Reuters US Domestic News Summary

Following is a summary of current US domestic news briefs.

says he could bring back fired ex-national security adviser Flynn

U.S. President Donald said on Thursday he would consider bringing his fired former national security adviser Michael Flynn, a key figure in the probe into Russia's interference in the 2016 election, back into his administration. The president's comments, the latest in a string of remarks about Flynn, go beyond prior suggestions by that the retired general could be in line for a presidential pardon.

California closes Orange County beaches where crowds defied coronavirus guidelines

California Governor Gavin Newsom on Thursday said he had ordered beaches in Orange County in the southern part of the state to close, after crowds defied public health guidelines to throng the popular shoreline last weekend.

FBI head helped Facebook defend encryption he's now fighting

Christopher Wray, prior to becoming FBI director, argued on behalf of Facebook Inc in defense of encrypted communications as the company was being pressured by the U.S. Justice Department over the issue, according to a court filing and a person familiar with the case. Wray's work as a part of a team of attorneys about five years ago appears to be at odds with the international push by the Justice Department and U.S. allies to allow law enforcement and intelligence agencies to bypass encrypted communications.

About half of U.S. states easing coronavirus restrictions as jobless numbers grow

With initial White House social-distancing guidelines expiring on Thursday, about half the U.S. states were pressing ahead with plans to ease restrictions on businesses and social life, aiming to revive economies stalled by coronavirus while keeping people safe. The enormous pressure on states to reopen was highlighted by fresh Labor Department data showing around 30 million people had sought unemployment benefits since March 21, or more than 18.4% of the working-age population.

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Coronavirus death of pregnant woman in federal prison prompts outrage in Congress

Congressional Democrats condemned the federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) for its treatment of a 30-year-old incarcerated pregnant woman who died this week from COVID-19 after giving birth while on a ventilator, saying more needs to be done to protect vulnerable inmates. "It's an outrage that Andrea Circle Bear, a near full-term, pregnant woman with underlying medical conditions, lost her life while in federal custody,” said Congressman Jerrold Nadler, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, in a statement provided to Reuters.

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Los Angeles coronavirus testing website strains as free appointments fill up

Less than 24 hours after Los Angeles became the first major U.S. city to offer free coronavirus tests for all, a website used for sign-ups strained under the demand on Thursday as appointments were completely booked for anyone not showing symptoms. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced the free testing on Wednesday, saying tests were now available to anyone in the county of roughly 10 million people, although priority would be given to healthcare workers and people showing symptoms of COVID-19, the respiratory illness caused by the coronavirus.

U.S. appeals court rules against attempt to withhold funds from 'sanctuary' cities

A U.S. appeals court on Thursday ruled against a administration attempt to withhold millions of dollars from so-called "sanctuary" jurisdictions that limit cooperation with federal immigration enforcement. The decision, by the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago, upheld a pair of lower court rulings that blocked the administration from placing immigration-related conditions on law enforcement grants.

U.S. labor secretary defends workplace safety record during pandemic

U.S. Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia on Thursday defended his department's handling of workplace safety during the coronavirus pandemic, saying "the cop is on the beat" in response to union criticism about a lack of directives to protect workers. In a letter to Richard Trumpka, president of the AFL-CIO federation of unions, Scalia said the workplace safety agency known as OSHA has been investigating thousands of complaints.

Pandemic delays prison for Hot Pockets heir, ex-Pimco CEO in college admissions scandal

An heir to a microwave snack fortune and a former chief executive of investment firm Pimco cannot use the coronavirus pandemic as a reason to avoid prison time for convictions in the U.S. college admissions scandal, a federal judge ruled on Thursday, although they can delay starting their sentences. U.S. District Judge Nathaniel Gorton in Boston said that while the public health crisis warranted delaying when Michelle Janavs and Douglas Hodge would report to prison, he would not allow them to serve their sentences at home instead.

CDC reports 1,031,659 coronavirus cases, 60,057 deaths

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Thursday reported 1,031,659 cases of new coronavirus, an increase of 26,512 cases from its previous count, and said the number of deaths had risen by 2,552 to 60,057. The CDC reported its tally of cases of the respiratory illness known as COVID-19, caused by a new coronavirus, as of 4 p.m. ET on April 29, compared with its count a day earlier. (https://bit.ly/2IVY1JT)

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