Political Turmoil and Legal Challenges Dominate US News Briefs

Today's US news includes Trump's trial decisions, Biden administration's stance on ICC sanctions, GOP-led environmental reform protests, new Democratic bill, Giuliani's bond in Arizona, Biden's approval ratings, Matthew Perry's death investigation, Blinken's Israel policy critique, Trump's birth control stance, and his social media controversy.

Reuters | Updated: 22-05-2024 05:22 IST | Created: 22-05-2024 05:22 IST
Political Turmoil and Legal Challenges Dominate US News Briefs

Following is a summary of current US domestic news briefs.

Trump opts not to take witness stand in hush money case as testimony ends

Former U.S. President Donald Trump opted not to testify in his criminal hush money trial on Tuesday, bringing his defense to a quick conclusion and clearing the way for jurors to begin deliberations next week. Trump had stoked speculation for weeks about whether he would take the stand to defend himself against charges of falsifying business records to cover up a hush-money payment to porn star Stormy Daniels before the 2016 presidential election.

Blinken says he'll work with US Congress on potential ICC sanctions

The Biden administration is willing to work with Congress to potentially impose sanctions against International Criminal Court officials over the prosecutor's request for arrest warrants for Israeli leaders over the Gaza war, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Tuesday. At a Senate appropriations subcommittee hearing, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham told Blinken he wanted to see renewed U.S. sanctions on the court in response to the move announced by ICC prosecutor Karim Khan on Monday.

Republican-led US states challenge White House environmental review reforms

Republican attorneys general from 20 U.S. states sued the Biden administration on Tuesday, seeking to block new reforms to the U.S. environmental review process for major projects such as transmission lines and wind and solar farms. States including Iowa, North Dakota, Texas and Florida challenged reforms included in a rule finalized in April by the White House Council on Environmental Quality in North Dakota federal court, arguing they go beyond the agency's authority, would increase project costs and unfairly favor clean energy projects.

Democratic US lawmakers introduce bill to bar foreign payments to president

Democratic U.S. lawmakers introduced legislation on Tuesday that would bar the president and other top officials from accepting payments from foreign governments while in office, a measure clearly aimed at Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. The bill, which has no chance of passing the Republican-controlled U.S. House of Representatives as the Nov. 5 election approaches, is aimed at tightening enforcement of the Constitution's "Emoluments Clause."

Giuliani told to post bond in Arizona election case after alleged evasion

Former Donald Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani was ordered to post a $10,000 bond in Arizona on Tuesday after allegedly eluding authorities' attempts to serve him court papers accusing the former New York mayor of trying to subvert the 2020 election. Appearing by phone at a court proceeding, Giuliani criticized what he called a "completely political case" as he pleaded not guilty to charges that he conspired to falsely claim Arizona's electoral votes for Trump following Trump's narrow loss to Democratic President Joe Biden.

Biden's approval rating falls to lowest level in nearly two years-Reuters/Ipsos poll

U.S. President Joe Biden's public approval rating this month fell to its lowest level in almost two years, tying the lowest reading of his presidency in a warning sign for his reelection effort, a Reuters/Ipsos poll showed. The four-day poll, which closed on Monday, showed just 36% of Americans approve of Biden's job performance as president, down from 38% in April. It was a return to the lowest approval rating of his presidency, last seen in July 2022. While this month's drop was within the poll's 3 percentage point margin of error, it could bode poorly for Biden as he faces off with Republican Donald Trump in the Nov. 5 presidential election.

LA police probe how 'Friends' star Matthew Perry obtained lethal ketamine dose

Los Angeles homicide detectives and federal agents are investigating how "Friends" star Matthew Perry obtained the high dose of the powerful prescription drug ketamine that was found in his body and determined to have caused his death, police said. The disclosure on Tuesday of an ongoing criminal probe by police and two federal agencies came five months after the Los Angeles County medical examiner concluded Perry succumbed to an accidental drug overdose and drowning, with no foul play suspected.

Senators, protesters assail Blinken over Biden administration's Israel policy

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken faced criticism from the right and left over Israel policy in Congress on Tuesday, with Republicans accusing the Biden administration of failing Israel and Democrats saying it's doing too little to help civilians in Gaza. Furious protesters interrupted Blinken as he began his testimony before two committees in the Democratic-controlled Senate, calling him a war criminal and accusing him of involvement in genocide.

Facing criticism, Trump says he won't ban birth control

Donald Trump said on Tuesday he does not support a ban on birth control, after coming under fire for comments he made earlier in the day that political opponents said suggested he would consider restricting contraceptives. "I HAVE NEVER, AND WILL NEVER ADVOCATE IMPOSING RESTRICTIONS ON BIRTH CONTROL," the Republican presidential candidate said on his social media site, Truth Social.

After backlash, Trump pulls social media post with reference to 'unified Reich'

Donald Trump deleted a video posted to his Truth Social account that included reference to a "unified Reich" after President Joe Biden's campaign and others criticized the use of language often associated with the Nazi regime. The 30-second video, which was posted on Monday afternoon, was no longer available on the website by early morning on Tuesday. A person familiar with the matter confirmed the post had been removed from the site.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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