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US News Roundup: Pennsylvania pileup; murder cases rise in New York and more

US News Roundup: Pennsylvania pileup; murder cases rise in New York and more
US flag Image Credit: ANI

Following is a summary of current US domestic news briefs.

Bus driver, two passengers and two truckers died in Pennsylvania pileup

The five people killed in a multi-vehicle pileup on the Pennsylvania Turnpike were identified on Monday as the driver of the tour bus that was the first to crash, two of his passengers, and two UPS employees whose truck plowed into the bus. A day after Sunday's predawn wreck, state police and federal safety officials also gave new details of the crash sequence, revealing the bus struck the highway's concrete center barrier before veering to the right shoulder and careening up a steep embankment.

Murders in New York City rose in 2019, defying long-term decline in crime rate

New York experienced a 7.8 percent jump in murders last year, though the number of homicides in the country's largest city remained low on a historical basis as the overall major crime rate extended a decades-long drop, authorities said on Monday. The number of murders rose in 2019 to 318, the most since 2016, the New York Police Department said in its annual crime statistics report. Robberies, felony assaults, and shootings also rose modestly in 2019, while the number of rapes and subway crimes declined.

Senate Republican eyes rule change to kick start Trump impeachment trial

The head of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee said on Sunday he wants the Senate to launch an impeachment trial of President Donald Trump within days and wrap it up this month, even if it means changing Senate rules. The Democratic-controlled House of Representatives last month voted to impeach Trump for abuse of power in pressuring Ukraine to investigate a political rival and for obstructing the House impeachment probe.

U.S. implements plan to send Mexican asylum seekers to Guatemala

Mexicans seeking asylum in the United States could be sent to Guatemala under a bilateral agreement signed by the Central American nation last year, according to documents sent to U.S. asylum officers in recent days and seen by Reuters. In a Jan. 4 email, field office staff at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) were told Mexican nationals will be included in the populations "amenable" to the agreement with Guatemala.

Highway crash in Peru kills 16, including two Germans

At least 16 people, including two Germans, died in a crash in southern Peru on Monday after a bus collided with other vehicles and rolled over, local police said. The accident also left 42 others injured, including two Brazilians and two Americans, Colonel Carlos López, a spokesman for the national police, told Reuters.

Trump to dismiss climate impacts in overhaul of environmental reviews: sources

Major new U.S. projects like highways and pipelines will no longer require federal reviews of their environmental climate impact under new rules that the Trump administration will propose on Wednesday, sources familiar with the plan said. The proposed overhaul would update how federal agencies implement the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), a law aimed at ensuring the government protects the environment when reviewing or making decisions about projects that include building roads and bridges, cutting forests, expanding broadband to approving interstate pipelines like the Keystone XL.

Chain-reaction crash kills five, injures 60 on Pennsylvania Turnpike

A chain-reaction crash involving a tour bus, three tractor-trailers and a passenger car killed five people and injured about 60 others on the Pennsylvania Turnpike near Pittsburgh early on Sunday, state police said. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigators began arriving hours later in Mount Pleasant Township, about 40 miles (64 km) southeast of Pittsburgh, to determine the cause of the pre-dawn pileup.

Wife of Kennedy nephew joins race to oust New Jersey congressman who switched parties

The wife of a Kennedy nephew and former congressman on Monday joined the race to win the New Jersey seat held by U.S. Representative Jeff Van Drew, the erstwhile Democrat who joined President Donald Trump in the Oval Office last month to say he was switching parties. Amy Kennedy, a former teacher who lives in Van Drew's southern New Jersey district, announced her candidacy in a short video released on Monday, becoming the fifth Democratic candidate in the primary race.

Jury selection in Weinstein rape trial begins in wake of new charges

Lawyers in Harvey Weinstein's rape trial will begin selecting jurors on Tuesday, a challenging process in the wake of the #MeToo movement and fresh sex crime charges brought against the former film producer. Hours after Weinstein's New York trial started on Monday, Los Angeles District Attorney Jackie Lacey charged Weinstein with the sexual assault of two unidentified women in 2013.

Task force formed to probe source of mysterious drones over Colorado

The night-time drone flights over parts of rural Colorado and Nebraska that have baffled investigators will now be the subject of a multi-agency task force, federal and state authorities announced on Monday. The drones, or unmanned aircraft systems, have been sighted in northeast Colorado and southwest Nebraska over the past three weeks, tending to appear after sundown and fly in formation in a grid pattern over the remote areas. They have been sighted mostly over Colorado.

(With inputs from agencies.)

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