Following is a summary of current US domestic news briefs.
Explainer: One possible culprit in vaping lung illnesses - 'Dank Vapes'
As U.S health officials scramble to identify the root cause of hundreds of severe lung illnesses tied to vaping, one possible culprit identified so far is a line of illicit marijuana vape products sold under the brand names "Dank Vapes" and "Chronic Carts." A study published last week in the New England Journal of Medicine found that more than half of patients with the lung illness - 24 of 41 - who were extensively interviewed in Wisconsin and Illinois reported having used the "Dank Vapes" brand.
Travel agent charged with scamming Delta out of 42 million reward miles
A manager at a Chicago travel agency has been charged with "illegally reaping" more than 42 million Delta Air Lines miles worth more than $1.75 million by registering customers as employees on the airline's business rewards program. The U.S. Justice Department said on Friday that Gennady Podolsky, a Ukrainian and American citizen and managing partner and travel agent at Vega International Travel Services Inc, was charged with 12 counts of wire fraud on Wednesday.
First peanut allergy therapy gets backing from U.S. regulators' expert advisers
A U.S. Food and Drug Administration advisory panel on Friday recommended approving the first therapy for peanut allergies, which affect over 1.6 million children in the United States, despite raising concerns about the risk of severe allergic reactions it poses to young patients. The body of independent advisers voted 7-2 in favor of effectiveness and 8-1 backing safety of the therapy Palforzia, developed by Aimmune Therapeutics Inc. The verdict of the panel is traditionally an influential factor in the agency's final decision.
Tropical cyclone bears down on Bahamas, U.N. pledges aid
A tropical cyclone carrying heavy rain and strong winds neared the already devastated Bahamas on Friday, threatening to complicate Hurricane Dorian recovery efforts as the U.N. secretary-general arrived in the islands in a show of support. The new weather system, known as Tropical Cyclone Nine, could strengthen into a tropical storm later on Friday, dropping up to 6 inches of rain through the weekend in areas of the islands inundated by Dorian, according to the Miami-based National Hurricane Center.
Eddie Money, rock 'n' roll hitmaker and reality TV star, dies at 70
American rock star Eddie Money, whose hits including "Two Tickets to Paradise" and "Baby Hold On" formed part of the power pop soundtrack of the late 1970s and early 1980s, died in Los Angeles on Friday at age 70, his family said in a statement. A joke-telling rocker with a New York swagger and a heart of gold, Money recently revealed on his reality television series "Real Money" that he had esophageal cancer. The remaining five episodes of the show, in its second season on AXS TV, deal with his cancer.
Biden, fellow Democrats back on campaign trail after third presidential debate
Former Vice President Joe Biden returned to the campaign trail on Friday after a Democratic debate that largely reinforced his front-runner status for the party's presidential nomination, leaving his rivals searching for how to wrest away the top spot. The candidates who participated in Thursday night's debate in Houston, and those scrambling to try to qualify for next month's debate in Ohio, have less than five months to plead their case to voters before the first nominating contest in Iowa on Feb. 3, 2020.
Exclusive: While battling opioid crisis, U.S. government weighed using fentanyl for executions
The U.S. Department of Justice examined using fentanyl in lethal injections as it prepared last year to resume executing condemned prisoners, a then untested use of the powerful, addictive opioid that has helped fuel a national crisis of overdose deaths. The department revealed it had contemplated using the drug in a court filing last month, which has not been previously reported.
U.S. Justice Gorsuch sees value of immigration through wife's eyes
Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch on Friday extolled the value of immigration and said his wife's experience as a naturalized U.S. citizen from Britain has helped give him a greater appreciation of the American system of government. Gorsuch made the remarks at a time when President Donald Trump, the Republican who appointed the conservative jurist to a lifetime job on the court in 2017, has made hardline policies toward immigration a centerpiece of his presidency and 2020 re-election bid.
White House to roll out tax cut plan mid-2020: Kudlow
The Trump administration plans to unveil a tax cut plan in mid-2020, a top White House adviser said on Friday, saying it would be targeted to giving significant relief to the middle class. Speaking to reporters at a retreat for Republican lawmakers, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow offered no details on what he has termed "Tax Cuts 2.0," a plan the administration intends to put forward as President Donald Trump pursues his bid for a second White House term.
Apologetic actress Felicity Huffman gets 14-day sentence in U.S. college scandal
Actress Felicity Huffman, the first parent sentenced in a wide-ranging U.S. college admissions cheating scandal, was given a 14-day prison term on Friday and made a somber apology in federal court for paying to rig her daughter's entrance exam. U.S. District Judge Indira Talwani also ordered Huffman, the former star of the popular television series "Desperate Housewives" and one-time Academy Award nominee, to pay a $30,000 fine, undergo a year of supervised release and complete 250 hours of community service. Huffman, 56, pleaded guilty in May.