Reuters US Domestic News Summary

Following is a summary of current US domestic news briefs.

Ohio man, one of three alleged thwarted mass shooters, denies charges in court

An alleged self-described white nationalist, one of three men in the United States accused of planning mass shootings in a week, pleaded not guilty on Monday to charges that he threatened to attack a Jewish community center, the court clerk said. At an arraignment in Struthers, Ohio, where he faced charges of aggravated menacing and online harassment, James Reardon entered his plea by video link from a county jail in Youngstown, 10 miles (16 km) away, Municipal Court Clerk Lorraine Sciortino said by telephone.

Late-season fires flare up in drought-stricken parts of Alaska

Late-season wildfires during one of the driest summers on record in Anchorage have destroyed homes, forced evacuations, closed roads and schools and poured sometimes-dangerous levels of smoke into the state’s most populous region. About 80 miles north of Anchorage, the 3,000-acre McKinley Fire was burning on both sides of the Parks Highway. That blaze had destroyed more than 50 structures as of Sunday night and residents of the area, which lies between Wasilla and Talkeetna, were under evacuation orders, fire officials said.

Planned Parenthood turns down U.S. subsidies in fight over abortion referrals

Planned Parenthood said on Monday it would no longer accept grants from a federal program subsidizing reproductive healthcare for low-income women after the Trump administration banned participants in the program from referring women to abortion providers. The program known as Title X provides subsidies of reproductive healthcare and family planning costs for low-income women. The changes to program are part of an effort by U.S. Republicans and President Donald Trump's administration to crack down on abortion and occur as a handful of states are imposing sharp new limits on the procedure.

U.S. tests first ground-launched cruise missile after INF treaty exit

The Pentagon said on Monday it tested a conventionally configured ground-launched cruise missile with a range of more than 500 km (310 miles), the first such test since the United States pulled out of the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF). The United States formally withdrew from the landmark 1987 pact with Russia on Aug. 2 after determining that Moscow was violating the treaty, an accusation the Kremlin has denied.

New York police fire officer who placed Eric Garner in deadly chokehold

The white New York City police officer who used a deadly chokehold on Eric Garner during a 2014 arrest was fired on Monday, five years after video of the encounter fueled nationwide protests against police brutality. Daniel Pantaleo, 34, was fired two weeks after a department judge found him guilty of reckless assault for using a banned chokehold while trying to arrest Garner, an unarmed black man, on suspicion of selling loose, untaxed cigarettes.

U.S. attorney general shakes up prison bureau after Epstein death

U.S. Attorney General William Barr on Monday shook up the leadership at the federal Bureau of Prisons, removing its acting chief following the suicide of financier Jeffrey Epstein in a New York City jail. Kathleen Hawk Sawyer, a veteran of the Bureau of Prisons, will return to the agency to serve as its director, Barr said. He named another former agency official, Thomas Kane, to serve as her deputy.

Avenatti says he did nothing wrongful in Nike extortion case

Michael Avenatti, the lawyer and critic of U.S. President Donald Trump, on Monday said he did nothing "wrongful" in dealing with Nike Inc, and asked a federal judge to dismiss the criminal extortion case against him. Avenatti, 48, made his request in Manhattan federal court five days after saying the government's case should also be dismissed because it was a "vindictive and selective prosecution" stemming from his "feud" with Trump.

Democratic hopeful Warren apologizes for Native American ancestry claims

U.S. Democratic presidential hopeful Elizabeth Warren on Monday apologized again for her claims in the 1980s that she is Native American, speaking to a crowd of tribal leaders in Iowa. "Like anyone who's been honest with themselves, I know that I have made mistakes. I am sorry for harm I have caused. I have listened and I have learned a lot, and I am grateful for the many conversations that we've had together," Warren said.

Plans detailed for first U.S. mission to land on moon since Apollo

The first American spacecraft expected to land on the moon in nearly 50 years will be an unmanned robotic lander built by closely held Astrobotic Technology Inc and launched in two years by United Launch Alliance's Vulcan rocket, the companies told Reuters on Monday. Astrobotic was one of nine companies chosen in November to compete for $2.6 billion to develop small space vehicles and other technology for 20 missions to explore the lunar surface over the next decade.

For Trump, appeals to white fears about race may be a tougher sell in 2020: Reuters/Ipsos poll

U.S. President Donald Trump's anti-immigrant rhetoric and focus on the grievances of white voters helped him win the 2016 election. But a Reuters analysis of public opinion over the last four years suggests that Trump's brand of white identity politics may be less effective in the 2020 election campaign. The analysis comes amid widespread criticism of Trump's racially charged comments about four minority women lawmakers and the fallout from a mass shooting of Hispanics in El Paso, Texas, that many Democratic presidential candidates swiftly blamed on the president's rhetoric.