Pence calls to congratulate VP-elect Harris

By Jill Colvin and Alexandra Jaffe | Associated Press WASHINGTON — Vice President Mike Pence has called his soon-to-be successor Kamala Harris to offer his congratulations, according to two people familiar with the conversation. It’s the first known contact between the elected members of the outgoing and incoming administrations. President Donald Trump has not reached out to President-elect Joe Biden or invited him to the White House, and has instead spent the weeks since he lost the Nov. 3 election holed up at the White House, trying to undermine the legitimacy of Biden’s win with baseless claims of mass voter fraud that culminated in last week’s violent storming of the Capitol building. Pence, who didn’t speak with Trump for days after the siege, has become an unexpected — albeit late — defender of Biden’s win. The vice president resisted enormous pressure from Trump to try to interfere in Congress’ certification of the Electoral College vote count last week — even though he has no such power. And he has announced that he will attend Biden’s Jan. 20 inauguration, which Trump is refusing to do —…

COVID-19: ‘Chaos’ and logjams in California as vaccine supply promises fall through

With the coronavirus pandemic approaching 400,000 U.S. lives lost but the drugs that can halt the carnage finally in hand, California’s vaccine distribution system has spent the last 48 hours on the brink of collapse. The outgoing presidential administration, it was revealed Friday, has exhausted a federal stockpile of doses that states were counting on to continue immunizing their front-line workers and most vulnerable residents. California’s governor gave residents false hope — unwittingly, at best — by announcing a vastly expanded pool of vaccine recipients without confirming the expected increase in supply. That led to an infrastructure meltdown this week at some of the state’s most prominent health care systems, which left tens of thousands of people spending hours on hold on the phone or frantically refreshing crashing websites in a mad scramble to make appointments that were unlikely to be fulfilled. San Jose resident Patty Lippe, who said she has hit nothing but walls in trying to get her 89-year-old mother vaccinated, struggled to grasp how this could happen. “I have a sister in Arizona, she’s lined up to have a vaccine, and she’s…

‘Let them play’: Parents, coaches rally to pressure California to speed return to prep sports

High school athletes, parents and coaches held rallies at high schools across California Friday afternoon to advocate for a return to play amid the coronavirus pandemic. The “Let Them Play CA” rallies were sparked from a Facebook group organizing a long list of California high schools who would host the rallies in hopes of getting local officials’ attention with a plea to get their kids back in sports. Parents from a handful of highs schools in the Bay Area participated at their kids’ school. At De La Salle, a crowd of some 75 concerned parents and others gathered to share their message. “This is not juts about my kid, it’s about tall the kids of California and especially the less fortunate kids,” Anouschka Wardy, a parent of three from Lafayette said. “Sports for them are incredibly important to keep them off the streets and out of trouble and focused on their school work.” Wardy says her two oldest sons played football at De La Salle. She fears her youngest, who didn’t play his senior year, is missing on a life-changing opportunity. “Obviously not playing his…

Federal execution on hold, would be 13th of Trump’s term

By Jonathan Allen | Reuters TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – The U.S. government planned to carry out the 13th and final execution under President Donald Trump’s administration on Friday evening, just five days before President-elect Joe Biden takes office with a promise to try to end the death penalty. Dustin Higgs, 48, was convicted and sentenced to death in 2001 for overseeing the kidnapping and murder of three women on a federal wildlife reserve in Maryland in 1996: Tanji Jackson, Tamika Black and Mishann Chinn. The U.S. Department of Justice plans had planned to execute him at 6 p.m. with lethal injections of pentobarbital, a powerful barbiturate, at its death chamber in its prison in Terre Haute, Indiana. But more than an hour later the department was still fighting legal challenges delaying the execution. The Supreme Court’s conservative majority has so far dismissed any orders by lower courts delaying federal executions since they were resumed last year. Higgs would be the 13th person executed by the U.S. government in an extraordinary spree begun last summer by Trump, a Republican and avowed exponent of capital punishment, after…

Person found dead in Daly City apartment fire

DALY CITY – A person was found dead at the scene of an apartment fire in Daly City on Friday, authorities said. The fire was reported about 8:10 a.m. at 85 Kent Court, near the intersection of Serramonte and St. Francis boulevards, the North County Fire Authority said in a news release. Firefighters arrived to find smoke billowing from the second floor of a three-story apartment building. The fire was contained to one unit on the second floor, the fire authority said. Once the fire was extinguished, one person was found dead inside the unit, the fire authority said. The Daly City Police Department and the fire authority are conducting a joint investigation to determine the cause of the fire and whether any foul play was involved, the police department said in a news release. Related Articles Letters: Save S.J. history | Inform, don’t enrage | Seek accountability | Money and politics | Subverting Constitution Ghost Ship defendant Derick Almena expected to admit guilt in plea deal over deadly fire Russia: 7 die in fire at nursing home in western Siberia Decades of San Jose…

Man fatally shot in East Oakland

OAKLAND — A man was fatally shot in East Oakland Friday morning, authorities said. The man was shot at about 11:40 a.m. near the intersection of 98th Avenue and Burr Street not far from Interstate 580. The man was apparently able to drive to another location for help.  He was taken to a hospital where he later died. Police have not yet released a motive for the shooting and have not announced any arrests. The killing is the fifth homicide investigated by Oakland police this year.  Last year at this time police had investigated one homicide. Police and Crime Stoppers of Oakland are offering up to $10,000 in reward money for information leading to the arrest of the killer.  Anyone with information may call police at 510-238-3821 or 510-238-7950 or Crime Stoppers at 510-777-8572. Check back for updates.    

Manhattan DA expands probe into Trump Org. finances

By Kara Scannell | CNN The Manhattan district attorney’s office has expanded its criminal investigation into the Trump Organization’s finances to include the family’s compound in Westchester County, according to lawyers and people familiar with the investigation. Prosecutors’ interest in the 212-acre property called Seven Springs is a significant widening of an investigation that began more than a year ago. It also draws closer to President Donald Trump’s son Eric Trump, executive vice president of the Trump Organization, who was directly involved in discussions about the property now under scrutiny, according to court filings. Prosecutors sent grand jury subpoenas within the past two months to town officials seeking documents and communications that officials had with the Trump Organization relating to development plans it considered for the sprawling family property. Roland Baroni, a lawyer for the town of North Castle, New York — one of three municipalities that the property straddles — confirmed the town received a subpoena “asking for the planning board files, any correspondence, any email” exchanged between the town and the Trump Organization. He told CNN that the town complied with the request…

Oakland A’s sign top-15 international prospect and 11 others from outside the U.S.

Pedro Pineda headlines a group of 12 international prospects to sign with the Oakland A’s during the international signing period Friday. The A’s are known to avoid expensive, long-term contracts with their players. The international signing period shows that Oakland sees value in investing for the future than the present. Pineda, the 17-year-old outfielder from the Dominican Republic, is ranked as the No. 13 international prospect in MLB Pipeline. He’s been linked to the A’s since 2019. “He’s a true five-tool player who we had pegged early on in this process as the premier player in the class,” A’s assistant general manager Dan Feinstein said on a Zoom call with reporters on Friday. “He’s big, strong, physical with speed and power, plays a really good center field. He’s got a rifle for an arm. It’s fun to watch him play baseball.” The terms of Pineda’s deal are unknown, but it’s reported he signed for just under $4 million. The A’s have a bonus pool of $5,348,100, and Feinstein said the A’s used “a good portion of our pool” on Friday’s signings. Ángel Arévalo and Beyker…

Photos: Hemsworth brothers sell California mansion for $4.9M

Sibling actors Chris, Liam and Luke Hemsworth have sold their Malibu mansion for $4.9 million, reports TopTenRealEstateDeals.com. Click here if viewing from a mobile device. Sibling actors Chris, Liam and Luke Hemsworth have sold their Malibu mansion for $4.9 million. (Alexis Adams) Sibling actors Chris, Liam and Luke Hemsworth have sold their Malibu mansion for $4.9 million. (Alexis Adams) Sound The gallery will resume inseconds Sibling actors Chris, Liam and Luke Hemsworth have sold their Malibu mansion for $4.9 million. (Alexis Adams) Sibling actors Chris, Liam and Luke Hemsworth have sold their Malibu mansion for $4.9 million. (Alexis Adams) Sibling actors Chris, Liam and Luke Hemsworth have sold their Malibu mansion for $4.9 million. (Alexis Adams) Sibling actors Chris, Liam and Luke Hemsworth have sold their Malibu mansion for $4.9 million. (Alexis Adams) Sibling actors Chris, Liam and Luke Hemsworth have sold their Malibu mansion for $4.9 million. (Alexis Adams) Sibling actors Chris, Liam and Luke Hemsworth have sold their Malibu mansion for $4.9 million. (Alexis Adams) Sibling actors Chris, Liam and Luke Hemsworth have sold their Malibu mansion for $4.9 million. (Alexis Adams) Sibling…

Sponsored: River Islands is named the most popular master plan in Northern California

River Islands in Lathrop has been named one of the most successful master-planned communities in America. The recognition comes from RCL Advisors and John Burns Real Estate, two leading real estate consulting firms that study master-planned communities all over the country. This is River Islands’ third year on the list; it is a reflection of the community’s vision and ability to offer something new in home design and community amenities every year. River Islands in Lathrop is offering new homes and amenities for 2021.  Currently, there are six neighborhoods open within River Islands. One of them, Hideaway by Van Daele Homes, held a grand opening last weekend. Its unique neighborhood layout and community amenities, which include a pool and spa, and its attractive pricing, starting in the mid-$400,000 range, led to an overwhelming success during its preview months, before its models were built and decorated. More than 40 homes at Hideaway were sold during that time. In February, four more neighborhoods will open for previews: Veranda, also by Van Daele Homes, Cardiff by Signature Homes, Catalina II by Kiper Homes and Sunset by Pulte Homes.…

Apple CEO Tim Cook defends Parler app suspension: ‘We don’t consider that free speech’

By Todd Spangler | Variety Apple chief Tim Cook said posts on right-wing social app Parler represented “incitement to violence” that warranted its removal from the App Store. In an interview to air on Fox Broadcasting’s “Fox News Sunday” this Sunday (Jan. 17), Cook told anchor Chris Wallace that Apple “looked at the incitement to violence that was on there and… we don’t consider that free speech.” Asked by Wallace whether Apple‘s booting of Parler, which had become popular among Trump loyalists as an alternative to Twitter and Facebook, would only serve to drive the app’s users “underground,” Cook responded, “Well, we’ve only suspended them, Chris. And so, if they get their moderation together, they would be back on there.” For now, Parler’s return to any internet platform looks highly unlikely. On Saturday, Apple kicked Parler off its app store, citing threats of violence and illegal activity on the app, coming after the deadly pro-Trump U.S. Capitol riot. “Parler has not taken adequate measures to address the proliferation of these threats to people’s safety,” Apple said on Jan. 9. Google had taken the same action…

New proposal would put civilian group in charge of investigating all Oakland police misconduct cases

OAKLAND — A civilian commission that already oversees Oakland’s police department could take over all investigations into officers’ alleged misconduct under a proposal that will be going to the city administration and council as part of its budget deliberations. The Oakland Police Commission on Thursday night endorsed the proposal, which would place its investigatory arm, the Community Police Review Agency, in charge of investigating all public complaints against officers involving misconduct and use of force. The move would strip the police department of its ability to conduct its own internal affairs investigations as it relates to public complaints and misconduct. Making the shift would be no small task, warned John Alden, executive director of the agency, who now will bring the proposal to the city’s administration for review. The City Council would have to approve it, as well as the federal monitor overseeing the police department. And the police union would have to be involved too. If approved, the change would eliminate most of the duties of the police’s internal affairs department, and instead bolster the strength of the oversight agency. “Candidly, I think it’s…

US prosecutors: 275 cases opened so far in Capitol riot

By Zachary Cohen | CNN US investigators have opened up 275 criminal cases and charged roughly 98 individuals in connection to last week’s pro-Donald Trump riot at the US Capitol, federal officials said Friday, emphasizing they are focused on rounding up the most violent offenders. That number will easily grow to over 300 by the end of the day, Michael Sherwin, acting US Attorney for the District of Columbia, told reporters Friday. Shocking new details show the riot last week was extraordinarily violent and posed mortal danger to the top members of the US government. Law enforcement officials did not deny they are investigating allegations that Capitol Police and lawmakers were involved in the riot. Steven D’Antuono of the FBI’s Washington Field Office said the FBI will “leave no stone unturned” and is “looking at every piece of the puzzle.” They did not elaborate on those investigations, however. Several Democratic House members have expressed concern that some GOP lawmakers were somehow aiding rioters. Some of the individuals who breached the Capitol intended to “capture and assassinate elected officials,” federal prosecutors wrote in a new court…

Watch: Santa Clara County officials on coronavirus vaccine distribution, Jan. 15

Click here if viewing from a mobile device. County of Santa Clara officials give updates on COVID-19 vaccine distribution at 11 a.m. PT. Related Articles Coronavirus: Global virus death toll hits 2 million Coronavirus: California records third-deadliest day but hospitalizations decrease A hot meal: East Bay city to pay restaurants to feed those in need Judge orders Alameda County to release nursing home COVID-19 data Antioch ramps up site for county vaccine distribution

East Bay city to post rent increases, eviction details online

CONCORD — Property owners who rent out at least four units in an apartment complex will need to make public a number of lease-agreement details, including why they evicted tenants and how much they raised rents. As part of the city’s new rent registry program, landlords will be expected each year to provide accurate lease information, under penalty of perjury, to city officials, who will post the details online for anyone to access. Concord also will release an annual report of data it collects from the submissions, an effort to boost the transparency of local housing agreements and produce concrete evidence for tenant-landlord disputes. “We heard from (tenants-rights) advocates that people were being evicted often and without cause,” Brenda Kain, Concord’s housing manager, said Thursday in an interview. “The idea of a rent registry came up as a way to get more than sort of anecdotal evidence of that.” Property owners will need to fill out multiple-choice forms with queries such as, “For all tenancy changes, how many move-outs were initiated by the tenant? How many move-outs were initiated by the owner?” as well as…

A hot meal: East Bay city to pay restaurants to feed those in need

ALAMEDA — The city is kicking off a program that will feed those in need while giving a boost to local restaurants struggling amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Called “Feed Alameda,” the program will pay local restaurants to provide up to 90 meals each week to Alameda’s homeless men, women and children. It will start Jan. 20. “People really need some good news right now,” Sarah Henry, a city spokeswoman, said in an interview. “This is a win-win situation. This is a critical time for restaurants. People are really hurting. We want to help them and people who are hungry.” As of Wednesday morning, the deadline, approximately 40 restaurants had applied to take part in the program, which the city will fund for 11 weeks. But it could last longer: The effort includes a GoFundMe campaign where the community can donate money to keep it going through June. People are responding: $19,505 was raised as of Thursday morning. The goal is to reach $27,000. Restaurants will be given $25 from the city for each hot meal over 11 weeks. Twelve businesses will be chosen in a…

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