Reuters US Domestic News Summary

Following is a summary of current US domestic news briefs.

New York sues Trump administration over 'punitive' ban from traveler programs

New York state sued President Donald Trump's administration on Monday to void a policy barring hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers from federal programs that help travelers speed through airport security lines and borders, calling the ban political punishment. The administration's action last week came in response to New York's passage last June of a so-called Green Light law allowing illegal immigrants to apply for driver's licenses and limiting federal immigration authorities from accessing records from the state's Department of Motor Vehicles.

U.S. Transportation Dept. IG to audit FAA pilot training requirements after Boeing 737 MAX crashes

The U.S. Transportation Department's Office of Inspector General said on Monday it will audit Federal Aviation Administration pilot training requirements for U.S. and foreign air carriers after two deadly crashes of Boeing's 737 MAX. The audit will also review international civil aviation authorities’ requirements for carriers' pilot training regarding the use of flight deck automation.

Trump proposes cutting Amtrak funding, boosting infrastructure spending

The White House budget released on Monday proposed cutting funding for the U.S. government-owned passenger rail carrier Amtrak while calling for a significant hike in infrastructure spending and killing a clean energy auto loan program. The proposal would cut Amtrak funds in fiscal 2021 by more than 50% over 2020 levels. It could cut funds to the congested northeast corridor from $700 million to $325 million and cut long-distance train funds from $1.3 billion to $611 million, then phase out support for Amtrak's long-distance trains.

Judge denies Uber's, Postmates' request to halt California gig worker law

A U.S. judge on Monday rejected a request by Uber Technologies Inc and courier services provider Postmates Inc to block a California labor law from taking effect, saying the bill's public benefits outweighed the companies' concerns. U.S. District Judge Dolly Gee in Los Angeles said that while the companies had proven they could suffer a degree of irreparable harm as a result of the law, the potential risks to them were less important than the public interest in setting a living wage and regulating employment.

Texas Democrats weighing ballots, bullets in 2020 campaigns

Texas Democrats are pulling out a new playbook in this year's congressional races, loudly backing gun control in a bet a strategy that paid off in Virginia can also win elections in a conservative-leaning state long associated with gun rights. Their fears of facing a political backlash for supporting gun regulations have evaporated after years of mass shootings, with candidates, party officials and gun-control advocates arguing that making the case for strengthening gun laws will win them more votes.

Puerto Rico oversight board eyes bankruptcy exit by year-end

Puerto Rico's long-running bankruptcy could cross the finish line by the end of the year under a schedule proposed by the U.S. commonwealth's federally created financial oversight board, according to a court filing on Monday. A report filed by a mediation team said exiting bankruptcy prior to the end of 2020 is in "the best interests of all parties" and that it supports the board's schedule, which calls for a federal court confirmation hearing to begin Oct. 13 on a newly revised plan to restructure the Caribbean island's core government debt.

Biden's support slumps to lowest on record, Bloomberg surges nationally as Democratic race heats up: poll

Support for Joe Biden's U.S. Democratic presidential bid has tumbled nationally to the lowest on record since his lackluster finish in the Iowa caucuses, while interest is surging in the upstart candidacy of billionaire media mogul Michael Bloomberg, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Monday. The opinion poll taken from Thursday to Monday found that 17% of registered Democrats and independents said they would vote for Biden, down 5 percentage points from a similar poll that ran last week before Iowa held its first-in-the-nation nominating contest.

White House abandons wildlife board criticized as pro-hunting

The Trump administration has quietly abandoned a wildlife advisory board that animal rights groups said was illegally stacked with politically connected donors and hunting enthusiasts, and designed to promote trophy hunting. In a Friday night court filing, the U.S. Department of Justice said the International Wildlife Conservation Council "ceased to exist" on Dec. 21, 2019, when its two-year charter expired.

Solar probe embarks on unprecedented mission to map sun's polar regions

A new probe built by NASA and the European Space Agency set off on a blazing hot journey to the sun on Sunday to take the first close-up look at the star's polar regions, a mission expected to yield insight into how solar radiant energy affects Earth. The Solar Orbiter spacecraft lifted off from Cape Canaveral, Florida, at 11:03 p.m. ET (0403 GMT Monday), kicking off a 10-year voyage.

U.S. charges four Chinese military hackers in 2017 Equifax breach

The United States has charged four Chinese military hackers in the 2017 breach of the Equifax credit reporting agency that affected nearly 150 million American citizens, Attorney General William Barr said on Monday. "This was a deliberate and sweeping intrusion into the private information of the American people," Barr said in announcing the indictments of four members of the Chinese Liberation Army in connection with one of the largest data breaches in U.S. history.