Following is a summary of current US domestic news briefs.
President Joe Biden’s nominees to lead the Justice Department’s civil rights and environmental units are due to face questions from the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday on how they would address racial inequities in policing and climate change. Kristen Clarke, a former Justice Department civil rights attorney who recently led the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, is Biden’s nominee to serve as assistant attorney general for the Civil Rights Division.
Vietnamese Americans start self-defense course in wake of Atlanta shootings
When tragedy struck across the country in Georgia, Tam Nguyen helped fellow members of his Southern California Vietnamese-American community start defense courses and assert themselves in the face of racism, rebranding his charity as a social justice movement. The critical moment came on March 16, when a gunman opened fire at three Atlanta area spas, killing eight people including six Asian-American women.
U.S. Senate to consider hate crimes bill in potential filibuster test
The U.S. Senate will take up hate crime legislation on Wednesday intended to combat violence against Asian Americans during the COVID-19 pandemic, in a potential first major test this Congress of the Senate procedural tool known as the filibuster. The COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act, led by Democratic Senator Mazie Hirono and Congresswoman Grace Meng, also raises the question as to whether the two parties that evenly divide the Senate can agree on any legislative initiative in a time of intense partisanship.
U.S. CDC to weigh rare clot risk with J&J’s COVID-19 vaccine as use paused
A U.S. health advisory panel on Wednesday is set to review six reported cases of rare blood clots in women who received Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine one day after federal regulators paused the use of the shot to assess the issue. The six cases, in women aged between 18 and 48, were reported out of 7.2 million doses of the J&J vaccine administered in the United States, and were a risk U.S. officials and immunology experts said appeared extremely low, given the novel coronavirus’ heavy toll.
Six rescued, several missing after boat capsizes off Louisiana coast
Six people were rescued near the coast of Louisiana after a commercial boat capsized about eight miles off Port Fourchon on the Gulf of Mexico, the U.S. Coast Guard said late Tuesday. About a dozen people are still missing after the 129-foot commercial lift vessel capsized in a storm, according to local media reports citing authorities. There was no immediate response from the coast guard to a Reuters request for comment on the number of missing people and potential casualities.
Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday will try to advance a bill that could lead to reparations for Black Americans as part of a broader effort to address centuries of enslavement followed by modern-day institutional racism. It faces an uphill climb in Congress, where prominent Republicans oppose the measure and none have joined the 175 Democrats who signed on as co-sponsors. Representative Jim Jordan, the senior Republican on the House Judiciary Committee that is scheduled to vote on the measure on Wednesday, intends to oppose it, an aide said.
Biden police reform pledge faces limits of presidential power
Nearly a year after President Joe Biden called for “real action” on police brutality as part of a pledge to fix U.S. racial inequality, he is coming up against the limits of presidential power. The White House shelved a proposed police oversight commission this week to focus on a police reform bill that has narrow hopes in Congress. The move comes as anger grows over the killing of another Black man, Daunte Wright, who was stopped by police just miles from where George Floyd was killed last May.
More guns than people: Why tighter U.S. firearms laws are unlikely
Here are some facts about gun violence in the United States:
Minnesota police chief, officer who fatally shot Black man, both resign
A suburban Minneapolis police officer who fatally shot a Black motorist during a scuffle following a routine traffic stop and the police chief who called the slaying an apparent accident both resigned on Tuesday in the face of civil unrest. The mayor of Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, said the two quit one day after the chief told a news reporters that the officer who shot Daunte Wright appeared to have drawn her gun by mistake when reaching for her Taser.
Biden to cancel Trump’s pandemic food aid after high costs, delivery problems
Yogurt was everywhere as volunteers opened boxes of fruit, frozen meat and dairy products that had shifted and spilled in transit to a food bank in Walworth County, Wisconsin.
They rushed to clean and transfer the packages of frozen meatballs, apples, milk and yogurt into cars for needy families to take home before they spoiled.
(With inputs from agencies.)