investigate a political rival, former Vice President Joe Biden.

Billionaire U.S. candidate Bloomberg floats plan to tax rich people 'like me'

U.S. democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg on Saturday proposed major tax hikes on wealthy Americans and corporations, including a new tax aimed at people earning more than $5 million per year. Bloomberg's campaign estimates the measures will raise about $5 trillion over ten years.

's expanded travel ban targets Nigeria, five other countries

U.S. President Donald issued an expanded version of his travel ban on Friday that targets prospective immigrants from Nigeria and five other countries, a move that could affect thousands of people and reignite debate on whether the policy is discriminatory. Of the six countries added to the ban, four are African nations and three have Muslim-majority populations. Democrats and immigration advocates accuse the administration of seeking to expand its original 2017 ban that targeted Muslim-majority countries and of disproportionately focusing on African countries.

Accuser says Weinstein raped her, likens former producer to 'Jekyll and Hyde'

A onetime aspiring actress told a Manhattan jury on Friday that Harvey Weinstein raped her in a hotel room while she was in an "extremely degrading" relationship with the movie producer. The woman, Jessica Mann, said she told no one about what had happened.

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