Reuters US Domestic News Summary
Following is a summary of current US domestic news briefs.
President Trump can't stop U.S. coal plants from retiring
More U.S. coal-fired power plants were shut in President Donald Trump's first two years than were retired in the whole of Barack Obama's first term, despite the Republican's efforts to prop up the industry to keep a campaign promise to coal-mining states. In total, more than 23,400 megawatts (MW) of coal-fired generation were shut in 2017-2018 versus 14,900 MW in 2009-2012, according to data from Reuters and the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).
Key Republican to ask FBI about report of Trump counterintelligence probe
The Republican head of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee said on Sunday he plans to ask the FBI about a report it launched a probe into whether President Donald Trump has been working on Russia's behalf, suggesting the agency may have gone too far. "I am going to ask the FBI director - was there a counterintelligence investigation opened up regarding the president as being a potential agent of the Russians? I find it astonishing," Senator Lindsey Graham said on the "Fox News Sunday" program.
A 13-year-old girl's escape from a rural home where she was held captive for three months by a Wisconsin man charged with murdering her parents helped break the case and she should be treated as a hero, the local sheriff said on Friday. Jayme Closs is with her aunt after her rescue on Thursday and has been reunited with the rest of her family and her dog, Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald told reporters.
Republican Senator Graham urges Trump to open U.S. government temporarily
A Republican senator close to President Donald Trump on Sunday backed a temporary re-opening of the federal government, in the 23rd day of the longest shutdown ever, to allow for talks on a spending agreement that could satisfy Trump's border security demands. Democrats in Congress rejected Trump's request that legislation to fund the government include $5.7 billion of taxpayer money for a wall on the U.S. border with Mexico. They have refused further negotiations until the government is reopened after being partially shut down since Dec. 22.
Florida governor suspends sheriff for response to school massacre
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis on Friday suspended the local sheriff criticized for the police response to last year's mass shooting that left 17 dead at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland. DeSantis said Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel showed leadership failures in the shooting that left 14 students and three adults dead at the hands of a lone gunman on Feb. 14, 2018.
LA teachers' strike all but certain as talks stall
More than 30,000 teachers are expected to walk off the job in public schools across Los Angeles early on Monday in the first teachers' strike in the city in 30 years. No formal talks were held over the weekend, dashing hopes of an 11th-hour deal between United Teachers Los Angeles and the nation's second-largest school district.
Magnitude 5.0 quake strikes near Anchorage, Alaska
A 5.0 magnitude earthquake struck near Anchorage, Alaska, on Sunday morning, the U.S. Geological Survey said, with tremors felt as far as 120 miles (193 km) southwest of the state's capital city. Residents of southcentral Alaska were jolted awake by the quake, which was centered 9 miles (15 km) northwest of Anchorage and was over 20 miles (33 km) deep, according to the U.S. Geological Survey, which revised the quake down from a 5.4 magnitude.
Absences among U.S. airport screeners jump as shutdown drags on
Unscheduled absences among federal airport security screeners jumped on Sunday, forcing a checkpoint and ticket counter to close in Houston, as a partial government shutdown that has frozen pay checks moved into its 23rd day. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA), the agency responsible for airport security screening, said unscheduled absences among its employees rose to 7.7 percent from 5.6 percent on Saturday. That is more than double the 3.2 percent rate experienced a year ago.
Worst is over for winter storm that clobbered U.S. Midwest, D.C. and New England
The deadly winter storm that clobbered a swath of the U.S. Midwest and East Coast over the weekend is blowing out to sea, but leaves as much as 13 inches of snow in Washington, D.C. and Virginia, and frigid arctic air parked over New England. All Washington D.C. federal offices would be closed on Monday, but train and bus service in the metro D.C. area would resume after being shut down on Sunday, officials said.