Biden's DHS pick reveals immigration vision during virtual summit
Alejandro Mayorkas — President-elect Joe Biden’s nominee tapped to lead the Department of Homeland Security — gave the public a first glimpse Thursday of how he’ll approach his new post overseeing the country’s “broken immigration system.” His public comments via Zoom during a virtual bipartisan immigration summit held by the American Business Immigration Coalition, a national business and immigration organization, are his first since being nominated last week. Mayorkas emphasized that immigration reform will require Republicans and Democrats to work together in 2021 — a stark contrast to the ...
Seattle's Ben Gibbard talks Postal Service live album, new Death Cab EP
Ben Gibbard just might be the busiest musician in quarantine. Shortly after the Seattle songsmith’s primary band Death Cab for Cutie completed a three-night Showbox run in February, the pandemic shut down much of the music industry. But Gibbard’s hardly put down his guitar since. During spring’s TP-hording pandemonium, the hometown indie-rock hero’s Live From Home virtual concert series raised more than $250,000 and other nonmonetary donations for roughly 20 local charities and nonprofits. The streaming for a cause hasn’t stopped, with Gibbard virtually performing for multiple fundraisers, inc...
The Seattle Times
Western states call for massive rent relief — and political wins
SAN JOSE, Calif. — The best hope for swift pandemic aid to struggling California tenants and landlords might come from Georgia.State lawmakers from California and three other Western states this week are urging their congressional delegations to step up with $100 billion for rent relief — an achievable goal, they believe, if Democrats win two seats in U.S. Senate elections in Georgia, seize control of the upper chamber, and push a significant stimulus bill through Congress.Assemblymember David Chiu, D-San Francisco, chair of the housing and community development committee, said the federal aid...
The Mercury News
Is that alligator weed? Citizen scientists help keep tabs on San Diego County's plants, animals
SAN DIEGO — Jon Rebman saw the photo and did a double-take. Is that alligator weed?If so, bad news. Originally from South America, alligator weed is a fast-growing invader, crowding the shorelines of lakes and reservoirs, choking off native plants that provide food and shelter for wildlife.It had never been documented in San Diego County, at least not in the records at the 146-year-old San Diego Natural History museum, where Rebman is the curator of botany.“Oh my,” he said as he looked at the photo.It was posted on iNaturalist, a website where people upload images of living things they come ac...
The San Diego Union-Tribune
Why vaccine hesitancy is growing during a deadly pandemic
SAN JOSE, Calif. — We’re all desperate for a magic bullet that will restore our pre-COVID lives.But even some of science’s most ardent fans say they’re reluctant to roll up their sleeves and participate in the pandemic’s first wave of inoculations, unnerved by reports of a rushed timetable, politicization and poor communication.There isn’t a vaccine yet — and with initial supplies very limited, such apprehension may not pose an immediate problem, say experts. But persistent distrust could spell trouble for the nation’s ambitious Operation Warp Speed campaign to protect all Americans.These aren...
The Mercury News
College grads struggle to launch careers in a pandemic economy. 'I chose the worst year to get my life together'
CHICAGO — Kevin Zheng had big plans lined up as he prepared to graduate in the spring with a degree in criminal justice from the University of Illinois at Chicago.The 23-year-old thought he’d enter the job market well-prepared, with an internship at the Chicago Police Department on his resume.But the COVID-19 health crisis upended that plan. His internship was canceled, his graduation was delayed until August, and he sat in his bedroom for the virtual commencement ceremony. Now he’s looking for a job in a pandemic-induced recession.“I chose the worst year to get my life together,” said Zheng, ...
Hard-to-define 'antifa' becomes election-year wedge issue
ATLANTA — It is an idea? Is it a group? Is it a threat?When fending off claims that he is not doing enough to discourage violent far-right groups, President Donald Trump has suggested the real problems have come from the left, and specifically, “antifa.” But defining antifa and measuring the threat it poses is challenging.Last month, in a hearing before the House Homeland Security Committee, FBI Director Christopher Wray said the agency had opened investigations into “violent anarchist extremists, any number of whom self-identify with the antifa movement.” But he defined antifa as an “ideology...
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
No Chicago parade on Columbus Day amid pandemic concerns and controversy over explorer's legacy
CHICAGO — There will be a lot less fanfare on Columbus Day in Chicago this year.As criticism of Christopher Columbus’ place in history has grown, clashes erupted over the removal of statues in his honor this summer and Chicago schools officially dropped his name from the holiday.Traditionally, Monday would be marked with a parade that celebrates Columbus’ voyage to America and Italian American culture. However, the Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans, facing a reckoning over Columbus’ legacy and concerns amid the COVID-19 pandemic, dropped plans for the parade.The organization plans to ...
Most major cities haven't banned tear gas during protests. Will Philadelphia be different?
PHILADELPHIA — After hours of listening to Philadelphia residents testify about the physical and emotional scars they carry as a result of police firing tear gas or rubber bullets at them, city councilmembers pledged it wouldn’t happen again, introducing a bill Thursday that would permanently ban the use of such tactics against protesters in the city.Philadelphia would be among the first major cities in America to institute such a ban through legislation. Law enforcement advocates say there’s good reason for other cities’ reluctance.As the nation grapples with how best to confront police refor...
The Philadelphia Inquirer
Nobel Prize in Physics goes to 3 scientists for their black hole discoveries
A trio of scientists have pulled in the 2020 Nobel Prize in Physics for their discoveries regarding one of the universe’s greatest enigmas: black holes.Roger Penrose of the University of Oxford in England, Reinhard Genzel of the University of California, Berkeley, and Andrea Ghez of the University of California, Los Angeles, were named the recipients of the coveted honor Tuesday by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.The organization said Penrose earned half of the annual award for “the discovery that black hole formation is a robust prediction of the general theory of relativity.”The other ...
New York Daily News