Following is a summary of current US domestic news briefs.
Biden administration issues new memo ending Trump ‘Remain in Mexico’ policy
The Biden administration on Friday made a renewed attempt to end a Trump-era immigration program that forced asylum seekers to wait in Mexico for U.S. court hearings, according to a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) memo previewed by officials. The administration first ended the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) program, informally called “Remain in Mexico” , earlier this year, but was ordered to restart it by a federal judge, who said it had failed to follow proper regulatory procedure.
Safety nets kept U.S. uninsured rate steady during pandemic, HHS says
Enrollment in U.S. government-run health insurance program Medicaid during the COVID-19 pandemic grew 16%, with more than 11 million additional Americans signing up, the Department of Health and Human Services said on Friday. Safety nets like Medicaid and re-opening enrollment through the Affordable Care Act helped stabilize uninsured rates even while millions lost employer-related health insurance coverage as the pandemic rattled the U.S. economy, the department said.
Biden says pope thinks he is a ‘good Catholic,’ further fuelling U.S. abortion debate
U.S. President Joe Biden said on Friday that Pope Francis told him he was a “good Catholic” who can receive communion, widening a gulf between Francis and conservative U.S. bishops who want to deny it because of Biden’s support for abortion rights. Biden and the pope held an unusually long 1 hour and 15 minute meeting at the Vatican as a debate raged back in the United States about the divisive issue.
Eleven states sue U.S. government over vaccine mandate for federal contractors
Eleven U.S. states with Republican governors sued the Biden administration on Friday seeking to block a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for federal contractors, arguing it is unconstitutional and violates federal procurement law. Saying they were necessary to fight COVID-19, President Joe Biden issued a pair of executive orders on Sept. 9 requiring all executive branch federal employees and federal contractors be vaccinated.
The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear a bid by a group of Republican state officials to take over the defense of a hardline immigration rule issued by former President Donald Trump’s administration that had barred certain immigrants deemed likely to require government benefits from obtaining legal permanent residency. The justices took up an appeal by 13 Republican state attorneys general led by Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich of a lower court’s ruling that rejected their bid to defend Trump’s “public charge” rule. President Joe Biden’s administration dropped the government’s defense of the policy. A federal judge in Illinois in a separate case vacated the rule nationwide.
As vaccination mandate looms, New York prepares for shortage of firefighters, police
New York City officials on Friday were preparing for shortages of firefighters, police officers and other first responders as a showdown looms between the city and its unvaccinated uniformed workforce, who face a 5 p.m. EDT (2100 GMT) deadline to be immunized. De Blasio, who announced the mandate nine days ago, said officials would manage any staffing gaps with overtime and schedule changes and by enlisting private ambulance companies to cover for the city’s paramedics.
U.S. FDA authorizes first COVID-19 shot for young kids
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Friday authorized the Pfizer Inc and BioNTech SE coronavirus vaccine for children aged 5 to 11 years, making it the first COVID-19 shot for young children in the United States. The shot will not be immediately available to the age group. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention still needs to advise on how the shot should be administered, which will be decided after a group of outside advisers discuss the plan on Tuesday.
A group of mostly Republican critics of former U.S. President Donald Trump claimed responsibility on Friday for a demonstration in the Virginia governor’s campaign that recalled an infamous 2017 rally in the state. The Lincoln Project said it was behind the use of tiki torches outside a Republican candidate’s bus that mimicked the rally by white supremacists in Charlottesville. The earlier event turned deadly when a car driven into a crowd by a self-described neo-Nazi killed a counter-protester.
Prince Andrew ‘unequivocally’ denies Giuffre’s sexual abuse claims, seeks to end lawsuit
Britain’s Prince Andrew on Friday rejected Virginia Giuffre’s accusations that he sexually abused her more than two decades ago when she was 17, and urged a U.S. judge to dismiss her civil lawsuit. In filings with the U.S. District Court in Manhattan, the Duke of York called Giuffre’s “baseless” lawsuit an effort to “achieve another payday” from her accusations against the late financier Jeffrey Epstein and his associates.
U.S. Supreme Court rejects religious challenge to Maine vaccine mandate
The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday turned away healthcare workers seeking a religious exemption to Maine’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate in the latest battle over vaccination to reach the justices. The court, which has a 6-3 conservative majority, rejected a request made by nine unnamed plaintiffs who identified themselves as healthcare workers who object to receiving the shots on religious grounds. The court previously rejected challenges to vaccine mandates in New York and Indiana, though those cases did not involve religious objections.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)