San Francisco

Law
Ring-tailed lemur missing, possibly stolen, from San Francisco Zoo
Ring-tailed lemur missing, possibly stolen, from San Francisco Zoo
Credit: SurreyJohn / Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

A 21-year-old ring-tailed lemur named Maki has been missing, possibly stolen, from the San Francisco Zoo following a possible break-in. Police are investigating the incident and have asked the public to come forward any with information.

"We understand that lemurs are adorable animals, but Maki is a highly endangered animal that requires special care. We are asking the public for help in his return," said Dr Jason Watters, Executive Vice President of Animal Behavior and Wellness at the zoo.

Regional News • Americas • United States
San Francisco will pay 130 artists $1,000 per month
San Francisco will pay 130 artists $1,000 per month
Credit: unsplash.com / Maarten van den Heuvel

San Francisco Mayor London Breed has announced that in order to support the artistic community 130 artists will receive $1,000 per month each for a limited period of six months starting in 2021.

She stated that "San Francisco is only at the beginning of what we know is going to be a long road to recovery" from the pandemic and that " it’s going to take that same collective effort to confront the economic devastation caused by this virus".

Business
Chuck Feeney's foundation achieves the goal of donating $8 billion fortune

Chuck Feeney, an Irish American who made billions from a duty-free shopping empire, has achieved the goal of giving away his $8 billion fortune through his Atlantic Philanthropies foundation and has signed papers to formally close it.

Feeny who lives in a small rented apartment in San Francisco has stated that "to those wondering about Giving While Living: try it, you’ll like it".

Climate & Environment
California wildfires turn Bay Area skies orange
Smoke from the North Complex fire settles over San Francisco, turning the daytime sky a dark orange.
Smoke from the North Complex fire settles over San Francisco, turning the daytime sky a dark orange. Credit: Christopher Michel / Wikimedia Commons (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

The smoke generated by the wildfires raging across California has turned the Bay Area skies into a deep orange and has caused ash to rain down on San Francisco, Berkeley and Oakland on Wednesday morning.

Wildfires are currently devasting large parts of California, Washington and Oregon.

Transportation • Cars & Automobiles
Uber could pause ride-hailing in California if drivers become employees
Uber app on a mobile phone
Uber app on a mobile phone Credit: Charles Deluvio (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

The San Francisco Superior Court granted California’s request for a preliminary injunction saying that Uber and rival Lyft must make drivers employees rather than independent contractors. Judge Ethan Schulman delayed that order for ten days, giving the companies time to appeal, as both have said they will.

Dana Khosrowshahi, Uber CEO, stated: "If the court doesn’t reconsider, then in California, it’s hard to believe we’ll be able to switch our model to full-time employment quickly."

Uber and Lyft are pushing Proposition 22, a November ballot initiative that would keep drivers as freelancers entitled to some benefits and earnings guarantees.

Technology • Internet & Web
Former COO sues Pinterest, accusing it of gender bias
Françoise Brougher
Françoise Brougher Credit: Pinterest

Françoise Brougher, Pinterest’s former COO, has filed a lawsuit accusing the company of gender discrimination. Brougher is suing the company to hold it “accountable for discrimination, retaliation, and wrongful termination in violation of the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), and the Labor Code,” according to a Tuesday filing in San Francisco Superior Court.

Brougher, who was abruptly fired from the company in April, states in the lawsuit that she had a less favourable equity compensation package than her male peers. She also claims that she was also left out of crucial decision-making by other executives, was subjected to a hostile work environment, and ultimately fired by CEO Ben Silbermann when she spoke up against her treatment.

Regional News • Americas • United States
FBI arrests Chinese researcher for visa fraud
Chinese consulate in San Francisco
Chinese consulate in San Francisco Credit: InSapphoWeTrust (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

The FBI arrested a Chinese researcher who took refuge in the Chinese Consulate in San Francisco. The researcher, Juan Tang, will appear in court on Monday after allegedly made fraudulent statements on her visa application by concealing that she served in the Chinese military.

If convicted, Tang faces a maximum statutory penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000.

Regional News • Americas • United States
Alleged Chinese military researcher sheltered by Chinese consulate in San Francisco
Chinese consulate in San Francisco
Chinese consulate in San Francisco Credit: InSapphoWeTrust (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

According to court filings, the FBI alleges that a Chinese citizen that is affiliated to the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) appears to have entered the Chinese consulate in San Francisco. The FBI had previously interviewed the person in question and searched her home. According to them, the person had stated to have any affiliation with the PLA, but an investigation revealed a connection to the Air Force Military Medical University (FMMU) and that she is considered active military personnel.

The person in question is being charged with visa fraud and similar to other cases where Chinese military scientists have been allegedly directed to steal information from U.S. insitutions.

Business • Economy
Uber lays off 3,700 full-time workers
Uber Driver in Car
Uber Driver in Car Credit: unsplash.com/@xokvictor

Uber announced Wednesday it’s cutting 3,700 full-time workers, or about 14% of its workforce, as people fearful of infection either stay indoors or try to limit contact with others to minimize risk when they do venture out.

The layoffs and related costs like severance will cost about $20 million for the San Francisco-based company, which had already imposed a hiring freeze. Uber has offered up to 14 days of financial assistance to drivers and delivery workers who were diagnosed with the COVID-19 disease or placed in quarantine.

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.

Health
Annual St. Patrick's Day parade in San Francisco canceled following covid-19

The Governor of California Gavin Christopher Newsom  issued an emergency declaration to prepare for a broader spread of covid-19. Following this San Francisco canceled the Saint Patrick’s Day Parade and Festival which were scheduled for March 14th.

Health
Donald Trump says he would have people stay on cruise ship and not come on land to keep Covid-19 numbers low

The president said during a visit to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that he would like to have people stay on a cruise ship near San Francisco in order to keep "the numbers being where they are", referencing the current number of infected people by the coronavirus. He doesn't want to "have the numbers double" saying that the infected people on the ship weren't the US's fault.