Reuters US Domestic News Summary

Following is a summary of current US domestic news briefs.

R. Kelly accused of sex with teen girl in 1990s as indictment is updated

Singer R. Kelly, already facing trial in three states on sexual abuse, child pornography, kidnapping and obstruction of justice charges, has been hit with an updated indictment in Chicago stemming from a newly-identified victim, court documents showed on Friday. The superseding indictment, filed in U.S. District Court in Chicago, identifies the latest accuser only as "Minor 6" and charges Kelly, 53, with engaging in sexual acts with her in the late 1990s, when she was 14 or 15 years old.

U.S. to evacuate Americans aboard cruise ship quarantined at Japan port

The United States said it would send an aircraft to Japan to bring back U.S. passengers on the quarantined cruise ship Diamond Princess, where the most coronavirus infections outside China have occurred. The U.S. Embassy in Tokyo said in a letter on Saturday to passengers that a chartered plane would arrive in Japan on Sunday evening and that it recommended "out of an abundance of caution" that U.S. citizens disembark and return home for further monitoring.

Fake flyers and face-mask fear: California fights coronavirus discrimination

A flyer in Los Angeles' Carson area, with a fake seal of the World Health Organization, tells residents to avoid Asian-American businesses because of a coronavirus outbreak. A Los Angeles middle schooler is beaten and hospitalized after students say he is as an Asian-American with coronavirus. And over 14,000 people sign a petition urging schools in the Alhambra area to close over coronavirus risks, even though there is only one case of the virus in Los Angeles County, with its population of 10.1 million.

New York prosecutor says former movie producer Weinstein abused his power

New York prosecutors told jurors that Harvey Weinstein abused his power and pushed back against claims by the former Hollywood producer's defense team that his accusers were not credible. Setting the stage for the jury to begin deliberating next week in Weinstein's weeks-long sexual assault trial, Assistant District Attorney Joan Illuzzi said Weinstein, 67, had counted on his victims never coming forward.

Emboldened, Trump defends right to interfere in criminal cases

U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday said he has "the legal right" to interfere in criminal cases, capping a tumultuous week that raised questions about whether he is eroding the independence of the U.S. legal system. Trump's criticism of the judge, jury and prosecutors in the criminal case of his longtime adviser Roger Stone prompted an unusual rebuke from Attorney General William Barr, his top law enforcement official, and spurred new demands for investigation from the Democrats who unsuccessfully tried to remove the Republican president from office.

Philippines' Duterte says Trump deserves to be re-elected

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said on Saturday that Donald Trump deserved to be re-elected, praising the U.S. president's reaction to his decision to end a decades-old military agreement with the United States. Trump said on Wednesday he did not mind Duterte's decision to end the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) even as his defense secretary, Mark Esper, called the move "unfortunate" as Washington and its allies press China to abide by "international rules" in Asia.

Alaska high court OKs recall petition drive for campaign to oust governor

The Alaska Supreme Court on Friday cleared the way for a campaign seeking to oust the state's embattled governor to proceed with plans to collect enough signatures to place a recall initiative on the 2020 ballot. In the latest legal setback for Governor Mike Dunleavy, a first-term Republican and ally of U.S. President Donald Trump, the state's high court lifted a stay blocking state election officials from printing and distributing petition booklets for the recall drive.

U.S. Border Patrol to send Tactical Unit officers to 'sanctuary cities'

The Trump administration is deploying highly trained officers to boost arrests of unauthorized immigrants in a number of cities, including Los Angeles, Chicago and New York, the latest move in a battle against localities that adopt "sanctuary" policies to protect them from deportation. Members of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection's (CBP) Border Patrol Tactical Unit will be among the officers deployed to cities to assist Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE. They will also be sent to San Francisco, Atlanta, Houston, Boston, New Orleans, Detroit and Newark, New Jersey, CBP spokesman Lawrence Payne said in a statement on Friday.

Trump administration eyes 10% middle-class tax cut proposal

The Trump administration is considering a 10% tax cut for middle-class Americans and making some other tax reductions permanent as part of a package it intends to propose before the November election, a top White House adviser said on Friday. "We'd love to have a 10% middle-class tax cut, and we would love to strengthen and make permanent some of the other tax cuts," National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow said in an interview with Fox Business Network, according to excerpts released by the network.

Trump administration taking $3.8 billion more from military for Mexico border wall

The U.S. Defense Department sent Congress a request to shift nearly $4 billion from the military budget to pay for a wall on the border with Mexico, a central promise of President Donald Trump's campaign for the White House four years ago and bid this year for a second term. Lawmakers said they received a request on Thursday to reprogram more than $3.8 billion from funding for the National Guard and weapons programs, setting the stage for a possible confrontation with Democrats.