Reuters US Domestic News Summary

Following is a summary of current US domestic news briefs.

Ex-CIA spy flees from Italy to U.S. fearing for her safety: paper

A former U.S. spy, pardoned by Italy in connection with the CIA kidnapping of a terrorism suspect in Milan, has fled from Italy to the United States fearing for her safety, Italian newspaper Il Corriere della Sera on Sunday quoted her as saying. Sabrina de Sousa is one of 26 people convicted by Italy in absentia over the 2003 abduction of Egyptian cleric Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr, but the only one to spend any time in prison for the operation, in which she denies involvement.

U.S. lawmakers hear from 'corroborating' witness in Trump impeachment probe

A senior U.S. diplomat told lawmakers on Saturday he did not know whether President Donald Trump had withheld aid for Ukraine to force an investigation of a political rival, two sources said, even as Democrats said he corroborated evidence gathered in their impeachment probe. Philip Reeker, the acting assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs, spent about eight hours with the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs, Intelligence and Oversight committees behind closed doors at the U.S. Capitol.

U.S. says talks progressing with Saudi on possible nuclear program

U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry said on Saturday that conversations with Saudi Arabia on a nuclear program are going forward. The world’s top oil exporter had said it wanted to use nuclear power to diversify its energy mix. It wants to go ahead with a full-cycle nuclear program, including the production and enrichment of uranium for atomic fuel.

Northern California wildfire evacuation orders rise to 180,000

The southward march of a Northern California wildfire toward the more populated areas above the San Francisco Bay led officials on Sunday to raise the number of residents ordered to leave their homes in the area to 180,000. The increase, from 130,000 earlier on Sunday, came as wind gusts pushed the Kincade Fire down from the rolling hills and wine regions of northern Sonoma County and threatened communities as far south as northern Santa Rosa, officials said.

In South Carolina, Democrats accuse Trump of sowing racism

Democratic presidential candidates in South Carolina on Saturday accused U.S. President Donald Trump of stoking racism as they vied for the state's black vote in its strategically important early primary. Former Vice President Joe Biden, U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont and five other Democrats participated in a forum at historically black Benedict College a day after Trump was presented an award there for his work on criminal justice, sparking outrage among candidates and temporarily prompting Senator Kamala Harris to pull out.

Trump hails death of 'depraved' Islamic State leader Baghdadi in U.S. raid

Fugitive Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi died "whimpering and crying" in a raid by U.S. special forces in northwest Syria, President Donald Trump announced on Sunday, fulfilling what he called his top national security goal. Baghdadi, who had led the jihadist group since 2010, killed himself by detonating a suicide vest after fleeing into a dead-end tunnel as U.S. forces closed in, Trump said in a televised address from the White House.

Long-serving former Democratic U.S. congressman John Conyers dies at age 90

John Conyers, a liberal Democrat who was the longest-serving African-American member of the U.S. House of Representatives, serving for more than half a century, died on Sunday at the age of 90. Conyers joined the House in 1965 and stepped down in 2017, after his reputation was sullied by sexual harassment accusations. The Detroit-area congressman was a founding member of the Congressional Black Caucus.

U.S. diplomat unaware of possible quid pro quo on Ukraine

The top U.S. diplomat for Europe did not know U.S. security aid may have been withheld to pressure Ukraine's new president to conduct investigations politically helpful to U.S. President Donald Trump, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters. Philip Reeker, the acting assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs, testified on Saturday before three Democratic-led House of Representatives panels conducting an inquiry into whether to impeach Trump.

Shooting at packed Texas college party leaves at least 2 dead

Texas police said they were seeking a gunman on Sunday who fired randomly at a Halloween homecoming party packed with hundreds of college students, leaving at least two dead and wounding about a dozen more, before fleeing amid the chaos that followed. Authorities said they believed the unidentified male suspect may have gone to the sprawling event facility where the off-campus party was held intending to shoot a particular person, and fired his handgun into the crowd afterwards.