Border duty

May 15, 2018

Initial deployment of National Guard troops arrives at the California-Mexico border

LA Times's CARL PRINE: "The initial deployment of California National Guard troops has arrived at the international border and will soon begin backing up federal law enforcement agents."

"Standing before 51 troops during a Monday morning news conference, Gloria Chavez — the new Border Patrol chief in the El Centro sector — said the unarmed Operation Guardian Support soldiers would serve in support roles and won't be asked to arrest any suspected gun runners, drug mules or immigrants crossing the border illegally."

"They'll be assisting from behind the scenes so that our agents are able to get to the front lines and do the border security," she said."


A few rich charter school supporters are spending millions to elect Antonio Villaraigosa governor

LA Times's SEEMA MEHTA/RYAN MENEZES: "California voters have seen a barrage of sunny television ads in recent weeks touting former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's record on finances, crime and education, aired by Families & Teachers for Antonio Villaraigosa for Governor 2018."


"But the group is, in fact, largely funded by a handful of wealthy charter school supporters. Together they have spent more than $13 million in less than a month to boost Villaraigosa's chances in the June 5 primary — at a time when his fundraising and poll numbers are lagging. Reed Hastings, the founder of Netflix, jump-started the group with a $7-million check, by far the largest donation to support any candidate in the election."


READ MORE related to State Politics: Robocall attacks Diane Feinstein with anti-Semitic slurs -- The Chronicle's JOE GAROFOLIDemocrats running for California AG quarrel as Republicans hope for top-two finish -- LA Times's PATRICK MCGREEVY; When Gavin Newsom issued marriage licenses in San Francisco, his party was furious. Now, it's a campaign ad -- LA Times's MELANIE MASON; Hard-fought AG's race highlights down-ballot California contests -- The Chronicle's JOHN WILDERMUTH; Where California's candidates for governor stand on fixing health care -- The Chronicle's JOE GAROFOLI; Facebook, Instagram ads target Gavin Newsom over past relationship with women -- Sacramento Bee's ANGELA HART


SF mayor candidates Leno, Kim help each other out while still competing


The Chronicle's MATIER & ROSS: "Stuck in second place with only three weeks left before the June mayoral election, former state Sen. Mark Leno has opted for a “hug-and-slug” campaign aimed at shaking loose enough votes to turn the election in his favor."


"Leno’s “hug” is with rival candidate turned tag-teammate Supervisor Jane Kim who, according to polls, is running a close third behind Leno." 


READ MORE related to Local Politics: SF mayoral candidates go easy on each other in debate -- The Chronicle's JOHN WILDERMUTH; Bay Area political events: SF mayoral forum pro-Palestinian rally -- The Chronicle's STAFF


Sacramento DA candidate Phillips lands Sen. Kamala Harris' endorsement


Sacramento Bee's DARRELL SMITH:  "Noah Phillips landed a major endorsement Monday, picking up U.S. senator and former San Francisco DA Kamala Harris’ endorsement for Sacramento County district attorney."


"The senator’s endorsement in the waning days of the campaign is expected to be a big boost for the reformist Phillips in an increasingly heated race with incumbent Anne Marie Schubert to become the county’s top prosecutor. Election Day is June 5."


'Crunch time' at CalPERS: Pension confidence drops among city managers


Sacramento Bee's ADAM ASHTON: "Most California public workers and retirees are feeling a little better about their pensions, but their bosses are very worried."


"A new survey by the California Public Employees’ Retirement showed a steep drop in confidence in the $355 billion pension fund among government executives."


"Fewer than half of the city managers and other senior government leaders who replied to the annual CalPERS survey said they felt confident that their retirement money was safe, a decline of about 15 percentage points from last year."


Legal sports betting set to explode after court ruling. But get ready for a battle over the dollars


LA Times's JAMES F PELTZ/HUGO MARTIN/LANCE PUGMIRE: "Suddenly, all bets are on regarding the future of American sports gambling."


"A surge in betting caused by the Supreme Court's lifting of a federal ban on sports wagering is expected to trigger new gaming opportunities and burnish existing sports books in Las Vegas casinos — but also spawn a battle in California among horse-racing tracks, Indian casinos and card clubs as they try to grab a slice of the added action."


East Area Rapist: Possible 13th slaying mentioned in search warrant, defense attorney says


LA Times's PAIGE ST. JOHN: "The defense attorney for Joseph James DeAngelo Jr., the suspect in the Golden State Killer case, fought on Monday against the release of case documents sought by the Los Angeles Times and other media organizations."


"DeAngelo, 72, appeared in court for Monday's brief hearing, walking in on his own power and standing in a barred holding cage before the judge. In past hearings, DeAngelo was rolled into court in a wheelchair." 


Health officials launch ambitious plan to rid the world of trans fats

LA Times's MELISSA HEALY: "In an effort to save half a million lives each year, the World Health Organization on Monday urged developing nations to follow the lead of affluent countries and eliminate man-made trans fatty acids from their food supplies."


"By taking six specific steps, officials from the United Nations' health agency said countries could reduce a tidal wave of heart disease and strokes that results in more than 500,000 deaths annually."


READ MORE related to Health & Health Care: Sexually transmitted diseases dramatically increase in California -- The Chronicle's PETER FIMRITE


In Hunters Point Shipyard cleanup scandal, supes push for redoing botched test


The Chronicle's JK DINEEN: "San Francisco supervisors Monday pressed the Navy to retest the entire Hunters Point Shipyard, including a portion already dotted with new condos, during the first public hearing into the widening scandal of the botched $1 billion cleanup at the Superfund site."


"For weeks, the supervisors had eagerly awaited an opportunity to question Tetra Tech, the environmental engineering company responsible for ridding the site of nuclear residue and other toxic materials. Two Tetra Tech employees have pleaded guilty of cheating when testing soil at the site."


Trump went from 'America first' to saving jobs in China. This could be why


LA Times's DON LEE: "President Trump's stunning change in stance toward a Chinese telecom-equipment maker that his administration recently sanctioned drew widespread rebuke Monday, even as it seemed to increase the likelihood that the U.S. and China could soon pull back from the brink of a trade war."


"China's top economic official, Vice Premier Liu He, is expected to arrive in Washington on Tuesday for several days of meetings with senior Trump administration officials. And Trump's tweet Sunday that he and Chinese President Xi Jinping are working together to help save ZTE could be a sign that Trump is looking for a potential deal to avert massive tariffs threatened by both sides."


Eradication of invasive rodent off to a slow start in California


The Chronicle's KURTIS ALEXANDER: "Before the midday heat had set in, Jeff Cann and Tim Kroeker were out of their Dodge pickup, trudging through waist-deep water in waders and rubber boots."


"The two wildlife biologists had come to this vast expanse of sun-soaked Central Valley wetlands on a recent morning to check in on the first traps that California has authorized in its nascent effort to hunt — and exterminate — the nutria."


The mystery of how 3 SF rental scooters ended up on their way to the dump


The Chronicle's MATIER & ROSS: "One of the enterprising independent contractors who make a buck rounding up and recharging the new electric scooters on San Francisco’s streets recently made an unlikely appearance at garbage giant Recology’s Tunnel Avenue transfer station in the Bayview."


"The man’s cell phone GPS had pinpointed three scooters as being somewhere on the garbage company’s sprawling, 25-acre property."


READ MORE related to Transportation: VW's polluting cars could cause sickness, death. What can California do about that? -- Sacramento Bee's DALE KASLER


Man who spent 20 years in prison can sue SF police over false evidence claims


The Chronicle's BOB EGELKO: "A San Francisco man who spent 20 years in prison for murder before his conviction was overturned can sue police for allegedly manipulating a key witness and falsifying evidence, a federal appeals court has ruled."


"A jury convicted Maurice Caldwell of second-degree murder for the fatal shooting of a man named Judy Acosta after an argument over drugs at the Alemany housing projects in June 1990. The chief prosecution witness, Mary Cobbs, identified Caldwell as the shooter."


Melania Trump had an embolization to treat a kidney condition. What is an embolization?


LA Times's DEBORAH NETBURN: "The White House announced that First Lady Melania Trump underwent an embolization procedure Monday to treat a benign kidney condition."


"According to the statement, the treatment was a success. However, she is expected to remain at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center for the rest of the week."


"To find out what an embolization procedure entails and why it might be necessary, we spoke to Dr. Mark S. Litwin, professor and chairman of urology at UCLA."



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