California task force will consider paying reparations for slavery
With Gov. Gavin Newsom’s signature, California became the first state government in the country on Wednesday to adopt a law to study and develop proposals for potential reparations to descendants of enslaved people and those impacted by slavery.
Newsom said the new law and bipartisan support for its passage is proving “a paradigm that we hope will be resonant all across the United States.”
DIPSHIDIOTS OF THE DAY: CALIFORNIA LAWMAKERS
In a year of national protests against racial injustice, state lawmakers approved Assembly Bill 3121 to force the state to begin to confront its racist history and systemic disparities that persist today. Although California entered the Union as a “free state” in 1850, slavery continued there after the state Constitution outlawed it the previous year. Slavery was abolished by the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution in 1865.
The new law creates a task force to recommend appropriate remedies to the state Legislature and determine who should be eligible to receive compensation, which advocates hope will become a model in a country where movements to make amends for centuries of slavery have failed to gain traction at the federal level.
Sheriff Alex Villanueva and L.A. County District Attorney Jackie Lacey made the announcement at a news conference Wednesday morning at LASD headquarters in downtown L.A.
Deonte Lee Murray, 36, has been charged with two counts each of premediated attempted murder of a peace officer and possession of a firearm by a felon.
Murray was arrested on Sept. 15, three days after the deputies were shot, but in connection with an unrelated carjacking and shooting which had occurred in Compton on Sept. 1, Lacey said. Forensic evidence later linked him to the shooting of the two deputies.
Surveillance video shows a gunman open fire on two L.A. County Sheriff’s deputies parked in a patrol vehicle in Compton, Calif. Sept. 12, 2020. (LASD)
A ghost gun used in the shooting of the deputies was recovered by investigators, sheriff’s Capt. Kent Wegener told reporters.
Furthermore, Murray fled the scene of the deputies’ shooting in a black Mercedes Benz sedan, the same vehicle which Murray had carjacked on Sept. 1, Wegener said.
In the Sept. 1 carjacking, which occurred on Bradfield Avenue in Compton, Murray shot a man in the leg with a high powered rifle and stole his Mercedes, Wegener disclosed.
On Sept. 17, Murray was charged with one count each of carjacking, second-degree robbery and assault with a semiautomatic firearm. He has since been charged with one count of attempted murder in connection with the carjacking.
Murray faces a maximum sentence of life in prison if convicted as charged.
Thanks to private donations, the reward for information leading to an arrest in the deputies’ shooting was estimated at over $700,000.
Helen Reddy, who shot to stardom in the 1970s with her feminist anthem “I Am Woman” and recorded a string of other hits, has died. She was 78.
Reddy’s children Traci and Jordan announced that the actress-singer died Tuesday in Los Angeles. “She was a wonderful Mother, Grandmother and a truly formidable woman,” they said in a statement. “Our hearts are broken. But we take comfort in the knowledge that her voice will live on forever.”
The Australian-born singer enjoyed a prolific career, appearing in “Airport 1975” as a singing nun and scoring several hits, including “I Don’t Know How To Love Him” from “Jesus Christ Superstar,” “Ain’t No Way To Treat a Lady,” “Delta Dawn,” “Angie Baby” and “You and Me Against the World.”
Reddy’s version of “I Don’t Know How to Love Him” in 1971 launched a decade-long string of Top 40 hits, three of which reached No. 1.
SINGER HELEN REDDY PASSES AWAY YESTERDAY
Two years later she won the best female vocal pop performance Grammy Award for “I Am Woman,” quickly thanking her then-husband and others in her acceptance speech.
“I only have 10 seconds so I would like to thank everyone from Sony Capitol Records, I would like to think Jeff Wald because he makes my success possible and I would like to thank God because she makes everything possible,” Reddy said, hoisting her Grammy in the air and leaving the stage to loud applause.
“I Am Woman” would become her biggest hit, used in films and television series.
In a 2012 interview with The Associated Press, Reddy cited the gigantic success of “I Am Woman” as one of the reasons she stepped out of public life.
“That was one of the reasons that I stopped singing, was when I was shown a modern American history high-school textbook, and a whole chapter on feminism and my name and my lyrics (were) in the book,” she told the AP. “And I thought, `Well, I’m part of history now. And how do I top that? I can’t top that.′ So, it was an easy withdrawal.”
Reddy’s death comes less than three weeks after the release of a biopic about her life called “I Am Woman.”
A performer since childhood, Reddy was part of a show-business family in Melbourne. She won a contest that brought her to the United States and launched her recording career, although she first had to overcome ideas about her sound.
“In my earlier days in Australia, I was considered to be more of a jazz singer. When I won the contest that brought me to this country, one person said, ‘The judges didn’t feel you could have a recording career because you don’t have a commercial sound.'”
Reddy retired from performing in the 1990s and returned to Australia, getting her degree in clinical hypnotherapy.
Ex-FBI Director Comey to testify to U.S. Senate on Russia probe
COMEY APPEARS TODAY BEFORE SENATE COMMITTEE
Former FBI Director James Comey, one of the principal figures behind the U.S. investigation into links between Russia and President Donald Trump’s 2016 election campaign, will testify on Wednesday before a Senate committee examining the origins of the probe.
WATCH THE TESTIMONY HERE:
Comey, who Trump dismissed in May 2017, will appear before the Republican-led Senate Judiciary Committee at 10 a.m. (14:00 GMT) to discuss an FBI probe of Trump campaign officials, code-named “Crossfire Hurricane.”
Senate Republicans say the probe, which was later handed off to Special Counsel Robert Mueller, was intended to undermine Republican Trump’s candidacy and presidency.
In December, a Justice Department watchdog found evidence of numerous errors but no political bias when the FBI opened the investigation.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham, a Trump ally, has said he wants accountability for the errors, including ones in the FBI’s applications for warrants to monitor Carter Page, a former Trump campaign adviser.