Reuters US Domestic News Summary

Following is a summary of current US domestic news briefs.

Sanders health scare involved a heart attack, his doctors say

U.S. presidential candidate Bernie Sanders suffered a heart attack earlier this week, his physicians said on Friday, describing his health scare in more specific terms than previously disclosed. Sanders, 78, abruptly canceled all campaign events on Tuesday after suffering chest pains. He underwent surgery to treat a blocked artery, having two stents inserted to prop open the artery.

U.S. Supreme Court takes major case that could curb abortion access

The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday agreed to take up a major abortion case that could lead to new curbs on access to the procedure as it considers the legality of a Republican-backed Louisiana law that imposes restrictions on abortion doctors. The justices will hear an appeal by abortion provider Hope Medical Group for Women, which sued to try to block the law, of a lower court ruling upholding the measure. The Shreveport-based Hope Medical Group said implementation of the law would prompt the closure of two of the state's three abortion clinics. The court will also hear a separate appeal by the state arguing that the abortion clinic lacks the legal standing to sue.

U.S. Treasury facing probe over how it handled Congress request for Trump taxes

The U.S. Treasury Department's internal watchdog is investigating how the agency handled a congressional request for President Donald Trump's tax returns, it said on Friday. The Democratic chairman of the House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee, Richard Neal, requested the investigation, said Richard Delmar, Treasury’s acting inspector general.

White House attempting gambit to slow House impeachment push

President Donald Trump's bitter fight against an impeachment inquiry has not slowed down the Democrats' push to investigate whether he sought personal political gain by urging Ukraine to probe Democratic opponent Joe Biden. But in a new tactic, the White House plans to argue that U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi must have the full House vote to formally approve an impeachment inquiry, a source familiar with the effort said.

U.S. diplomat thought it was 'crazy' to withhold Ukraine aid: texts

A top U.S. diplomat in Ukraine thought it was "crazy" to withhold military aid for the country as it confronted Russian aggression, according to evidence presented on Thursday in an impeachment probe of President Donald Trump. Trump's former special representative for Ukraine negotiations, Kurt Volker, testified on Thursday for more than eight hours to members of the U.S. House of Representatives and staff of the House Foreign Affairs, Intelligence and Oversight Committees.

Trump administration opens up drilling on federal land in California

The Trump administration on Friday announced it would open up over 720,000 acres of federal land in California for oil and gas development, ending a five-year moratorium on leases in the state. The U.S. Department of the Interior's Bureau of Land Management approved a resource management plan for the oil-rich Central California coastal region, which would issue 14 previously litigated leases in Monterey and San Benito counties, which were suspended amid a legal challenge by two conservation groups six years ago, and open up new acres for leasing.

Sacklers reaped up to $13 billion from OxyContin maker, U.S. states say

OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma LP steered up to $13 billion in profits to the company's controlling Sackler family, according to U.S. states opposing efforts to halt lawsuits alleging the company and its owners helped fuel the U.S. opioid epidemic. The wealthy Sacklers received the money from Purdue during an unspecified time frame, according to court filings and portions of a deposition filed in the drugmaker's bankruptcy proceedings this week.

'Never give up,' Swedish teen tells Iowa climate activists after U.N. summit 'failure'

Teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg on Friday urged her supporters to "never give up" in demanding urgent steps to fight climate change after world leaders failed to act decisively at a recent United Nations summit. "As we all know, the UN Climate Action Summit was a failure," the 16-year-old Swede told a cheering crowd just off the campus of the University of Iowa. "No matter what, we need to continue," Thunberg told an adoring crowd that welcomed her with chants of "Greta, Greta."

U.S. judge keeps intact Massachusetts' toughest-in-nation vaping ban

A federal judge on Friday denied an industry bid to put on hold Massachusetts' four-month ban on the sale of vaping products, keeping intact the toughest prohibition yet in a rapidly developing response to e-cigarettes and their potential link to a lung disease. U.S. District Judge Indira Talwani declined to grant a temporary restraining order sought by the vaping industry, including by trade group Vapor Technology Association (VTA).

Meat industry sues California for animal protection 'overreach'

California was sued on Friday by the largest U.S. trade group for meat packers and processors, which wants to block enforcement of a voter-approved measure requiring farmers to provide more space for animals being raised for food. The North American Meat Institute, whose members include processors such as Tyson Foods and retailers including Walmart, said enforcing Proposition 12 would hurt producers and consumers by significantly increasing their costs.