Reuters US Domestic News Summary

Following is a summary of current US domestic news briefs.

Facebook announces new steps to clamp down on misinformation ahead of 2020 election

Facebook announced new steps to combat misinformation and voter suppression on Monday ahead of the November 2020 U.S. presidential election, on the same day it disclosed the removal of a network of Russian accounts targeting U.S. voters on Instagram. Facebook said it would increase transparency through measures such as showing more information about the confirmed owner of a Facebook page and more prominently labeling content that independent fact-checkers have marked as false.

Wildfire threatens homes, prompts evacuations in Pacific Palisades, California

A wildfire raced up a steep hillside to threaten scores of homes in the Los Angeles coastal enclave of Pacific Palisades on Monday, prompting evacuations as water-dropping helicopters and firefighters swarmed the area to battle the flames. Live aerial video footage broadcast by KABC-TV showed tall flames raging along a ridge-line at the edge of a neighborhood, burning perilously close to several homes as authorities urged residents to flee.

Democratic 2020 hopeful Warren still weighing Medicare for All financing options

White House hopeful Elizabeth Warren is taking heat from her Democratic rivals for her demurrals when asked whether her Medicare for All healthcare plan would require raising taxes on middle-class households. One explanation, according to sources close to Warren's campaign, is that the U.S. senator from Massachusetts is still considering financing options and at least one under review does not include a middle-class tax hike.

Drug firms avert landmark opioid trial as talks on $48-billion settlement set to resume

Four large drug companies could resume talks on Tuesday to try to reach a $48 billion settlement of all opioid litigation against them, after agreeing with two Ohio counties to a $260 million deal to avert the first federal trial over their role in the U.S. opioid epidemic. Drug distributors AmerisourceBergen Corp, Cardinal Health Inc and McKesson Corp and drugmaker Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd agreed to the deal that removed the immediate threat of a trial that was to begin on Monday in Cleveland.

San Jose to propose turning PG&E into giant customer-owned utility - WSJ

San Jose, California's third-biggest city, is proposing to convert PG&E Corp into the country's largest customer-owned utility, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday, citing the city's mayor. Mayor Sam Liccardo said in an interview to the WSJ the city served by PG&E hopes to persuade other cities and counties in coming weeks to line up behind the plan.

Massachusetts vaping sales ban can stand but needs fixes: judge

A Massachusetts judge on Monday declined to immediately halt a ban on the sale of vaping products adopted after an outbreak of e-cigarette-related lung injuries, but he said the state must redo the ban and get public comment this time. The ruling by Suffolk County Superior Court Judge Douglas Wilkins in Boston was a partial victory for Republican Governor Charlie Baker, who through an executive order last month adopted the toughest sales ban of any state in response to the outbreak.

Homes destroyed, thousands without power after tornado rips through Dallas

Dallas authorities were assessing how badly a tornado that plowed through the northern part of the city late on Sunday damaged buildings, as it also flipped cars and knocked out power to more than 175,000 homes and businesses. Three people have been hospitalized with non-life threatening injuries attributed to the storm, the city of Dallas said in a statement.

Ex-CEOs plead guilty to roles in U.S. college admissions scandal

Four wealthy parents including the former chief executives of bond manager Pimco and specialty finance lender Hercules Capital Inc pleaded guilty on Monday to participating in a vast U.S. college admissions cheating and fraud scheme. Federal prosecutors in Boston say ex-Pimco CEO Douglas Hodge, Hercules Capital founder Manuel Henriquez and his wife, Elizabeth and onetime food manufacturer executive Michelle Janavs took part in a bribery scheme that helped their children gain admission to universities as fake athletic recruits.

2020 hopeful Warren would quadruple school funding, crack down on charters

White House hopeful Elizabeth Warren said on Monday that if elected she would roughly quadruple federal funding for public schools and incentivize states to adopt funding approaches that more equitably fund lower-income schools. Warren, a U.S. senator from Massachusetts who is now a front-runner for the Democratic Party's 2020 presidential nomination along with former Vice President Joe Biden, wrote in a post on the website Medium that her plan would result in the federal government investing an additional $450 billion in elementary and secondary schools over the next decade.

Trump says being president has cost him $2 billion to $5 billion

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Monday that being president has cost him between $2 billion and $5 billion that he would have made if he had continued running his business instead of getting into politics, a claim unsupported by evidence. But, he told reporters, "If I had it to do it again I would do it in an instant, because who cares, if you can afford it, what difference does it make?"