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U.S. Round up: Mail bomb hearing; Democrats House; Subway bomber guilty


Following is a summary of current US domestic news briefs.

Mail bomb suspect to have the first hearing in U.S. court in New York

The Florida man accused of mailing bombs to prominent Democrats and other critics of U.S. President Donald Trump was due to make his first appearance in federal court in New York on Tuesday where prosecutors will argue he is too dangerous to be freed on bail. Cesar Sayoc was arrested on Oct. 26 in Fort Lauderdale and agreed in a Florida court appearance last week to be transferred to federal court in New York to face five criminal charges.

More potential 'El Chapo' jurors excused for safety fears

The pool of potential jurors for the U.S. drug trafficking trial of accused Mexican drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman continued to shrink on Tuesday, with two people who expressed fears about their safety and one self-described "fan" of the defendant cut from the running. A total of 10 potential jurors were excused from the case during the second day of jury selection in federal court in Brooklyn, New York.

With control of U.S. House, Democrats will seek to rein in Trump

Donald Trump faced greater restraints on his presidency after Democrats won control of the U.S. House of Representatives and pledged to hold the Republican accountable after a tumultuous two years in the White House. Trump and his fellow Republicans expanded their control of the U.S. Senate in Tuesday's midterm elections, following a divisive campaign marked by fierce clashes over race and immigration.

Girl Scouts sue Boy Scouts over trademark as boys welcome girls

The Girl Scouts of the United States of America filed a trademark infringement lawsuit against the Boy Scouts of America on Tuesday, after the Boy Scouts decided to drop "Boy" from its namesake program and start welcoming older girls. The lawsuit in Manhattan federal court is an attempt by the Girl Scouts, founded in 1912, to avert an erosion of its brand and membership as the Boy Scouts, founded two years earlier, tries to reverse its own decades-long membership decline.

Eyeing conservative U.S. top court, two states pass abortion measures

Voters in Alabama and West Virginia on Tuesday passed ballot measures that could pave the way for new limits or a full ban on abortion in those states if the conservative-majority U.S. Supreme Court overturns the 1973 ruling that legalized abortion. In Oregon, meanwhile, an initiative that would prohibit the use of taxpayer money to fund abortion except in cases of medical necessity appeared headed for defeat.

For some in Florida Panhandle, voting takes back seat to hurricane hardships

Sissy Karr, a landlady with 14 rental properties around Panama City, Florida, is a loyal Republican who voted for Donald Trump for president in 2016. But she says she is too busy cleaning up from Hurricane Michael to vote in Tuesday's elections. Many of her rental units remain badly damaged from the storm, which struck less than a month ago with roof-ripping force, leaving Karr, 55, and countless others like her with a seemingly insurmountable amount of work to do.

Manhattan subway bomber found guilty of supporting Islamic State

The Bangladeshi man accused of detonating a bomb last December in a New York City subway passageway on behalf of Islamic State was found guilty on Tuesday of all six criminal counts against him, including the use of a weapon of mass destruction and support of a terrorist organization, according to federal prosecutors. The verdict against Akayed Ullah, 28, came after a week-long jury trial in Manhattan federal court. Ullah faces a possible sentence of life in prison.

North Dakota voters set to reject marijuana legalization measure

U.S. efforts to legalize recreational marijuana use saw mixed results on Tuesday, as voters in Michigan approved a measure legalizing the drug while North Dakotans looked set to block it. Michigan became the 10th U.S. state to legalize recreational pot use, according to CNN and advocates. Its proposal also levies a 10 per cent sales tax on pot sales.

Kavanaugh in focus as U.S. high court weighs death case

Conservative new U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh on Tuesday joined liberal colleagues in raising concerns about Missouri's plan to use lethal injection to execute a murderer with a rare medical condition. Lawyers for Russell Bucklew, 50, have argued that because of a congenital condition called cavernous hemangioma that leaves him with blood-filled tumours on his body, the lethal injection could cause undue agony in violation of the U.S. Constitution's prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment.

Colorado man pleads guilty to murdering wife, children

A Colorado man pleaded guilty on Tuesday to charges of murdering his pregnant wife and two small daughters and dumping their bodies in an oil field in an agreement that will spare him the death penalty. Christopher Watts, 33, admitted in Weld County District Court to strangling his wife, Shanann, 34, and the couple's two daughters, Celeste, 3, and Bella, 4, in August at the family's home in Frederick, about 30 miles (48 km) north of Denver.

(With inputs from agencies.)

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