Following is a summary of current US domestic news briefs.
Presidential hopeful Kamala Harris seeks campaign jolt in pivotal Iowa
It was on the third day of a five-day bus tour across Iowa last week that 2020 White House contender Kamala Harris finally seemed to hit her stride. Armed with fresh endorsements from two of the state's most sought after political influencers early on Saturday, the U.S. Senator from California got an enthusiastic welcome from over 500 people at a Des Moines area high school.
Democratic presidential contenders demand action on guns
Democratic presidential contenders on Saturday urged Congress to take action to curb gun violence following mass shootings last weekend in Texas and Ohio that left 31 dead. Speaking at a hastily convened forum in Iowa, they called for the imposition of universal background checks on gun buyers, so-called "red flag" laws, and ultimately a ban on military-style assault weapons.
Epstein found dead in jail, was not on suicide watch
Disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein was found dead on Saturday after an apparent suicide in the New York jail cell where he was being held without bail on sex-trafficking charges, and a source said he was not on suicide watch at the time of his death. Epstein, 66, was found unresponsive in his cell in the Special Housing Unit of the Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC) and taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead, the Federal Bureau of Prisons, which operates the lower Manhattan jail, said in a statement. It declined to comment further.
Lawyers say Epstein victims to sue financier's estate this week
Lawyers for several women who say they were sexually abused by disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein plan to file lawsuits this week against his estate following his apparent suicide in a New York jail cell. Los Angeles attorney Lisa Bloom, who represents two women, told Reuters "we intend to promptly file those civil claims" having held off suing while federal prosecutors pursued sex trafficking charges against Epstein.
Between gun massacres, a routine, deadly seven days of U.S. shootings
A boy accidentally killed by his father during a fishing trip in Montana. A woman dead and her husband behind bars after a single gunshot in a Dallas hotel room. A teenager cut down on his porch on a warm day in Washington state. During the week bookended by mass shootings in Gilroy, California; El Paso, Texas; and Dayton, Ohio, in which gunmen killed 34 people, hundreds of others were shot to death across 47 U.S. states, according to the Gun Violence Archive, a nonprofit group that uses local news and police reports to track gun incidents.
A week after Texas massacre, El Paso marchers condemn racism
Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rouke on Saturday joined a march in the Texas border city of El Paso to condemn last week's mass shooting there, telling the crowd that President Donald Trump was partly responsible for the hatred that inspired it. The gunman, identified by authorities as 21-year-old Patrick Crusius, killed 22 people, most of them Hispanic, when he opened fire at a Walmart store last Saturday. He confessed while surrendering and told police he was targeting "Mexicans," according to an El Paso police affidavit released on Friday.
Cosby's lawyers, claiming unfair trial, seek to overturn his sex assault conviction
Lawyers for comedian Bill Cosby on Monday will ask a Pennsylvania appeals court to throw out his sexual assault conviction, arguing the trial judge committed errors that deprived him of a fair trial. The appeal will center on the decision by Montgomery County Judge Steven O'Neill to allow five accusers to testify that Cosby had drugged and sexually assaulted them years previously, just as the victim at trial, Andrea Constand, claimed he had done.
Democratic 2020 contenders condemn Trump for spreading Epstein conspiracy theories
Democratic presidential contenders Beto O'Rourke and Cory Booker slammed U.S. President Donald Trump on Sunday for promoting unfounded conspiracy theories about the apparent suicide of disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein in his New York jail cell. After the death on Saturday of Epstein, a millionaire charged with sex trafficking who once counted Trump and former President Bill Clinton as friends, Trump retweeted a baseless claim from a conservative comedian that Clinton was involved in the death.
In three shaken U.S. cities, Lady Gaga tries to channel 'fury into hope'
In El Paso, Texas, there are books for third-grade students, many of whom have none at home. Disabled students in Dayton, Ohio, will get bouncy chairs to help calm them for learning. Science kits will go to fifth graders in Gilroy, California. Those are just three of a series of local classroom initiatives that Grammy-winning singer Lady Gaga has pledged to fund as students in those shaken communities, the latest U.S. cities to endure mass shootings, go back to school this week.
Five children die, two teens escape from burning Pennsylvania house
Five children died and other people were rescued from an early-morning fire at a home that operated as a daycare center in Erie, Pennsylvania, on Sunday, officials and news media reported. Two teenaged boys escaped by climbing out a window, news media reported. They then screamed for help, alerting neighbors.