US Domestic News Roundup: U.S. Homeland Security watchdog broke ethics rules in previous job, report says; Sullivan expresses concern over Iranian-American journalist's safety and more
The Senate Rules Committee is reviewing two legislative proposals to craft a bill to reform the 1887 Electoral Count Act, which the former president and his allies sought to use to overturn his 2020 election loss to President Joe Biden. Tennessee sues Walgreens pharmacy chain over opioid distribution The state of Tennessee sued Walgreens on Wednesday, accusing the retail pharmacy giant of fueling the state's opioid epidemic by willfully flooding the market with an oversupply of prescription narcotics in violation of consumer protection and public nuisance laws.
Following is a summary of current US domestic news briefs.
U.S. Homeland Security watchdog broke ethics rules in previous job, report says
U.S. Homeland Security Department Inspector General Joseph Cuffari, who has been embroiled in controversy over the investigation into the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol, violated ethics rules in a previous government job, according to a Justice Department report issued in 2013. Cuffari was investigated by the Justice Department's Office of Inspector General (OIG) when he served as a special agent in the OIG's Tucson office.
Sullivan expresses concern over Iranian-American journalist's safety
U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan spoke with Iranian-American journalist Masih Alinejad on Wednesday and expressed his concern over her safety following the arrest of a man with a rifle outside her home in New York last week, an NSC spokesperson said in a statement. The man, Khalid Mehdiyev, spent two days last week outside the home of Alinejad, and at one point attempted to open the door, an FBI agent wrote in a complaint filed in Manhattan federal court last week. Police stopped him after he ran a stop sign and found the gun in the back seat of the car, according to the complaint
U.S. lawmaker Walorski, two staffers die in Indiana car crash
U.S. Congresswoman Jackie Walorski and two members of her staff died on Wednesday when the vehicle they were traveling in collided head-on with a car that veered into their lane, police in Indiana and her office said. Walorski, 58, a Republican who represented Indiana's 2nd congressional district in the U.S. House of Representatives, was mourned by President Joe Biden and her colleagues in Congress as an honorable public servant who strived to work across party lines to deliver for her constituents. The White House said it would fly flags at half-staff in her memory.
Sandy Hook parents seek to stop InfoWars bankruptcy payments to Alex Jones
Parents of children killed in the 2012 Sandy Hook school massacre urged a U.S. bankruptcy judge on Wednesday not to allow the parent company of far-right website InfoWars to send any money to its founder, conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, or his companies until they have an opportunity to get to the bottom of InfoWars' finances. As a jury deliberates in Austin, Texas, over how much Jones must pay two parents for his false claims that the deadly shooting was a hoax, families of Sandy Hook victims who have sued Jones for defamation in that trial and others who have sued in Connecticut warned a bankruptcy judge in Houston that Jones might continue to pull assets from InfoWars parent company Free Speech Systems LLC while using its bankruptcy case to avoid paying court judgments in the defamation cases.
Tyson Foods ignoring subpoena for meat price gouging probe, NY attorney general says
Tyson Foods Inc, one of the largest U.S. meat producers, is refusing to comply with a subpoena for a civil probe into possible price gouging during the COVID-19 pandemic, New York's attorney general said on Wednesday. Letitia James, the attorney general, asked a state judge in Manhattan to require Tyson to turn over materials including contractual terms, prices, and profit margins for its sales of meat to New York retailers from December 2019 to April 2022.
Kansas offers abortion playbook for Democrats ahead of November midterms
A decisive victory for abortion rights in deeply conservative Kansas has boosted Democrats' hopes that they can harness voter anger over efforts to limit or ban the procedure to prevail in competitive races and other U.S. state referendums in November. Political analysts and organizers had anticipated an uphill battle to defeat a Republican-backed constitutional amendment that would have enabled lawmakers to restrict abortion in Kansas.
U.S. Senate panel seeks legislative path to avoid repeat of Jan. 6 violence
A U.S. Senate panel on Wednesday took up proposals to reform federal election law, aiming to avoid a repeat of the violence of Jan. 6, 2021, when Donald Trump supporters stormed the Capitol in an effort to overturn his election defeat. The Senate Rules Committee is reviewing two legislative proposals to craft a bill to reform the 1887 Electoral Count Act, which the former president and his allies sought to use to overturn his 2020 election loss to President Joe Biden.
Tennessee sues Walgreens pharmacy chain over opioid distribution
The state of Tennessee sued Walgreens on Wednesday, accusing the retail pharmacy giant of fueling the state's opioid epidemic by willfully flooding the market with an oversupply of prescription narcotics in violation of consumer protection and public nuisance laws. According to the lawsuit, Walgreens used its position as one of the state's largest pharmacy chains to dispense over 1.1 billion oxycodone and hydrocodone pills within Tennessee from 2006 to 2020, roughly equivalent to 175 tablets for every resident of the state.
With eye on Russia, U.S. Senate backs Finland and Sweden joining NATO
The U.S. Senate approved on Wednesday Finland and Sweden's accession to NATO, the most significant expansion of the 30-member alliance since the 1990s as it responds to Russia's invasion of Ukraine. The Senate voted 95 to 1 to support ratification of accession documents, easily surpassing the two-thirds majority of 67 votes required to support ratification of the two countries' accession documents.
One and done? Some Democrats say Biden should not seek second term
A few Democrats in the U.S. Congress have begun to voice what many have mulled privately: whether President Joe Biden, the oldest person to ever occupy the Oval Office, ought to choose retirement over re-election in 2024. With his approval rating at 38% - and having held below 50% since May - the 79-year-old Biden has been damaged by bruising inflation and voter worries that he will not be able to meet the demands of the presidency in 2025. Last November, the White House said Biden plans to run again in 2024.
(With inputs from agencies.)