Following is a summary of current US domestic news briefs.
U.S. scientists join effort to solve mysterious vaping-related illnesses
The U.S. investigation into hundreds of cases of life-threatening lung illnesses related to vaping has turned up a curious abnormality: Many of the victims had pockets of oil clogging up cells responsible for removing impurities in the lungs. Dr. Dana Meaney-Delman, who has been leading the inquiry at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, wants to know where that oil came from. The answer will help explain whether these cells play a key role in the vaping-related outbreak that has killed seven people and sickened 530 so far.
Warren, Sanders to visit striking GM workers as dispute continues
Two major Democratic presidential candidates plan to visit striking General Motors workers in Detroit in the coming days as a five-day-old labor dispute threatens to enter its second week. Senator Elizabeth Warren will join workers on the picket line outside GM's Detroit-Hamtramck plant on Sunday, while Senator Bernie Sanders will do the same on Wednesday. GM has received harsh criticism from Democrats for shifting health insurance costs for its striking workers union as its members walked the picket line for the second day on Tuesday.
U.S. senators urge FDA to remove pod, cartridge-based e-cigarettes from market
A bipartisan group of U.S. senators on Friday urged federal regulators to immediately remove all pod and cartridge-based e-cigarettes from the market until it can be proven the products are safe. In a letter to Ned Sharpless, acting commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Senators Dick Durbin, Lisa Murkowski, Jeff Merkley and Richard Blumenthal cited recent reports of 530 cases of vaping-related lung disease, as well as eight deaths, in asking for the ban.
Chicago mayor tells investors she will tackle city's fiscal woes
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot on Friday tried to reassure investors in the city's debt that she will take on big financial problems, while providing no new clues as to how she plans to accomplish the task. At the city's annual investors conference, Lightfoot, a former federal prosecutor who took office in May, addressed a "jaw dropping" $1 billion deficit in the upcoming budget that her administration had whittled down to $838 million.
Walmart to stop sales of e-cigarettes in U.S. stores: company memo
Walmart Inc told staff on Friday it will stop selling e-cigarettes and electronic nicotine delivery products at its U.S. stores, amid a growing crackdown on surging teenage use of such products, reports of vaping-related lung disease and some deaths. In an internal memo seen by Reuters, the retailer said growing federal, state and local regulatory complexity and uncertainty were behind its decision.
Uber sues New York City over cruising and licensing caps
Uber Technologies Inc sued New York City on Friday, seeking to void a new rule limiting how much time its drivers can spend cruising streets in busy areas of Manhattan without passengers, saying it threatens to undermine the company's ride-sharing model. In a filing in New York state court in Manhattan, Uber also sought to void a rule banning the issuance of new licenses to for-hire vehicles through August 2020.
New York Mayor de Blasio ends presidential bid, draws Trump's sarcasm
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio on Friday ended his 2020 presidential campaign that was overshadowed by better-known liberal Democrats, and drew a sarcastic farewell from a fellow New Yorker, President Donald Trump. "Sometimes it's just not your time, and that's OK," de Blasio, 58, told reporters.
Trump pressured Ukraine president to investigate Biden: reports
U.S. President Donald Trump repeatedly pressured Ukraine's president to investigate Joe Biden, one of Trump's chief political rivals, in a July phone call, according to reports on Friday by the Wall Street Journal and other U.S. media outlets. The call featured in a classified whistleblower complaint that has sparked a political battle between Democrats warning of a national security threat and Republicans turning it into an attack on Biden, a frontrunner in the field of Democrats seeking to challenge Trump in the 2020 presidential election.
U.S. wage law applies to marijuana industry workers: appeals court
A U.S. appeals court on Friday said the federal law requiring that workers be paid a minimum wage and overtime applies to employees in the marijuana industry, as an increasing number of states legalize recreational use. The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Colorado said the protections in the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) apply to "all workers," regardless of whether the business they are engaged in is illegal under federal law.
California, other states take Trump to court over auto emissions rules
A group of 23 states on Friday sued to block the Trump administration from undoing California's authority to set strict car pollution rules, one of the biggest U.S. battles over climate change. On the day that young people around the world staged protests demanding action on climate, the lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Washington was the first round in a legal battle that many expect will outlast Trump's presidency.