Following is a summary of current US domestic news briefs.
U.S. Congress negotiators eye bill to avoid November 22 government shutdown
Members of the U.S. Congress are maneuvering to avoid a potential partial government shutdown next month by extending existing federal spending for several weeks, a Democratic congressional aide said on Wednesday. Under current law, money for the operations of an array of Washington agencies expires on Nov. 21. Without either an extension of temporary funds or the enactment of spending bills for the full fiscal year that began on Oct. 1, many agency operations would be suspended.
California businessman gets prison for U.S. college admissions scam
A former California business executive was sentenced on Wednesday to two months in prison for taking part in a vast U.S. college admissions fraud scheme by paying $250,000 to secure his son's admission to the University of Southern California. Federal prosecutors in Boston had sought nine months in prison for Jeffrey Bizzack, who they said sought to secure his son's admission through a "side door" by agreeing to bribe a USC official to designate him as a fake athletic recruit.
Wildfire threatens Reagan Library as extreme winds sweep Los Angeles
A fast-moving wildfire threatened thousands of homes and the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library outside Los Angeles on Wednesday as extraordinarily dry Santa Ana winds buffeted the region, forcing meteorologists to grasp for new language to warn of the danger. The fire erupted in Ventura County's Simi Valley, about 30 miles (50 km) northwest of an earlier blaze that has been consuming the shrub-covered hills near the Getty Center museum in west Los Angeles since Monday, displacing thousands of residents from some of the city's priciest neighborhoods.
New York City Council votes to ban sale of foie gras
New York City, often viewed as the fine dining capital of America, on Wednesday became the latest U.S. locality to ban the sale of foie gras, prompting the country's largest producer of foie gras to vow to mount a court battle to overturn it. Foie gras, French for "fatty liver," is a delicacy produced from the enlarged livers of ducks and geese that have been force-fed corn.
Green groups sue Trump administration over California drilling plan
Two environmental groups sued the Trump administration on Wednesday over its plan to open up more than 720,000 acres (291,370 hectares) of federal land in California for oil and gas development. The lawsuit filed by the Sierra Club and the Center for Biological Diversity comes nearly four weeks after the U.S. Department of Interior's Bureau of Land Management (BLM) approved a plan that would allow oil and gas leasing in 11 counties in the Central California coastal region.
Chicago teachers' strike enters tenth school day
A teachers' strike in Chicago moved into the 10th school day on Wednesday, as the teachers' union and district worked to resolve a contract deadlock over class sizes, support staff levels and pay at the bargaining table. The strike is the second-longest in a wave of teachers' strikes that played out across West Virginia, Oklahoma, Arizona and California over the past few years, topped only by a three-week strike in June in Union City, California.
Uber takes aim at 'patchwork' of ride share taxes in Illinois
Uber Technologies Inc on Wednesday sued a Chicago suburb over a new ride share tax, while calling on Illinois lawmakers to address the state's "emerging patchwork" of taxation. The lawsuit could have implications for Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot's plan to raise $40 million in new revenue from ride shares as the city grapples with an $838 million budget hole.
Chemical leak set off fire at Mitsui's ITC Houston-area terminal: U.S.
The U.S. Chemical Safety Board (CSB) said on Wednesday a fuel leak, possibly due to open valves and a running pump, set off a massive blaze at a Mitsui & Co Ltd petrochemical storage operation along the Houston Ship Channel in March. The fire that began on March 17 at Intercontinental Terminals Co (ITC) spread black smoke across Houston, shut the ship channel, slowed production at local oil refineries and closed roadways and schools as it spread from one giant storage tank to 10 others before being extinguished on March 20.
Actor Cuba Gooding Jr charged with unlawfully touching third woman: lawyer
Actor Cuba Gooding Jr, already facing a criminal case over accusations he touched a woman's breasts in a bar and pinched another's buttocks in a nightclub, has been charged in connection with a third woman, his lawyer said on Wednesday. Gooding is expected to appear in court Thursday and plead not guilty to the charges, according to his lawyer, Mark Heller.
Big corn, big oil both blast Trump biofuel plan at EPA hearing
Corn farmers, ethanol producers, refinery representatives, energy traders and state and local officials from the Midwest all blasted away at the Trump administration's proposed biofuels plan for next year during a public hearing on Wednesday hosted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The hearing in Ann Arbor, Michigan, marks the second public meeting on the topic in as many days, airing the grievances of the opposing oil and corn constituencies President Donald Trump has been working to win over ahead of next year's election.