Reuters US Domestic News Summary

Following is a summary of current US domestic news briefs.

Trump denies pressuring Ukraine, will not commit to transcript release

President Donald Trump on Monday denied trying to coerce Ukraine into investigating his Democratic political rival Joe Biden, but wavered about whether he would release a transcript of a phone call that some Democrats say are grounds for his impeachment. Trump told reporters in New York that he did not pressure Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy in a July phone call to launch a corruption investigation into Biden and his son in return for U.S. military aid.

Democrats announce tighter criteria for fifth presidential debate

The Democratic National Committee on Monday announced new criteria for the fifth presidential debate in November, requiring candidates to meet one of two polling requirements and have 165,000 unique donors. Candidates must either receive 3 percent or more support in four national or early state polls or 5 percent or more support in two polls of the states that hold early presidential nominating contests: Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina or Nevada.

California ex-governor launches climate partnership with China

Former California Governor Jerry Brown on Monday announced the launch of a partnership between China and the University of California at Berkeley to advance research into low-carbon technology to fight climate change. Brown cast the partnership as a way for the United States and China, the world's two biggest emitters of heat-trapping gases, to work together even as President Donald Trump steps back from global cooperation on climate change and engages in a trade war with Beijing.

Manhattan prosecutor urges judge to reject Trump lawsuit over tax returns

A Manhattan state prosecutor on Monday urged a federal judge to dismiss U.S. President Donald Trump's bid to block a subpoena seeking eight years of his tax returns as part of a criminal investigation. Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance argued in a court filing that Trump must not be allowed to assert "blanket immunity from criminal prosecution," including for conduct before he took office. Vance also argued that the dispute belongs in New York state court, where a grand jury issued the subpoena, not in federal court.

GM-UAW contract talks focus on temp workers

The use of temporary workers is a key bargaining issue in negotiations between General Motors Co and the striking United Auto Workers union over a new four-year contract. Details of their proposals have not been disclosed. The union approved the occasional use of temporary workers by U.S. automakers during the last contract talks in 2015, when the two sides agreed to gradually phase out the existing two-tier wage structure.

California federal prosecutors conducting criminal probe into Juul: WSJ

Federal prosecutors in California are conducting a criminal probe into e-cigarette maker Juul Labs Inc, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday, citing people familiar with the matter. The focus of the probe by the U.S. attorney's office of the Northern District of California, which is in early stages, was unclear, the report said.

Florida police officer suspended for arresting two six-year-olds

A Florida police officer has been suspended and is being investigated after arresting two 6-year-olds for separate disciplinary incidents at their school, police and a prosecutor said on Monday. Dennis Turner arrested the children on Thursday while working as a resource officer at a charter school in Orlando, charging them both with misdemeanor battery, Florida State Attorney Aramis Ayala told a news conference.

Ex-Dallas cop missed clues before shooting man eating ice cream in own home: prosecutor

A Dallas police officer missed clues, including the smell of marijuana, when she entered an apartment she believed was her own and shot dead a man eating a bowl of ice cream, a prosecutor said Monday at the start of the former officer's murder trial. Amber Guyger, who is white, has told investigators she mistook 26-year-old Botham Jean, a black man, for a burglar after she mistakenly entered his central Dallas apartment one floor above her own.

Economists find more diversity in U.S. federal government than in academia: report

The U.S. federal government employs a higher percentage of women and minority economists than universities and colleges but the pace at which they are being added remains slow, a report by the Brookings Institution published on Monday showed. Last year 30% and 24% of economists in the federal government were women and minorities, respectively, compared to 23% and 21% of economics faculty in academia, the study by the think tank's Hutchins Center of Fiscal and Monetary Policy found.