Reuters US Domestic News Summary

Following is a summary of current US domestic news briefs.

'Prepare to die' Trump adviser Stone texted witness, trial jury hears

Prosecutors on Thursday unveiled threatening text messages by U.S. President Donald Trump's adviser Roger Stone to radio host Randy Credico in which Stone urged Credico not to testify about their communications over Stone's efforts in 2016 to learn when WikiLeaks might release more damaging emails about Trump's rival Hillary Clinton. "Prepare to die ..." Stone wrote in one profanity-laced text to Credico. "You are a rat."

U.S. Justice Department issues civil subpoenas to automakers in California emissions deal probe

The U.S. Justice Department has issued civil subpoenas in its antitrust investigation into four major automakers’ voluntary agreement with California to adopt compromise vehicle emissions requirements, a source briefed on the matter said on Thursday. The Justice Department has issued civil investigative demands to Ford Motor Co, Honda Motor Co, BMW AG , and Volkswagen AG, the source said. The department previously confirmed that in August it sent the four automakers letters. A BMW spokesman confirmed Thursday the company received a subpoena, while the other three automakers did not immediately comment.

Many attacks at public schools could be prevented: U.S. Secret Service

Many attacks at public schools in the United States could be prevented by identifying students of concern, the U.S. Secret Service said on Thursday in a report that found attackers routinely show troubling behavior that should be reported. The study, which focused not only on mass shootings but other acts of targeted violence such as knifings, bolstered previous research on the warning signs students often exhibit before committing deadly violence at their school.

Juul Labs to stop sales of mint-flavored nicotine pods in U.S

E-cigarette maker Juul Labs Inc will immediately stop selling its mint-flavored nicotine cartridges in the United States, the company said on Thursday, after new signs that the mint variety is increasingly popular among teenagers. Research released this week in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that mint was by far the most popular flavor among U.S. 10th and 12th grade Juul users, with more than 40% saying it was the most frequently used variety of nicotine pod.

Trump must pay $2 million for misusing namesake charity: New York judge

A New York state judge on Thursday ordered U.S. President Donald Trump to pay $2 million for misusing his namesake charitable foundation, resulting in funds being used to advance his 2016 presidential campaign. Justice Saliann Scarpulla, of the state Supreme Court in Manhattan, directed the payment to eight non-profits, in connection with a lawsuit by the state's attorney general against the president and three of his adult children over the now-dissolved Donald J. Trump Foundation.

GM sells shuttered Ohio plant to EV truck start-up

General Motors Co confirmed on Thursday it has sold its shuttered Lordstown Assembly plant in Ohio to a start-up that has an ambitious plan to begin building electric pickup trucks by the end of 2020. Lordstown Motors Corp, which is 10% owned by Workhorse Group Inc, has retained Ohio investment bank Brown Gibbons Lang & Co and is working to raise additional capital, Lordstown Chief Executive Steve Burns said in an interview. Workhorse shares closed up 27% on the news.

Exclusive: Trump administration moves closer to easing gun exports

The Trump administration has passed a key milestone in a long-delayed rule change that would make it easier to sell U.S. firearms outside the United States, including assault rifles and ammunition, people briefed on the matter told Reuters. The proposed rule changes, which would move oversight of commercial firearm exports from the U.S. Department of State to the Department of Commerce, could be enacted as soon as the end of this year, the sources said late on Wednesday.

Democrats question FAA decisions on two Boeing safety issues

Two Democratic U.S. House lawmakers said on Thursday the Federal Aviation Administration overruled agency technical specialists on two Boeing Co safety issues involving the 737 MAX rudder cable and lightning protection for the 787 Dreamliner that it said could be "potentially catastrophic." Representative Peter DeFazio, who chairs the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, and Rick Larsen, who chairs the aviation subcommittee, said in a letter that FAA management ultimately overruled after Boeing objected and "raise questions about how the agency weighs the validity of safety issues raised by its own experts."

U.S. charges New York company with illegal Chinese equipment sales

Federal prosecutors have filed criminal charges accusing a New York company of exposing the U.S. government and private customers to security risks by illegally importing and selling surveillance and security equipment from China. The charges against Aventura Technologies Inc, which is based in Commack, New York, and seven current and former employees were made public on Thursday in the federal court in Brooklyn. Six of the people have been arrested, including Jack Cabasso, the man accused of leading the scheme.

Facebook fights disclosing app records in Massachusetts privacy probe

Facebook Inc on Thursday urged a judge not to force it to turn over records to Massachusetts' attorney general disclosing thousands of apps the social media giant suspects misused users' data, as part of a probe into its privacy practices. Facebook argued against the disclosure during a court hearing in Boston concerning one of several probes of Facebook by state attorneys general regarding its business practices and the extent that it has put consumer data at risk.