Politics

U.S. Refusal to Join COVAX Puts World’s Poorest at Risk

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The United States has refused to join COVAX, the global initiative to ensure widespread equitable access to a COVID-19 vaccine, a decision that has reduced funding and made it likely that millions of the world’s poorest won’t have access to a COVID-19 vaccine in 2021. Pfizer’s and Moderna’s announcements of promising results of their phase III clinical trials sparked hope in the United States and Europe that a COVID-19 vaccine may start to be available by the end of the year. But millions of healthcare workers, elderly adults, and other vulnerable people in lower and middle income (LMICs) countries will likely not have access to COVID-19 vaccine until 2022 or…

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Newsom Wants Farmers to Help Fight Climate Change But Provides No New Funding for the Effort

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Peninsula Press · What it's like to work on a farm during the pandemic Judith Redmond, a California farmer, wants people to know that agriculture is a tool, not an enemy, in the fight against climate change. “Not a lot of people understand how important agriculture is if we want to reach our climate, greenhouse gas reduction goals,” she said. Sacramento seems to understand. In October, Governor Gavin Newsom signed an executive order calling on the state’s agricultural players to join the fight against climate change by preserving California’s biodiversity and storing and removing carbon from the atmosphere – all with the goal of conserving 30% of the land by…

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nyc crowds biden win village

NYC celebrates Biden-Harris Ticket Election Win

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NEW YORK- At around 11:30 a.m. on Nov. 8, residents erupted into celebration as the results of the 2020 presidential election were announced: Joseph R. Biden Jr. and Senator Kamala Harris had beat out the divisive incumbent, President Donald J. Trump and Vice President Michael Pence. Windows above the streets were lifted open as residents cheered, banged pots and pans, and expressed relief and happiness. Cars stretching down Broadway honked and drivers lifted raised fists out their windows. Dance parties convened at random in every borough and public park. After five days of post-election day tension and an omnipresent anxiety, New York City residents rollicked and flooded the streets as…

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Prop 22 Sets Precedent for Gig Workers as Independent Contractors

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California voters approved Proposition 22 this Election Day, cementing rideshare and delivery drivers’ status as independent contractors rather than as employees. Moving forward, drivers will be excluded from AB 5, a state law passed last year that made gig workers into employees who would have to receive associated benefits. The vote on Proposition 22 comes as a victory for companies such as Uber, Lyft and DoorDash, who spent over $200 million in total—a record sum—on a political campaign aimed at passing the measure. The opposing side said drivers, especially those who depend on rideshare or delivery work for their full-time jobs, would suffer under the outcome seen Tuesday. Hector Castellanos,…

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Four million Americans Couldn’t Vote for President. But Support for Puerto Rican Statehood, at Least, is Growing

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Palo Alto – At the end of a tumultuous election, nearly four million Americans were once again left out. That’s because Americans living in Guam, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, and the Northern Mariana Islands do not have the right to vote for president. This could change at least for Puerto Ricans initally with President-elect Joe Biden’s victory and the Democrats retaining a majority in the U.S. House. Some Democrats are pushing hard for Puerto Rico to become a state, which would mean residents could vote in the presidential election and gain new seats in Congress that could bolster their majority. In a referendum on Nov. 3, a…

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Prop 23 Fails While Needs of Dialysis Patients Persist

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Proposition 23, a California ballot measure that would have increased regulations on outpatient dialysis centers that serve nearly 80,000 patients in California, was overwhelmingly defeated by 63 percent of the electorate who voted against it. The initiative was proposed by Service Employees International Union – United Healthcare Workers West (SEI-UHW) who claimed that increasing regulations on outpatient dialysis centers would improve patient safety. The successful No-Campaign, which raised nearly $100 million to fight the initiative, argued that the measure wouldn’t mprove patient safety and was being used as a political tactic by SEI-UHW. For now, the battle between dialysis companies and the worker’s union is over, but the needs of…

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‘It’s going to be earth-shattering’: What Amy Coney Barrett means for California Gun Laws

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Waiting periods. Magazine restrictions. Age limits. California gun owners are optimistic all of these state gun control laws — and more — could soon be ruled unconstitutional. “It’s going to be earth shattering,” Sam Parades, the executive director of the Gun Owners of California, said of Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation to the United States Supreme Court. “A whole sea change. Everything will be challenged. Waiting periods, handgun restrictions, magazine restrictions, the so-called assault weapons ban. Open carry will become standard.” Parades believes Barrett’s addition to the Supreme Court creates a firmly pro-Second-Amendment bloc on the Supreme Court, which will now be more likely to take up gun control cases. This…

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Election Day, New York City

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As the U.S. copes with economic strife, a global pandemic, and the products of an ideologically divided nation, the 2020 election is a reminder that our nation’s political landscape has markedly shaped individuals’ everyday reality. In New York City, Election Day was unlike years previous. Eerily quiet, NYC residents acknowledged their reality through casting their ballots – and looked towards the future of the nation. Editor’s note: Because of the pandemic, we will be featuring stories from our student journalists reporting from other parts of the country periodically.

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Palo Alto Voters Feeling “Nervous” About the Election

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Voters in Palo Alto are feeling nervous about the election as the polls come to a close. Kevin Duan, who said that he’s lived in Palo Alto for about 16 years, felt stressed after casting his vote. “If I had to summarize it, mild anxiety, a lot of dread, indignation,” he said, adding that his friends have been calling it “doomsday.” Ching-Pei Hu said that she’s feeling “super nervous.” “No matter what happens,” she said, “let’s just hope it’s fair and square.” Another voter, who gave her name as Laila, said she was “terrified” of what would happen if Trump won again. “It’ll be a different place around here,” she…

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East Palo Alto Voters Hopeful on Election Day

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Voters in East Palo Alto are feeling motivated to have their voices heard in this year’s election. Henry Fields, 50, voted for the first time ever this year. “I want to stand for something,” he said. “It’s the right thing to do.” Saraí Esfuerza, another East Palo Alto resident, said that California’s propositions this year are “really going to pave the way for our communities.” “As a state, we still need to look into more progressive legislation,” she said, adding that she was particularly concerned about the “unjust” criminal court system. East Palo Alto City Council candidate Antonio Lopez said that after the election, organized, peaceful protests may be the…

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Monterey County served as inspiration for Farmworker Relief Package. But lawmakers and advocates say more help is needed.

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 Peninsula Press · What it’s like to work on a farm during the pandemic On Sept. 28, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed legislation focused specifically on farmworker health and safety during the pandemic. But some advocates say more is needed to help this vulnerable population. “Although (the bill) is a good start to educate farmworkers and to bring about awareness, we still need to tighten up the bolts more,” Hernan Hernandez, president of the California Farmworker Federation said, saying that the bill is “watered down.” Farmworkers, as essential, often poor workers who live in overcrowded housing, have been hit particularly hard by the pandemic. The package aims to alleviate…

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Citizens Call for Removal of Chief of Police, Greater Officer Accountability

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KANSAS CITY, MO — Public pressure is mounting against Kansas City Police Chief Richard Smith amid criticism that he failed to hold his officers accountable for alleged excessive use of force and mistreatment of communities of color. More than 2,350 citizens have signed a petition calling for his removal. The Kansas City Star called for his resignation in an editorial. And activists urged the board of commissioners that oversees the police department to fire him. Their complaints against Smith mirror the national movement against police brutality that followed the killing of George Floyd by Minnesota police on May 25. Peninsula Press · Kansas City Residents Call for Removal of Chief…

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