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Politico reports that California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s “closing message” to voters in the Golden State is: “More people will die if I’m recalled.”

Newsom, whose coronavirus shutdowns last year fueled enthusiasm for the recall, is pointing to the latest surge as proof that he is needed, because his likeliest replacements want to end mask and vaccine mandates.

Conservative talk radio host Larry Elder, for example, was vaccinated himself, and has encouraged others to do likewise, voluntarily, but wants to repeal Newsom’s requirement for state employees and health care workers to take the vaccine.

Politico noted:

“There is no more consequential decision to the health and safety of the people of the state of California than voting no on this Republican-backed recall,” Newsom said Tuesday at a vaccine event in Oakland two weeks before the recall election. He said that “the starkest contrast” exists between him and the Republican candidates who would rather go the way of Texas and Florida, states with more lax protocols and subsequently lower vaccine rates and higher virus cases.

The governor was blasted in November for attending a high-end French Laundry dinner with lobbyist friends despite discouraging residents from attending social gatherings, a cringe-worthy decision widely viewed as a catalyst for the signature drive that qualified the recall. Things only got worse in subsequent months as California suffered its highest Covid-19 death rates and hospitals were overrun.

In the final stretch before the Sept. 14 election, the governor has leaned into his pandemic efforts again. In the past month, Newsom mandated a universal school mask policy ahead of the CDC and issued some of the strictest vaccine requirements for teachers and health care workers in the country. Meanwhile, all of the top Republican recall candidates are vowing to undo those mandates if elected.

As Delta variant anxieties increase, and the election coincides with precarious school reopenings, the Democratic governor sees opportunity in drawing a stark and ominous line between himself and his challengers: If he is ousted, the virus will get worse, not better.

Voters have already started turning in their mail-in ballots. Voting continues, by mail and in person, until September 14.

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VIDEO: Larry Elder tells supporters to ‘stay tuned’ after California recall loss

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 A defiant Larry Elder conceded his fight to become California’s next governor but indicated his first campaign might not be his last. “Stay tuned,” the Republican talk radio host told supporters.

Shortly after Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom easily beat back a recall effort to remove him from office, Elder told a cheering crowd Tuesday that “we may have lost the battle, but we are going to win the war.”

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San Francisco to Fight Rising Gun Crime by Paying People Not to Shoot Each Other

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San Francisco will roll out a pilot program in October that will pay “high risk” individuals not to shoot one another, Fox News reported.

The program, which is sponsored by the Dream Keeper Fellowship, will pay 10 people “who are at high risk of being on either end of a shooting” $300 per month to forego the violent crime. Notably, the Dream Keeper Initiative is part of San Francisco Mayor London Breed’s (D) plan to divert $120 million from the city’s law enforcement budget to projects aimed at helping the city’s black minority.

“These small investments can transform the lives of individuals, but they can also transform communities,” Sheryl Davis, executive director of the Human Rights Commission, told Newsweek.

In August, Mayor Breed said she believes the program will cut down on violent crime in the city, which has skyrocketed this year.

 

According to Fox News, there have been 119 recorded gun crime victims in the first six months of 2021, “which is double the number during the same timeframe in 2020.” In 2020, homicides rose 35 percent.

Richmond, California, reportedly instituted a similar program, which the media called “cash for criminals.”  A 2019 study concluded that the program helped reduce gun homicides in the city by 55 percent, the report states.

Fox News continued:

Critics of the program have pointed out that similar initiatives haven’t been very successful, with the Washington Examiner‘s David Freddoso saying in a Wednesday op-ed, “It was also tried in Sacramento, where its promoters boast that ‘only’ 44 percent  of participants were subsequently arrested on new charges — well, as long as you don’t count about one-third of the participants who dropped out or were arrested in its first six months.

California also recently decided to throw money at its drug problem by paying people to stay sober, something Gov. Gavin Newsom called “contingency management.” He asked the federal government for permission to use tax dollars to pay for it through Medicaid.

While research shows payment is effective in keeping people sober during the program, the effect doesn’t last long past six months after treatment concludes.

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At least 32 California children remain stranded in Afghanistan amid extreme unrest

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At least 32 California students are still stranded in chaotic, war-torn Afghanistan even though Monday’s final military evacuation flight left Kabul’s Hamid Karzai International Airport.

What are the details?

San Juan Unified School District near Sacramento said Tuesday that 29 district students are stranded in Afghanistan, the Daily Mail reported.

Cajon Valley Union School District in El Cajon, California, announced the same day that three students from the same family were also remained.

Last week, Blaze Media reported that at least 24 students and 16 parents from the Cajon Valley district visited Afghanistan earlier in the summer and were trapped in the country as the Taliban continued its takeover. That week, Cajon Valley Superintendent David Miyashiro said that the students and adults traveled to the country on special visa for U.S. military services to visit extended relatives, and explained that he would be meeting with Republican California Rep. Darrell Issa to figure out how to locate and rescue the stranded families.

A spokesperson for the California Republican said that the congressman and his team were “working diligently to determine the facts on the ground, any bureaucratic barriers that can be removed, and the best ways to help those stranded leave Afghanistan and return home safely.”

On Tuesday, the San Juan Unified School District told Newsweek that the 29 district students stranded in the country come from 19 families.

According to the outlet, the Sacramento-area school district is home to more than 1,400 Afghan refugee students. It is believed that up to 150 students were previously stranded in Afghanistan.

“We stand ready to support these students and families in whatever way that we can, and are working closely with state-elected officials to provide them information as we receive it from our families. San Juan Unified stands with our Afghan community and all those whose loved ones are currently in Afghanistan. We sincerely hope for their speedy and safe return back to the U.S. and back to our school communities,” a district representative told Newsweek in a statement on the matter.

What else?

Sacramento Democratic Rep. Ami Bera told Fox News that his office and the district are working hand-in-hand to bring the students home, but noted that the Biden administration has yet to provide an update on how they will safely bring the children home.

“Our office has been in close contact with the San Juan Unified School District, and have urgently flagged this with the Department of Defense and State Department. We have not received an update from DOD or State,” a spokesperson for Bera told the outlet.

The Biden administration has insisted that they believe the Taliban will permit U.S. citizens to leave the country even though military evacuations have ended.

During a Tuesday briefing, President Joe Biden said, “I was not going to extend this forever war, and I was not going to extend a forever exit. We succeeded in what we set out to do in Afghanistan over a decade ago. It was time to end this war.”

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