Google to Remove Links to California News Sites

Google to Remove Links to California News Sites

Google has temporarily removed links to certain California news websites to prove a point in response to a proposed California law known as the California Journalism Preservation Act. This proposed bill would require big tech companies, such as Google (who is a subsidiary of Alphabet, a.k.a. GOOGL), to pay news outlets for their content under certain circumstances. Google is not happy about this proposed bill and has announced this move of not showing the links to prove a point of requiring payment to be too much. The company released a formal statement on the matter, confirming that this will only serve as a test, affecting only a small group of California users. They stated that right now, they hope to show, “the impact of the legislation on our product experience.”

The bill first started making waves in California in March of 2023.

Nothing from the bill has been finalized into California law. The bill is still awaiting a hearing with California’s state Senate Judiciary Committee before any action, in terms of requiring payment for news content, would go into effect. If the bill were to pass, there would be a “journalism usage fee” for certain news sites that companies like Google and Meta would have to pay. So far, Google is the only company that would be affected that has spoken out and/or taken action.

The reason for the bill is that people are not consuming news in the same way as before and many traditional news outlets are becoming a thing of the past. The bill is seeking to prevent news from disappearing and entirely shifting to social media only. After Google and other tech companies have shifted in ways that would further harm the news outlets, using tools like A.I. to drive people to certain websites, the California state government wrote up the bill to prevent this.

The Senate President Pro-Tempore of the CA state senate’s office, Mike McGuire, called Google’s actions an act of bullying.

McGuire also called the action an “abuse of power,” arguing that Google is simply proving their point that they are able to control the news and what users see and that they are choosing the wrong techniques to do that. The push for this law stems from the fact that Google can control the news and then profit from the way in which they advertise it, but the originators of the work, a.k.a. the journalists and news publications, suffer without proper compensation. Now, many worry about the future of news consumption amidst this battle between the government and big tech companies.

San Francisco Issues Apology for Past Racist Actions

San Francisco Issues Apology for Past Racist Actions

Last week, as Black History Month was coming to an end, the city of San Francisco Supervisor Board issued a formal apology to Black residents in which they apologized for the city’s perpetuation of racism. They furthered the statement saying they intend to continue to make reparations of some kind to the Black residents of the city but have not yet stated what those reparations will be. The vote to issue the apology was unanimous, having all 11 board members agree to issue the apology.

San Francisco is the second major city to formally issue an apology, as Boston did previously as well.

These two cities joined the list of nine states that issued apologies. The states that have thus far issued apologies include Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Maryland, New Jersey, North Carolina, and Virginia. Some of these apologies specifically mentioned being for slavery, while others were more general towards any racism and discrimination that the state participated in.

Over 100 proposals regarding reparations for the Black community have previously been given to the Supervisor Board of San Francisco. This was the first proposal to ever actually be approved by the city board. One such proposal that previously failed was proposed by the African American Reparations Advisory Committee. This proposal stated a plan that every eligible Black adult be given a $5 million lump-sum cash payment and a guaranteed annual income of $100,000.

In the same meeting in which the apology was issued, the Board spoke on some of the bills on the upcoming ballot.

One Supervisor, Dean Preston, spoke very candidly on his thoughts on some of the measures. One measure would further take away affording housing, allowing the predominantly Black neighborhood of Fillmore that he represents to become further gentrified. Additionally, he spoke poorly of two bills backed by Mayor London Breed in which one would require drug addiction screenings for welfare recipients and the other would put more power back into the police department. He expressed his beliefs that these would disproportionately affect Black residents of the city.

At this point, some have expressed that now that there is an apology for the past, they are wiped clean of responsibility for the present. Others have spoken out that the apology is not even sufficient for the past. We shall see in the upcoming months if any further action is taken.

Pro-Abortion Protest Hits The Streets Of The Bay Area

Pro-Abortion Protest Hits The Streets Of The Bay Area

A peaceful protest against the issues taken with the anniversary of the Supreme Court’s ruling to overturn the Roe v. Wade decision on abortion has been held in the Bay Area. The rally began at the Civic Center and would keep going down Market Street and head through to Embarcadero, which would cause the bus reroute and street closures.

Such an event is held once a year, near the anniversary of the Supreme Court. The Constitution had kept the rights to abortion safe, though the court was striking the ruling in June 2022, with an opportunity for the other states to decide.

The turnout is very encouraging for the pro-abortion reps that are hoping that someday, the tens of thousands of people marching can actually influence many folks up in the food chain.

Many attendees that had been around came from the other side, specifically the church groups that had opposed the movement. In other words, anti-abortion folks. The Clergymen and Nuns would hold signs saying “pray to end abortion” and “love them both.”

A larger national antiabortion movement has been made the focus, as the March for Life would take place at the National Mall in Washington, where activists would say “I am the pro-life generation” and “Life is precious.”

Even the President, Joe Biden, preserved abortion rights to be a main focal point of the administration and Kamala Harris to highlight the White House’s very own commitment through a visit to Wisconsin, on the 51st anniversary of the Roe decision.

Saturday saw plenty of celebrities give their opinion on abortion rights. Kaya Jones, from the Pussycat Dolls, has mentioned how there’s always a way, and Lila Rose, the activist of the Live Action anti-aborition nonprofit, also showed up to speak on the matter. It continues to be a red-button topic to this day.

San Francisco’s Doom Looping Reality

San Francisco’s Doom Looping Reality

San Francisco, a once booming city, blossoming as a pinnacle for ideologies of the future, is now stuck in a doom loop. The term “doom loop” refers to a city that is stuck in a constant spiral of unaffordable housing, empty office spaces, and so much more. It is essentially an extended time in which a city is constantly in a state of dread, with countless bad traits inhabiting the city. The doom loop of San Francisco has been perpetuated by homelessness, which has also been furthered by the doom loop as they are in a toxic symbiotic relationship. This has also led to a steep rise in drug abuse and crime.

Many are hopeful for the cities regrowth, but pessimism is running rampant as well.

The city of San Francisco has always been a pioneer in modern ideas and innovations. They were one of the first cities to raise minimum wage, which led to California overall following suit. Countless other, now statewide, laws started in the city. However, now they are stuck in a seemingly never-ending crisis.

Of course, San Francisco is not isolated in their struggles; just about every other large metropolitan city is dealing with a housing crisis. Employment rates nationally are low. But, given the history of the city, it seems like a particularly worse condition for the city to be in. The city has an office vacancy rate of 30%. This equates to nearly 30 million square feet of unused space. This is happening while a large population of the city is living in the streets.

Some are trying to generate plans for repair, while others are simply trying to stay afloat.

A few believe that the key to repairing and rebuilding the city lies within going back to a fully in person lifestyle. Ever since the COVID-19 global pandemic, much of the city has gone remote. Many work from home, order contactless food delivery, etc. People theorize that this loss of connection has further spiraled individuals down dark paths which has further spiraled the city. Those with confidence in this theory operate under the assumption that the future will be restored with a return to greater human connection. In the very least they believe that this will rebuild morale of residents of the city, which will ideally generate more confidence in them for the city to be restored, which will trickle down into actual citywide restoration.

Speed Cameras to Send Automatic Tickets in 6 California Cities

Speed Cameras to Send Automatic Tickets in 6 California Cities

California’s Governor Gavin Newsom passed a new law this past weekend that will legalize speed cameras in six different large cities in the state. This marks the first time in California’s history in which speed cameras are legal. The six cities in which they are legal include three in northern California and three in southern California. The three northern cities are San Francisco, Oakland, and San Jose. The three southern cities are Los Angeles, Long Beach, and Glendale. The law will allow these cities to act as testing sites for something that could eventually become widespread, speed cameras automatically sending speed tickets to drivers going above the speed limit.

The bill, AB 645, was pushed for by state Assemblymember Laura Friedman, who has pushed for a bill of this nature since 2005.

The law will officially go into effect in January 2024. With it, the six cities will be given a limited number of speed cameras which they can install in heaving vetted, pre-approved locations. The cameras will then begin monitoring the speed of drivers and detect when someone goes above the speed limit. From there, there is a tiered ticket fine pricing list based on the driver’s speed and once that has been determined, a ticket will be mailed to the driver. This will be done by the fact that the cameras will record license plates and from that locate the driver’s information.

The tiered pricing has a ticket priced at $50, which is generated when a driver is going 11 miles per hour above the posted speed limit. It then increases to $100 for drivers going 16-25 miles per hour above the speed limit. The fine goes all the way up to $500, which would be the fine for a driver going 100+ miles per hour higher than the speed limit.

So where will the speed cameras go?

The speed cameras are intended to go in places in which speeding causes a deadly risk for pedestrians and other drivers. This would predominantly be high-accident corridors, street racing locations, and school zones. In order for the cameras to be installed anywhere, there are several steps they must take. They must vet the location through public neighborhood meetings and from there can determine if the street truly does deserve the camera.

People raise concerns about how this bill will likely disproportionately affect people of color and low-income folks. Newsom and Friedman assure that it will not since the cameras will only detect the license plate, not any driver details. They included as well that there is the possibility of a reduced ticket price, with the potential of an 80% reduction for low-income drivers. However, people expressed concerns with the expectation that most cameras will be installed in low-income neighborhoods that are predominantly people of color. This concern has not been addressed.

California To Recognize Caste Discrimination In Statewide Ban

California To Recognize Caste Discrimination In Statewide Ban

Caste Racism has long been a major concern for folks immigrating into the the United States from varied countries like Bangladesh, Nepal and India. The latter of these countries, is currently considering changing it’s name to Bharat. That change aside, the same principles likely apply. California is starting to come around on this however, given that they’re going to be the first state to ban anti-caste racism.

The sadness in all of this shows as California has been rampant with way too many anti-caste cases. Back in 2020, the state regulators had made a lawsuit against the tech company of Cisco. All while supposedly, two of the high-caste Indian managers themselves had been discriminating against a Dalit engineer to subject them to lower pay and even inferior terms of employment. The California State University’s own approach has showed in 2022, where they became the primary university system that would add caste as a protected category for their own anti-discrimination policy.

California has been home to some of the most concerning crimes had occurred versus people that had been based on their own caste. For instance, 2001 saw a rich Bay area landlord being convicted of sex tracfficking in the aftermath of him sexually abusing beyond two dozen women in India through the course of about 15 years. He would then spend eight years in state prison.

Caste in specific references to the exclusionary system of more than several centuries of age.

The caste system shows a separation into four inherited social categories. Within a caste system, people whom have been left at the bottom of the social strata are seen less than. Not quite standard human beings if not victims forced to engage with everything from substandard housing into enslaved type of work. This is all information that comes from the IDSN or International Dalit Solidarity Network. They are an advocacy group for Dalits, also known as a South Asian minority group facing many generations of violence and stigma.

Caste systems like this have originated in the country as far back as about 3,000 years for a social hierarchy integral to someone’s occupation and birth. It was even through caste-based discrimination has been prohibited over there for 75 years. Dalits have been facing socioeconomic stagnation, poor treatment and violence.

Such a bill, given that it was previously approved by the state senate 31-5, had been sponsored by Aisha Wahab, whom is well known as the California state senator, while also having been the first Afghan American woman to be elected to the public office in the United States. By passing this bill, Governor Gavin Newsom will allow the first-in-the-USA bill to ban caste racism and acts of racism.

Bay Area Goes Without ‘Spare the Air’ Advisory In Heat Wave

Bay Area Goes Without ‘Spare the Air’ Advisory In Heat Wave

In the Bay Area, there has been problems in the past that showed so much danger in the air. Something that would definitely threaten the majority of people who are truly worried about keeping their lungs clean and safe. Otherwise, there’s an effort that usually comes through to indicate that the weather needs to be noticed. All because the Spare the Air Effort is an indicator for everyone in San Francisco and the surrounding areas to totally be ready for when smog or ozone would become too much.

However, in these days, when there’s heat advisories going about in what looks to be the hottest month in recorded history, an alert is issued by the air district for smog/ozone where huge concentrations of the ground-level ozone pollution are said to be unhealthy. Higher levels of ozone pollution can even be too harmful to breathe. This is particularly true for young kids and old people. Even those with breathing problems find it tough. Thus, the Spare the Air effort is a big help to many people in the community who suffer from this.

Higher levels of ozone, aside, high heats are heading to all over the Bay Area, while there are plenty of cities on the inland that are going to surpass 100 degrees while the heat lasts for beyond several days.

Even in the immediate coast, you will see a comfy heat around the 60s to 70s range.

The excessive heat watch has been heightened from the excessive heat warning for all over the areas Inland, indicating that the heat’s change is not too far off. The National Weather Service themselves believe that around 3.5 million folks in the Bay Area are going to be indicated of the Excessive Heat Warning.

I would say, I wish there were more indications throughout San Francisco and beyond, towards other areas of the state of California. It makes a difference to show your fellow Californians how expertly you can show your care and compassion for each other. It’s also of a huge importance to unify different parts of California, much like the Oakland A’s and the Giants are attempting, in order to lessen the rivalry. Who else can really be so pursuant of the common good than your fellow Californian? It makes a difference to care, and Spare the Air!

To contact the Spare the Air team, all you really have to do is call the toll-free number at 1-800-HELP-AIR.

CARE Court Plan To Move Forward In The Bay Area

CARE Court Plan To Move Forward In The Bay Area

In California, CARE Court is being rolled out as a counter to really bad mental illnesses that seem to plague the American public. Governor Gavin Newsom himself sees it as a shift of the paradigm that will really shift the conversation in a positive manner. And in no county is this more relevant to occur than in San Francisco county, where much too many fentanyl overdoses and homelessness has occurred.

Mayor London Breed thinks herself that it would be most useful for start in San Francisco.

CARE is an acronym that stands for Community Assistance, Recovery and Empowerment, as it lets many to come forward to ask a judge for treatment plans to help out the schizophrenia-diagnosed patients. This is applicable for anyone who is in connection to help, such as first responders, clinicians and even various relatives. The program is not quite limited to individuals who go through homelessness or who have drug addition. It’s basically to assist people who aren’t receiving mental health treatment. San Francisco is the first of eight counties that are absolutely on-board with the process. But pretty soon, all the counties in California are going to be expected to use these civil courts by 2024.

While participation is a voluntary kind, supporters are hoping to see the “black robe” effect raise compliance.

However, many critics of CARE Court are also entering the fray, stating how it’s absolutely-biased.

Opponents such as the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and Disability Rights California have been stating how Black Californians will be wrongly targeted by the program.

Supporters had been developing a treatment plan for CARE Court is not as restrictive as conservatorship and state hospitalization.

For qualification, the individual has to be 18 years or older, while also diagnosed by a psychotic disorder, as it may benefit from a supervised treatment plan.

San Francisco’s Newest Invasive Species: Driverless Cars

San Francisco’s Newest Invasive Species: Driverless Cars

In the year 2023, we have officially reached a time in which driverless cars are not some sort of foreign concept that is not even imaginable; they are here and here to stay. For the people of San Francisco, the driverless car is something they are extremely familiar with, as many companies are conducting test drives in the city. Residents have become all too used to looking over at the car next to them and not seeing a face looking back at them. Tourists have grown expectant of the spectacle and hope they will be lucky enough to get a ride from an autonomous car during their trip.

The residents of San Francisco have had countless interactions with these cars and the responses have been mixed.

Recently, many were not too happy to have to share the road with these vehicles, as with the muggy, stormy spring weather, the cars have been dealing with great confusion. One day, there was a small fleet of five Google owned driverless cars that were out on the road when visibility dropped, and they were not prepared to handle it. They ended up trying to pull over in order to wait out the weather issues until they could better compute a way to continue on. However, what the autonomous cars ended up creating was a traffic jam, angering many other drivers.

Driverless car testing is not isolated to San Francisco, but they are dealing with a significantly higher amount of the cars, as they are neighbors of Silicon Valley and typically used as test subjects for new tech. The city has seen testing for these cars going back to 2018, but in the past year they have multiplied tenfold because many of the restrictions on the driving habits of the cars have been lifted. Originally, self-driving vehicles were not given the freedom to drive around in the daytime without having something known as a safety driver present. These were people whose job was to sit in the cars as they drove around and be on standby to take action in case something went wrong with the technology. However, in 2021, Cruise, one of the biggest companies testing right now, went safety driver free and Waymo, another big driverless car producer, followed suit in 2022. Since, there has been an increase in the number of driverless car related incidents, including semi-frequent traffic jams and even the rear-ending of a public bus.

People have likened the driving of a driverless car to that of a student driver: a bit nervous, never going above the speed limit, always coming to a full and complete stop at lights and signs, and immediately hitting the brakes at any slight hint of an obstacle.

To some, this has seemed a bit endearing. One San Francisco resident has gone on record as a non-driver himself, preferring instead to get around via a bicycle. He expressed his appreciation for the caution the driverless cars express, preferring the room they leave for bicycles and regard for the speed limit. Some other San Francisco natives disagree with the fact that they have to be subjected to being the test subject of the vehicle’s driving habits. They have expressed disdain regarding the fact that allowing the testing of the cars was not put up to a vote so that the people had a voice in the matter. Some have also expressed concerns about the vehicles in emergency situations. If the car has not been programed with certain reactions to specific stimuli, they just freeze up or continue on as if there is nothing there. One firefighter had to smash in the window of a driverless car to get the car to stop to prevent it from running over a firehose in use. This was after a separate instance in which another driverless car did run over a firehose in use.

Overall, it’s going to be an adjustment getting used to driverless cars being in the streets. The good news is that each new stimuli that they get introduced to, in the moment may cause an inconvenience, but eventually, will improve the abilities of the car. Each new stimuli leads to new programing and updates to the system, making the cars constantly learn and adjust to make them better for the future. What the future will look like once these self-driving cars fully hit the market is unknown, but one thing is certain: for now, it will continue to be shocking to not see a face behind the wheel.

State Bill To Prohibit Tobacco Sales In Future

State Bill To Prohibit Tobacco Sales In Future

The State of California is looking to ban tobacco sales from the general population of the state. This may have to do with the fact that it’s a dangerous drug that is too readily available to individuals born after January 1st, 2007. When it gets signed into law, this state bill would indicate that around two-thousand seventy-three people would have to show identification to reveal that they are all at least older than 67. It’s all in accordance with the school of thought that the next generation of kids in California will kick their habits of smoking if it’s not so easy to sell. Of course, there’s likely to be a lot of push-back. In particular, from the tobacco industry. They themselves are fighting to keep access towards the U.S. market. But should it be made into law, the industry is going to sue the government in order to block it. There’s a likely chance to challenge the ban at the ballot box, while letting voters stop it from taking effect. Such a ban might impact many individuals in the California job market as it’s also likely to cause a repercussion althroughout the California economy. This is according California Association of Retail Tobacconists.

There are plenty of people that believe in spite of the odds, the ban will still prevail if it passes Legislature. The ban is modeled after a law from New Zealand that had been enacted in the last year after a banning of tobacco products to any person that had been born after January 1st, 2009. So historically, it works. But not only in international waters. For instance, within the United States, in Brookline, Mass., a law had been passed that stopped tobacco products being sold to anyone born after January 1st 2000, which remains in effect to this very day.

California Governor Gavin Newsom had been signing a law banning the sale of flavored tobacco products in the state. And that was something that really ticked off the tobacco industry. To the point where they were asking voters to block the law. But being that it took effect anyway, that milestone in the fight against big cigar is only the beginning of a new approach to preventing dangerous habits in debilitating health.

Now, the new state bill will fine retailers.

It’s likely that the bill isn’t going to change the minds of individuals but rather shift the business mentality of certain companies. As it should change, because there’s a likelihood that taxpayers could save so much money if the nicotine and tobacco trade to younger developing minds could simply slow to halt.

As far as marijuana goes, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are steadfast in their belief that marijuana usage contains just as many of the similar toxins and cancer-causing chemicals have been found in tobacco smoke. More research may become crucial soon but for now, there is limited amounts of leads that reveal ties between chronic marijuana and testicular cancer.

Such a ban is likely to eliminate the income for California, as the state has been able to collect beyond $1.5 billion in tobacco taxes of 2021 alone, all as according to the knowledge of the California Department of Tax and Fee Regulation.

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