California Democrats Scrap Affirmative Action Amendment

CBS Sacramento

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) – Bowing to pressure from within their party, Democrats in the Legislature on Monday abandoned an attempt to repeal California’s voter-approved ban on affirmative action in the state’s higher education system.

Assembly Speaker John Perez said he does not have enough support to place the constitutional amendment before voters in November. Instead, he said lawmakers will form a task force to study the issue of access to higher education.

California voters passed Proposition 209 in 1996, banning the use of race and ethnicity in public university admissions, state hiring and contracting. The amendment, SCA5, was initiated to address the drop-off in black and Latino college admissions, primarily in the University of California system. The fall in enrollment was especially pronounced in California’s most competitive public schools, UC Berkeley and UCLA.

Sen. Ed Hernandez, the amendment’s author, asked Perez to spike the effort until there was broader debate…

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Krave Jerky Beef Jerky Recall Issued After Slaughterhouse Worries

CBS Sacramento

SALINAS, Calif. (AP) – Health officials have issued another recall for a food product processed by a Northern California slaughterhouse.

The Monterey County Health Department said in a statement on Monday that it was recalling Krave Jerky’s garlic chili pepper beef jerky processed at Rancho Feeding Corporation in Petaluma, Calif.

The agency said it was recalling the 3.25-ounce jerky product because of safety concerns. The product was distributed nationwide and will bear the mark “EST 18951.”

Rancho Feeding Corporation halted operations last month after a series of recalls, including one on Feb. 10 for 8.7 million pounds of beef that had been processed from diseased animals without a complete inspection.

Health officials have not received any reports of illness caused by the products.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press.

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U.S. congressman visits Hemingway Cuba home to celebrate legacy

Repeating Islands

XRE102_Cuba_Hemingway

U.S. Congressman Jim McGovern visited Ernest Hemingway’s former home outside the Cuban capital on Monday to celebrate a joint U.S.-Cuban effort to preserve and digitize the Nobel Prize-winning author’s personal effects and writings, Canada’s Globe and Mail report.

Island curators gave the Massachusetts Democrat and a visiting U.S. delegation a rare guided tour inside the modest but graceful Finca Vigia, a hilltop estate that is surrounded by lush tropical fruit trees and boasts panoramic views of the Havana skyline.

Both the United States and Cuba, where Hemingway lived from 1939 to 1960 and wrote much of “The Old Man and the Sea” and other works, claim the man known affectionately as “Papa” as a favourite son. McGovern said that kind of common ground can help bridge the often-bitter divide between Cold War foes Havana and Washington.

“Hemingway has always brought people together,” McGovern said. “He transcends politics, and one of…

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