US News Roundup: California school shooter dies; Pentagon second audit and more
Following is a summary of current US domestic news briefs.
Suspected gunman, 16, in California high school shooting dies in hospital
A teenage boy who killed two classmates and wounded three others at a southern California high school on his birthday before shooting himself in the head died on Friday of his wounds in hospital, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's office said. "Nathaniel Tennosuke Berhow, 16, a Junior at Saugus High School, was being treated for a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, when he succumbed to his injuries. His mother was present at the time of his passing," the sheriff's office said in a written statement.
Pentagon gets failing grade in its second audit
The Pentagon has failed a comprehensive audit for a second year, though an official said it has made progress toward fixing accounting discrepancies that could still take years to resolve. Last year, Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan said the Pentagon had failed https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-pentagon-audit/pentagon-fails-its-first-ever-audit-official-says-idUSKCN1NK2MC its first-ever comprehensive audit, receiving an opinion of "disclaimer," a technical term used by auditors for findings that do not meet accounting standards.
Trump adviser Roger Stone, self-proclaimed 'dirty trickster,' guilty on all charges
President Donald Trump's longtime adviser Roger Stone was convicted on all charges on Friday by a federal court jury that found the veteran Republican operative and self-proclaimed "dirty trickster" guilty on seven counts of lying to the U.S. Congress, obstruction and witness tampering. During the trial, prosecutors pressed their case that Stone lied to lawmakers about his outreach to WikiLeaks - the website that disclosed many hacked Democratic emails ahead of the 2016 U.S. election that proved embarrassing to Trump's Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton - to protect Trump from looking bad.
Trump asks Supreme Court to stop Congress from getting his financial records
President Donald Trump on Friday asked the U.S. Supreme Court to block a lower court ruling directing an accounting firm to hand over his financial records to a Democratic-led congressional panel, setting up a major clash between branches of government. Trump turned to the justices after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit decided on Wednesday that it would not revisit its October decision backing the House of Representatives Oversight Committee's authority to subpoena the records from Mazars LLP, Trump's longtime accounting firm.
Trump pardons Army officers, restores Navy SEAL's rank in war crimes cases
U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday pardoned two Army officers accused of war crimes in Afghanistan and restored the rank of a Navy SEAL platoon commander who was demoted for actions in Iraq, a move critics have said would undermine military justice and send a message that battlefield atrocities will be tolerated. The White House said in a statement Trump granted full pardons to First Lieutenant Clint Lorance and Major Mathew Golsteyn, and ordered that the rank Edward Gallagher held before he was convicted in a military trial this year be restored.
Lawyer Avenatti asks U.S. judge to dismiss new fraud charge
Lawyer Michael Avenatti on Friday urged a federal judge to dismiss a criminal fraud charge accusing him of misleading a client as part of his alleged effort to extort Nike Inc. In a motion filed in federal court in Manhattan, Avenatti said prosecutors were engaging in a "supercilious and dangerous attempt" to "regulate the practice of civil law" using a fraud statute meant to go after public officials who accept bribes and kickbacks.
Trump ex-aide Gates faces December 17 sentencing after being star witness
President Donald Trump's former deputy campaign chairman Rick Gates, who gave crucial testimony as a prosecution witness that helped convict former Trump advisers Paul Manafort and Roger Stone, will be sentenced on Dec. 17 in his own criminal case, a court filing showed on Friday. Gates, who had initially pleaded not guilty to charges brought by former Special Counsel Robert Mueller, reversed himself in February 2018 and pleaded guilty to charges including conspiracy against the United States and lying to investigators.
Staff exodus hits top U.S. transgender group on eve of 2020 election campaign
A majority of employees have left the leading U.S. transgender advocacy group amid a failed attempt to oust its leader, with many expressing frustration over the organization's lack of minority hiring and outreach. The exodus at the National Center for Transgender Equality takes place as the non-profit group prepares for two monumental events in 2020: the presidential election and the world's largest survey of transgender people.
U.S. charges another ex-JPMorgan executive with alleged market manipulation
The Department of Justice has charged another former JPMorgan Chase & Co executive with alleged racketeering and manipulating precious metals prices between 2008 and 2016, the latest in a string of similar prosecutions. The indictment against Jeffrey Ruffo, who is also charged with other federal crimes including conspiracy to commit wire fraud, is the result of an "ongoing investigation", federal prosecutors said in a statement.
Trump attacks impeachment witness on Twitter, Democrats see intimidation
President Donald Trump launched a Twitter attack on a former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine on Friday while she was testifying to an impeachment hearing in Congress, in an extraordinary moment that Democrats said amounted to witness intimidation. Trump blasted Marie Yovanovitch, a career diplomat, as she explained to the second day of televised impeachment hearings how she had fought corruption in Ukraine and how the Trump administration abruptly removed from her post earlier this year.
(With inputs from agencies.)