Reuters US Domestic News Summary

Following is a summary of current US domestic news briefs.

Nine-year-old who defies labels helps teach educators about queer youth

When a third-grade teacher from Texas asked her mostly 8-year-old students what they wanted to be when they grow up, one of them wrote on the white board: "drag queen." That response came from Keegan, now 9, a "gender creative" kid, in his mother's words, illustrating just one of the challenges facing educators as they accommodate the range of gender identities that students might express.

The Deciders: Meet the voters defining America's politics

A retiree worried about his granddaughter's future in Pinellas County, Florida. A factory worker in Racine County, Wisconsin, who doubts politicians will improve her life as a single mother. A Boy Scout leader willing to cross party lines to revive his blue-collar town in Northampton County, Pennsylvania. A gay, Latino college student in Maricopa County, Arizona, preparing to cast his first presidential ballot.

U.S. targets families for deportation to discourage migrants

U.S. immigration authorities want to deport recently arrived families who are in the United States illegally to discourage the surging numbers of Central Americans arriving from Mexico, a government official leading the effort said on Wednesday. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) will target for deportation families that have received a removal order from a U.S. immigration court, said Mark Morgan, the acting director of ICE, in a call with reporters.

Georgia to carry out 1,500th U.S. execution since capital punishment reinstated

Georgia is scheduled on Thursday to carry out the 1,500th execution in the United States since 1976, the year capital punishment was legally reinstated, when it puts to death a man convicted of killing an off-duty prison guard in 1996. Marion Wilson, 42, is scheduled to be executed by lethal injection at 7 p.m. EDT at the Georgia Diagnostic and Classification Prison in Jackson.

New York jury convicts man who starved, branded women in sex cult

Keith Raniere, a New York man accused of running a cult-like group in which women were kept on starvation diets, branded with his initials and ordered to have sex with him, was found guilty of all charges against him by a New York jury on Wednesday. Raniere, 58, was charged with racketeering conspiracy, sex trafficking, possession of child pornography and other crimes. He faces a possible sentence of life in prison.

Rookie Sacramento police officer killed, stand-off ensues

A rookie police officer in Sacramento, California, died after she was shot while answering a domestic disturbance call late on Wednesday, spurring an eight-hour standoff with the suspect, who fired his rifle "off and on" for hours, police said. Officer Tara O'Sullivan, 26, a 2018 graduate of the Sacramento police academy, was with her training officer when they responded to the domestic disturbance call around 6 p.m., Deputy Chief Dave Peletta said at a news conference early on Thursday.

Train derails in Nevada, spilling vegetable oil, closing major highway

A Union Pacific freight train derailed in Nevada on Wednesday, spilling vegetable oil and prompting the closure of an interstate highway. The vegetable oil spilled out of one of the 22 derailed cars after the train went off the tracks shortly before 11 a.m. local time, the Elko County Sheriff's Office said on Facebook, citing Union Pacific Railroad officials.

David Ortiz was not intended victim of shooting: Dominican prosecutor

The shooting of former Boston Red Sox star David Ortiz in Santo Domingo earlier this month was a case of mistaken identity, Dominican Republic Attorney General Jean Alain Rodriguez said on Wednesday. Ortiz was shot during the night of June 9 while seated at an open-air nightclub in the capital of his native country. However, Rodriguez said the attackers had meant to kill another man sitting at the table with the popular baseball star.

New York lawmakers pass aggressive law to fight climate change

New York state lawmakers passed early Thursday one of the nation's most ambitious plans to slow climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050. If signed into law, it would make New York the second U.S. state to aim for a carbon-neutral economy, following an executive order signed by then California Governor Jerry Brown last year to make that state carbon neutral by 2045.

Incoming Pentagon chief will attend NATO meeting in Brussels next week

U.S. Army Secretary Mark Esper, who becomes the acting defense secretary on Monday, will travel to Brussels next week for a meeting of NATO defense ministers, the Pentagon said on Wednesday. President Donald Trump announced on Tuesday that Esper would replace acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan, who is stepping down after media reports emerged of domestic violence in his family.