‘Bomb Cyclone’ heads to San Francisco bringing risk of flooding

Luke 21:25-26 “And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth distress of nations in perplexity because of the roaring of the sea and the waves, people fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world. For the powers of the heavens will be shaken.

Important Takeaways:

  • Sandbags in San Francisco: California Braces for ‘Bomb Cyclone’ Rainstorm
  • California is bracing for a “bomb cyclone” that will accompany several “atmospheric rivers” starting Wednesday, bringing high winds and heavy rain and snow to a state that has been drenched since last week.
  • The Los Angeles Times reports:
    • Northern California already has seen a deluge of rain, due to a storm system that culminated in a wet New Year’s Eve, while other areas, such as the San Joaquin Valley, have seen winter weather advisories due to strong wind, rain and fog. Now there is “brutal” weather on the way.
    • An atmospheric river will arrive in California starting Wednesday and linger through Thursday, according to forecasters. Another is set to arrive Saturday. The weather events will raise the risk for flooding across already saturated areas.

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6.0 rattles off the coast of California but no Tsunami warning

Matthew 24:7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places.

Important Takeaways:

  • Magnitude 6 earthquake strikes in the Ring of Fire 750 miles off the coast of California – just a week after a 5.1 magnitude hit San Francisco – but no tsunami warning will be issued
  • A magnitude 6 earthquake struck in the Ring of Fire, just 750 miles off the coast of California on Tuesday evening
  • The quake took place deep into the ocean and only around 80 people felt it between Santa Rosa and San Francisco
  • The earthquake struck with a depth of six miles, but it did not cause any ‘vertical uplift in the water column’
  • It is now the largest earthquake to hit the area since a 6.0-magnitude tremor hit Napa in 2014
  • It came a week after San Francisco was hit with a 5.1 magnitude

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Fentanyl Crisis has progressive leader in California looking for options…Well sort of

Matthew 24:12 And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold

Important Takeaways:

  • Lunatic progressives who turned San Fran into a fentanyl-ravaged hellhole are now begging for ideas to save the city. But there’s a ludicrous catch, reveals DAVID MARCUS — you can’t arrest anyone!
  • In the City by the Bay, 1,700 people have died from drug overdoses since the beginning of 2020. That is nearly 700 more fatalities than the county suffered from the Covid pandemic.
  • Mayor London Breed says she’s now ready to get serious about the problem, by putting an end to open-air drug markets, where users and dealers go about their crimes in full view of the public without any fear of law enforcement.
  • City supervisors released a resolution for a vague ‘soft-touch’ initiative called ‘San Francisco Recovers.’
  • And here’s the catch, and it’s a doozy: the plan is being touted as, ‘a way that nobody’s going to jail but we’re doing an effective job of interrupting the drug market and drug scenes.’
  • The refusal to enforce the law is what landed the city in this predicament.
  • San Francisco is doubling down on this despair.

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San Francisco successfully recalls progressive DA Boudin

2 Chronicles 7:14 “If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

Important Takeaways:

  • San Francisco Recalls Liberal DA Chesa Boudin
  • San Francisco on Tuesday has voted to recall progressive District Attorney Chesa Boudin in a heated campaign that bitterly divided Democrats over crime, policing and public safety reform.
  • Boudin was a baby when his parents, left-wing Weather Underground radicals, served as drivers in a botched 1981 robbery in New York that left two police officers and a security guard dead. They were sentenced to decades in prison.
  • Recall proponents said Boudin was ideologically inflexible and inexperienced, often siding with criminals instead of victims.
  • Recall opponents said the recall was a Republican power grab meant to undermine public safety reforms.

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San Francisco woke to a magnitude 4.1 earthquake

Luke 21:11 There will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven.

Important Takeaways:

  • Shaking was detected at 5:07 a.m. local time, with the epicenter located in the East Bay, near Bay Point.
  • California doesn’t yet have an early warning system for seismic activity
  • Focus remains on preparedness, with residents urged to make family plan to meet if separated and to stock up on three days’ worth of food, water and other essentials

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San Francisco becomes second U.S. city to mandate vaccines for bars, gyms

By Gabriella Borter

(Reuters) -San Francisco announced on Thursday that proof of full vaccination would be required for entry to restaurants, gyms and other indoor venues, aiming to curb a new wave of COVID infections that has prompted public health mandates across the country.

San Francisco, which launches its mandate on Aug. 20, is the second major city to pass a sweeping vaccine requirement for indoor businesses after New York, which only requires proof of one vaccination dose.

The vaccine mandates in two liberal cities have come as schools in some conservative states are fighting to require masks, going against their Republican governors’ orders.

The board of Houston’s public schools was expected to vote on Thursday to defy a state ban on mask mandates, joining other districts in Texas and Florida requiring face coverings in classrooms to fight a surge of COVID-19 infections, despite threats from state leadership.

The measure is likely to pass, with a majority of board members expressing support for requiring masks in schools, the Houston Chronicle reported.

As the start of the academic year coincides with a dire new wave of COVID-19 cases, schools have quickly become the focal point of the nation’s political fight over masking and vaccine mandates.

Florida has threatened to withhold the salaries of school officials who require masks, a move that has escalated tension between Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, a Republican, and the administration of U.S. President Joe Biden, a Democrat.

The White House is considering reimbursing Florida school officials if DeSantis, who is widely seen as weighing a potential 2024 challenge for the presidency, follows through on his threat.

The Delta variant appears to be flattening the pace of the U.S. economic recovery after a big upswing in the first half of 2021, according to Oxford Economics U.S. Recovery Tracker.

“Sharply deteriorating health conditions are the main reason why the South’s recovery is now losing momentum,” Oxford’s lead U.S. economist Oren Klachkin said. “And the rapid uptick in Covid cases in the region is causing activity to moderate and mobility and employment to stagnate.”

HEALTH CARE STRETCHED THIN

The worst of the U.S. COVID outbreak is concentrated in the South, including Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas, where intensive care units have been stretched to capacity. While flouting federal recommendations on masks, Florida has asked Washington to help by sending ventilators.

The number of daily cases across the country has doubled in the last two weeks, according to a Reuters tally, reaching a six-month peak, while the average number of daily deaths has increased 85% in the last 14 days.

“Our frontline health care heroes are finding themselves stretched thin and physical and mental exhaustion is taking its toll,” Florida Hospital Association President Mary Mayhew said in a statement on Tuesday, adding that people in their 20s and 30s were being hospitalized with the virus.

Leaders in Democrat-led states and cities have moved swiftly to impose COVID-19 mask and vaccine requirements in the face of the Delta variant.

San Francisco’s new vaccine mandate for indoor businesses extends to employees as well as patrons. Employees of restaurants, gyms and other venues have until Oct. 13 to show proof of full vaccination, the order says. Proof of vaccination will also be required for attendees at indoor events of 1,000 people or more.

Meanwhile, California, Illinois, Kentucky and New Jersey, all led by Democratic governors, have required masks in all schools.

On Thursday, the National Education Association President Becky Pringle, who leads the largest teachers’ union in the country, said she supported vaccine mandates for teachers. Her statement came on the heels of a similar announcement from the American Federation of Teachers’ president earlier this week.

(Reporting by Gabriella Borter in Washington; Additional reporting by Peter Szekely and Dan Burns in New York and Manas Mishra in Washington; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

Chinese who took refuge at San Francisco consulate now in U.S. custody: U.S. official

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A Chinese researcher who took refuge from U.S. authorities at China’s consulate in San Francisco is now in American custody and is expected to appear in court on Friday, a senior U.S. Justice Department official said.

According to court filings in U.S. District Court in San Francisco this week, Juan Tang, who worked at the University of California, Davis, falsely claimed on her visa application that she had not served in the Chinese military. She was charged with visa fraud on June 26.

The Justice Department official told reporters Tang was detained on Thursday night and did not have diplomatic immunity as she was not declared as a diplomatic official.

“She’ll make her initial appearance in court later today,” he said, alleging that Tang was part of a network of associates who concealed their military affiliation when applying for visas.

The Chinese embassy did respond to a request for comment on the case.

(Reporting by David Brunnstrom and Daphne Psaledakis; editing by Jonathan Oatis)

FBI interviewing Chinese visa holders across U.S. about possible military ties: Justice Department

By Lisa Lambert

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The FBI has interviewed visa holders it believes to secretly be members of the Chinese military in more than two dozen U.S. cities, the Justice Department said on Thursday.

The department said it has arrested three Chinese nationals for visa fraud, while a fourth remains a fugitive staying at China’s consulate in San Francisco. The United States believes the four were members of China’s military posing as researchers.

“In interviews with members of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army in over 25 cities across the U.S., the FBI uncovered a concerted effort to hide their true affiliation to take advantage of the United States and the American people,” John Brown, executive assistant director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s national security branch, said in a statement.

Court filings show that the FBI believed the San Francisco consulate was harboring a fugitive since late June. U.S. law enforcement cannot enter a foreign embassy or consulate unless invited, and certain top officials such as ambassadors have diplomatic immunity.

U.S. appeals court blocks Trump policy forcing migrants to wait in Mexico

By Mica Rosenberg

(Reuters) – A U.S. federal appeals court in San Francisco on Friday blocked a Trump administration policy that has forced tens of thousands of migrants to wait in Mexico for months for hearings in U.S. immigration courts.

A 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel found the plaintiffs were likely to succeed in their argument that the program violated U.S. immigration law and international treaty obligations on the treatment of asylum seekers.

The program, which began a year ago and is called the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), is one of the most dramatic immigration policy changes enacted by the Trump administration.

U.S. President Donald Trump, who has made cracking down on immigration a central theme of his more than three years in the White House, has sought through a series of new policies and rule changes to reduce asylum claims filed mostly by Central Americans arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border.

The U.S. Department of Justice did not immediately respond to a request for comment but the administration is likely to quickly appeal the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court as it has done with other rulings.

Some 59,000 people have been sent back to Mexico under the program, which started in San Diego before being expanded to other ports of entry all across the U.S-Mexico border. [L2N25W1G1] It was not immediately clear what would happen to people already in the program.

Migrants, many of them children, have faced violence and homelessness as they wait for their court dates in dangerous border cities. At least 1,000 people returned under the program were violently attacked or threatened in Mexico, according to a Feb 28 Human Rights Watch report that documented kidnappings, rapes and assaults.

The Trump administration argued the program did not violate a principle in international law known as non-refoulement, which says asylum seekers should not be returned to places where they face danger. The administration has said migrants could tell officials at any point in the process they had a fear of returning to Mexico.

But the panel concluded that plaintiffs in the case, which included 11 individual asylum seekers and several immigration advocacy groups, “had shown a likelihood of success on their claim that the MPP does not comply with the United States’ treaty-based non-refoulement obligations.”

The Trump administration has said most asylum petitions are ultimately denied by immigration courts and releasing migrants into the United States to wait for hearings encourages people to disappear into the country. Officials say forcing migrants to wait in Mexico is a way to cut down on fraudulent asylum claims.

In a separate ruling on Friday, the 9th Circuit left in place a lower court’s block on a Trump administration regulation that barred migrants who cross the U.S.-Mexico border between ports of entry from seeking asylum.

A three-judge panel in that case found the regulation – issued in November 2018 and swiftly enjoined by a federal judge in the Northern District of California – conflicted with federal immigration statutes that govern asylum and amounted to “a categorical ban” on certain asylum seekers.

(Reporting by Mica Rosenberg in New York; Additional reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York, Ted Hesson in Washington and Kristina Cooke in Los Angeles; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Howard Goller)

California wildfires force evacuations, cause power outages

California wildfires force evacuations, cause power outages
By Subrat Patnaik and Rich McKay

(Reuters) – California emergency officials on Thursday ordered hundreds of people to evacuate a historic wine country town north of San Francisco, and nearly 200,000 were without power, as a growing wildfire spread in Sonoma County.

Driven by strong winds, the Kincade fire engulfed some 10,000 acres (4,047 hectares) by Thursday, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. The Sonoma County Sheriff issued a mandatory evacuation order for the town of Geyserville, home to almost 900 people.

A video posted on social media by a local reporter showed a glowing blaze against the still-dark backdrop of an early morning sky and a strong wind buffeting into the microphone.

Large parts of California were under red-flag alerts this week, suggesting a heightened risk of fire, amid high temperatures and powerful winds, officials said.

About 185,000 customers were without power in the state on Thursday morning, according to poweroutage.us.

More than half a million homes and businesses in the state could lose power this week as utilities, including Pacific Gas & Electric <PCG.N> and Southern California Edison <SCE_pe.A>, cut off electricity as a preventive measure against wildfires.

Over 308,000 customers in seven counties, including Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Ventura in southern California, were under consideration for Public Safety Power Shutoffs, Southern California Edison said.

National Weather Service meteorologist Marc Chenard said the worst of the winds would arrive later in the day and into Friday.

“It looks like at its worst, southern California will see wind gusts of 55 miles per hour (89 kph). Down in some of the coastal areas, the winds could reach 75 miles per hour (121 kph) later today,” he said.

Power lines could be knocked down, potentially igniting fires among arid trees and vegetation, according to earlier forecasts.

Bankrupt Californian power producer PG&E cut off electricity to more than 730,000 homes and workplaces in northern California earlier this month to try to reduce the risk of wildfires amid extremely windy and dry weather.

Chenard added that northern California could experience dangerous wind gusts of up to 45 mph.

“This is not going to abate until at least this weekend,” he said.

(Reporting by Subrat Patnaik in Bengaluru and Rich McKay in Atlanta, additional reporting by Maria Caspani in New York; Editing by Scott Malone and Bernadette Baum)