Politics • American • US
California halts reopening, closes bars, gyms and indoor dining
California halts reopening, closes bars, gyms and indoor dining
Credit: Muniz

California is reversing its reopening phase and closes most indoor establishments again as the state sees an average of 9,000 new Covid-19 infections.

Governor Gavin Newsom ordered a statewide closure for bars, indoor dining and other venues. Thirty of the state's hardest hit counties will further have to close all gyms, malls, places of worship and beauty salons.

"We're seeing an increase in the spread of the virus, so that’s why it’s incumbent upon all of us to recognize soberly that Covid-19 is not going away any time soon until there is a vaccine and, or an effective therapy," so Newsom in a news conference.

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • Celebrities & Public Figures
Naya Rivera's body found at Lake Piru
Naya Rivera
Naya Rivera Credit: Lloyd Klein (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

The Ventura County Sheriff's Office confirmed that the body found earlier today in Lake Piru, California, belongs to actress Naya Rivera, who has been missing since last Wednesday.

Sheriff Bill Ayub said: "We are confident the body we found is that of Naya Rivera, there is no indication of foul play or that this was a suicide.".

Politics • American • US
U.S. reports highest daily Covid-19 case count
U.S. reports highest daily Covid-19 case count
Credit: Pierce

The United States reported its highest daily case count with around 50,000 new confirmed Covid-19 infections on Wednesday. Several states, including California, Texas and Georgia, hit single-day case records.

Politics • American • US
Bars, restaurants and other indoor businesses ordered to close in 19 Californian counties
Bars, restaurants and other indoor businesses ordered to close in 19 Californian counties
Credit: Heftiba

California Governor Gavin Newsom has ordered the closure of indoor businesses such as restaurants, theatres and museums amid rising numbers of Covid-19 infections. The new shutdown applies to 19 counties and will remain in place for at least three weeks.

"The bottom line is the spread of this virus continues at a rate that is particularly concerning," so Newsom in a video news conference. "We’ve seen increased activity where people simply aren’t able to practice social distancing."

Politics • American • US
Democrats call for California's John Wayne Airport to be renamed due to actor's racist views
John Wayne's statue at John Wayne / Orange County Airport
John Wayne's statue at John Wayne / Orange County Airport Credit: Dave & Margie Hill / Kleerup (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

The John Wayne Airport in California’s Orange County is the subject of a potential name change after the Democratic Party of Orange Country has passed an emergency resolution calling for the airport to revert back to its original name of Orange County Airport.

The resolution reads "The Democratic Party of Orange County condemnsJohn Wayne’s racist and bigoted statements, and calls for John Waynes’ name and likeness to be removed from the Orange County airport, and calls on the OC Board of Supervisors to restore its original name: Orange County Airport."

In a 1971 Playboy interview, John Wayne advocated derogatory views of African Americans, Native Americans and movies with gay characters. He even admitted to being a believer in white supremacy.

The final decision is up to the Orange County Board of Supervisors to make.

Transportation • Cars & Automobiles
Amazon bought Zoox – a self-driving car startup – for $1 billion
Amazon bought Zoox – a self-driving car startup – for $1 billion
Credit: Amazon, Zoox

Amazon is expanding its portfolio yet again. The company acquired Zoox, a self-driving car startup located in California with almost 1,000 employees for a rumoured $1 billion deal. Zoox has been working on developing a self-driving electric car that doesn't have a steering wheel so that it can drive in either direction. Zoox CEO Aicha Evans will continue leading the company and said that "this acquisition solidifies Zoox's impact on the autonomous driving industry."

"Zoox is working to imagine, invent, and design a world-class autonomous ride-hailing experience," said Jeff Wilke, Amazon’s CEO, Worldwide Consumer in a statement on Amazon's blog. "Like Amazon, Zoox is passionate about innovation and about its customers, and we're excited to help the talented Zoox team to bring their vision to reality in the years ahead."

Sports • Basketball
NBA player Kevin Love commits $500k for mental health efforts
NBA player Kevin Love commits $500k for mental health efforts
Credit: Erik Drost (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

The forward player for the Cleveland Cavaliers has announced that he has committed $500,000 through his foundation to the psychology department of the University of California, Los Angeles. In the past, he has been vocal about his own history and struggles with mental health, namely panic attacks and anxiety. The donation has been committed on Monday, a day after he received the Arthur Ashe Courage Award for his efforts in mental health.

Politics • American • US
Disneyland Anaheim awaits guidelines, postpones reopening
Main Street USA at Disneyland
Main Street USA at Disneyland Credit: Theme Park Tourist (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

The Disneyland Anaheim theme park has been forced to postpone its July 17 reopening as Disney awaits reopening guidelines from the state of California.

According to a statement from Disneyland California has "indicated that it will not issue theme park reopening guidelines until sometime after July 4".

Disneyland also stated that "Given the time required for us to bring thousands of cast members back to work and restart our business, we have no choice but to delay the reopening of our theme parks and resort hotels until we receive approval from government officials".

Business • Economy
PG&E pleads guilty to 84 counts of manslaughter in 2018 California Camp Fire
On the morning of November 8, 2018, the Camp Fire erupted 90 miles (140 kilometers) north of Sacramento, California.
On the morning of November 8, 2018, the Camp Fire erupted 90 miles (140 kilometers) north of Sacramento, California. Credit: NASA, Joshua Stevens / Public domain

On Tuesday, Pacific Gas & Electric pleaded guilty to 84 separate counts of involuntary manslaughter Butte County Superior Court. PG&E was responsible for causing a deadly Camp Fire, sparked by outdated power lines, that caused the death of 85 people and the destruction of 19,000 buildings in Paradise, California. Bill Johnson, CEO and President of PG&E, also pleaded guilty to one felony count of unlawfully starting a fire. The company will pay $10,000 for each life lost.

Politics • American • US
All Californian voters will receive mail-in ballots following executive order

Following the health concerns of in-person voting due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the Californian Governor Gavin Newsom has signed an executive order that requires the state to sent mail-in ballots to all registered voters in the state for the general election in November 2020.

In addition to this, the counties are directed to still provide voting locations for in-person voting. People then can decide how they want to vote.

Technology • Internet & Web
Google faces $5 billion lawsuit over alleged tracking in incognito mode
Screenshot of Google Chrome in Incognito Mode
Screenshot of Google Chrome in Incognito Mode

The law firm Boies Schiller & Flexner has filed a class-action lawsuit in California claiming that Google continues to track users in the incognito mode of Google Chrome. The lawsuit claims that the incognito mode would "intentionally deceive consumers" by suggesting that no tracking would happen, while analytics data is still sent to websites via Google Analytics and Google Ad Manager. The law firm seeks a minimum of $5 billion in damages. Google themselves stated that they "strongly dispute these claims and we will defend ourselves vigorously against them".

Politics • American • US
Californian Houses of worship to reopen at lesser capacity

California announced the reopening of houses of worship at a limited capacity on Monday. Churches, mosques, synagogues and other religious houses have to keep up with social distancing guidelines, take guests' temperatures and encourage visitors to wear facial masks and to not share items like prayer books.

Politics • American • US
Republican groups sue California to stop mail-ballot

After Californian Governor Gavin Newsom (D) has announced mail-in ballots will be sent to all registered voters in California earlier this month, Republican groups filed a lawsuit against the action. The lawsuit was filed by the Republican National Committee, the National Republican Congressional Committee and the California Republican Party. Ronna McDaniel, chairwoman of the Republican National Committee, said in a statement: "Democrats continue to use this pandemic as a ploy to implement their partisan election agenda, and Governor Newsom's executive order is the latest direct assault on the integrity of our elections."

Transportation • Cars & Automobiles
Tesla opens California factory - defies Alameda County order

Elon Musk has announced on Twitter that Tesla has reopened its factory in California and that he'll work "on the line with everyone else", claiming in a second tweet that the state of California has permitted the re-opening, but claims that "an unelected county official illegally overrode" the decision without providing further proof.

Politics • American • US
California first state to allow mail-in ballot for presidential election

California state will send out mail-in ballots for the upcoming presidential election to every registered voter, so Governor Gavin Newsom. In-person voting will still be possible and Alex Padilla, Secretary of State, said that they "remain committed to providing as many safe, in-person opportunities to vote as possible on and before Election Day". California is the first state to offer mail-in ballots for the November election.

Transportation • Cars & Automobiles
Musk announces that Tesla will move headquarters from California to Texas/Nevada

The CEO of Tesla, Elon Musk, has announced in a tweet that the company will move its headquarters from California to Nevada, Texas. Musk also questioned if the manufacturing plant in Fremont will keep operating in the future after he complained about the Alameda county regulation that all but essential businesses are not allowed to operate until the end of May, due to the coronavirus.

Politics • American • US
Kamala Harris, Bernie Sanders, and Ed Markey propose $2,000 a month for every US resident

Senators Kamala Harris of California, Bernie Sanders of Vermont, and Ed Markey of Massachusetts will introduce a bill aimed at establishing a rebate payment program that would deliver $2,000 to US residents including children until the Covid-19 pandemic has ended.

Harris said in a statement: "The coronavirus pandemic has caused millions to struggle to pay the bills or feed their families".

Business • Economy
California sues Uber, Lyft alleging they misclassified workers as contractors
Uber app on a mobile phone
Uber app on a mobile phone Credit: Charles Deluvio (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, along with city attorneys from Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Francisco, filed a lawsuit asserting Uber and Lyft misclassified their drivers as independent contractors under the state's new labor law.

According to the lawsuit, both companies gained an unfair and unlawful competitive advantage by claiming their workers were contractors.

Techcrunch reports the lawsuit, filed in the Superior Court of San Francisco, seeks $2,500 in penalties for each violation, possibly per driver, under the California Unfair Competition Law, and another $2,500 for violations against senior citizens or people with disabilities.

LA now offers Covid-19 testing to every resident for free
LA now offers Covid-19 testing to every resident for free

Los Angeles Mayor Garcetti announced free Covid-19 testing for every LA resident – whether they show symptoms or not. He stated that "Los Angeles will become the first major city in America to offer wide-scale testing to all of our residents, with or without symptoms". Residents can sign up online to get tested. Test capacities are being increased to handle the expected surge. LA residents can also get tested multiple times in a row, but the mayor's office advised against getting tested daily.

Disney World Florida closes amidst Covid-19 outbreak

Following the global spread of the coronavirus Disney is taking measures and closes down Disney World in Orlando, Florida as well as the Disneyland resort in Anaheim, California and the Disneyland in Paris, France. With these parks closing all eleven Disney parks around the world are now closed due to the coronavirus pandemia.