Following is a summary of current US domestic news briefs.
U.S. census to kick off in remote Alaska Native village
This year's once-a-decade official U.S. national population count will start in a small Alaska Native village perched on the tundra overlooking the Bering Sea. Daytime temperatures will be well below freezing. The 2020 U.S. census is due to launch on Tuesday in Toksook Bay, a Yup'ik hamlet about 500 miles (800 km) west of Anchorage, the state's largest city. Census Bureau Director Steven Dillingham himself is scheduled to conduct the first in-home interview, with an elder chosen by the local tribe.
U.S. Supreme Court takes up presidential Electoral College dispute
As the 2020 race heats up, the Supreme Court agreed on Friday to hear a dispute involving the complex U.S. presidential election system focusing on whether Electoral College electors are free to break their pledges to back the candidate who wins their state's popular vote, an act that could upend an election. The Supreme Court will take up appeals in two cases - from Washington state and Colorado - involving electors who decided to vote in the Electoral College process for someone other than Democrat Hillary Clinton in 2016 even though she won the popular vote in their states.
Supreme Court to hear Trump appeal in Obamacare contraception fight
The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday took up an appeal by President Donald Trump's administration seeking to enforce new federal rules allowing employers to obtain religious exemptions from an Obamacare requirement that health insurance that they provide to employees pays for women's birth control. At issue is a challenge by the states of Pennsylvania and New Jersey to the administration's 2018 rule that permits broad religious and moral exemptions to the Affordable Care Act's contraception mandate and expands accommodations already allowed under the 2010 law dubbed Obamacare. The administration has asked the Supreme Court to reverse a nationwide injunction issued by a lower court blocking the rule from taking effect.
Trump, Democrats offer dueling arguments on impeachment
The Democratic U.S. lawmakers leading the impeachment case against Republican President Donald Trump said on Saturday the president must be removed from office to protect national security and preserve the country’s system of government. In a brief filed ahead of a 5 p.m. EST (2200 GMT) deadline, the lawmakers laid out their arguments supporting charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress against the president.
Angered by weapons ban, organizers urge thousands to attend Virginia gun rally
Organizers of a Virginia gun rally urged thousands of people to attend Monday's event protesting Democrats' push to stiffen the state's gun laws after its top court upheld the governor's emergency ban on weapons at the rally grounds. In a statement late Friday, the Virginia Citizens Defense League, a pro-gun rights group organizing the rally in Richmond, urged 10,000 people to attend the rally at the Capitol grounds unarmed in accordance with the governor's ban.
Teachers doused in jet fuel at California school sue Delta Air Lines
Four Los Angeles-area schoolteachers who were doused with jet fuel dumped by a Delta Air Lines plane in the minutes before it made an emergency landing sued the airline on Friday, accusing the flight crew of negligence. The plaintiffs say the pilot of the Delta Flight 89, which took off from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) on Tuesday bound for Shanghai, failed to follow proper procedures in dumping thousands of pounds of fuel over a densely populated area at relatively low altitude.
U.S. will work to determine if ex-ambassador Yovanovitch was under threat -Pompeo
The U.S. State Department will do everything necessary to determine whether former U.S. ambassador Marie Yovanovitch was under threat in Ukraine, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Friday. Documents released this week indicated Lev Parnas, a Ukraine-born U.S. citizen, helped U.S. President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani investigate U.S. presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son Hunter.
Weinstein jury seated after prosecutors accuse defense of excluding white women
Lawyers in Harvey Weinstein's New York rape trial finished selecting 12 jurors on Friday to decide the former Hollywood producer's fate, as prosecutors renewed an accusation that the defense had unfairly tried to block white women from serving on the jury. The jury, comprised of six white men, three black women, one black man and two white women, is set to hear opening arguments next week.
National Archives removes exhibit that altered images of Women's March
The U.S. National Archives, home to foundational documents such as the Bill of Rights, apologized on Saturday for altering images critical of President Donald Trump at an exhibit on women's fight for voting rights and said it had removed the display. The entrance to the Washington exhibit had featured interlaced photographs of a 1913 women's suffrage march and the Women's March that took place on Jan. 21, 2017, each visible from a different angle. In the 2017 photograph, the word "Trump" had been blurred in at least two signs carried by demonstrators, including one that originally read "God Hates Trump."
Biden accuses Sanders campaign of releasing 'doctored' video, calls it a lie
Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden accused rival Bernie Sanders’s campaign on Saturday of disseminating a "doctored" video which falsely shows Biden supporting the privatization of Social Security, and called on the Sanders campaign to disown it. Former Vice President Biden, who had just been asked at an Iowa campaign event about rumors that he wants to cut Social Security, said he does not want to cut the government-run retirement and disability program. He then lambasted the campaign of Sanders, a progressive standard-bearer and rival for the Democratic presidential nomination.