Reuters US Domestic News Summary

Following is a summary of current US domestic news briefs.

U.S. vehicle fleet sets new record for fuel efficiency in 2018: EPA

The U.S. vehicle fleet hit a record for fuel efficiency in 2018 averaging 25.1 miles per gallon (mpg) in real-world driving as it rose 0.2 mpg, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said. The fleet is also preliminarily anticipated to jump to 25.5 mpg for the 2019 model year.

Senior U.S. Commerce official instrumental in pushing Huawei curbs to resign

A senior U.S. Commerce Department official who helped lead the administration's efforts to impose export restrictions on China's Huawei Technologies Co is resigning, Secretary Wilbur Ross said on Monday. Earl Comstock, who served for three years as director of Policy and Strategic Planning at the department, often clashed with other administration officials on a range of issues.

Top Los Angeles prosecutor apologizes after husband points gun at Black Lives Matter activists

Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey delivered an emotional apology on behalf of her husband on Monday, hours after he pointed a gun at Black Lives Matter protesters gathered outside the couple's home and threatened to shoot them. The confrontation, captured on videotape by the activists, came a day before Lacey, the county's first African-American top prosecutor, faces off against two challengers in the Democratic primary. Black Lives Matter believes she has been too lenient on police officers in excessive-force cases.

Klobuchar, Buttigieg to back Biden at rally in Super Tuesday state of Texas

Former Vice President Joe Biden's Democratic presidential bid picked up steam on Monday as he was set to pick up the endorsements of two former 2020 rivals - Amy Klobuchar and Pete Buttigieg - on the eve of the crucial Super Tuesday primary elections Klobuchar, a U.S. senator from Minnesota, will become the third 2020 candidate in as many days to drop out of the race when she announces the suspension of her campaign in Dallas, where she will also publicly back Biden, a Klobuchar aide said.

Bloomberg’s big bet: Can money beat Biden's momentum?

In his brief three-month campaign for president, Michael Bloomberg poured nearly three-quarters of a billion dollars into building an advertising and data-mining juggernaut unlike anything the political world had ever seen. But a big part of the strategy hinged on a wildcard named Joe Biden.

U.S. Supreme Court conservatives lean toward Trump over rapid deportation

Conservative U.S. Supreme Court justices appeared sympathetic on Monday toward a bid by President Donald Trump's administration to buttress its power to quickly deport illegal immigrants without court interference in a politically charged election-year case concerning one of Trump's signature issues. The justices heard arguments in the administration's appeal of a lower court ruling that a Sri Lankan asylum seeker - a farmer named Vijayakumar Thuraissigiam - had a right under the U.S. Constitution to have his case reviewed by a federal court.

U.S. Supreme Court takes up Democratic bid to defend Obamacare

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday agreed to hear a politically explosive case on whether Obamacare is lawful, taking up a bid by 20 Democratic-led states including California and New York to preserve the landmark healthcare law. The impetus for the Supreme Court case was a 2018 ruling by a federal judge in Texas that Obamacare as currently structured in light of a key Republican-backed change made by Congress violates the U.S. Constitution and is invalid in its entirety. The ruling came in a legal challenge to the law by Texas and 17 other conservative states backed by Republican President Donald Trump's administration.

Coronavirus deaths rise to six in Seattle area as U.S. pushes for more testing

Six people in the Seattle area have died of the illness caused by the new coronavirus, health officials said on Monday, as authorities across the United States scrambled to prepare for more infections with the emphasis on increasing testing capacity. Dr. Jeff Duchin, health officer for the Seattle and King County Public Health agency, announced the increase in fatalities from the previous two in Washington state.

U.S. Supreme Court rejects challenge to ban on gun 'bump stocks'

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday rebuffed a bid by gun rights advocates to overturn President Donald Trump's ban on "bump stocks" - devices that enable semi-automatic weapons to fire rapidly like a machine gun - implemented after the 2017 Las Vegas mass shooting. The justices left in place a lower court's decision that upheld the Trump administration's action to define bump stocks as prohibited machine guns under U.S. law even as litigation over the policy continues.

Moderate Klobuchar's 'stealth campaign' for U.S. presidency comes to an end

Amy Klobuchar, a U.S. senator from Minnesota whose wit and straightforward Midwestern style won key endorsements and bolstered her long-shot campaign, is ending her bid for the Democratic presidential nomination and endorsing fellow moderate Joe Biden, her campaign said on Monday. The moderate Klobuchar had built late momentum but lagged behind the leading candidates. Her withdrawal the day before Super Tuesday leaves five Democrats in the race for the party's nod to run against Republican Donald Trump in November.