Reuters US Domestic News Summary

Following is a summary of current US domestic news briefs.

American politicians, athletes offer support to women's World Cup team

As the U.S. women's national team prepared to kick off their World Cup title defense, prominent figures from American politics, sports and even outer space flocked to social media on Tuesday to lend their support. The U.S. face Thailand on Tuesday, before playing Chile and Sweden in their remaining Group F fixtures.

As Biden tours Iowa, farmers want to know where he stands on ethanol

Joe Biden may have an ethanol problem. The former U.S. vice president has pledged support for advanced biofuels as part of his bid for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.

Comedian Jon Stewart assails Congress for ignoring 9/11 first responders fund

Jon Stewart, the popular former host of the late-night comedy program The Daily Show, criticized members of Congress for not attending a hearing on Tuesday on renewing funding for a program that provides health care to first responders who were sickened responding to the Sept. 11 attacks. "Sick and dying, they brought themselves down here to speak and no one," Stewart said, pointing to a mostly empty dais. "Shameful, it's an embarrassment to the country and a stain on this institution. You should be ashamed of yourselves for those who aren’t here but you won’t be because accountability doesn’t appear to be something that occurs in this chamber."

Arizona jury trial ends hung over whether activist broke law helping migrants

An Arizona jury on Tuesday said it was unable to reach a verdict in the trial of a U.S. human rights activist who was accused of hiding undocumented migrants, but said he was offering them humanitarian aid. The Tucson jury remained deadlocked, even after it was given an extra day to deliberate on charges against Scott Warren, 36, stemming from his January 2018 arrest by U.S. Border Patrol in Ajo, Arizona.

Planned Parenthood sues U.S. to block rule that may limit abortions

Planned Parenthood and other nonprofits offering family planning services sued the Trump administration on Tuesday to block a new federal rule letting healthcare workers refuse abortions and other services because of religious or moral objections. The two lawsuits filed in Manhattan federal court said enforcing the "conscience" rule would encourage discrimination against women, minorities, the poor, the uninsured, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people by curbing access to legal healthcare procedures, including life-saving treatments.

Baseball star David Ortiz awake in Boston after surgery for Dominican shooting

David Ortiz, the retired baseball star who played for the Boston Red Sox, was awake and stable after undergoing surgery in Boston on Monday night for wounds suffered when he was shot in the Dominican Republic, his wife said on Tuesday. "He is stable, awake, and resting comfortably this morning," Tiffany Ortiz said in a statement released by the Red Sox. He was expected to remain in the intensive care unit at Massachusetts General Hospital for the next few days, she said.

New York Marathon expands 'virtual race'

Jogging solo in Florida in near 80 degree Fahrenheit heat, Theresa Winterhalter's New York City Marathon experience last November looked much different to what you would expect from the world's biggest marathon. The 54-year-old was one of 424 people to finish the iconic race's first "virtual marathon", an event that race organizers are now expanding. The New York City Marathon will welcome unlimited, free enrolment in its virtual marathon this year, aiming to attract thousands of runners from across the globe.

Pilot in New York chopper crash not certified for bad weather: FAA

The pilot who died when he crashed his helicopter atop a Manhattan skyscraper was not licensed to fly the aircraft in bad weather, the Federal Aviation Administration said on Tuesday. Tim McCormack, the pilot, was the only person aboard when the helicopter crashed on Monday afternoon with enough force to jolt employees of the finance and law firms housed inside the 50-floor tower in midtown Manhattan.

Americans' perception of LGBTQ rights under federal law largely incorrect: Reuters/Ipsos

Almost half of all Americans incorrectly believe that federal law protects lesbian, gay and bisexual people from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, according to a Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll released this week. A month ago, the Democratic-controlled U.S. House of Representatives passed the Equality Act, which would codify anti-discrimination protections for LGBTQ people in areas such as healthcare and housing into federal law.

Near-record 'dead zone' forecast off U.S. Gulf coast, threatening fish

A near record-sized "dead zone" of oxygen-starved water could form in the Gulf of Mexico this summer, threatening its huge stocks of marine life, researchers said. The area could spread to about 8,717 square miles (20,577 square km), scientists at Louisiana State University said on Monday, or about the size of the state of New Hampshire, and larger than the 5-year average of 5,770 square miles.