Following is a summary of current US domestic news briefs.
Two weeks after Biden named President-elect, Trump faces stinging setbacks
Joe Biden on Saturday reached the two-week mark since becoming president-elect, with President Donald Trump stinging from back-to-back setbacks in his desperate, unprecedented bid to undo his election defeat. Biden, a Democrat, is preparing to take office on Jan. 20, but Trump, a Republican, has refused to concede and is seeking to invalidate or overturn the results through lawsuits and recounts in a number of states, claiming - without proof - widespread voter fraud.
Donald Trump Jr. tests positive for COVID-19, says spokesman
Donald Trump Jr., the son of U.S. President Donald Trump, tested positive for COVID-19 this week, although he is experiencing no symptoms, according to his spokesman. Trump Jr. tested positive at the start of the week and has been "quarantining at his cabin since the result," the spokesman said.
New Trump Medicare drug-price rules denounced as political revenge by industry
U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday announced two rules aimed at lowering drug prices for people 65 and older in the Medicare health insurance program, prompting a biotechnology industry group to accuse the president of seeking political revenge. Wall Street analysts said there was little chance the new rules would be put into place, in part because they expect legal challenges by pharmaceutical and pharmacy benefit manager trade organizations. The incoming Biden administration is unlikely to take up the rules, they said.
Tibetan political leader visits White House for first time in six decades
The head of the Tibetan government in exile has visited the U.S. White House for the first time in six decades, a move that could further infuriate Beijing, which has accused the United States of trying to destabilise the region. Lobsang Sangay, President of the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA), was invited to the White House to meet the newly appointed U.S. Special Coordinator for Tibetan Issues, Robert Destro, on Friday, the CTA said in a press release.
Suspect at large after multiple people wounded in Wisconsin mall shooting
A suspect was at large after multiple people were wounded in an "active shooter incident" at a suburban shopping mall in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on Friday. The shooting took place outside a Macy's department store at the Mayfield Mall in Wauwatosa, a Milwaukee suburb of 47,000 people, according to local authorities.
Panic buying of toilet paper hits U.S. stores again with new pandemic restrictions
Toilet paper aisles are emptying again as COVID-19 curfews and shutdowns in states from California to New York send pandemic-weary shoppers on a new scramble for essentials. Walmart on Friday said it was "seeing pockets of lower than normal availability" for toilet paper and cleaning supplies in some communities as infections rage virtually unchecked across most of the United States.
Pfizer files COVID-19 vaccine application to U.S. FDA
Pfizer Inc applied to U.S. health regulators on Friday for emergency use authorization (EUA) of its COVID-19 vaccine, the first such application in a major step toward providing protection against the new coronavirus. The application to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) comes just days after Pfizer and German partner BioNTech SE reported final trial results that showed the vaccine was 95% effective in preventing COVID-19 with no major safety concerns.
Judge denies bid to halt Nevada from certifying election results
A judge in Nevada denied an emergency bid to halt the state from certifying its election results, saying in a court hearing it would disenfranchise more than one million of the state's voters. The Election Integrity Project, an organization led by a right-wing activist, had alleged voter fraud. The organization claimed it had identified about 1,400 people who had registered to vote in Nevada, moved to California and then voted in Nevada.
Exclusive: Mexico agreed with U.S. Attorney General Barr to arrest drug capo in deal for general - source
Mexico has committed to the arrest of a high-level cartel leader under a deal with U.S. Attorney General William Barr to drop U.S. drug trafficking charges against a former Mexican defense minister, a senior Mexican source told Reuters. The United States dropped the case against retired General Salvador Cienfuegos this week citing "sensitive and important" foreign policy considerations that outweighed interest in pursuing the charges.
Wisconsin governor renews mask mandate despite court challenge as pandemic worsens
Wisconsin's governor on Friday extended a statewide mask mandate despite a legal challenge from conservatives, renewing an emergency health order requiring face coverings in public spaces to curb an alarming surge in COVID-19 infections. The new decree from Governor Tony Evers, a Democrat, came six months after a coronavirus stay-at-home order issued last spring was invalidated by the state Supreme Court in a lawsuit that Republican lawmakers brought against the lockdown.