US Domestic News Roundup: Trump's criminal hush money trial has its first seven jurors; Reformers hoped to curtail America's domestic spying; lawmakers are poised to expand it and more

Devdiscourse News Desk | Updated: 17-04-2024 18:51 IST | Created: 17-04-2024 18:27 IST
US Domestic News Roundup: Trump's criminal hush money trial has its first seven jurors; Reformers hoped to curtail America's domestic spying; lawmakers are poised to expand it and more
Donald Trump Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Following is a summary of current US domestic news briefs.

Reformers hoped to curtail America's domestic spying; lawmakers are poised to expand it

Reformers had hoped that the debate over the reauthorization of a key U.S. domestic surveillance law would lead to new safeguards protecting Americans' data. But the bill now headed to the Senate instead expands the scope of the country's domestic surveillance program, allowing police organizations including the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to access to a far broader swathe of sensitive data on their fellow citizens than before.

Trump's criminal hush money trial has its first seven jurors

The first seven jurors were selected on Tuesday to serve on Donald Trump's hush-money criminal trial, as the selection process continues to choose a panel of 12 members and six alternates who can be fair to the former U.S. president. The judge also warned lawyers that he would not tolerate any efforts to intimidate prospective jurors after saying Trump, the Republican candidate for president in the Nov. 5 election, was audibly muttering while one of the possible members of the panel was questioned.

Planned Disneyland expansion in California clears major hurdle

Plans to expand the Disneyland Resort cleared a major hurdle Wednesday, as local officials endorsed a new blueprint governing the development of Walt Disney's Southern California theme parks over the next 40 years. The Anaheim city council approved a plan, called DisneylandForward, that one researcher estimated would create as many as 4,520 construction jobs per year of development and an additional 26,764 parks-related positions over the coming decades.

US Senate expected to swiftly end Mayorkas impeachment

Democratic U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer on Wednesday is expected to make clear his plan to bury without a trial the Republican House of Representatives' impeachment of President Joe Biden's top border official. The House on Tuesday delivered two articles of impeachment charging Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas with failing to enforce U.S. border laws and lying to Congress amid high levels of illegal immigration.

US House sends impeachment of Biden border official to Senate

The Republican-controlled U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday delivered two articles of impeachment against President Joe Biden's top border security official to the Democratic-majority Senate, which is expected to quickly defeat the effort. House Republican "managers" who hope to argue their case for removing Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas from office read aloud to the Senate their charges of failing to enforce U.S. immigration laws and lying to Congress.

Arizona Democrats seek to repeal 1864 abortion ban, but need Republican help

Democrats in the Arizona House of Representatives on Wednesday will seek to repeal an 1864 ban on abortion that is poised to become state law once again, but they will need the help of some Republicans in the closely divided legislature. A state Supreme Court ruling on April 9 revived a ban on nearly all abortions under a law written during the U.S. Civil War when Arizona was not yet a state and women lacked the right to vote.

Analysis-Hush money trial could help Trump in 2024 presidential race

When Donald Trump was indicted a bit more than a year ago over hush money paid to a porn star, it turbocharged the Republican's presidential campaign. He surged ahead of his rivals for the White House nomination, gaining a lead he never relinquished. Trump went on trial in New York on Monday, seven months before Americans will go to the polls on Nov. 5 to choose a president. The history-making trial, the first of a former U.S. president, could again boost Trump's presidential bid, some analysts and political strategists said.

Biden to call for higher tariffs on Chinese metals in 'Steel City' Pittsburgh

U.S. President Joe Biden will call on Wednesday for sharply higher tariffs on Chinese metal products as part of a package of policies aimed at pleasing steelworkers in the swing state of Pennsylvania, at the risk of angering Beijing. In campaign stops in the "Steel City" of Pittsburgh, Biden is expected to propose raising to 25% the tariffs imposed by his predecessor Donald Trump on Chinese steel and aluminum products, according to an administration official.

US Supreme Court leans toward Jan. 6 rioter in obstruction case, with Trump implications

Conservative U.S. Supreme Court justices on Tuesday signaled skepticism toward an obstruction charge brought by the Justice Department against a Pennsylvania man in the 2021 Capitol attack - a case with possible implications for the prosecution of Donald Trump for trying to overturn his 2020 election loss. The justices heard arguments in Joseph Fischer's appeal of a lower court's ruling rejecting his attempt to escape a federal charge of corruptly obstructing an official proceeding - the congressional certification of President Joe Biden's victory over Trump that the rioters sought to prevent on Jan. 6, 2021.

Trump's ex-fixer Michael Cohen to be key witness in hush money criminal trial

Michael Cohen, who once said he would take a bullet for Donald Trump, is now poised to serve as a star prosecution witness in the former U.S. president's criminal trial on charges of covering up hush money paid to a porn star. Cohen's role at the first criminal trial ever of a U.S. president, which began on Monday in New York state court in Manhattan, marks the culmination of his 15-year arc from being the businessman-turned-politician's lawyer and "fixer" to an outspoken antagonist.

(With inputs from agencies.)

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