Following is a summary of current US domestic news briefs.
E-cigarette firms probed over health concerns by U.S. House panel
Four dominant e-cigarette manufacturers face a probe into the health impacts of their products, as the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee asked on Wednesday about the firms' research and marketing practices. The committee sent letters to Juul Labs Inc, 35% owned by Marlboro maker Altria Group Inc , Fontem Ventures, Japan Tobacco Inc, and Reynolds American Inc, a unit of British American Tobacco Plc .
Farmer's threat prompts USDA to pull staff from crop tour
The U.S. Agriculture Department said on Wednesday it had pulled all staff from an annual crop tour after an employee was threatened, and three sources said the threat came over the phone from an angry farmer. Farmers have complained this month that a government crop report did not reflect damage from historic flooding this spring. They are also frustrated over unsold crops due to the trade war with China, falling farm income and tighter credit conditions.
Trump says he is seriously looking at ending birthright citizenship
U.S. President Donald Trump said on Wednesday that his administration was seriously looking at ending the right of citizenship for U.S.-born children of noncitizens and people who immigrated to the United States illegally. "We're looking at that very seriously, birthright citizenship, where you have a baby on our land, you walk over the border, have a baby - congratulations, the baby is now a U.S. citizen. ... It's frankly ridiculous," Trump told reporters outside the White House.
Trump says he will push to close background check loopholes for gun buys
U.S. President Donald Trump said on Wednesday his administration would seek to close background check loopholes for gun purchases after Democrats accused him of reversing course on gun control measures. Trump spoke with the leader of the National Rifle Association lobbying group, Wayne LaPierre, on Tuesday, a White House official said. Speaking to reporters outside the White House, Trump said he did not tell LaPierre, whose group strongly opposes increased gun restrictions, that he would avoid pursuing measures on background checks.
Tiny Nevada town near secretive Area 51 braces for alien hunters
Connie West, co-owner of an alien-themed motel in the tiny U.S. desert outpost of Rachel, Nevada, believes they are coming no matter what. Not aliens, but alien hunters. A whimsical invitation on Facebook has urged UFO enthusiasts to gather on Sept. 20 and "storm" nearby Area 51, a U.S. military base long rumored to house extraterrestrials and spaceships. More than 2 million Facebook users have said they plan to go.
Trump administration to appeal ruling blocking price disclosure for drug ads
The Trump administration is appealing a court ruling that struck down its plan to compel pharmaceutical companies to disclose wholesale prices of their drugs in televisions advertisements. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) filed a notice of appeal on Wednesday, as it prepares to challenge the July federal court ruling.
Man charged with threatening shooting at U.S. abortion clinic
A Tennessee man was arrested on Wednesday for allegedly posting threats online to “shoot up” a facility run by Planned Parenthood in Washington D.C., the latest arrest in a nationwide law enforcement effort to thwart mass shootings. Jacob Cooper, 20, was accused in federal court in Nashville, Tennessee, of violating a federal law against sending interstate threats with his posting about Planned Parenthood, the women’s healthcare and abortion provider.
U.S. farmers, lawmakers dial up pressure on Trump over biofuel policy
The agriculture and biofuel industries and their U.S. congressional allies ramped up pressure on the Trump administration on Wednesday over the relief he has given oil refiners from rules requiring use of biofuels. Long-suffering American farmers, a constituency President Donald Trump is counting on in his campaign for re-election in 2020, have seen prices for crops hit hard by his trade war with China. This month, farmers also complained that a government crop report did not reflect damage from historic flooding this spring.
Trump imposes rule allowing U.S. to detain migrant families indefinitely
The Trump administration on Wednesday unveiled a rule that allows officials to detain migrant families indefinitely while judges consider whether to grant them asylum in the United States, abolishing a previous 20-day limit. The rule, which is certain to draw a legal challenge, would replace a 1997 court settlement that limits the amount of time U.S. immigration authorities can detain migrant children. That agreement is generally interpreted as meaning families must be released within 20 days.
Parkland massacre survivors post sweeping U.S. gun-control plan ahead of 2020 election
Survivors of the Parkland, Florida, high school massacre on Wednesday released a sweeping gun-control plan that would ban assault-style rifles and take other steps in hopes of halving U.S. firearms deaths and injuries within a decade. The group's leaders addressed the proposal, which includes a measure to register more young voters, to 2020 candidates seeking the presidential nomination, asking them to make gun control a top priority.