• U.S.

    NYC Mayor Bill De Blasio Tells Residents Wary Of Pandemic Mass Transit: “Do Not Buy A Car. Cars Are The Past”

    New York City's recovery from the depths of COVID-19 has prompted a nagging question: How are people supposed to get around by subway and bus in the age of social distancing? Mayor Bill de Blasio fielded a couple of queries on that topic during his Thursday press briefing at City Hall. One reporter even asked […]

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  • Politics
    The Telegraph

    Donald Trump says he will extend unemployment benefits and coronavirus aid until the end of the year

    President Donald Trump said he will use an executive order to extend unemployment benefits until the end of the year. The president said he would also consider continuing other coronavirus aid if no deal can be reached with Democrats on a new spending bill. Congress is locked in a bipartisan row over another stimulus bill and a package of measures to help the American economy which has been ransacked by the Covid-19 outbreak. A last-ditch effort by Democrats to revive talks collapsed on Friday, making it increasingly likely that Washington gridlock will mean more hardship for millions of people who are losing enhanced jobless benefits. The White House had rejected an offer by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to curb Democratic demands by about $1 trillion but Mr Trump said he could issue executive orders if he is unable to reach a broad agreement with Congress. The president told reporters on Friday that he would be working over the next couple of weeks on an executive order to require health insurers to cover pre-existing conditions and that his administration is "talking about" deferring the payroll tax, as well as continuing a moratorium on evictions. Mr Trump also said he was considering deferring student loan payments until the end of the year.

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  • U.S.
    The Daily Beast

    She Was Charged With Murder After Her Baby Was Stillborn. Now California’s AG Has Stepped In.

    For more than nine months, five of them during a global pandemic, a 26-year-old woman named Chelsea Becker has been sitting in Kings County Jail, under a $2 million bail, for giving birth to a stillborn baby.Becker has been there since November, when police arrested her and prosecutors charged her with murder. The District Attorney argued that Becker’s methamphetamine addiction had caused the stillbirth, citing a 50-year-old law that civil rights advocates say was never supposed to apply to pregnant women. It has put Becker at the heart of a national debate over criminalizing fetal death. On Friday, however, California’s Attorney General Xavier Becerra intervened. In an amicus brief to end the case against Becker, Becerra argued the prosecution’s legal interpretation would lead to “absurd—and constitutionally questionable—results.”“We believe the law was misapplied and misinterpreted,” Becerra said in a statement about the brief. “Our laws in California do not convict women who suffer the loss of their pregnancy, and in our filing today we are making clear that this law has been misused to the detriment of women, children, and families.” An American Surrogate Had His Baby. Then Coronavirus Hit.Back in September, Becker, then 25, was eight and a half months pregnant when she thought her water broke, only to discover it was blood. Becker’s mother called an ambulance to her home in the San Joaquin Valley, according to The Los Angeles Times. Three hours later, Becker gave birth in Adventist Health Hanford hospital to a boy with no pulse, whom she had planned to name Zachariah.Suspicious that the fetus suffered from drug exposure, hospital employees alerted the Kings County Medical Examiner’s Office, which conducted an autopsy. The exam found methamphetamine in the fetus’ system, a Times report states, that amounted to more than five times the level thought to be toxic. They ruled the case a homicide. Becker had grown up in Hanford, a working class town in Kings County, that serves as a trading hub in the agrarian San Joaquin Valley. The nearly half Hispanic town recently made headlines when 183 meatpacking workers came down with COVID-19. According to the Census Bureau, 18 percent of residents live below the poverty line. Before the pandemic, county unemployment levels hovered at 7.9 percent—they have since soared to 14.6 percent.Becker told the Times that as a teen, she spent some time living with her father in Minnesota, where she became addicted to methamphetamine. She came home to Hanford at 19, where she had two other children, both of whom were removed from her care. In early November, prosecutors charged Becker with murder, holding the mother on a $5 million bail, later reduced to $2 million. Their case hinged on an amendment, passed in 1970, to the state’s murder statute: Penal Code section 187. Earlier that year, the California Supreme Court had overturned the murder conviction of man who had assaulted his pregnant wife, causing the death of their fetus. The code, the court had concluded, only addressed the killing of “a human being,” making the man ineligible for a murder charge. In response, the legislature amended the statute to include the “unlawful killing” of a “fetus.” That was the language prosecutors seized on to charge Becker with murder.“The conduct of the defendant resulted in the death of a fetus, which is a crime in California,” said District Attorney Keith Fagundes told The Los Angeles Times. He did not respond to The Daily Beast’s request for comment on Saturday.At her arraignment, Becker pleaded not guilty, and later filed a motion calling the code’s application to a pregnant woman unconstitutional. The amendment had been made to protect victims of domestic violence, Becker’s lawyers argued, not criminalize women who miscarried, had stillbirths, or sought abortions. “Penal Code 187(b)(3) by its own plain terms,” they wrote, “precludes the prosecution of a woman for the consensual acts in which she may engage while pregnant.” Becker’s attorney, Roger Nuttall, and Becerra did not immediately return requests for comment. “Ms. Becker had experienced a stillbirth that the prosecutor claims (without scientific basis) was caused by her methamphetamine use during pregnancy,” the National Advocates for Pregnant Women wrote in a statement on Becker’s case. “Ms. Becker was charged with this crime despite the fact that §187 does not authorize, nor has it ever been interpreted to authorize prosecution of a woman in relation to her own pregnancy or any outcome of a pregnancy.”https://www.facebook.com/NationalAdvocatesforPregnantWomen/photos/a.190808107181/10157715445342182/?type=3&theaterIn the decades since 1970, California prosecutors have tried to charge women for stillbirths, but none has secured a conviction until 2018, when another woman was arrested for the same crime in the same town of Hanford.Like Becker, Adora Perez was in her late 20s and addicted to methamphetamine when she gave birth to a stillborn baby at Adventist Health. Also like Becker, hospital employees alerted the Medical Examiner’s Office when the fetus tested positive for the drug, according to reports in The Fresno Bee. Fagundes charged her with murder. Perez, however, took a plea deal. Now 32, she is serving an 11-year sentence in state prison for voluntary manslaughter—the first time in decades that a charge of this kind ended in jail time. The unprecedented charges against Becker and Perez have alarmed pregnancy advocates, medical professionals, drug policy organizations, and civil rights groups across the country. In April, the American Civil Liberties Union filed an amicus brief in support of Becker. The same day, a coalition of 15 organizations, from the Drug Policy Alliance to California Latinas for Reproductive Justice, filed another.“Broadly accepted medical, public health, and scientific evidence supports the Legislature’s drafting of the statute to avoid criminalizing women with respect to their pregnancies,” the coalition wrote. “Pregnancy and use of controlled substances is a medical and public health issue, not an issue that should be subject to state intervention and control.”Attempts to criminalize pregnant women who suffer from addiction have backfired in the past. In 2014, Tennessee passed a wildly controversial bill, attempting to target what they called “fetal assault.” The bill allowed prosecutors to bring charges against women with drug addictions, if their fetuses were born still or disabled. It proved so polarizing that it was given a two-year trial phase and then, in 2016, deemed a failure and discontinued. “As a result of the law,” the National Advocates for Pregnant Women wrote in a statement, “women steered clear of prenatal care and drug treatment and avoided delivering their babies in hospital settings.”Nevertheless in June, the superior court denied Becker’s motion to have the case declared unconstitutional. The next month, she filed a writ of prohibition––a motion to stop the court proceedings––arguing that “a woman cannot be prosecuted for murder as a result of her own omissions or actions that might result in pregnancy loss.” In his amicus brief on her case, Becerra agreed: “The superior court erred in concluding otherwise.” “The Legislature’s purpose in adding the killing of a fetus to Penal Code section 187 was not to punish women who do not—or cannot, because of addiction or resources—follow best practices for prenatal health,” Becerra wrote. “The courts should not assume that the Legislature intended such a sweeping and invasive change to the criminal law affecting women’s lives without clear evidence of that intent. And such evidence is absent here.”Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.

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  • Style
    Footwear News

    Sofia Richie’s Latest Beach Look Includes The ‘Ugly’ Sandal Trend & Jean Shorts

    Sofia Richie's laid-back California style included this classic sandal.

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  • U.S.
    FOX News Videos

    Robber snatches California man's life savings in front of bank

    Francisco Cornejo walking to his car after making a hefty withdrawal from his account. He was carrying 200-thousand dollars when a robber attacked him and ripped away Conejo's bag of money. The thief escaped with the money and has yet to be arrested.

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  • Business

    Mother and Son's $35 Billion Fortune Shrinks on Auto Woes

    (Bloomberg) -- In early 2018, Georg Schaeffler became Germany’s richest person as shares of Continental AG, the car-part maker in which he and his mother -- Maria-Elisabeth Schaeffler-Thumann -- own a major stake, surged in price. At the time, their combined fortune totaled $35 billion.They’re now worth about a quarter of that. That’s partly due to the coronavirus pandemic, which has significantly curbed auto sales, as well as the industry’s broader shift toward electric cars. The Schaefflers ended each of the last two years less well-off than they began, and 2020 may be the same. Both have lost about a quarter of their wealth so far this year, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, a listing of the world’s 500 richest people.Read more: World’s wealthiest family gets $1 billion richer every two weeksWhile they’re still super-wealthy, the slump in the Schaefflers’ fortune is among the biggest on the Bloomberg index and highlights the slowdown in global vehicle production. Georg, 55, and Maria-Elisabeth, 78, also control Schaeffler AG, the German engineering group that has faced similar pressures as Continental. Shares in both companies have tumbled by more than a fifth this year.A spokesman for the Schaefflers declined to comment.Rare SwingSuch swings are rare for multi-generational family fortunes of this size, thanks largely to diversification. While founders can be  single-minded in their pursuits, their heirs often look to reduce risks by branching out into new ventures.  For example, the Mars family began as candy makers but have since pushed into pet-care products, which now comprise about half of annual sales of the business behind their $120 billion fortune. Germany’s Reimann clan have parlayed the proceeds of a chemicals business into a consumer goods empire spanning Krispy Kreme Doughnuts and Panera Bread restaurants.The Schaefflers are now worth $8.5 billion, according to Bloomberg’s wealth index, though the family may have arrangements to protect them against slumping share prices. Other fortunes linked to the auto industry are also suffering during the pandemic. Susanne Klatten and Stefan Quandt, major shareholders of car-maker Bayerische Motoren Werke AG, and Hyundai Motor Group Chairman Chung Mong-Koo have seen their fortunes fall about 10% this year, according to the Bloomberg index.Still, the Schaefflers have bounced back before. Their debt-fueled takeover of Continental forced them to ask for emergency support after credit markets contracted in the 2008 financial crisis, but the company’s share price then surged between 2009 and early 2018. In a sign of another potential rebound, Continental’s shares have climbed more than 50% since mid-March, though the company has said its outlook for the rest of the year remains uncertain.Read more: Continental sales beat estimates, but car supplier is waryContinental, one of the world’s largest supplier of vehicle components, mapped out plans last year for a fundamental overhaul to restore weak profits. The company then announced in March it would explore additional cost cuts and potential plant closures and later said it would cut its dividend payout to save about 350 million euros ($413.5 million). Meanwhile, Schaeffler AG is considering a fresh cost-cutting program to deal with the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.“We’ve gotten through the first trough, now we need to look at what we can do next,” Schaeffler Chief Executive Officer Klaus Rosenfeld said Tuesday in an interview to discuss first-half earnings. ``“We’re cautiously optimistic that the crisis will slowly abate.’’Wooden HandcartsGeorg’s father and uncle founded Schaeffler -- then called INA-Holding Schaeffler KG -- in 1946 to make wooden handcarts. The company expanded in 1949 after Georg’s father, an inventor, developed a method to make critical machine components more reliable.By the early 1990s, Schaeffler had more than 20,000 workers at plants on three continents. When his father died in 1996, Georg Schaeffler inherited 80% of the ball-bearing business that carries his surname while his mother inherited the rest. Both serve on the supervisory boards of Continental and Schaeffler, which held an initial public offering in 2015 to help pay down its debts.While Georg grew up as the heir to an engineering empire, obtaining degrees in business and law, Maria-Elisabeth studied medicine and never expected to embark on a business career. Born in Prague and raised in Vienna, she was a medical student in the Austrian capital when she met Georg’s father. They married when she was 22, and Maria-Elisabeth eventually became involved in her family’s business affairs.“I grew into it step by step,” she said in a 2001 interview with the German newspaper Welt am Sonntag. “When my son was old enough, my husband and myself decided I should get involved professionally. That’s why I completed -- I must correct myself -- was privileged to complete, an apprenticeship with my husband, which was excellent.”For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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