National

Russian charged with using US groups to spread propaganda

The Justice Department says a Russian operative has been charged with using political groups in the United States to advance pro-Russia propaganda. Aleksandr Viktorovich Ionov is charged in federal court in Florida with conspiring to have U.S. citizens act as illegal agents of the Russian government. It was not immediately clear if he had a lawyer who could speak on his behalf. The Treasury Department also announced sanctions against him Friday accusing him of giving money to organizations that he and Russian intelligence services thought would create a political disturbance in the U.S.

Gov't: US Bank workers opened fake accounts for sales goals

For more than a decade, US Bank pressured its employees to open fake accounts in their customers’ names in order to meet unrealistic sales goals, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau said Thursday, in a case that is deeply similar to the sales practices scandal uncovered at Wells Fargo last decade. The CFPB alleged that US Bank accessed consumers credit reports to open checking and savings accounts, credit cards and lines of credit without their permission. Employees were encouraged to do so, in order to meet the bank’s goals of selling multiple products to each customer with the bank.

Parade attack suspect indicted for murder, attempted murder

A grand jury has indicted the man accused of opening fire on an Independence Day parade in suburban Chicago, on 117 felony counts. Prosecutors announced the grand jury’s decision against Robert Crimo III on Wednesday. The indictment lists 21 first-degree murder counts, 48 counts of attempted murder and 48 counts of aggravated battery. Seven people died and dozens were wounded in the July 4 attack. Under Illinois law, a grand jury can determine whether there is probable cause to proceed to trial. Prosecutors say Crimo admitted to the shooting in Highland Park, Illinois, when he was arrested following an hourslong search on July 4. Attorneys for the 21-year-old suspect have not yet formally responded to any of the charges.

Bill to boost semiconductor industry passes key Senate test

The Senate has advanced a $280 billion bill designed to boost the U.S. semiconductor industry and accelerate high-tech research. Backers of the measure say it will be critical to the economy in coming decades. The legislation is now on a glidepath to final passage in the Senate, and the House is expected to take up the package this week. Industry leaders say government subsidies are necessary to compete with other nations that are spending billions of dollars to lure semiconductor manufacturers. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer tells The Associated Press that without the federal funding, the U.S. economy will fade and the prospects of good-paying jobs in America will shrink.

US opens 3 probes of safety issues in Stellantis vehicles

U.S. safety regulators have opened three investigations into safety issues with about 1.65 million vehicles made by Stellantis. The largest probe covers 1.34 million Jeep Cherokee small SUVs from the 2014 through 2020 model years. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says it has 80 complaints that the electronic parking brakes can turn on while the SUVs are moving. Another probe covers 289,000 Jeep Compass and Patriot small SUVs from 2016 due to 127 complaints about engine stalling. The agency also says it has 40 complaints of a transmission problem causing Chrysler Pacifica plug-in hybrid minivans to lose power. The probe cover 21,000 vans from the 2019 through 2021 model years. The investigations could lead to recalls, but so far the agency hasn’t sought any.