Following is a summary of current US domestic news briefs.
U.S. prosecutors recommend dropping case against MIT professor over China ties -source
Prosecutors have recommended that the U.S. Justice Department drop charges against a Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor accused of concealing his ties to China when seeking federal grant money, a person familiar with the matter said Friday. Federal prosecutors in Boston decided to seek dismissal of the case against Chinese-born mechanical engineer and nanotechnologist Gang Chen. It was the latest setback for a crackdown on Chinese influence within U.S. research.
Exhausted parents navigate a patchwork of U.S. school COVID-19 policies
Jennifer Pierre speaks for millions of American parents when she sums up how it feels to navigate a patchwork of school COVID-19 policies as the pandemic enters a third year. “It’s so exhausting,” the Sacramento, California, mother said this week.
Proud Boys leader freed from Washington jail, served time for burning banner at Black church
A leader of the right-wing Proud Boys group, Enrique Tarrio, was released from jail on Friday after serving four months and a week for burning a Black Lives Matter banner at a historic African American church in Washington in December 2020.
Tarrio was among a group of Proud Boys who stole the banner during a demonstration in Washington on Dec. 12, 2020. Tarrio then set it on fire, according to comments he made afterward. He pled guilty in July, was sentenced in August and began serving his jail sentence in September.
DirecTV to drop far-right channel OAN from its service
U.S. satellite broadcaster DirecTV said on Friday it will drop far-right channel One America News (OAN) from its service when its contract expires, in a blow to the popular news network. OAN, which rose to prominence amid the triumph and tumult of the administration of then-President Donald Trump, has been criticized for spreading conspiracy theories about the COVID-19 pandemic and the 2020 election.
U.S. CDC urges Americans to wear ‘most protective mask you can’
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Friday revised its guidance for Americans on wearing masks to protect against COVID-19, recommending donning “the most protective mask you can” while stopping short of advocating nationwide usage of N95 respirators. The CDC, an agency critics have accused of offering shifting and confusing guidance amid the pandemic, clarified on its website “that people can choose respirators such as N95s and KN95s, including removing concerns related to supply shortages for N95s.”
Maxwell sentencing set for June, as U.S. judge weighs request for new trial
The judge in British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell’s sex abuse trial on Friday set a sentencing date of June 28 but said she is still weighing Maxwell’s request to overturn her conviction because of concerns about a juror’s conduct. Maxwell, 60, was convicted https://www.reuters.com/world/us/maxwell-jury-resume-deliberations-after-judge-warns-omicron-risk-2021-12-29 on Dec. 29 on five counts of sex trafficking and other charges for recruiting and grooming teenage girls for the late financier and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein to abuse between 1994 and 2004. Maxwell faces up to 65 years in prison when she is sentenced by U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan in New York.
U.S. Supreme Court to hear dispute over football coach’s on-field prayers
The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear an appeal by a Christian former high school football coach who was suspended from his job at a high school in Washington state for refusing to halt his practice of praying at mid-field after games – a case that could expand the religious rights of employees of public institutions. The justices took up an appeal by Joseph Kennedy, who served as an assistant football coach in the city of Bremerton, of a lower court ruling that rejected his claims that the school district’s actions violated his free speech and religious rights under the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment.
Baltimore prosecutor asserts innocence after perjury indictment
Baltimore’s top prosecutor, Marilyn Mosby, said on Friday she was innocent of wrongdoing, a day after she was indicted on federal charges of perjury and filing false loan applications related to the purchase of two Florida vacation homes. Mosby, elected state’s attorney in 2015, said she was the victim of a “ploy” by political adversaries seeking to unseat her and was determined to “fight with every ounce in my being and to clear my name.”
U.S. seeks up to 46 months prison for ex-Giuliani associate Fruman
U.S. prosecutors said on Friday that Igor Fruman, a one-time associate of Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani who helped collect damaging information about Joe Biden, should spend 37 to 46 months in prison after pleading guilty in an unrelated campaign finance case. In a Manhattan federal court filing, prosecutors called the sentence sufficient to punish Fruman over his “lead role” in soliciting $1 million in foreign contributions “for the express purpose of using that money to influence U.S. elections.”
U.S. judge bars Martin Shkreli from drug industry, orders $64.6 million payment
A U.S. judge on Friday barred Martin Shkreli from the pharmaceutical industry for life and ordered him to pay $64.6 million after he famously raised the price of the drug Daraprim and fought to block generic competitors. U.S. District Judge Denise Cote in Manhattan ruled after a trial where the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and seven states had accused Shkreli, the founder of Vyera Pharmaceuticals, of using illegal tactics to keep Daraprim rivals out of the market.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
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