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More than 79,000 people have disappeared in that country, the vast majority since 2006 when former president Felipe Calderón launched Mexico’s war on drugs. Tijuana, a sprawling metropolis of 2.1 million people, became a front line as cartels fought to secure lucrative trafficking routes into the United States. More recently, neighborhoods on the c…
 
Political columnist Micheal Smolens discusses many of the issues facing congressional Republicans in the coming weeks, as well as how our congressional delegation has responded to the past several weeks *** Editor's note: This podcast will be taking several weeks off and will return on Feb. 8
 
A mentally ill San Diego man who admitted to a deadly spree of attacks primarily on homeless men — killing three of them by hammering their bodies with railroad spikes — was sentenced Tuesday to multiple terms of life in prison without parole. Jon David Guerrero, 43, received four life sentences without parole, plus an additional 143 years to life …
 
Gorillas at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park tested positive for the novel coronavirus Monday, marking the first known case of the virus infecting any of the great apes — a group that includes gorillas, bonobos, chimps and orangutans. Lisa Peterson, executive director of the Safari Park, said that more than one gorilla has tested positive but would no…
 
Jan. 6, 2021, will be remembered as the day American democracy died. Now the revival is up to all of us. The peaceful transfer of U.S. presidential power dating back to George Washington and John Adams more than two centuries ago ended with Donald Trump’s incitement of an insurrection Wednesday when hundreds of his supporters broke into the U.S. Ca…
 
Monday would have been Tom Merriman’s first day back at work at Butterfly Farms. Instead, the nearly 8-year-old education and research nonprofit in Encinitas is preparing to move forward without its co-founder and president. Read the story: https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/communities/north-county/encinitas/story/2021-01-05/butterfly-farms-in-e…
 
Ten days after George Floyd died under the knee of a Minneapolis police officer, more than 2,000 protesters marched through the streets of downtown San Diego, North Park, Hillcrest and Balboa Park in a huge demonstration organized by a nameless collective of young, Black San Diegans. Earlier that same week, law enforcement leaders across the county…
 
The U.S. has always resisted protecting refugees at its border. The incoming Biden administration will have to decide whether to break with that past. Read the story: https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/immigration/story/2020-12-27/how-could-asylum-system-be-reimagined The rest of the series: https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/returned Prev…
 
Barred from sailing for the last nine months because of the pandemic, several cruise ships are making their way to San Diego this month, but don’t expect to see thousands of passengers boarding or disembarking from the ocean liners. Read the story: https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/business/story/2020-12-23/cruise-ships-return-to-san-diego-after…
 
President Donald Trump on Tuesday granted a full pardon to former Republican congressman Duncan Hunter, who had pleaded guilty to illegally spending campaign money for his personal use. Hunter was sentenced in March to 11 months in prison, but he has been allowed to postpone serving his term in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. He was supposed to beg…
 
Although health officials regularly release information about the number of COVID-19 outbreaks that are being investigated across the county, the specific locations have usually been kept a secret. Until now. On Monday, the public media station KPBS published an investigation that revealed the addresses of 1,006 outbreaks that occurred between Marc…
 
The richly luminous planets Saturn and Jupiter will be so close in the sky on Monday night they’ll appear to meld together with a starkness that has not been widely seen on Earth since the 13th century. The paths the planets follow around the sun will bring them into rough alignment shortly after the sun sets in the southwest, creating what astrono…
 
Over the past eight months, the Marine Corps, like each military branch, has been forced to adapt to minimize the spread of COVID-19. At its San Diego boot camp, that means quarantines, coronavirus screenings, social distancing and masks. The San Diego Union-Tribune followed recruits of Alpha Company — from the time they got off the bus at boot cam…
 
A San Diego Superior Court judge on Wednesday ruled two strip clubs can remain open and operating during the most recent COVID-19 shutdown orders from the state, in a ruling that appeared to extend to the county’s beleaguered restaurant industry and allow those businesses to reopen to some extent. The ruling by Superior Court Judge Joel Wohlfeil ca…
 
Severe impacts on local emergency departments have forced paramedics to wait for hours before they can deliver their patients, prompting unprecedented changes to San Diego County ambulance bypass procedures Tuesday. The change came as intensive care capacity across the state continued to dwindle, prompting local hospitals to reach out to Sacramento…
 
In total, San Diego County will initially receive 28,275 doses of vaccine. Each dose will be given to hospital health care workers at highest risk of exposure to the coronavirus — including doctors, nurses, custodians and security staff who are regularly in contact with COVID-19 patients. Because Pfizer’s vaccine requires two doses, those who get t…
 
A second-straight day with San Diego County’s intensive care beds at 80 percent occupancy prompted questions Wednesday about when crisis measures will be necessary. While officials with the county health department made it clear during their regular weekly COVID-19 briefing that we’re not there yet, they also declined to set a firm break point beyo…
 
A controversial and unprecedented land deal that would have allowed a housing development on 219 acres of ecologically prized land in San Diego County was defeated Tuesday. The California Wildlife Conservation Board voted five to one, with its chairman Chuck Bonham abstaining, to deny a proposed land exchange between the state and developer group G…
 
Distance learning is a constant fight to find all their students and just have them come to class. They’re trying anything from jokes to poetry to being more forgiving in grading. Read more: https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/education/story/2020-12-06/for-many-teachers-distance-learning-is-a-constant-fight-to-get-students-to-participate…
 
The smartphone-based COVID-19 exposure notification system that was piloted by UC San Diego and other state universities will be made available to all Californians this week. State officials hope the blue-tooth based technology will help slow the transmission of the novel coronavirus by quickly notifying people when they’ve been exposed to someone …
 
Tens of thousand of SDG&E customers lost power late Wednesday evening and Thursday morning as Santa Ana winds combined with dry weather conditions led to high wildfire risk. By Friday, the number of customers without power had dropped, but the utility has warned that outages may return soon.
 
About half of the 900 homeless people sheltered at the San Diego Convention Center are scheduled to move out of the venue and into permanent homes next week with the remainder expected to leave the following week, a city official said Tuesday. San Diego Housing Commission President and CEO Rick Gentry said the city finalized the purchase of two ext…
 
On Tuesday, San Diego County reached a grim milestone, reporting on the first day of a new month that COVID-19 deaths have now passed 1,000. It is impossible, at the moment, to say exactly who was the 1,000th person to succumb to the disease because it often takes days, or even weeks, for COVID-related deaths to make it into the county health depar…
 
Schools nationwide and across San Diego County are seeing a surge in poor grades fueled by the pandemic. The trend is in line with school officials’ and national experts’ predictions that school closures, along with obstacles to online education, will cause massive learning loss this year. Read the story: https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/e…
 
Already a holiday season like no other, experts are looking into their crystal balls of shopping predictions and coming up with more questions than answers. Still, the consensus seems to be that, despite the pandemic’s unwelcome and unavoidable presence, there’s more reason for end-of-year retail cheer than fear Read the story: https://www.sandiego…
 
San Diego home prices went up the third fastest in the nation in September and appreciated at a pace not seen in more than six years. Prices in the San Diego metropolitan area were up 9.5 percent annually, the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Indices reported Tuesday. The acceleration is still not near housing boom levels when, in July 2004, prices were …
 
Conversations revealed many people of color are concerned that science has been polluted by politics and isn’t being explained to them clearly. Others worry their communities are being used for clinical trials without an assurance they’d have access to an approved vaccine. Read more: https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/business/biotech/story/2020-…
 
The state curfew requires any county in the most restrictive, “purple” tier of the state’s reopening system — which includes San Diego — to limit “all gatherings with members of other households and all activities conducted outside the residence, lodging, or temporary accommodation with members of other households.” https://www.sandiegouniontribune…
 
The annual Truth Act community forum took place this week. The discussion is meant to inform the community of their legal rights when it comes to how local law enforcement agencies work with Immigration and Customs Enforcement on immigration issues. At the forum, dozens of people criticized Sheriff Bill Gore for allowing ICE access to county jails …
 
A judge has issued an emergency restraining order that prohibits the Trump administration from making civil immigration arrests at the San Diego federal courthouse, saying the widespread practice “invades the decorum and dignity of the court” and violates common-law principles dating back to the 15th century. “The court is not an ‘arrest pad’ nor w…
 
Last year, three cities in San Diego County hired police chiefs. All three cities — Escondido, National City and El Cajon — promoted top brass from within their police departments with little public input and transparency. That was the norm. It was what Oceanside City Manager Deanna Lorson noticed a few months ago when the time came to find a succe…
 
For more than a decade, Tameka Jones held onto the idea — a fantasy, really — that her son would come home one day. She believed it in April 2002 after she got a call from her then-husband, the man she’d trusted to care for 2-year-old Jahi Turner while she was deployed on a Navy ship off San Diego. “Baby, I can’t find Jahi. The police are here,” sh…
 
California Assembly member Dr. Shirley Weber was the featured speaker at a community forum on reparations being held virtually on Nov. 12. Dr. Weber is the chair of the Legislative Black Caucus and author of AB3121, which will create a task force to recommend appropriate slavery reparations and determine who would be eligible to receive compensatio…
 
The San Diego City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to approve an ordinance that would govern all surveillance technologies in the city — action rooted in pushback after the city had quietly installed cameras on 3,000 smart streetlights. The councilmembers also backed a second ordinance creating an advisory board to oversee uses of surveillance te…
 
Pandemic-weary businesses, hit with the third shutdown of indoor operations in eight months because of rising COVID-19 rates, fear they may not survive this time around as they watch their customers — and financial reserves — evaporate. From restaurants, bars, gyms and movie theaters, which will soon be limited to outdoors-only service, to shops an…
 
The day many have dreaded for months has now come to pass. San Diego County fell to the most-restrictive level of the state’s COVID-19 reopening system Tuesday, meaning that restaurants, houses of worship, movie theaters and other organizations must cease or significantly reduce their indoor operations by 12:01 a.m. Saturday. In the state’s latest …
 
Pfizer Inc. said Monday that its COVID-19 vaccine may be a remarkable 90% effective, based on early and incomplete test results that nevertheless brought a big burst of optimism to a world desperate for the means to finally bring the catastrophic outbreak under control. The announcement came less than a week after an election seen as a referendum o…
 
Thanks to persistently high COVID-19 case rates, San Diego County is days away from potentially landing in the purple tier, the most-restrictive level of the state’s COVID-19 monitoring system, which would mean that schools that have not started teaching at least some students in person would lose their chance to reopen. Falling into the purple tie…
 
An out-of-bounds score in the state’s weekly reopening report creates the possibility that San Diego County could fall to the most-restrictive tier in the COVID-19 ranking system next week. Released by the California Health and Human Services Agency on Wednesday, the weekly scorecard lists San Diego County with 7.4 coronavirus cases per 100,000 res…
 
Facebook removed, then republished, then again removed the 22,000-member Defend East County group from its social media site Saturday. The group’s founder and administrator Justin Haskins announced in a post to a separate Facebook group Saturday morning that the group was gone. However, by 7 p.m. the group was back. By 8:00 p.m., the group again di…
 
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