Reuters US Domestic News Summary

Following is a summary of current US domestic news briefs.

Kobe Bryant memorial planned at Lakers' home arena: report

Los Angeles Lakers great Kobe Bryant, killed with eight others in a helicopter crash last month, will be honored at a public memorial service planned for Feb. 24 at the Staples Center, the team's home arena and scene of many of his greatest basketball triumphs, the Los Angeles Times reported. The newspaper, citing two unnamed sources familiar with the event, said the date for the ceremony was selected in consultation with Bryant's widow, Vanessa, the Lakers organization and the Staples Center.

U.S. appeals court will not reconsider net neutrality repeal ruling

A U.S. appeals court said late on Thursday it will not reconsider an October ruling that largely upheld the repeal of landmark net neutrality rules, rejecting requests by more than a dozen U.S. states and tech groups. The Federal Communications Commission in December 2017 reversed Obama-era rules prohibiting internet service providers (ISPs) from blocking or throttling traffic, or offering paid fast lanes, a blow to large tech companies and consumer groups that had championed net neutrality.

Jury orders Johnson & Johnson to pay $750 million in New Jersey talc case

Johnson & Johnson was ordered on Thursday by a New Jersey state jury to pay punitive damages of $750 million to four plaintiffs who allege that the company's Baby Powder caused their cancer, a ruling that will be reduced to around $185 million because of state laws, according to a lawyer for the plaintiffs and the company. During an earlier phase of the trial, a different jury held J&J liable for the plaintiffs' cancers and awarded them $37.2 million in compensation.

Accused El Paso mass shooter to face federal hate crime charges: source

A Texas man accused of deliberately targeting Mexicans in a shooting spree that killed 22 people at an El Paso Walmart store last year will be charged later Thursday with hate crimes, a source with direct knowledge of the case said. Patrick Crusius, 21, the suspected shooter, is already facing a capital murder trial and has pled not guilty.

Forty-three percent of Americans back Trump acquittal, 41 percent opposed: Reuters/Ipsos poll

Americans are evenly split, mostly along party lines, over the U.S. Senate's acquittal of President Donald Trump at his impeachment trial, even though more respondents than not think he probably did something wrong, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Thursday. The national opinion poll found that 43% of U.S. adults supported the Republican-led Senate's decision on Wednesday to keep Trump in office in a case stemming from his dealings with Ukraine. Forty-one percent opposed the acquittal and 17% said they were undecided.

U.S. moves ahead on development plans for Utah monuments Trump shrank

The U.S. Interior Department on Thursday finalized land use plans for two Utah national monuments that President Donald Trump shrank soon after taking office, a move environmental groups said would leave cultural sites vulnerable to destruction and boost development in pristine wilderness. The U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) proceeded with the plans despite pending litigation challenging the 2017 proclamation by Trump that slashed the size of the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments.

New Hampshire living rooms essential stop on the campaign trail

The road to victory in New Hampshire’s critical Democratic primary on Tuesday may run through the living rooms of people like Gerri and Ron King. On a recent weekend, the couple baked berry souffles and roasted a ham as they welcomed friends and strangers to their Concord home to hear from Democratic presidential candidate Deval Patrick.

Trump administration limits New Yorkers' access to travel passes

The Trump administration has restricted New Yorkers' access to several programs that allow faster security checks when they enter the United States, widening a dispute over a New York state law limiting cooperation with federal immigration enforcement. The announcement by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) outraged New York residents who utilize the programs - or hoped to - and raised concerns in the travel industry and trucking sector that rely on expedited checks on the U.S.-Canada border and at airports.

Coach tells U.S. jury he never wanted Michael Avenatti to hold Nike press conference

The youth basketball coach who hired Michael Avenatti to represent him in negotiations with Nike Inc said at the celebrity lawyer's extortion trial on Thursday he became "very, very upset" upon learning that Avenatti planned to publicize his corruption accusations against the sports apparel company. Testifying for the prosecution in Manhattan federal court, Gary Franklin also said he did not realize Avenatti had beenangling to run an internal probe at Nike, in the course of representing him. The coach said his hope was Nike itself would expose its corrupt employees.

R. Kelly's sexual abuse trial in New York delayed to July

A federal judge on Thursday delayed R. Kelly's racketeering, sexual abuse and bribery trial in Brooklyn, New York to July 7, so it would not conflict with the singer's upcoming trial in a separate Chicago case. U.S. District Judge Ann Donnelly in Brooklyn federal court said the scheduled April 27 trial date in Chicago made the May 18 target to begin the Brooklyn trial "somewhat unrealistic."