Reuters US Domestic News Summary

Following is a summary of current US domestic news briefs.

Helping veterans develop business skills as entrepreneurs

Every year, about 250,000 U.S. military members leave the service and enter the workforce, and one in five tries to start their own business. While the military focuses on leadership development, entrepreneurship is not a top priority, says General John W. Nicholson Jr., a retired four-star general who last commanded U.S. Forces in Afghanistan and NATO’s Resolute Support Mission.

Microsoft says it will follow California's digital privacy law in U.S.

Microsoft Corp said in a blog post on Monday that it would honor California's privacy law throughout the United States, expanding the impact of a strict set of rules meant to protect consumers and their data. Microsoft said in the post it was a "strong supporter" of the California Consumer Privacy Act, known as CCPA, which will go into effect on Jan. 1.

Top Democratic 2020 contenders promise to strengthen veterans' services

Top U.S. Democratic White House contenders said on Monday they would improve benefits and healthcare for military veterans if elected, putting a priority on upgraded medical facilities, stronger suicide prevention programs and better care for military spouses and children. To mark Monday's U.S. Veterans Day holiday honoring those who served in the military, presidential contenders Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders and Pete Buttigieg unveiled plans to honor what Sanders called the "moral obligation" of providing quality care to veterans.

Southwest will speed up inspections of 38 used 737 airplanes after FAA concerns

Southwest Airlines Co said Monday it will complete inspections on 38 737 airplanes it acquired from foreign air carriers by Jan. 31 that may not meet all U.S. aviation safety requirements. The planes are part of 88 pre-owned Boeing 737 aircraft Southwest bought between 2013 and 2017 from 16 foreign carriers. The speedier checks come after inspections of 39 used planes turned up previously undisclosed repairs and incorrectly completed fixes. Southwest used multiple contractors to conduct the reviews of the planes' maintenance records when they bought the planes.

Google signs healthcare data and cloud computing deal with Ascension

Alphabet Inc's Google signed its biggest cloud computing customer in healthcare yet, according to an announcement on Monday, gaining with the deal datasets that could help it tune potentially lucrative artificial intelligence tools. The Wall Street Journal earlier reported Google teaming up with Ascension to collect personal health-related information of millions of Americans across 21 states. (

Democrats release new batch of testimony from Trump impeachment inquiry

A Pentagon official detailed confusion and concern in the U.S. national security apparatus after the White House blocked aid to Ukraine without explanation, testimony released Monday by the congressional impeachment panel into U.S. President Donald Trump showed. Testimony by Laura Cooper, deputy assistant secretary of defense, is the latest in a series to be made public that reveals the internal machinations of the administration as Trump insisted that $400 million in aid slated for Ukraine be withheld until the nation's President Volodymyr Zelenskiy publicly launched an investigation into one of Trump's top political rivals.

Amazon's $1.5 million political gambit backfires in Seattle City Council election

Seattle voters, in a rebuke to heavy corporate campaign spending by, have kept progressives firmly in control of their city council, reviving chances for a tax on big businesses that the tech giant helped fend off last year. Amazon poured a record $1.5 million into a Super PAC run by the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce to back a slate of candidates in the Nov. 5 council elections viewed as pro-business, or at least more corporate friendly than the incumbent council majority.

Airbnb, Chobani among companies to oppose U.S. asylum work permit slowdown

Airbnb, Chobani, Western Union and a dozen other companies are urging the withdrawal of a Trump administration proposal to slow down the work permit approval process for asylum seekers. The companies - joined by Uniqlo, Ben & Jerry's, DoorDash and others - spoke out against a recently proposed regulation in a letter sent to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) on Friday.

World’s first airport therapy pig hogs the limelight at San Francisco airport

Pigs might not fly, but LiLou the therapy pig wants to make air travel less stressful. The five-year-old Juliana pig and her owner, Tatyana Danilova, are part of San Francisco International Airport’s "Wag Brigade" - a program that brings therapy animals to the airport to cheer passengers up and help ease travel anxieties.

U.S. judge dismisses NY attorney general as defendant in Trump tax returns case

A federal judge on Monday dismissed New York's attorney general and state tax commissioner as defendants in U.S. President Donald Trump's lawsuit seeking to block a House of Representatives committee from obtaining his New York state tax returns. U.S. District Judge Carl Nichols in Washington, D.C. said he lacked jurisdiction over Letitia James, the attorney general, and Michael Schmidt, commissioner of the state's Department of Taxation and Finance. The dismissal was without prejudice.