Reuters US Domestic News Summary

Following is a summary of current US domestic news briefs.

Trump thumbs-up photo with orphaned baby in El Paso sparks controversy

A photo of U.S. President Donald Trump smiling broadly and giving a thumbs-up as his wife, Melania, cradles a baby orphaned in the El Paso, Texas mass shooting has become a social media talking point days after the first lady posted it on Twitter. The image was taken on Wednesday at the University Medical Center of El Paso during Trump's visit to the West Texas border city to meet with first responders, medical personnel and surviving victims from Saturday's gun violence at a Walmart store.

Most Americans expect next mass shooting to happen in next three months: Reuters/Ipsos poll

Nearly half of all Americans expect another mass shooting will happen soon in the United States, according to a Reuters/Ipsos public opinion poll released on Friday, as the nation reels from rampages in California, Texas and Ohio. The Aug. 7-8 survey found that 78% of Americans said it was likely that such an attack would take place in the next three months, including 49% who said one was “highly likely.” Another 10% said a mass shooting was unlikely in three months and the rest said they did not know.

Alaska's hottest month portends transformation into 'unfrozen state'

July 2019 now stands as Alaska’s hottest month on record, the latest benchmark in a long-term warming trend with ominous repercussions ranging from rapidly vanishing summer sea ice and melting glaciers to raging wildfires and deadly chaos for marine life. July's statewide average temperature rose to 58.1 degrees Fahrenheit (14.5 degrees Celsius), a level that for denizens of the Lower 48 states might seem cool enough but is actually 5.4 degrees above normal and nearly a full degree higher than Alaska's previous record-hot month.

Man armed with loaded rifle arrested at Missouri Walmart

A 20-year-old man was arrested on Thursday after he walked into a Walmart store in Missouri dressed in body armor and carrying a loaded rifle and 100 rounds of ammunition less than a week after mass shootings in Texas and Ohio left 32 dead, police said. Dmitriy Andreychenko was charged with making a terrorist threat after alarming customers inside the store in Springfield, about 160 miles southeast of Kansas City, police in a statement that provided no further details.

White House summons tech, social media firms after shootings

White House officials and big social media companies met on Friday to talk about how to curb extremism online after two mass shootings last weekend that killed 31 people in Texas and Ohio. After the shootings, U.S. President Donald Trump laid blame on the internet and social media for providing places "to radicalize disturbed minds" and called on the Justice Department to work with companies "to develop tools that can detect mass shooters before they strike."

Court unseals trove of documents related to Jeffrey Epstein

A federal appeals court on Friday unsealed about 2,000 pages of documents related to Jeffrey Epstein, the U.S. financier facing charges of sex trafficking involving dozens of underage girls. The documents were released by the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan, as part of a defamation lawsuit by Virginia Giuffre, one of Epstein's accusers, against Ghislaine Maxwell, who she has said acted as a procurer for Epstein.

Allegations of labor abuses dogged Mississippi plant years before immigration raids

Long before U.S. immigration authorities arrested 680 people at agricultural processing facilities in Mississippi this week, one of the five targeted companies faced allegations of serious labor violations including intimidation, harassment and exploitation of its largely immigrant work force, according to a federal lawsuit. Last August, Illinois-based poultry supplier Koch Foods settled a multi-year lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) on behalf of more than 100 workers at the Morton, Mississippi, plant over claims the company knew - or should have known - of sexual and physical assaults against its Hispanic workers.

Trump says speaking to NRA over background checks on gun sales

President Donald Trump on Friday said he has been speaking with the National Rifle Association to ensure that the gun lobby's "very strong views" are considered as congressional leaders weigh possible gun legislation after two weekend mass shootings. Trump also said serious discussions between the leaderships of House of Representatives and Senate were taking place over expanding background checks for guns sales after the shootings left 31 people dead.

Texas shooting suspect told police he targeted 'Mexicans'

The suspected gunman accused of killing 22 people in a shooting rampage at Walmart in El Paso, Texas last weekend confessed while surrendering and told police he was targeting "Mexicans," according to an El Paso police affidavit released on Friday . The suspect, Patrick Crusius, 21, came out of his vehicle, stopped at an intersection, "and stated out loud 'I'm the shooter'", Detective Adrian Garcia said in the affidavit on Sunday, a day after the shooting.

Stopping America's next hate-crime killers on social media is no easy task

The pattern is clear: Hate-filled manifestos posted on websites populated by white supremacists, followed by gun attacks against blacks, Jews, Muslims, or Latin American immigrants. In some cases, the killers use their internet posts to praise previous attacks by other white nationalists. And after new assaults, the manifestos get passed around, feeding the cycle of propaganda and violence.