Wednesday, December 11, 2013
From news service reports
In initial vote, board passes ban on being naked in public
San Francisco lawmakers disappointed committed nudists Tuesday by narrowly approving a ban on public nakedness despite concerns the measure would undermine the city's reputation as a sanctuary for free expression.
The Board of Supervisors voted 6-5 in favor of a public safety ordinance that prohibits exposed genitals in most public places, including streets, sidewalks and public transit. The law still must pass a final vote and secure Mayor Edwin Lee's signature to take effect early next year.
Supervisor Scott Wiener introduced the ban in response to escalating complaints about a group of men whose bare bodies are on display almost daily in the city's Castro District.
Weiner's opponents on the board said a citywide ban was unnecessary and would draw police officers' attention away from bigger problems.
Operator of day care where four kids died gets 80 years
It had been Jessica Tata's dream to run a day care. But she soon was in over her head, caring for too many kids and taking chances by leaving them alone to run errands.
The young woman's actions ultimately proved fatal: Four children died and three others were injured when a fire broke out at her home day care after she had left them alone to shop at a nearby Target.
On Tuesday, jurors sentenced the 24-year-old woman to 80 years in prison for the death of one of the children, 16-month-old Elias Castillo. She still faces charges related to the rest of the children.
Investigators said the February 2011 blaze happened when a pan of oil she had left cooking on the stove ignited while she was out.
The same jury that decided her sentence had convicted Tata last week of one count of felony murder. She will have to serve 30 years before she is eligible for parole.
U.S., Mexico agree to deal on sharing Colorado River water
The United States and Mexico agreed Tuesday to new rules on sharing water from the Colorado River, capping a five-year effort on how to spread the pain of drought and reap the benefits of wet years.
The far-reaching agreement gives Mexico badly needed water storage capacity in Lake Mead, which stretches across Nevada and Arizona. Mexico will forfeit some of its share of the river during shortages, bringing itself in line with western U.S. states that already have agreed how much they will surrender when waters recede. Mexico also will capture some surpluses when waters rise.
Also under the plan, water agencies in California, Arizona and Nevada will buy water from Mexico, which will use some of the money to upgrade its canals and other infrastructure.
The pact represents a major departure from years of hard feelings in Mexico about how the U.S. manages the 1,450-mile river, which runs from the Rocky Mountains to Mexico.
Church of England's leaders object to women as bishops
The Church of England's governing body blocked a move Tuesday to permit women to serve as bishops. The vote was so close it failed to settle the question of female leadership and likely condemned the institution to years of more debate on the issue.
The General Synod's daylong debate ended with the rejection of a compromise that was intended to unify the faithful despite differing views on whether women should be allowed in the hierarchy. But backers failed to gain the necessary majority by six votes.
The defeat was a setback for Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, who retires at the end of December, and his successor, Bishop Justin Welby. Both had strongly endorsed a proposed compromise that would have respected the decision of those who objected to the ordination of women bishops.
Instead of ending decades of debate, the narrow defeat opens the church, which has around 80 million members worldwide, to further years of internal discussions.