Following is a summary of current US domestic news briefs.
Ohio judge lifts 'arbitrary' restrictions on ballot drop boxes
A state judge in Ohio on Tuesday ruled that election officials can set up multiple drop boxes per county for voters to return absentee ballots in the Nov. 3 presidential election, writing that a limit of one per county is "arbitrary and unreasonable." The decision is a victory for the state Democratic Party, which has pushed to allow local election officials to set up multiple drop boxes to accommodate voters who do not want to return absentee ballots by mail.
Bayer settles thousands of U.S. Roundup cases with trial attorneys
Bayer AG has settled thousands of U.S. Roundup weed killer lawsuits as part of an $11 billion settlement, reaching deals with the only lawyers who took cases to trial over allegations the herbicide caused cancer. In letters filed with U.S. District Court in San Francisco late on Monday, three lawyers said they had reached binding settlements.
Hurricane Sally lumbers toward U.S. Gulf Coast, threatens 'catastrophic flooding'
Hurricane Sally made a slow-motion crawl towards the U.S. Gulf Coast on Tuesday, threatening historic floods and prolonged rainfall as storm-force winds started to lash the shore and governors of four states urged people to flee the coastline. Sally could wallop the Alabama, Florida and Mississippi coasts on Tuesday night or early Wednesday with massive flash flooding and storm surges of up to 7 feet (2 meters) in some spots, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said. Its languid pace recalls 2017's Hurricane Harvey, which dumped several feet of rain over a period of days on the Houston area, causing major damage.
Wildfire smoke causes record pollution in Oregon, wafts as far as Washington, D.C.
Air quality in five major cities in Oregon was the worst on record as the state continues to be blanketed by thick smoke from wildfires ravaging nearly 5 million acres in the U.S. West, environmental officials in the heavily forested state said. The fires have generated so much smoke that along with hazardous air from California to Washington state, skies above the U.S. capital have also taken on a hazy din, thanks in part to smoke wafting thousands of miles from the West Coast.
White House open to 'Problem Solvers' compromise in coronavirus aid fight
U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday said Democrats were open to delaying an October recess to get a deal with Republicans on a new coronavirus aid bill, as the White House signaled that a $1.5 trillion proposal unveiled by moderates deserved consideration. With the U.S. presidential and congressional elections less than two months away, Congress and the White House have been unable to agree on a fifth coronavirus bill, having approved more than $3 trillion worth of measures earlier this year.
U.S. COVID-19 death analysis shows greater toll on Black, Hispanic youth: CDC
A disproportionate percentage of U.S. COVID-19 deaths have been recorded among Black and Hispanic people younger than 21, according to a U.S. study, a reflection of the racial and ethnic make-up of essential workers who have more exposure to COVID-19. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that from Feb. 12 through July 31, there were 121 deaths among people younger than the age of 21 in 27 states.
Thousands of Oregon evacuees shelter from wildfires under smoke-filled skies
Thousands of evacuees displaced by deadly wildfires across Oregon settled into a second week of life in shelters and car camping as fire crews battled on against the blazes and search teams scoured the ruins of demolished communities for those still missing. With state resources stretched to their limit, Oregon Governor Kate Brown has requested a federal disaster declaration from the White House to bolster U.S. government assistance for emergency response and relief efforts.
Biden appeals to critical Latino voters on Florida campaign swing
Democrat Joe Biden on Tuesday made his first campaign visit of the year to Florida, where opinion polls show a tight race against President Donald Trump amid signs of lagging support for Biden among the battleground state's crucial Hispanic voters. With less than 50 days until the Nov. 3 election, the Biden campaign is trying to overcome concerns about enthusiasm among Florida Latinos and a disinformation campaign that has tried to paint the moderate Democratic nominee as a socialist.
Safety driver in fatal Arizona Uber self-driving car crash charged with homicide
The back-up safety driver behind the wheel of a self-driving Uber Technologies test vehicle that struck and killed a woman in Tempe, Arizona, in 2018 was charged with negligent homicide, prosecutors said on Tuesday. Rafael Vasquez, age 46, who is also known as Rafaela, pleaded not guilty on Tuesday after being charged in the death of Elaine Herzberg on Aug. 27, court records show. She was released pending trial set for February 2021.
Louisville to pay $12 million settlement over Breonna Taylor's death in botched police raid
The city of Louisville, Kentucky, will pay $12 million to the family of Breonna Taylor, a Black woman shot dead by police in a botched raid on her apartment in March, to settle a wrongful-death lawsuit, Mayor Greg Fischer said on Tuesday. The settlement appears to be one of the largest of its kind in the United States, where police departments are often shielded from having to pay damages for deaths in their custody.