A Tumultuous Week in U.S. Politics and Policies

Highlights from the U.S. include Trump's early voting strategy, Louisiana's new abortion pill law, Biden’s West Point commencement, Uvalde victims suing tech and gun companies, the slow pace of police reform post-George Floyd, and unprecedented TSA screening numbers. Additionally, Alec Baldwin's bid to drop indictment and Lloyd Austin's health procedure were notable events.

Reuters | Updated: 25-05-2024 18:27 IST | Created: 25-05-2024 18:27 IST
A Tumultuous Week in U.S. Politics and Policies

Following is a summary of current US domestic news briefs.

Trump's attacks on early voting muddle Republican election plans

Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin was traveling to a campaign rally aboard Donald Trump's private jet in early April when he decided to broach the delicate issue of early voting. As the Boeing 757 flew from Florida to Green Bay, Wisconsin, Johnson pressed the Republican candidate to use his speech to urge his supporters to cast their votes ahead of Election Day.

Explainer-What does Louisiana's new abortion pill law mean for patients?

The Louisiana Senate's vote on Thursday to reclassify the two drugs used in medication abortion as controlled substances marks the latest development in a nationwide battle over abortion pills. Here is a look at what the law does, and what might happen next.

Biden set to deliver commencement at West Point on Saturday

U.S. President Biden will deliver the commencement speech on Saturday at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York, amid conflicts in Ukraine and Gaza. The speech before some 1,000 U.S. Army cadets is part of a push by Biden to highlight the administration's efforts to support active and retired military personnel. They include a bipartisan law he signed two years ago to help veterans who have been exposed to burn pits or other poisons obtain easier access to healthcare.

Louisiana becomes first US state to classify abortion pills as controlled substances

Louisiana's governor on Friday signed a bill making his state the first in the U.S. to classify two abortion-inducing medications as controlled substances, a category that healthcare regulators typically reserve for drugs prone to abuse or addiction. The measure, thrusting Republican-led efforts to restrict abortion back to the political forefront in a presidential election year, was signed into law by Republican Governor Jeff Landry a day after the state legislature sent it to his desk.

Families of Uvalde school shooting victims sue Meta, Microsoft, gunmaker

Families of the victims of the 2022 elementary school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, filed two lawsuits on Friday against Instagram's parent company Meta, Activision Blizzard and its parent Microsoft and the gunmaker Daniel Defense, claiming they cooperated to market dangerous weapons to impressionable teens such as the Uvalde shooter. Together, the wrongful death complaints argue that Daniel Defense – a Georgia-based gun manufacturer – used Instagram and Activision's video game Call of Duty to market its assault-style rifles to teenage boys, while Meta and Microsoft facilitated the strategy with lax oversight and no regard for the consequences.

Four years after George Floyd killing, police reform slow to follow

Stevante Clark felt a glimmer of hope when racial justice protests swept the globe in 2020 after the police killing of George Floyd. His own brother, Stephon Clark, was killed by Sacramento police in March 2018 after they fired 20 shots at the young Black man in the backyard of his grandparents' home. Police said they feared he had a gun. But he was found to have been holding only a cellphone.

Prosecutors ask judge to bar Trump from comments endangering law enforcement

Prosecutors in former U.S. President Donald Trump's classified documents case asked a federal judge on Friday to prevent him from making statements that pose a "danger" to law enforcement, according to a court document. In a motion seeking to modify Trump's conditions of release, Special Counsel Jack Smith said the request was necessary because of "several intentionally false and inflammatory statements recently made by Trump that distort the circumstances under which the Federal Bureau of Investigation planned and executed the search warrant at Mar-a-Lago."

US screens highest number of air passengers ever in a single day

The U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) said it screened 2.95 million airline passengers on Friday, the highest number ever on a single day. The record travel comes with the Memorial Day weekend that marks the beginning of the busy U.S. summer travel season. Last week, a group representing major U.S. airlines forecast record summer travel with carriers expected to transport 271 million passengers, up 6.3% from last year.

US defense secretary to undergo non-surgical procedure, Pentagon says

U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin will turn over his duties temporarily on Friday while he undergoes a non-surgical procedure related to his previously reported bladder issue, the Pentagon said. Austin has determined he will be unable to perform his duties during the minimally invasive procedure and Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks will assume them, the Pentagon said in a statement.

Judge denies Alec Baldwin request to drop indictment for 'Rust' shooting

A New Mexico judge on Friday rejected Alec Baldwin's bid to dismiss an involuntary manslaughter charge for the 2021 shooting of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, opening the way for an unprecedented trial of a Hollywood actor for an on-set death.

Baldwin's lawyers argued at a May 17 hearing that a grand jury indictment of the actor was "a sham" as a New Mexico state prosecutor failed to tell jurors they could question defense witnesses and stopped them hearing evidence helpful to the actor's case.

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

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