Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Black Friday 14 Protest Ends With 14 Arrests

14 religious leaders were arrested at an Oakland courthouse where they were protesting the prosecution of 14 Black Lives Matters activists. The interfaith protesters held a sit-in at the courthouse lobby, where they called on District Attorney Nancy O’Malley to drop criminal charges against the “Black Friday 14” who blocked a BART train last November. Christopher Martinez files this report from Oakland.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Donald Trump Sticks by False Claims

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has doubled down on his claim that Muslims in New Jersey cheered after the 9-11 attacks, despite a wealth of evidence that never happened. Trump is making hay with attacks on immigrants and Muslims, as well as other factually-challenged claims about black on white murder, that have led to some calling him “the first fact-free presidential candidate.” Christopher Martinez reports.

Turkish Military Downs Russian Jet, Complicating Global Response to Syrian Civil War

The downing of a Russian fighter jet by the Turkish military is raising serious concern about escalating conflict in the region. According to the Russian government, the SU-24 fighter was in Syrian airspace, but Turkey disputes this claim. Obama called on Russia to shift the focus of its air strikes to defeating the Islamic state, rather than supporting the Assad regime, which the United States and Turkey both oppose. Pacifica's Claire Stremple has the story.

Monday, November 23, 2015

California Budget Surpluses Projected Through 2020

New budget forecasts from the state Legislative Analyst show an $11.5 billion dollar surplus by the end of the fiscal year, with surpluses continuing through the end of the decade. This could spell good news for health and welfare programs that are still suffering from cuts made during the great recession, but Republican lawmakers are urging caution, calling on lawmakers to ignore pent-up demands and instead invest in a limited number of programs. Christopher Martinez reports.

Oakland adds $250,000 for minimum wage enforcement

Over 40,000 workers are taking home fatter paychecks, and over 50,000 are now eligible for paid sick leave since Oakland’s new minimum wage law went into effect March 2. Dire predictions of harm to the economy have not materialized. But not all workers know about the new law, and some employers may be ignoring it. Pacifica reporter Tom Herriman files this assessment from Oakland.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Gay Georgian refugee finds safe haven in Richmond

In May 2013, a newly formed LGBT Rights Organization held the first public gay rights demonstration ever seen in the former soviet republic of Georgia. The group of less than a hundred was met by 40,000 anti-gay protestors whipped into a frenzy by leaders of the Georgian Orthodox Church. The few hundred police assigned to keep the peace were overwhelmed by the anti-gay mob which attacked the gay rights supporters. Dozens were beaten or injured. The Anti-gay rioters used clubs, stones, and whips made of stinging nettles to in their attack. In the fall-out from the protests, a young activist who helped to organize the demonstration in Tbilisi had to flee his homeland. He arrived recently in the U.S. as a refugee, and is starting a new life in Richmond California. Tom Herriman reports. (Photo: Police bus carrying pro-gay rights demonstrators to safety is attacked by anti-gay mob.)

Friday, November 20, 2015

Oakland Climate Mobilization

Climate Activists are gathering in downtown Oakland to promote tomorrow’s northern California climate mobilization march in response to the French Government’s ban on the Paris UN Climate protests. KPFA reporter Emma Riley meets with climate march organizers.

FDA Authorizes Genetically Modified Salmon.

The Food and Drug Administration has approved genetically modified salmon. This is the first approval of a genetically altered animal for human consumption in the U.S.
Morgan Levey reports.

Supervisor Campos Proposes Lock Boxes For Guns Left in Cars in San Francisco

San Francisco Supervisor David Campos has announced a proposal to require gun owners to safely secure their guns when they leave them unattended in their vehicles. The proposal follows the shooting death of Kate Steinle in San Francisco with a gun that was stolen from the parked vehicle of a Bureau of Land Management ranger. Mark Mericle has more.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Immigrant Rights Activists Protest Sheriff-Immigration Cooperation

Activists in Alameda County are calling on county Sheriff Greg Ahern to stop co-operating with immigration officials under a federal program called “PEP,” or Priority Enforcement Program. The PEP program is the successor to the controversial “Secure Communities Program” that let jails hold alleged undocumented immigrants for deportation proceedings. Activists say the new PEP program continues to break up families, violate civil rights, and undermine community trust for law enforcement. Christopher Martinez files this report from Oakland.