Following is a summary of current US domestic news briefs.
Classes canceled in Chicago public schools as teachers inch closer to strike
Chicago Public Schools (CPS) said it was canceling classes on Thursday for 361,000 students after union leaders recommended teachers walk off their jobs if protracted labor negotiations failed to produce a deal by midnight. School buildings will stay open during the day for students who need a place to go, officials said. Schools will serve breakfast and lunch, but all after-school activities, including sports, tutoring and field trips, have been canceled.
Parents of slain gay man chide Trump's attorney general over LGBT rights
The parents of slain gay Wyoming man Matthew Shepard blasted U.S. Attorney General William Barr on Wednesday for failing to stand up for LGBT civil rights in a statement read at a Justice Department ceremony marking the 10-year anniversary of a hate crime law bearing their son's name. Judy and Dennis Shepard did not attend, but Cynthia Deitle, a former FBI agent and now an executive with the Matthew Shepard Foundation LGBT rights organization, read a scathing letter they wrote, drawing applause from many in attendance at the event commemorating the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act.
Texas pastors seek federal action after police shoot black woman in her home
Black pastors in Fort Worth, Texas on Wednesday called for federal intervention to stamp out what they called systemic racism in their city's police force after a white officer shot dead black resident Atatiana Jefferson in her home. Jefferson's killing on Saturday by a rookie Fort Worth officer was the latest in a string of fatal shootings that has made the city's African American community wary of police, said Pastor Kyev Tatum.
U.S. Supreme Court divided over Kansas immigrant identity theft case
The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday appeared divided over the legality of Kansas prosecuting three immigrants for violating identity theft laws by using other people's Social Security numbers in a dispute over whether the state impermissibly encroached on federal control over immigration policy. The justices heard arguments in the state's appeal of a 2017 Kansas Supreme Court ruling that voided the convictions of the three restaurant workers and found that a 1986 federal law called the Immigration Reform and Control Act prevents states from pursuing such prosecutions.
Impeachment probe on Trump hears from ex-aide to secretary of state
A former adviser to U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo who abruptly resigned last week spoke on Wednesday to an impeachment inquiry into allegations President Donald Trump pursued political interests in his dealings with Ukraine. Former Pompeo adviser Michael McKinley was the latest senior administration official to give closed-door testimony to the Democratic-led inquiry, sitting for five hours of questions from investigators.
U.S. Supreme Court wrestles over 'D.C. Sniper' life sentence appeal
U.S. Supreme Court justices on Wednesday questioned whether a lower court sufficiently considered that a man convicted in the deadly 2002 "D.C. Sniper" shooting spree in the Washington area was a minor at the time of the crimes when he was sentenced to life in prison. The nine justices heard arguments in an appeal by the state of Virginia objecting to the lower court's decision ordering that Lee Boyd Malvo's sentence of life in prison without parole be thrown out.
Dark web child porn bust leads to 338 arrests worldwide
Law enforcement officials said on Wednesday they had arrested hundreds of people worldwide after knocking out a South Korea-based dark web child pornography site that sold gruesome videos for digital cash. Officials from the United States, Britain and South Korea described the network as one of the largest child pornography operations they had encountered to date.
Jewelry business owner gets three weeks in prison for U.S. college scam
The owner of a California jewelry business was sentenced on Wednesday to three weeks in prison for her role in what prosecutors say is the largest college admissions scam uncovered in the United States. Marjorie Klapper received less than the four-month prison term that federal prosecutors in Boston sought after she admitted to paying $15,000 to have a corrupt test proctor secretly correct her son's answers on the ACT college entrance exam.
One person is missing in the Democrats' impeachment inquiry: the whistleblower
Democratic lawmakers leading an impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump have heard days of testimony from a parade of senior government officials. But they have yet to hear from the whistleblower who sparked the probe - and may never do. In the end, it may not matter, some Democratic lawmakers said, because the other officials who have testified, Trump's own statements, a trove of texts between top U.S. diplomats, and other White House documents have largely substantiated the whistleblower's complaint that Trump pressured Ukraine to investigate political rival Joe Biden.
U.S. security chief 'heaped pain' on grieving parents of UK teen: lawyer
Donald Trump's national security adviser heaped pain and grief on the parents of a British teenager killed in a car crash by trying to hold a meeting at the White House between them and a U.S. diplomat's wife who was involved, the parents' lawyer said. Charlotte Charles and Tim Dunn were invited to a surprise meeting with the U.S. president at his office on Tuesday where they were further shocked to learn that Anne Sacoolas, the American woman involved in the fatal crash, was in the building.