Reuters US Domestic News Summary

Following is a summary of current US domestic news briefs.

Bernie Sanders, stuck in Trump's trial, leans on star power of 'AOC'

U.S. presidential candidate Bernie Sanders drew large, passionate crowds in Iowa this weekend, even when he was not there. The U.S. Senator from Vermont has been rising in opinion polls just as Iowans prepare to pick their choice of Democratic presidential nominee on Feb. 3, but has been stuck in Washington, where he is serving as a juror in Republican President Donald Trump's impeachment trial.

Officials confirm five U.S. cases of coronavirus after China travel

Five people in the United States, all of whom recently traveled from Wuhan, China, have been diagnosed with the new coronavirus, officials of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Sunday. The count includes new patients identified over the weekend in the Los Angeles and Phoenix areas, as well as cases reported earlier in Chicago and Seattle.

Michael Avenatti faces the trial of his life: his own

Michael Avenatti shot to fame from obscurity two years ago by taking to the airwaves as an outspoken, self-described nemesis of Donald Trump while representing adult film actress Stormy Daniels in lawsuits against the U.S. president. Now the 48-year-old celebrity lawyer faces an uncertain future, as he goes on trial on Monday on charges he tried to extort up to $25 million from Nike Inc and defrauded a basketball coach he represented.

Los Angeles County confirms first case of coronavirus

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health said on Sunday it had confirmed the first case of the novel coronavirus in county. The individual was returning from Wuhan, China and is currently receiving medical treatment, the health agency said in a statement.

Obituary: Bryant, widely considered one of basketball's greatest

Kobe Bryant, widely considered one of the greatest players in basketball, was killed in a helicopter crash in Southern California on Sunday. He was 41. A transcendent star who went straight from high school to the game's biggest stage, Bryant won five NBA championship rings with the Los Angeles Lakers and was the face of the franchise during his 20-year career.

Pompeo accuses radio reporter of lying about his behavior after interview

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Saturday accused a National Public Radio reporter of lying to him and violating "the basic rules of journalism and decency" after she said Pompeo repeatedly cursed at her following a testy interview. NPR reporter Mary Louise Kelly said on Friday that Pompeo cursed at her and repeatedly "used the F-word" in a shouted diatribe after she questioned him about Ukraine and the ousted American ambassador to Kiev during a nine-minute interview.

Migrants stranded in Mexico cling on to hopes of reaching U.S. border

Guatemalan migrant Wilfredo Gomez said on Saturday he had been asking God to make him "invisible" as Mexican security forces started rounding up and detaining other U.S.-bound Central Americans who had illegally crossed into the country. Mexican security forces started taking a much tougher approach to Central American migrants earlier this week after hundreds entered the country illegally from Guatemala in an attempt to reach the U.S.-Mexican border.

U.S.-Israeli woman jailed in Russia seeks pardon: Interfax

Naama Issachar, a U.S.-Israeli woman jailed in Russia on drug charges, has asked for a pardon, Interfax news agency reported, citing a statement by her lawyers. Israel has called on Russia to release Issachar, who was sentenced by a Russian court to seven-and-a-half years in jail for drug offences in October.

Trailing Sanders, Bloomberg pans a 'kibbutz' vision for America

U.S. presidential contender Michael Bloomberg joked on Sunday he was the only Jewish candidate who does not want to turn America into a "kibbutz," a reference to collectivist farming and an apparent dig at fellow Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders. Bloomberg and Sanders, who are both Jewish, are vying for the Democratic nomination to take on Republican President Donald Trump in the November election.

Former NBA star Kobe Bryant and his daughter among nine killed in California helicopter crash

Kobe Bryant, one of the NBA's all-time greats whose international stardom transcended basketball, was killed on Sunday in a helicopter crash near Los Angeles along with his 13-year-old daughter and seven others on board, officials said. He was 41. Bryant rocketed to fame as an 18-year-old rookie and played 20 years for the Los Angeles Lakers, 18 of them as an all-star, and winning five NBA championships. His death sent shockwaves through the National Basketball Association, which he helped propel to international prominence, and around the world.