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News Too Real: Here's a recap of this week's past world, national and California news headlines

Producer host Julia Dudley Najieb reviews the past week's headlines featured during the daily show


By ONME Newswire



News Too Real April 9, 2022: In episode 10 of season 4, producer host Julia Dudley Najieb reviews the world, national and California news with brief commentary.
 

News Too Real Podcast 4-8-22 Headlines:


World


If a happiness index was taken within the last few weeks, it would have shown Tanzanians to be the happiest people in the world, according to some Tanzanians on social media.


Within the past few weeks, President Samia Suluhu Hassan, widely known as just Mama Samia, met the two leading figures of the opposition party Chadema, Tundu Lissu and Freeman Mbowe - meetings that would have been unimaginable just over a year ago.


A year ago, Tanzania was a very different place.


Then-President John Magufuli believed the opposition were puppets of foreign interests. His only language towards the opposition was force, and he made it his mission to eliminate multiparty politics.

What President Samia has achieved so far is to put the brakes on a fast descent into total authoritarianism. She has returned the country to the pre-2015 era, but has done little to alter the institutional structures which enabled her predecessor to crack down on dissent so completely.



National


Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson proclaimed the progress her confirmation to the Supreme Court represents and offered her gratitude to the many people who she said helped her along the way at an event on the White House South Lawn on Friday.

"It has taken 232 years and 115 prior appointments for a Black woman to be selected to serve on the Supreme Court of the United States, but we've made it! We've made it — all of us," Jackson said.


"I have dedicated my career to public service because I love this country and our Constitution and the rights that make us free," Jackson also said.


Quoting poet Maya Angelou, Jackson said, "I am the dream and the hope of the slave.“

"In my family, it took just one generation to go from segregation to the Supreme Court of the United States," she added, also offering a tearful tribute to her daughters. Jackson also thanked Democratic Senate leaders and numerous White House staff involved in her confirmation process.



California


A new bill working its way through the state legislature could change the definition of the workweek from 40 hours to 32 hours.

Lawmakers say the change would improve quality of life and even productivity.


According to Assembly Bill 2932, if an employee works 40 hours they’d need to be compensated for that extra eight hours by receiving at least time-and-a-half.

Assemblymember Christina Garcia, who represents the 58th District in Bell Gardens, was one of the authors to introduce the bill in the state legislature.

The bill would apply to companies with 500 employees or more.

Rep. Mark Takano of the 41st Congressional District in Riverside is a supporter of a reduced work week at the federal level.


Jonathan Harris, a law professor at Loyola Marymount University who specializes in employment law, likened the idea to the labor revolution that brought forth the 40-hour workweek in the 1930s.



News Too Real Podcast 4-7-22 Headlines:


World


The intersection of racist policing and harmful drug laws led to the shameful treatment of the 15-year-old schoolgirl.


In March 2022, the revelation that a 15-year-old Black pupil had been strip-searched by police in a London school after being wrongly accused of having drugs in her possession sent shockwaves across the United Kingdom – and for good reason.

Everything about the 2020 incident is absolutely harrowing. An independent child safeguarding report found that her own teachers called the police on the young girl after suspecting she may be carrying cannabis. Once they arrived at the school, Metropolitan police officers took the girl into a medical room and strip-searched her without appropriate supervision, despite being aware that she was menstruating. After the invasive and traumatizing search, she was asked to “go back into the exam” she had been sitting, with no teacher asking about her welfare.


The safeguarding report concluded that the treatment of the child was unjustified, and racism was “likely” a reason why she was strip-searched in the first place.

While the trauma inflicted on Child Q understandably shocked the nation, the actions of the police in this case can hardly be considered an anomaly. It is well known that communities of color are disproportionately policed in the UK, and British police commonly respond to alleged drug offenses – especially when the suspect is a person of color – with violence.


National


Black Americans have largely positive views of medical researchers’ competence; majority concerned about the potential for misconduct


A new Pew Research Center survey takes a wide-ranging look at Black Americans’ views and experiences with science, spanning medical and health care settings, educational settings, and as consumers of science-related news and information in daily life.


The COVID-19 pandemic is a prominent reminder of the disparate health impacts Black Americans face, and of long-standing concerns about levels of trust or mistrust between scientists and Black communities.


Against this backdrop, there are ongoing concerns that the segments of the public most engaged with science – people who attend science-related events, participate in medical research studies, and fill science, technology, engineering and math classrooms and the professional ranks of these fields – do not adequately reflect the racial and ethnic diversity of the nation.


The new survey, along with a series of focus groups, highlight the multifaceted views Black Americans hold when it comes to trust in medical research scientists. The findings speak to how contemporary experiences with the health care system, as well as past injustices, inform the range of attitudes Black adults express. In this and other topics addressed in the survey, there are important differences in how Black Americans see these issues depending on their education, age, gender and other characteristics.



California


Assembly Bill 979 (the Bill), signed into law by Gov. Newsom on September 30, 2020, required all public companies with a principal executive office in California to have at least one director from an underrepresented community on their board of directors by December 31, 2021, and, depending on the total number of directors on the company’s board, up to three directors from underrepresented communities by the end of 2022.

The Bill defined “director from an underrepresented community” as a director who self-identifies as Black, African American, Asian, Hispanic or Latino, Pacific Islander, Native American, Alaskan Native, Native Hawaiian, gay, lesbian, transgender, or bisexual.

Failure to comply with the Bill subjected companies to up to $100,000 for the first violation and $300,000 for subsequent violations.


The lawsuit, filed by Judicial Watch, a conservative legal advocacy group (Robin Crest, et al. v. Alex Padilla, in his official capacity as Secretary of State of the State of California (No. 20ST-CV-37513)), claimed the California Secretary of State violated California’s constitutional equal protection clause by expending taxpayers’ money and public officials’ time and resources to engage in discrimination based on classifications of race, ethnicity, sexual preference and other status.


The California Constitution requires equal treatment and application of laws to all persons who are similarly situated. If a law discriminates based on race, ethnicity, sexual preference or other classifications, the law is subject to a showing by the government that the law is necessary for a compelling governmental interest and that the class distinctions are necessary to accomplish the law’s purpose. Although the Bill was aimed at promoting diversity and opportunity, by specifying certain classifications of persons to be appointed to board seats, the law necessarily required discrimination based on these classes. The court found the Bill failed to be narrowly tailored to a compelling governmental interest and the class distinction violated California’s constitution. The court granted an injunction striking down the Bill.


Implications: Public companies with principal offices in California are no longer required to appoint directors from underrepresented communities to comply with the Bill. Whether the state will appeal the ruling is yet to be known. Regardless of the court’s decision, public companies may still be subject to Nasdaq’s board diversity rules and similar appointment of directors or disclosure requirements promulgated by the Securities and Exchange Commission.



News Too Real Podcast 4-6-22 Headlines:


World

Some corners of social media are in an uproar over the U.S. Peace Corps guidance on handling racism in Ukraine.


Peace Corps positions in Ukraine are currently not open, but Black Peace Corps volunteers who applied were warned to be prepared to be called the N-word and face other racist behavior while in Ukraine, according guidance on the Peace Corps website that is currently being discussed on social media.


The warning, which includes personal accounts from volunteers, calls for having thick skin and an understanding that the racial discrimination comes from Ukrainians’ lack of exposure to Black people

“It is not uncommon for Ukrainians to refer to African-Americans as “[N-Word]”. Volunteers of color may be called ‘a monkey’ or may see children’s games with Blackface,” one volunteer wrote.


“Being aware of the history of dehumanization for people of African descent may help inform where this comes from; it does not justify it. It will be at your discretion to determine the intent.”

The warning builds on the recent reports of discrimination against African students in Ukraine, choosing to study in the country for cheaper living and more accessible education.



National


Black Americans are at a higher risk of getting prostate cancer than white Americans. Survival rates are lower, too. The gap is narrowing, but Black people are still at risk for developing prostate cancer earlier in life and being diagnosed at a more advanced stage.


African American men are at higher risk of developing prostate cancer than white, Hispanic, or Asian men: Based on data from 2014 to 2018, the rate of prostate cancer among Black men was 172.6 per 100,000, compared to a rate of 99.9 per 100,000 white men.


According to statistics reported in 2022, over the last 5 years, Black men have been about twice as likely to die from prostate cancer compared to white men.


Black men develop prostate cancer at a younger age than white men, and the cancer is 44–75 percent more likely to metastasize before diagnosis.


Black men are more likely to die from cancer of any type because they’re more often diagnosed after the cancer has progressed to an advanced stage that’s difficult to treat.



California


In a 5-4 vote on Mar. 29, 2022, the California reparations task force decided to limit reparations to African Americans who can trace their lineage to slavery, stating that those parameters were most likely to survive legal challenges.

Free black people who came to the United States in the 19th century or earlier will also be eligible for reparations. The task force cited the trouble of tracing family history and the danger of being captured and enslaved as reasons for their inclusion.


The two-year reparations task force, the first state group in the country, was created in 2020 when Governor Gavin Newson signed legislation for the group to study slavery and its harms, and to educate the public. Almost all of the task force members can trace their lineage to enslaved people.

Black people who cannot trace their ancestry to slavery were considered for inclusion due to systemic racism, but were ultimately excluded. California is home to about 2.6 million African Americans.


While California is the only state to have taken up the issue of reparations, some cities are doing so. Evanston, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago made reparations available to African American residents in 2021. Providence, Rhode Island, announced a city commission in Feb. 2022, and Boston, Massachusetts is considering a commission.




News Too Real Podcast 4-5-22 Headlines:


World


From wind farms across the African coastline to geothermal projects in the east African rift valley, a new United Nations climate report brought the continent’s vast clean energy potential into the spotlight. If realized, these renewable energy projects could blunt the harshest global warming effects, power the continent’s projected economic development and lift millions out of poverty, the report said.

The U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change report comes at a time when Africa’s renewable energy business is already booming. Many African nations are intensifying efforts to embrace alternative renewable energy pathways and shift away from fossil fuel dependency, with countries such as Kenya, Tanzania, Morocco, Egypt, Ethiopia and South Africa taking the lead on large-scale clean energy adoption.


Yet Africa has attracted just 2% — $60 billion — of the $2.8 trillion invested in renewables worldwide in the last two decades and accounts for only 3% of the world’s current renewable energy capacity. Limiting warming to 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit, in line with the 2016 Paris climate agreement, will involve even greater energy system transformation, the U.N. report said.

Africa suffers some of the most severe effects from climate change, despite being the lowest greenhouse gas emitting continent with the least adaptive capacity. Swathes of the continent still lack access to electricity and cooking fuels: The International Energy Agency estimates some 580 million people were without power in 2019, and the World Health Organization says about 906 million are in need of cleaner cooking fuels and technologies.



National


The Biden administration plans to freeze federal student loan payments through Aug. 31, extending a moratorium that has allowed millions of Americans to postpone payments during the coronavirus pandemic, according to an administration official familiar with the White House’s decision-making.


Student loan payments were scheduled to resume May 1 after being halted since early in the pandemic. But following calls from Democrats in Congress, the White House plans to give borrowers additional time to prepare for payments. Borrowers will not be asked to make payments until after Aug. 31, and interest rates are expected to remain at 0% during that period.



California


The weekend shooting in Sacramento, Calif., that left six people dead and at least 12 others wounded happened just a few blocks from the Capitol in a state with the nation's strongest gun laws.


California has the most gun laws of any state: 107, according to the State Firearm Laws project at Boston University.


Two people have been arrested on gun charges so far for this weekend's shooting — a flash of violence that has led politicians from President Biden all the way down to city councilors in the California capital to demand that more be done to address guns.


By adopting the country's strongest gun measures, California takes on another task: defending the constitutionality of those laws in a country where gun rights and gun control are a seemingly never-ending battle.



News Too Real Podcast 4-4-22 Headlines:


World


The visit to Jamaica by Prince William and Kate, the Duke, and Duchess of Cambridge is significant but could not have come at a worse time for the couple. Both the Government and the opposition party are putting their best faces on display, in a show of diplomacy to avoid embarrassment.


While there is reason to believe that good relations exist between Jamaica and the UK, there are burning issues to be ironed out by Jamaica House and Buckingham Palace that could sully the relationship in the near future.


Chief among the grievances from Jamaica is the desire to have the United Kingdom pay for the atrocities caused by the British slave trade between 1655 and 1809. More than 600,000 persons were taken from Africa to work on sugar plantations and had to endure unbearable hardships and inhumane treatment in Jamaica.


National

The complaint against North American Automotive Services, Inc. (also known as Ed Napleton Automotive Group) alleges that eight of its dealerships and the general manager of two Illinois dealerships illegally tacked on junk fees for unwanted “add-on” products such as payment insurance and paint protection. The illegal junk fees cost consumers hundreds or even thousands of dollars.


According to the complaint, the dealerships would often wait until the end of the hours-long negotiation process to sneak junk fees for add-on products and services into consumers’ purchase contracts, which often run as long as 60 pages. These junk fees were often added despite consumers specifically declining the add-ons or having confirmed prices that did not include the add-ons. In other cases, the consumers were falsely told the add-ons were free or were a requirement to purchase or finance their vehicle.


A survey cited in the complaint showed that 83 percent of buyers from the dealerships were charged junk fees for add-ons without authorization or as a result of deception. One consumer cited in the complaint reported that the dealership located in Arlington Heights, Ill., charged him for nearly $4,000 in add-on fees after he’d paid a similar amount in down payment.


The complaint also alleges that the Napleton dealerships discriminated against Black consumers in connection with financing vehicle purchases. Napleton employees had wide latitude to increase the cost of a consumer’s loan by increasing the amount paid in interest or adding add-ons to the final contract.

According to the complaint, Black customers at the dealerships were charged approximately $190 more in interest and paid $99 more for similar add-ons than similarly situated non-Latino White customers.


California

Goodman has an extensive law enforcement experience of more than 31 years. He previously served as chief of police for 4 years in the city of Upland, where he was also the first Black police chief.

Before becoming chief in Upland, he had been with the San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department for 27 years. He is also an adjunct professor at Cal State San Bernardino.


Now, Goodman is set to assume his post in San Bernardino on June 1, where he will lead the department with 262 sworn officers and 150 civilian staff.

Goodman’s first step as a chief of police in San Bernardino is to connect the police department with the community by paying attention to their concerns.

 

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