Reuters US Domestic News Summary

Following is a summary of current US domestic news briefs.

California rejects effort to cut off federal funds over abortion

California on Friday fought back against a administration threat to withhold federal funds for some health programs unless it stopped requiring health insurers to cover abortions, saying it would undermine the state's authority to protect women's reproductive rights. Governor Gavin Newsom and Attorney General Xavier Becerra, both Democrats, accused the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services of threatening billions of dollars of funding, not just for abortions, by reversing the Obama administration's view of a federal law governing insurance coverage.

Sanders' '-like rhetoric' encouraged vandals, Bloomberg camp says

Michael Bloomberg’s presidential campaign on Friday alleged that rival Bernie Sanders’ “-like rhetoric” encouraged supporters to vandalize a Bloomberg campaign office in Tennessee and others across the country. Vandals spray-painted an expletive and the word “oligarch” on the doors of Bloomberg’s office in Knoxville, Tennessee, on Thursday evening, the campaign said.

adviser Stone to be sentenced in case that has roiled Washington

President Donald 's long-time adviser Roger Stone is set to be sentenced on Thursday after being convicted on charges including lying to a congressional panel investigating Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election in a case that has roiled the Justice Department and drawn 's ire. U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson is scheduled to sentence Stone, whose career as a Republican operative has stretched from the Watergate scandal era of the early 1970s to 's campaign four years ago, at 10 a.m. EST (1500 GMT) in Washington.

Nevada Democrats report high early caucus participation

Nearly 75,000 Nevadans participated early in the state's Democratic U.S. presidential nominating contest, the party said on Friday, a sign of a potentially large turnout in the first test for the candidates in the diverse western United States. Nevada on Saturday holds its caucuses, the third contest in the state-by-state battle to determine a Democratic challenger to Republican President Donald in the Nov. 3 election. The party said the majority of the early caucus voters were first time participants in the process. The number of early participants is nearly as high as the entire caucus count from 2016, when 84,000 Nevadans participated.

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Democrat Warren, worried campaign will run out of cash, taps $3 million loan

U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren raised more money than most of her Democratic presidential rivals in the weeks before the Iowa caucuses, but spent so heavily that her campaign took out a $3 million loan fearing she would run out of cash. Warren raised $10.4 million in contributions in January -- more than former Vice President Joe Biden's $9 million and former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg's $6 million -- but ended the month with only $2.3 million in cash, according to disclosures filed on Thursday.

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U.S. officials tell Democrat Sanders Russia is trying to help his campaign: Washington Post

U.S. officials have told Democratic presidential contender Bernie Sanders that Russia is trying to help his campaign, the Washington Post reported on Friday. Republican President Donald and U.S. lawmakers have also been informed about the Russian assistance to Senator Sanders, said the Post, which cited unnamed people familiar with the matter.

U.S. charges ex-DEA agent with laundering millions in drug funds

U.S. authorities arrested a former Drug Enforcement Administration agent on Friday on charges he conspired with Colombian drug traffickers to steal millions of dollars the U.S. government had seized from suspected dealers. In an indictment unsealed Friday, prosecutors said Jose Irizarry had been "enriching himself by secretly using his position and his special access to information." He used the money, they said, to fund a lavish lifestyle of expensive homes and cars and a $30,000 Tiffany ring.

George Washington sought honest British workers over 'slovenly' Americans

George Washington, the first president of the United States, praised the honesty of British farmers and sought to entice some to his estates because local tenants were so "slovenly", according to a handwritten letter he wrote in 1796. In a three-page letter to the Earl of Buchan, Washington asks the Scottish nobleman if he knew of any "honest and orderly" farmers who would like to emigrate to the United States to work on his land.

Sanders blasts Russia for reportedly trying to boost his presidential campaign

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders on Friday warned Russia to stay out of U.S. elections after American officials had told him Moscow was trying to aid his campaign. "The intelligence community is telling us they are interfering in this campaign, right now, in 2020. And what I say to Mr. Putin, if elected president, trust me you are not going to be interfering in American elections," Sanders told reporters in Bakersfield, California.

‘Tamales for Tío Bernie’: Sanders’ outreach to Latino voters pays off

Violeta Alvarez is so passionate about Bernie Sanders that she becomes emotional talking about the white, 78-year-old senator from Vermont, a state 3,000 miles from this sun-drenched California enclave. “This is the first time in my life I’ve seen a presidential candidate reaching out to the city of Bell, this small community," said Alvarez, a 53-year-old volunteer organizer, pointing to goose bumps breaking out on her arm.

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