Reuters US Domestic News Summary

Following is a summary of current US domestic news briefs.

Overnight closure of New York subways may presage bigger changes

New York City's subway, the ear-splitting, nerve-jangling system that New Yorkers and tourists alike love to hate, is taking the unprecedented step of halting overnight service in order to clean train cars, a likely prelude to bigger changes as the largest U.S. mass transit system works to rebound from a pandemic that has slashed ridership. The subway system, whose more than 600 miles of track criss-cross four of New York's five boroughs, will close between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. beginning May 6 to allow crews to disinfect the cars each night to prevent further spread of the novel coronavirus, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said on Thursday. The city's buses will also be cleaned every night, he said.

As U.S. jobless claims surged in March, some states lagged with payments

Fewer than one in five Americans who filed for unemployment benefits in March received their first payments before the month was over, shedding light on how states struggled to distribute initial benefits after facing an unprecedented wave of claims caused by the coronavirus. Nationally, just 14.21% of the nearly 12 million people who filed initial jobless claims in March received their first payments that same month, according to Labor Department data released this week.

'I won't be alive to work' - Las Vegas union wants sick leave, quarantine pay

The winking airport slot machines that tell visitors they have arrived in Nevada's Sin City are turned off and wrapped in police tape; the famed Las Vegas Strip is so empty a group of bicyclists zooms down the middle on a Friday night. Shutting down the businesses that make Las Vegas a multibillion-dollar gambling and entertainment hub has dealt a crushing blow to the state and idled tens of thousands of workers.

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

The White House let its 2-week-old economic reopening guidelines expire on Thursday as half of all U.S. states forged ahead with their own strategies for easing restrictions on restaurants, retail and other businesses shuttered by the coronavirus crisis. The enormous pressure on states to reopen, despite a lack of wide-scale virus testing and other safeguards urged by health experts, was highlighted in new Labor Department data showing some 30 million Americans have sought unemployment benefits since March 21.

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Hundreds protest in Michigan seeking end to governor's emergency powers

Hundreds of protesters, some armed, gathered at Michigan's state Capitol in Lansing on Thursday objecting to Governor Gretchen Whitmer's request to extend emergency powers to combat COVID-19, an appeal Republican lawmakers ignored. The protest appeared to be the largest in the state since April 15, when supporters of President Donald organized thousands of people for "Operation Gridlock," jamming the streets of Lansing with their cars to call out what they said was the overreach of Whitmer's strict stay-at-home order.

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to leave White House on Friday for first time in a month

U.S. President Donald will leave the White House on Friday for the first time in a month when he travels to the Camp David presidential retreat in Maryland. will make the 70-mile (40 km) trip to Camp David on Friday evening, according to a schedule released by the White House on Thursday night. The schedule did not indicate how long would stay at Camp David.

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.

Democrat Joe Biden says alleged sexual assault 'never happened'

Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden denied on Friday that he sexually assaulted a former U.S. Senate aide in 1993, in his first public remarks on the subject after he faced intense pressure to address the accusation. "No, It is not true. I'm saying unequivocally it never, never happened," Biden said in an interview on MSNBC when asked if he assaulted his aide.

Exclusive: Too risky to come home, crew of 'clean' U.S. warship in coronavirus limbo

On any given day, the U.S. aircraft carrier Harry S. Truman can be found off the Atlantic coast of the United States, probably somewhere between Virginia and Florida. Its crew would love to come home to their families. But they can't. They're just too valuable right now. That's because the Truman is a "clean" ship, free from the coronavirus thanks to a longer-than-expected deployment at sea that started in November. The deployment has kept its battle-ready 4,500 crew out of reach of a pandemic that is wreaking havoc elsewhere in the Navy.

Woman living in her car brings sandwiches, love to the homeless of Houston

Dominick SeJohn Walton spots a man with a shopping cart piled high with belongings and a sign that says "Homeless. Please Help" under a Texas highway overpass. With the coronavirus keeping many at home, the road is quieter than usual. She hands him a plastic bag filled with a baloney and cheese sandwich, cookies, and applesauce. On the outside she has written in permanent blue marker: 'God Bless. Jesus loves you. I love you!'

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