Reuters US Domestic News Summary

Following is a summary of current US domestic news briefs.

Exclusive: U.S. officials fear ransomware attack against 2020 election

The U.S. government plans to launch a program in roughly one month that narrowly focuses on protecting voter registration databases and systems ahead of the 2020 presidential election. These systems, which are widely used to validate the eligibility of voters before they cast ballots, were compromised in 2016 by Russian hackers seeking to collect information. Intelligence officials are concerned that foreign hackers in 2020 not only will target the databases but attempt to manipulate, disrupt or destroy the data, according to current and former U.S. officials.

Harvey Weinstein pleads not guilty, rape trial delayed to January

Former Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein pleaded not guilty on Monday to a new indictment as his upcoming criminal trial was pushed back to January, in a case where prosecutors have accused him of rape and predatory sexual assault. Weinstein, 67, entered his plea in a New York state court in Manhattan, where his trial was delayed by four months, to Jan. 6, 2020. He had faced a Sept. 9 trial date.

Trump asks Supreme Court to allow full enforcement of asylum crackdown

President Donald Trump's administration on Monday asked the U.S. Supreme Court to lift a court order preventing the government from fully enforcing a new rule that would curtail asylum applications by immigrants at the U.S.-Mexico border. California-based U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar last month issued a nationwide injunction blocking the rule, which requires most immigrants who want asylum to first seek safe haven in a third country they had traveled through on their way to the United States.

U.S. to seek death penalty for accused Pittsburgh synagogue shooter

U.S. prosecutors will seek the death penalty for a Pennsylvania man accused of bursting into a Pittsburgh synagogue last year with a semi-automatic rifle and shooting 11 people to death, according to court papers filed on Monday. Robert Bowers, 46, shouted "all Jews must die" as he fired on congregants gathered for a Sabbath service at the Tree of Life synagogue on Oct. 27, authorities said.

Florida nursing home workers surrender to face charges in post-hurricane deaths

Four Miami-area nursing home workers were arrested on Monday to face criminal charges in the deaths of a dozen nursing home patients exposed to sweltering heat during a post-hurricane power outage two years ago, defense attorneys said. Three employees of the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills - administrator Jorge Carballo, the charge nurse who was on duty, Sergo Collin, and nurse Althia Meggie - turned themselves in at the Broward County Jail in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, at about noon, lawyers said.

New Jersey officials speed up Newark lead pipe replacement with $120 million plan

New Jersey unveiled a $120 million plan on Monday to speed up the replacement of old lead pipes in Newark in response to mounting alarm about the toxic metal leaching into the drinking water in the state's largest city. Newark officials began handing out bottled water to some residents earlier this month after tests found that some of the water filters they had previously distributed were not working properly.

New Trump family detention rule faces legal challenges, tight space

A coalition of 19 states and the District of Columbia, led by California and Massachusetts, said on Monday they will sue the Trump administration to stop a sweeping new rule to indefinitely detain migrant families seeking to settle in the United States. The lawsuit, which is to be filed in federal court in California, will be only the first of what is expected to be a flurry of lawsuits aimed at blocking the rule, officially published on Friday, from taking effect in October.

Mass shooting tips to FBI surge 70% after El Paso, Dayton massacres

The number of calls to an FBI tip line designed to head off mass shootings and other attacks surged by 70% in the week after twin massacres in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, federal officials said on Monday. The Federal Bureau of Investigation fielded more than 38,000 phone and online tips during the week after the shootings on the first weekend of August, up from the 22,000 tips it typically receives on a weekly basis.

U.S. Justice Ginsburg makes first appearance since latest cancer scare

Liberal U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg appeared alert and in good spirits on Monday as she made her first public appearance since completing a three-week course of radiation therapy to treat pancreatic cancer. The 86-year-old justice, who has had several previous cancer scares, was escorted onstage but at times stood unassisted as she was awarded an honorary the degree at the University at Buffalo of the State University of New York.

J&J liable for $572 million in Oklahoma opioid epidemic trial, shares rise

An Oklahoma judge on Monday ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay $572.1 million to the state for its part in fueling an opioid epidemic by deceptively marketing addictive painkillers. J&J said it would to appeal the decision, though the award was below what some investors and analysts had feared, in what had been a $17 billion lawsuit considered a bellwether for other litigation nationwide over the opioid epidemic.