Reuters US Domestic News Summary

Following is a summary of current US domestic news briefs.

U.S. homeland security proposes face scans for citizens

The Trump administration intends to propose a regulation next year that would require all travelers - including U.S. citizens - to be photographed when entering or leaving the United States, according to the administration's regulatory agenda. The proposed regulation, slated to be issued in July by the Homeland Security Department, would be part of a broader system to track travelers as they enter and exit the United States.

Texas county rules out lawsuit over chemical plant fire

The top official of an east Texas county that evacuated 60,000 residents last week after a petrochemical plant exploded and caught fire said on Tuesday he does not plan to sue the company, and will leave potential litigation to environmental bodies. TPC Group's Port Neches, Texas, site has been burning since Wednesday following a massive explosion that injured three workers and led County Judge Jeff Branick to order an evacuation out of fear of further explosions. The 218-acre (88-hectare) plant makes flammable petrochemicals used in tires and gasoline.

Officer stabbed, student shot in altercation at Wisconsin high school: police

A Wisconsin high school student on Tuesday stabbed a school resource officer, who responded by shooting the teenager, police said, in the second such incident over the last two days in the state. Oshkosh West High School, about 85 miles (137 km) north of Milwaukee, was put on lockdown after the altercation, Oshkosh Chief of Police Dean Smith said during a news conference.

New York gave homeless 'offer they can't refuse,' New Jersey mayor's lawsuit claims

Newark Mayor Ras Baraka's administration has sued New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, accusing the fellow Democrat of dumping his city's population of homeless people on New Jersey's biggest city. The lawsuit accuses the de Blasio administration's Special One-Time Assistance, or SOTA, program of using strong-arm tactics to send people across the Hudson River to find a place to live.

U.S. shoppers, mostly online, spend 16% more over holiday weekend

A record number of U.S. consumers spent more online and in stores over the holiday weekend for everything from clothing to toys, the National Retail Federation said on Tuesday. NRF's survey found nearly 190 million people made purchases over the five-day holiday shopping period from Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday, an increase of roughly 14% from 165 million a year ago. It cited a healthy economy and a condensed holiday shopping season.

PG&E failed to inspect transmission lines that caused deadly 2018 wildfire: state probe

Bankrupt California power producer PG&E Corp did not properly inspect and replace transmission lines before a faulty wire sparked a wildfire that killed more than 80 people in 2018, a probe by a state regulator has concluded. The Caribou-Palermo transmission line was identified as the cause of the Camp Fire last year, which virtually incinerated the Northern California town of Paradise and stands as the state's most lethal blaze.

U.S. regions hard hit by opioids to ditch class action, pursue own lawsuits

Local governments in regions hard hit by the U.S. opioid epidemic have opted out of massive litigation taking aim at the drug industry over the crisis, potentially weakening a novel legal mechanism created to help settle thousands of lawsuits. Overall, 98% of some 34,000 local governments agreed to be bound by a class action against companies such as drug distributor McKesson Corp, drugmaker Johnson & Johnson and pharmacy chain Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc, according to a Monday court filing.

Jeffrey Epstein's sexual abuses began by 1985, targeted 13-year-old, lawsuit claims

Financier Jeffrey Epstein's sexual abuse of girls and young women began as early as 1985 and targeted victims as young as 13 years old, according to a lawsuit filed on Tuesday by nine accusers against his estate. The accusers, known as Jane Doe I through Jane Doe IX, are among more than 20 women so far to formally seek compensation from Epstein's $577 million estate, after he killed himself on Aug. 10 in a Manhattan jail cell.

U.S. senators call for banning, prosecuting ‘slumlords’ of military housing

U.S. senators on Tuesday demanded the Defense Department crack down on private landlords who provide substandard housing at military bases with criminal prosecutions or contract cancellations, citing Reuters reports of slum-like living conditions and falsified accounting. The top civilian and military leaders of the Army, Navy and Air Force appeared before the Senate Armed Services Committee, in the latest hearing addressing substandard military housing.

Special Report: 2020 U.S. census plagued by hacking threats, cost overruns

In 2016, the U.S. Census Bureau faced a pivotal choice in its plan to digitize the nation’s once-a-decade population count: build a system for collecting and processing data in-house, or buy one from an outside contractor. The bureau chose Pegasystems Inc, reasoning that outsourcing would be cheaper and more effective.