US Domestic News Roundup: 'modest' funds for child sex-abuse; U.S. states sue to block White House from allowing 3-D-printed guns and more
Following is a summary of current US domestic news briefs.
U.S. insurer Travelers sets aside 'modest' funds for child sex-abuse claims
Travelers Companies Inc has set aside a "modest" amount of additional money to cover its possible exposure to child sex-abuse claims, the insurer's finance chief, Daniel Frey, told analysts during an earnings call on Thursday. Two analysts asked about Travelers' exposure to child sex-abuse lawsuits, as Wall Street tries to figure out how much decades-old policies for churches, non-profits, and other organizations may cost the insurance industry.
U.S. states sue to block White House from allowing 3-D-printed guns
Twenty U.S. states and the District of Columbia sued the Trump administration on Thursday to block what they called its latest effort to allow blueprints for making guns from 3-D printers to be released on the internet. The complaint was filed with the federal court in Seattle after the government published final agency rules earlier in the day allowing the necessary files to be posted, the states said.
Actress Annabella Sciorra expected to testify in Weinstein rape trial
Actress Annabella Sciorra is likely to take the stand in Harvey Weinstein's New York rape trial on Thursday as prosecutors try to prove that the former Hollywood producer was a serial predator who sexually assaulted young women. Weinstein, 67, has pleaded not guilty to charges of assaulting two women, Mimi Haleyi and Jessica Mann. Sciorra's allegation is too old to be charged as a separate crime, but prosecutors hope it will show that Weinstein was a repeat sexual predator, a charge that could put him in prison for life.
Nelson Perez, the Roman Catholic bishop of Cleveland and a critic of U.S. President Donald Trump's immigration policy, was named by Pope Francis to lead the Philadelphia archdiocese after the retirement of a leading church conservative. Perez, 58, succeeds Archbishop Charles Chaput, a guiding light of the church's traditionalist wing whom Francis replaced after the prelate reached the age of 75. Chaput has a reputation as a "culture warrior" on issues such as homosexuality, same-sex marriage, and abortion.
U.S. Justice Department says it should not have continued spying on former Trump adviser
The U.S. Justice Department has told a court it did not have enough evidence to justify continued surveillance of one of President Donald Trump's former campaign advisers in 2017, in a sign it believes the FBI on occasion went too far when it investigated Russian influence in the 2016 election. The department's assessment, made public on Thursday, came after an in-depth review by the Justice Department's internal watchdog found the FBI manipulated evidence and otherwise overstepped its bounds as it explored possible links between the Trump campaign and Moscow in 2016.
Trump administration rolls out new rule to limit 'birth tourism'
President Donald Trump's administration rolled out a new rule on Thursday that aims to limit "birth tourism" by women who enter the United States on tourist visas with the intention of obtaining citizenship for their babies born on American soil. Under the State Department regulation, which will take effect on Friday, pregnant women applying for visitor visas could be required to prove they have a specific reason for travel beyond giving birth, such as a medical necessity.
Let them speak: Most Americans want witnesses in Trump impeachment trial - Reuters/Ipsos poll
A bipartisan majority of Americans want to see new witnesses testify in the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump, and the public appears to be largely following the proceedings even after a bruising congressional inquiry that lasted several months, according to Reuters/Ipsos polling released Wednesday. The poll, which ran from Jan. 17-22, also showed that U.S. public opinion has moved little since the U.S. House of Representatives impeached Trump in mid-December.
Democrats accuse Trump at impeachment trial of corrupt scheme to pressure Ukraine
Democrats accused President Donald Trump at his impeachment trial on Wednesday of a corrupt scheme to pressure Ukraine to help him get re-elected and warned that America's global prestige would suffer if the U.S. Senate acquits him. The Republican Trump, who has denied wrongdoing, sounded a defiant note, telling reporters in Switzerland the Democrats did not have enough evidence to find him guilty and remove him from office.
Uber self-driving cars, with humans in control, to cruise Washington, D.C. Friday
Uber Technologies Inc will put self-driving vehicles on Washington, D.C. roads Friday with human drivers in control, the rideshare company said on Thursday, as it seeks to collect data for future deployment of fully self-driving vehicles. Uber is collecting similar road data to support the development of self-driving in Dallas, San Francisco and Toronto with human drivers in control. The goal is for computers to operate the vehicles eventually.
Phoenix delays airport ride-hailing fee hike as Arizona court weighs in
The U.S. city of Phoenix will delay a planned fee hike for pickup and dropoff ride-hailing services at its Sky Harbor International Airport over which Uber Technologies Inc had threatened to leave, saying it would await a court decision. The Arizona city said late on Wednesday its council members had agreed to delay the increase in ground transportation fees scheduled to come into effect on Feb. 1, after conferring with the state's supreme court.
(With inputs from agencies.)
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