Reuters US Domestic News Summary

Following is a summary of current US domestic news briefs.

Explainer: What's at stake on Super Tuesday for U.S. Democrats

Fourteen states and one U.S. territory are hosting Super Tuesday primary elections, a flurry that could bring more clarity about which Democratic presidential contender voters prefer to challenge Republican President Donald Trump in November. More than a third of delegates will be doled out in Tuesday's nominating contests, compared with less than 5% awarded from the four states voting in February. A candidate needs at least 1,991 delegates to the party's national convention in July to win the Democratic nomination outright.

Latino voters in U.S. started changing outcomes in 2018 - they may do so again in 2020

John Verdejo moved to North Carolina by way of the Bronx, with only basketball great Michael Jordan and the folksy humor of the Andy Griffith television show as references, neither particularly relevant to a Puerto Rican family in the mid-1990s. Two years ago he saw Raleigh elect its first Latino councilman, saw Latino voters help defeat Wake County's tough-on-immigration Republican sheriff, and now feels that energy continuing into the 2020 U.S. presidential campaign.

Resurgent Biden makes Super Tuesday push to halt Sanders' momentum

U.S. Democratic presidential contender Joe Biden took his resurgent campaign to California on Tuesday in a last-minute push to blunt front-runner Bernie Sanders' momentum as Americans voted in the largest round of state nominating contests. California, the most populous state, is a tantalizing prize in Super Tuesday elections in 14 states that are the first national test for candidates seeking the Democratic nomination to face Republican President Donald Trump in the Nov. 3 election.

Poor controls led U.S. prisons to buy whole cow hearts disguised as ground beef: watchdog

The U.S. Bureau of Prisons lacks policies to safeguard against serving potentially contaminated food to its inmates, a problem that led it to buy substandard products, including whole cow hearts disguised as ground beef, the Justice Department's internal watchdog has found. In a report made public on Tuesday, Inspector General Michael Horowitz faulted the BOP for not having "a protocol in place to ensure its food supply is safe" and failing to "properly document or communicate food vendor quality issues."

Super Tuesday voting so far free of cyber meddling, U.S. officials say

The Super Tuesday primary elections were so far free of any signs of interference, said national security professionals who gathered in Northern Virginia in an unprecedented monitoring effort to counter cyberattacks and foreign disinformation. "On the specifics of today, we have not seen any acute increase in any misinformation," said Christopher Krebs, director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency of the Department of Homeland Security.

In a Texas chicken joint, Biden and onetime rival Buttigieg unite to stop Sanders

It was a scene that was hard to imagine just one week ago. Joe Biden, 77, and until Sunday his rival for the Democratic presidential nomination Pete Buttigieg, 38, appeared together before a tiny crowd in the Chicken Scratch restaurant in Dallas, where Buttigieg endorsed the former vice president.

Three more die in Seattle area from coronavirus as U.S. promises 1 million test kits

The number of people with the new coronavirus in the United States climbed on Tuesday with Washington state reporting three more deaths, as authorities worked on preventing its spread and the central bank acted on Tuesday to protect the economy from the impact of the global outbreak. The total number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Washington state rose to 27, including nine deaths, up from 18 cases and six deaths a day earlier, the state Department of Health reported.

Any U.S. citizen can be tested for coronavirus at doctor's orders under new guidance: Pence

Vice President Mike Pence said on Tuesday that U.S. public health authorities had issued new guidance to make clear that a doctor's order was all that would be needed for any American to be tested for the novel coronavirus. "We're issuing new guidance, effective immediately, from the CDC that will make it clear that any clinician on health authority can administer the test," Pence told reporters at the White House, referring to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

U.S. lawmakers hit snag over vaccine costs in bill to battle coronavirus

The U.S. Congress and President Donald Trump neared agreement on Tuesday on legislation to battle the spreading coronavirus with as much as $9 billion, but a dispute over the cost of vaccines held up a deal, Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer said. Leaders in the House of Representatives and Senate hoped to resolve the dispute and approve the emergency legislation by the end of this week.

Tornadoes tear through Nashville, Tennessee on Super Tuesday, killing 22

Powerful tornadoes tore through Nashville, Tennessee and surrounding counties early on Tuesday, killing at least 22 people, leaving others missing and reducing homes and businesses to rubble even as voters throughout the state cast ballots in the Super Tuesday presidential primary. The death toll may rise given the number of people who remain unaccounted for following the twisters, which struck about 1 a.m. central standard time (2 p.m. eastern) Governor William Lee said at a news briefing.