Following is a summary of current US domestic news briefs.
Ex-Minnesota police officer found guilty of manslaughter in shooting of Daunte Wright
A Minnesota jury on Thursday found former police officer Kimberly Potter guilty of manslaughter in the fatal shooting of Black motorist Daunte Wright during a traffic stop when she mistakenly fired her handgun instead of her Taser. A 12-member jury declared Potter, 49, guilty of first-degree and second-degree manslaughter in the death of the 20-year-old Wright, whom she killed in the Minneapolis suburb of Brooklyn Center on April 11 with a bullet to the chest.
Former Boston College student charged over boyfriend’s suicide pleads guilty
A former Boston College student pleaded guilty on Thursday to an involuntary manslaughter charge stemming from what prosecutors said was her role in encouraging her boyfriend to commit suicide through unrelenting verbal, physical and psychological abuse. Inyoung You, 23, entered the plea in Suffolk County Superior Court in Boston after reaching a plea deal with prosecutors under outgoing District Attorney Rachael Rollins that could allow her to avoid serving any time in jail.
White House national security adviser asks software companies to discuss cybersecurity
White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan sent a letter to major software companies and developers to discuss ways to improve digital security, the White House said on Thursday, the latest sign of the administration’s growing concern over cyber-security. The United States has suffered several major cyberattacks this year, which exposed thousands of records held by companies and government agencies to hackers, including those with ties to Russia and China.
White House says it is ‘grateful’ Trump got, promoted COVID-19 booster shot
The White House is grateful that former U.S. President Donald Trump received and promoted getting the COVID-19 vaccine booster shot, press secretary Jen Psaki said on Thursday. The Republican former president recently said in an interview that he received a booster shot, and called the COVID-19 vaccines “one of the greatest achievements of mankind.”
U.S. to allow waiving of in-person interviews for H-1B, other visas through 2022
The United States will allow its consular officers to waive in-person interviews for H-1B and other certain non-immigrant visa applicants through next year to help reduce visa wait times, the State Department said on Thursday. “The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in profound reductions in the department’s visa processing capacity,” it said in a statement. “As global travel rebounds, we are taking these temporary steps to further our commitment to safely and efficiently reduce visa wait times while maintaining national security as our priority.”
Drugmaker Endo strikes $63 million opioid settlement with Texas
Endo International Plc has agreed to pay $63 million to resolve claims by the state of Texas and local governments that the drugmaker helped fuel the U.S. opioid epidemic, the state’s attorney general said on Thursday. The deal announced by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton marked the latest in a series of settlements that Endo has struck in recent months with state and local governments to resolve similar cases.
Americans proceed with holiday plans despite Omicron surge
Millions of Americans are pushing ahead with holidays that include cross-country flights, busy tourist attractions and indoor dining, even as the surge in COVID-19 infections fueled by the Omicron variant forces them to adapt some plans on the fly. Debbie Rodriguez said she thought “long and hard” about canceling this year’s family Christmas trip to New York City before opting last-minute on Thursday to travel from Houston.
U.S. authorizes Merck pill as second at-home COVID-19 treatment
The U.S. on Thursday authorized Merck & Co’s antiviral pill for COVID-19 for certain high-risk adult patients, a day after giving a broader go-ahead to a similar but more effective treatment https://www.reuters.com/business/healthcare-pharmaceuticals/pfizer-says-covid-19-pill-near-90-effective-final-analysis-2021-12-14 from Pfizer Inc. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said Merck’s drug could be used when other authorized treatments are not accessible or clinically appropriate.
New York City to scale down New Year’s Eve celebrations at Times Square
New York will sharply limit the number of people it allows in Times Square for its New Year’s Eve celebration, Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Thursday, in response to a surge of new coronavirus cases fueled by the highly contagious Omicron variant. For a second year in a row, the virus that causes COVID-19 is casting a shadow over the festivities, which typically draws huge crowds to the famed intersection in midtown Manhattan. After hours of live entertainment, the evening culminates with the dropping of a giant crystal ball at midnight, signaling the start of the new year. Millions of others around the world watch on television.
Woman accuses ‘Sex and the City’ actor Chris Noth of groping
A New York musician on Thursday accused “Sex and the City” actor Chris Noth of groping her nearly 20 years ago and threatening to ruin her career if she told anyone about their encounter. Singer-songwriter Lisa Gentile made the accusation following a Dec. 16 Hollywood Reporter story that said two women, whose real names they did not disclose, had accused Noth of sexual assault in 2004 and 2015.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)