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Reuters US Domestic News Summary

14 Jan 2021 / 07:55 H.

    Following is a summary of current US domestic news briefs.

    Trump administration unveils last-minute plan to ease development in California desert

    The Trump administration on Wednesday proposed weakening environmental protections for millions of acres of California desert, allowing more room for wind and solar energy projects, mining, and broadband infrastructure. The move is the latest in a string of last-minute proposals from the outgoing administration to accelerate development on public lands, and would amend an effort, hatched jointly with the state of California during the presidency of Barack Obama, that set aside areas for renewable energy development.

    NASA scientist pleads guilty to lying about China ties

    A senior NASA scientist pleaded guilty on Wednesday to lying about his ties to a program that encourages researchers to develop relationships with China in exchange for grants, the U.S. Department of Justice said on Wednesday. Meyya Meyyappan, 66, of Pacifica, California, entered his plea before U.S. District Judge Kevin Castel in Manhattan.

    New York pleads for more COVID-19 vaccine as daily U.S. death toll hits record

    As the United States recorded its highest single-day death toll since the coronavirus pandemic began nearly a year ago, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio on Wednesday said the city would fall short of its innoculation goals unless it could gain access to more vaccine. The mayor said short supplies were hampering New York City's efforts to ramp up its vaccinating capacity. His appeal comes as the country as a whole struggles to meet an overall goals, with vaccinations now running far behind a targed of 20 million people by now.

    Off-duty cops, other officials face reckoning after rallying for Trump in D.C.

    As rioters scaled scaffolding outside the U.S. Capitol, Roxanne Mathai held up her cell phone to record the sea of supporters of President Donald Trump storming America's bastion of democracy. "We're going in," said the 46-year-old Texas jailer, "tear gas and all."

    With memories of 2020 armed protests, Michigan lawmakers fear weekend violence at state Capitol

    In the shadow of a towering cast-iron dome, dozens of state police patrolled the perimeter of Michigan's state Capitol as lawmakers returned to work on Wednesday morning, a sense of calm masking the looming threat of violence this weekend. The south side was enclosed in a 7-foot-high (2.1 meter) chain-link fence due to ongoing construction. But pedestrians were not barred from its snow-covered lawn or ascending the same front steps that served as an entry point for the hundreds of armed right-wing demonstrators who last year staged what many now see as a trial run https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-michigan/trump-backers-protest-michigan-stay-at-home-orders-at-state-capitol-idUSKCN21Y0BA for the Jan. 6 incursion on Washington.

    House votes after U.S. Capitol siege to impeach Trump for second time; his fate in Senate hands

    The House of Representatives on Wednesday made Donald Trump the first U.S. president ever to be impeached twice, formally charging him with inciting an insurrection just a week after a violent mob of his supporters stormed the Capitol. The vote in the Democratic-controlled House was 232-197 following a deadly assault on American democracy, with 10 Republicans joining the Democrats in backing impeachment of the president in his waning days in power.

    Explainer: Impeachment or the 14th Amendment - Can Trump be barred from future office?

    Some U.S. lawmakers have said President Donald Trump should be disqualified from holding political office again following his impeachment on Wednesday for inciting a mob that stormed the Capitol as lawmakers were certifying President-elect Joe Biden's victory. Now that the House has impeached Trump, the Senate will hold a trial on whether to remove him and possibly bar him from future office.

    Exclusive: U.S. FAA chief orders 'zero tolerance' for disruptive airline passengers, possibly jail

    U.S. Federal Aviation Administration chief Steve Dickson signed an order on Wednesday directing the agency to take a "zero tolerance policy" after supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump were disruptive on some recent flights. Dickson told Reuters the FAA's special emphasis program would last through March 30 and warned disruptive passengers could face up to $35,000 fines and possible jail time. He emphasized the agency will not issue warning letters or negotiate penalties.

    Exclusive: Parler CEO says social media app, favored by Trump supporters, may not return

    Social media platform Parler, which has gone dark after being cut off by major service providers that accused the app of failing to police violent content, may never get back online, said its CEO John Matze. As a procession of business vendors severed ties with the two-year-old site following the storming of the U.S. Capitol last week, Matze said in an interview with Reuters on Wednesday that he does not know when or if it will return.

    U.S. security forces probe threats, ramp up to prevent repeat of Capitol mayhem

    Overwhelmed during the deadly attack on Congress by President Donald Trump's supporters last week, U.S. security forces are mounting a national operation to thwart any violence before President-elect Joe Biden takes office. Federal and state officials are evaluating online threats and menacing messages to members of Congress and making sure the security operation has the force to repel an attack.

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