US Domestic News Roundup: Texas' Harris County records its first death linked to Omicron variant; Ten key moments from Ghislaine Maxwell's sex abuse trial and more

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the issue. Ten key moments from Ghislaine Maxwell's sex abuse trial Jurors are weighing the fate of Ghislaine Maxwell after a three-week trial featuring testimony from women who said she recruited and groomed them for abuse by the late financier Jeffrey Epstein when they were teenagers.


Reuters | Updated: 21-12-2021 18:37 IST | Created: 21-12-2021 18:33 IST
US Domestic News Roundup: Texas' Harris County records its first death linked to Omicron variant; Ten key moments from Ghislaine Maxwell's sex abuse trial and more
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Following is a summary of current US domestic news briefs.

Texas' Harris County records its first death linked to Omicron variant

Texas' Harris County on Monday reported its first death related to the Omicron COVID-19 variant, a man who was unvaccinated, the county health department said. It is believed to be the first known recorded Omicron death in the United States, ABC News reported. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the issue.

Ten key moments from Ghislaine Maxwell's sex abuse trial

Jurors are weighing the fate of Ghislaine Maxwell after a three-week trial featuring testimony from women who said she recruited and groomed them for abuse by the late financier Jeffrey Epstein when they were teenagers. Maxwell, 59, has pleaded not guilty. Her attorneys say prosecutors are using her as a scapegoat because Epstein, who killed himself while awaiting trial on sex abuse charges, cannot be charged.

U.S. travelers stay closer to home as Omicron looms

Carla Benton, a Chicago-based book copy editor, was preparing for a Christmas trip to Europe when the Omicron variant of the coronavirus began to make headlines in late November. She quickly canceled her international travel plans due to rapidly changing travel restrictions and testing requirements, initially opting to stay in the United States and visit her sister in Houston, Texas instead. Benton ultimately decided to cancel all travel and stay home in Chicago for the holidays.

U.S. cities try new way to help the poor: give them money

Spurred by the coronavirus pandemic, dozens of U.S. cities are deploying a new tool in their war on poverty: cash. At least 16 cities and counties are handing out no-strings-attached payments to some low-income residents, a Reuters tally found. At least 31 other local governments plan to do so in the months ahead.

Analysis: Republicans see election opportunity in Biden border struggles

The leading Republican vying to unseat an Arizona Democrat in a crucial U.S. Senate race next year gets heated when he talks about Democratic President Joe Biden's "failed border policies," occasionally throwing in expletives when decrying their alleged financial cost and what he says is the threat they pose to Americans. The candidate, Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, is betting the message will resonate with voters Republicans need to mobilize in the 2022 elections to change the balance of power in Congress.

Man gets 46 months on U.S. Capitol riot charges, among the longest sentences yet

A Washington state man who pleaded guilty to assaulting a police officer during the deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol on Monday received a sentence of almost four years in prison, one of the longest yet for Jan. 6 defendant. U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth in the District of Columbia sentenced Devlyn Thompson, who struck an officer with a baton, to 46 months in prison.

Jury to resume deliberations in Ghislaine Maxwell's sex abuse trial

The jury in Ghislaine Maxwell's sex abuse trial is expected to resume deliberations on Tuesday, after three weeks of testimony from women who said the British socialite set them up for sexual encounters with Jeffrey Epstein when they were teenagers. Maxwell, 59, is accused of recruiting and grooming four girls for the late financier between 1994 and 2004. She has pleaded not guilty to six counts of sex trafficking and other crimes.

Pentagon stops short of banning military membership in extremist groups

The Pentagon stopped short on Monday of creating a list of extremist groups that military members cannot join and declined to say explicitly whether refusing to view President Joe Biden as America's legitimate leader was a violation of policy. The U.S. military, like American society, is under political strain after years of divisive politics. A small minority of military servicemembers have refused orders to get vaccinated, after that issue became politicized, and some participated in the deadly Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol by supporters of then-President Donald Trump.

As Omicron surges, Biden to expand testing and warn unvaccinated

The Biden administration will open federal COVID-19 testing sites in New York City this week and buy 500 million at-home rapid tests that Americans can order online for free starting in January as it tries to tackle the Omicron variant sweeping the country. Striking a more dire tone about the risks of remaining unvaccinated, President Joe Biden will lay out the initiatives on Tuesday in a speech that aims to persuade Americans to protect themselves from the fast-spreading variant, a senior administration official said.

U.S. gives seven global aid groups $580 million for COVID - Blinken

The United States is providing the World Health Organization, the United Nations Children's Fund and five other global aid groups an additional $580 million to fight COVID-19, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Tuesday.

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

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