Following is a summary of current US domestic news briefs. Official cites 'unlawful' balloting in U.S. congressional vote
A Republican operative directed an unlawful absentee ballot scheme in North Carolina's 9th congressional district and tried to hide the evidence, an election official said on Monday at a hearing that could lead to a new vote in the disputed contest. Republican candidate Mark Harris leads Democratic rival Dan McCready by 905 votes out of 282,717 ballots cast in the November 2018 congressional election. Exclusive: Air Force to push Congress for military housing tenant bill of rights
Aiming to grant military families far greater say to challenge hazardous housing, the U.S. Air Force told Reuters Monday it will push Congress to enact a tenant bill of rights allowing families the power to withhold rent or break leases to escape unsafe conditions. The proposed measure, outlined in an interview at the Pentagon by Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson and Chief of Staff David L. Goldfein, follows complaints from military families who say they are often powerless to challenge private industry landlords when they encounter dangerous mold, lead paint and vermin infestations. Trump's 'relentless attack' on FBI prompted memoir by former official: NPR
Former top FBI official Andrew McCabe decried the "relentless attack" he said U.S. President Donald Trump has launched against the agency, according to released excerpts of an interview with NPR's Morning Edition, to be aired early Monday. "I think the FBI has been under a relentless attack in the last two years," said McCabe, who is promoting his new memoir, "The Threat: How the FBI Protects America in the Age of Terrorism and Trump." Catholic Church credibility on the line at abuse meeting
The Vatican will gather senior bishops from around the world later this week for a conference on sex abuse designed to guide them on how best to tackle a problem that has decimated the Church's credibility, but critics say it is too little, too late. The unprecedented four-day meeting, starting on Thursday, brings together presidents of national Roman Catholic bishops conferences, Vatican officials, experts and heads of male and female religious orders. Alabama jury awards $152 million in Ford Explorer rollover case
An Alabama jury awarded $151.8 million to a young man paralyzed in 2015 rollover accident involving a Ford Explorer sport utility vehicle, Ford and lawyers in the case said on Sunday. The jury awarded $100 million in punitive damages and the rest in compensatory damages after finding on Friday that the 1998 Ford Explorer did not meet Ford's own safety guidelines and that Ford "acted wantonly" in designing the vehicle, according to a court document seen by Reuters and lawyers for plaintiff Travaris "Tre" Smith. Presidents Day protests decry Trump's emergency declaration
Activists in Washington, Chicago and dozens of other U.S. cities protested on Monday's Presidents Day holiday against President Donald Trump's declaration of a national emergency to secure funding for a U.S.-Mexico border wall. Calling Trump's declaration an abuse of power and usurpation of Congress, organizers with the nonprofit advocacy group MoveOn.org and other participants said it was important to let the outrage over the move be heard. FAA investigates Southwest over baggage weight discrepancies: WSJ
The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration is investigating Southwest Airlines Co for widespread failure to accurately track the combined weight of checked bags loaded onto its jets, according to a Wall Street Journal report on Monday. The U.S. aviation safety agency's year-long civil probe found systemic and significant mistakes with employee calculations and luggage-loading practices, resulting in potential discrepancies when pilots compute takeoff weights, the Journal said, citing government officials and internal agency documents California tells Trump that lawsuit over border wall is 'imminent'
California will "imminently" challenge President Donald Trump's declaration of a national emergency to obtain funds for a U.S.-Mexico border wall, state Attorney General Xavier Becerra said on Sunday. "Definitely and imminently," Becerra told ABC's "This Week" program when asked whether and when California would sue the Trump administration in federal court. Other states controlled by Democrats are expected to join the effort. Thousands brave freezing cold in vigil for Illinois shooting victims
More than 2,000 people braved icy rain in sub-freezing temperatures in Illinois on Sunday for a vigil paying respects to five people killed and five police officers wounded by a factory worker who opened fire on Friday after losing his job. Solemn mourners stood before five white crosses with the names of the dead that became a shrine to the victims bearing pictures and hand-written remembrances outside the factory where the shooting took place in Aurora, about 40 miles (64 km) west of Chicago. Chicago police seek follow-up interview with 'Empire' actor
Chicago police have shifted the direction of their investigation into actor Jussie Smollett's report of a hate-crime assault and are seeking to interview him again, after releasing two men detained for questioning in the probe, a police spokesman said on Saturday. Smollett, 36, an openly gay African-American performer who plays a gay character on the musical hip-hop TV drama "Empire," ignited a furor on social media last month when he reported he had been attacked on the street by two men yelling racial and homophobic slurs.