Following is a summary of current US domestic news briefs.
Texas governor sends migrants to New York City as immigration standoff accelerates
Texas Governor Greg Abbott, a Republican, said on Friday he has started to send buses carrying migrants to New York City in an effort to push responsibility for border crossers to Democratic mayors and U.S. President Joe Biden, a Democrat. The first bus arrived early on Friday at the city’s Port Authority Bus Terminal in midtown Manhattan carrying around 50 migrants from Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Honduras and Venezuela. Volunteers were helping to steer people who had no relatives in town to city resources.
U.S. conspiracy theorist Alex Jones must pay the parents of a 6-year-old boy killed in the 2012 Sandy Hook massacre $45.2 million in punitive damages – on top of $4.1 million in compensatory damages already awarded – for falsely claiming the shooting was a hoax, a Texas jury decided on Friday. Neil Heslin and Scarlett Lewis, separated parents of slain 6-year-old Jesse Lewis, testified that followers of Jones harassed them and sent them death threats for years in the false belief that they were lying about their son’s death in the Dec. 14, 2012, shooting that killed 20 children and six staff at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.
Flash floods strand 1,000 people in California’s Death Valley National Park
Flash flooding triggered by a near-record downpour on Friday over one of the hottest, driest spots on Earth has stranded nearly 1,000 people inside California’s Death Valley National Park and forced its temporary closure, park officials said. About 60 cars belonging to park visitors and staff were buried in several feet of debris at the Inn at Death Valley, an historic luxury hotel near the park headquarters in Furnace Creek, site of a spring-fed oasis near the Nevada border, the park said in a statement.
White House says it is working to push assault weapons ban in Senate
The White House said on Saturday it is having conversations about what it can do to advance a bill banning the assault-style rifles that have been used in mass shootings. White House spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre said the administration is actively discussing with top Democratic lawmakers what support they can provide to push the bill, which was approved last month in the U.S. House of Representatives, through the Senate.
President Joe Biden has tested negative for COVID-19 after testing positive with a breakthrough case for days, the White House physician said on Saturday. The Democratic president, “in an abundance of caution,” will remain in isolation until he tests negative on a second test, Dr. Kevin O’Connor said in a memo released by the White House.
The $430 billion climate change, healthcare and tax bill passed by the U.S. Senate on Saturday delivers a major win for Democrats, and will help reduce the carbon emissions that drive climate change while also cutting costs for the elderly. Democrats hope the bill, which they pushed through the Senate over united Republican opposition, will boost their chances in the Nov. 8 midterm elections, when Republicans are favored to recapture the majority in at least one chamber of Congress.
Kari Lake, a former news anchor who has embraced former President Donald Trump’s false claims of voter fraud, has been projected to win the Republican nomination for Arizona governor, according to Edison Research. Lake has promised to try to enact a slew of election measures if elected in November’s general election, including eliminating vote-counting machines and banning voting by mail.
Indiana lawmakers approve first state abortion ban since Roe overturned
The Republican-controlled Indiana Senate gave final legislative approval on Friday to a bill that would ban most abortions, six weeks after a U.S. Supreme Court decision erased a woman’s constitutional right to terminate her pregnancy. The bill, adopted on a 28-19 vote hours after clearing the state’s House of Representatives, would make Indiana the first U.S. state to impose such a ban since the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade case legalizing abortion nationwide was overturned on June 24.
U.S. Senate Democrats on Saturday moved ahead on a bill to address key elements of President Joe Biden’s agenda – tackling climate change, lowering the cost of energy and elderly people’s medications and forcing some corporations and wealthy Americans to pay more taxes. In a key first test of the ability of Democrats to win passage of the sweeping legislation, the Senate voted 51-50 with Vice President Kamala Harris breaking the tie during a rare Saturday session to begin what could be an extended debate on the measure. All 50 Republicans voted against moving forward with the legislation.
Explainer-What’s next for conspiracy theorist Alex Jones
A jury in Austin, Texas, decided on Friday that U.S. conspiracy theorist Alex Jones must pay the parents of a child killed in the 2012 Sandy Hook massacre $45.2 million in punitive damages for falsely claiming the shooting was a hoax, on top of $4.1 million in compensatory damages. Here are some of the other legal challenges Jones and his company now face.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
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