Reuters US Domestic News Summary

Following is a summary of current US domestic news briefs.

Ticket resellers settle New York charges over inflated concert ticket prices

Two companies in the ticket resale industry agreed to pay $1.55 million to settle a lawsuit by New York Attorney General Letitia James accusing them of tricking tens of thousands of people into buying tickets for concerts, shows and other live events that they never owned. Ticket Galaxy, TicketNetwork Inc and their owner Donald Vaccaro did not admit liability in Wednesday's settlement.

Alaska governor prevails over lawmakers in clash over his spending cuts

Alaska's governor prevailed on Wednesday in a showdown with lawmakers trying to reverse his bid to slash higher education spending by 40%, a move the state's main university has warned would force it into financial ruin. Republican Mike Dunleavy, in his first year as governor, has pushed for drastic cuts to education and other programs to help pay for his chief campaign promise - sharply increasing the annual oil revenue dividend the state pays out to each Alaska resident.

Pennsylvania governor opposes tax dollars for refinery restart

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf does not support using public funds to help save the Philadelphia Energy Solutions refinery complex from permanent closure after a massive fire last month, the governor's spokesman said on Wednesday. "The administration does not plan expending any funding to maintain the site as a refinery," Wolf spokesman J.J. Abbott said in a statement to Reuters, saying there were "significant challenges" to such a plan.

'World should know,' migrant tells U.S. Congress of toddler's death

A Guatemalan asylum seeker left some members of a U.S. House panel visibly shaken on Wednesday with the story of her daughter's death, saying the toddler had contracted a deadly lung infection during a 20-day detention near the U.S. border with Mexico. Yazmin Juarez told a House of Representatives subcommittee that it was "like they tore out a piece of my heart" when just weeks after they were released her daughter Mariee died at 19 months old.

New York showers confetti, love on U.S. women's soccer team

Amid confetti and chants of "equal pay," New York honored the U.S. women's soccer team on Wednesday with a ticker-tape parade up the "Canyon of Heroes," celebrating its World Cup triumph and hailing the players' emergence as icons of women's rights. The squad's 2-0 win over Netherlands in the final match on Sunday capped a World Cup campaign that attracted vast television audiences, reflecting the popularity of a U.S. soccer team that has dominated international competition, winning a record fourth title.

Hot tech sector, Wall Street drive record Manhattan leasing

A boom on Wall Street and a thriving technology sector have pushed the unemployment rate in Manhattan to record lows and propelled office leasing activity to its best first six months of a year in a quarter century, brokerage data shows. The new leasing of office space rose to 18.3 million square feet in the first six months of 2019, the first time since 1994 at the mid-year point total leases exceeded 18 million square feet, according to data from Cushman & Wakefield.

Trump's labor chief Acosta defends Epstein plea deal, calling him 'a sexual predator'

U.S. Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta on Wednesday dismissed calls for his resignation and defended a controversial non-prosecution agreement he approved more than 10 years ago with financier Jeffrey Epstein, who has now been charged with sex trafficking in underage girls. Acosta, who was a U.S. prosecutor in Florida at the time, has been the target of criticism that his office approved a lenient deal for Epstein that has received renewed attention in the wake of new charges filed this week. Instead of prosecuting Epstein on a federal level, Acosta's office agreed to have the billionaire ink a plea deal with state prosecutors that resulted in a lax sentence.

Fans heckle U.S. Soccer president, demand 'equal pay' for World Cup winners

The head of the U.S. Soccer Federation was overpowered by chants of "equal pay" and booed as he spoke at Wednesday's victory parade for the country's women's team who won a record-extending fourth World Cup in France last weekend. The crowd's condemnation followed on from the team's high-profile lawsuit filed against the national soccer body in March, demanding equal compensation with their male counterparts, and by extension, the issue of equal pay for women in general.

Later alligator: Chicago wants scaly resident out of local lagoon

An alligator has taken up residence in a Chicago lagoon, surprising locals after a winter of polar temperatures in the third-largest U.S. city. Police confirmed the reptile had been spotted on Tuesday in Humboldt Park Lagoon, on Chicago's west side. It was still eluding capture on Wednesday despite pledges from local officials to trap it.

Second U.S. judge blocks Justice Department bid for new legal team in census cases

A second U.S. judge has rejected a Department of Justice request to replace its legal team in cases on the 2020 census as the Trump administration tries to add a contentious citizenship question. U.S. District Court Judge George Hazel in Maryland said on Wednesday the government needed at least one withdrawing lawyer to remain on the case to help the new lawyers. Barring that, Hazel said the government would need to provide detailed reasoning why that was untenable.