Reuters US Domestic News Summary

Following is a summary of current US domestic news briefs.

Bulk of Trump's U.S. farm aid goes to biggest and wealthiest farmers: advocacy group

More than half of the Trump administration's $8.4 billion in trade aid payments to U.S. farmers through April was received by the top 10% of recipients, the country's biggest and most successful farmers, a study by an advocacy group showed on Tuesday. Highlighting an uneven distribution of the bailout, which was designed to help offset effects of the U.S.-China trade war, the Environmental Working Group said the top 1% of aid recipients received an average of more than $180,000 while the bottom 80% were paid less than $5,000 in aid.

Puerto Rico governor taps former U.S. delegate as successor: report

Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rosselló has named the island's former representative in the U.S. Congress, Pedro Pierluisi, as his new secretary of state, and next in line to succeed him when he steps down on Friday, El Nuevo Dia newspaper reported. Rossello said last week he would step down in the face of mass street protests and public outrage over the release of profane chat messages and federal corruption charges against two former administration officials.

U.S. rapper A$AP Rocky kicked and punched me, teenager tells Swedish court

A teenager told a Swedish court on Tuesday that he was kicked and punched by U.S. rapper A$AP Rocky and two of his entourage during an altercation outside a hamburger restaurant in Stockholm last month. The 30-year-old performer, producer and model, whose real name is Rakim Mayers, pleaded not guilty to a charge of assault on the first day of a trial that prompted U.S. President Donald Trump to intervene on the artist's behalf.

Two TSA agents suspended after 'offensive' display found at Miami airport

The U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) said on Tuesday it suspended two agents after it became aware of an "offensive display" in a baggage screening area at the Miami International Airport, saying it would not tolerate racist behavior. The federal agency, which provides security screening at U.S. airports, did not describe the display. But an unnamed TSA employee told CNN that it consisted of two stuffed gorillas hanging from a noose on a pole.

Sanders, Warren take center stage as 2020 Democratic debates enter second round

Progressive allies Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren headline the first night of the second Democratic presidential debates on Tuesday, with eight other contenders aiming for a breakout performance that could propel them into the top tier of the White House race. The first of two debates on back-to-back nights will give Warren and Sanders, old friends who have been battling for second place in opinion polls behind front-runner Joe Biden, a chance to draw some contrasts between their progressive policies even though they have promised not to attack each other.

Police seek motive for shooting at California garlic festival

Police continued on Tuesday to look into what motivated a teenager to shoot visitors attending a popular California food festival over the weekend, killing three people, including a 6-year-old boy and 13-year-old girl. Santino William Legan, 19, cut through a fence at the Gilroy Garlic Festival on Sunday and shot people, seemingly at random, with an assault-style rifle, according to the Gilroy police department. Police officers on the scene fatally shot the gunman within about a minute of him opening fire.

Over 900 children separated at U.S. border since policy halted: ACLU

The American Civil Liberties Union on Tuesday asked a federal judge to stop the Trump administration's ongoing separation of families at the U.S.-Mexico border, saying the government had taken more than 900 children from their parents since the policy officially ended last year. In June 2018, the government said it would end its "zero tolerance" policy of prosecuting those who illegally cross the border and separating them from their children after a public outcry and a legal challenge by the ACLU.

Expensive Gilead, Novartis cancer therapies losing patients to experimental treatments

Unusually high numbers of U.S. lymphoma patients are choosing experimental treatments over expensive cell therapies sold by Gilead Sciences Inc and Novartis AG, new data shows, helping explain why sales of the two products have not met rosy expectations. Both Gilead's Yescarta and Novartis's Kymriah - which are part of a class of therapies known in the medical field as "CAR-T" - were approved in 2017. But government and private health plans have balked at their high price of at least $373,000 for a one-time treatment before hospital costs, which can bring the bill for a single patient to over a million dollars.

Congress seeks briefing on potential threat to U.S. heparin supply

Leaders of the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee on Tuesday asked the Food and Drug Administration about the potential threat to the U.S. heparin supply due to the outbreak of African swine fever in China. Heparin is currently on the FDA's drug shortage list.

Trump condemns slavery in Jamestown speech amid controversy over prior incendiary remarks

U.S. President Donald Trump, under fire in Washington for verbal attacks on racial minority lawmakers, condemned American slavery on Tuesday at the 400th anniversary of the first legislative assembly in Virginia and was briefly interrupted by a protesting state legislator. Trump gave a scripted speech at the site of the first legislative assembly in Jamestown, Virginia, after touring the Jamestown church and a mock 1619 village.