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California Policy & Politics This Morning  

New California Laws Cover Immigration, Marijuana, Education -- State lawmakers in 2017 passed nearly 900 bills that Gov. Jerry Brown then signed into law. Most of them take effect Monday. The new laws cover topics ranging from the Trump administration’s immigration crackdown, to the state’s new recreational cannabis market, to the price of a college education. Don Thompson Associated Press -- 12/31/17

Class-action lawsuit alleges immigrants are forced to labor in detention -- Immigrants in detention in San Diego are suing a private prison company, alleging exploitation and forced labor that their attorneys say breaks human trafficking laws. Kate Morrissey in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 12/31/17

California high school football player can't be forced to stand for national anthem, court rules -- An Imperial County high school football player must be allowed to kneel during the singing of the national anthem and can’t be ordered by his school to stand for the performances, a federal court has ruled. Adam Elmahrek in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 12/31/17

Friends and Family Remember Ed Lee at His Seattle High School -- People gathered once again on Saturday to honor the life of the late San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, this time in his hometown of Seattle. Lee died earlier this month from a heart attack at the age of 65. Sonja Hutson KQED -- 12/31/17

Willie Brown: Trump will stay in check till 2020. He’ll also stay in office -- For those of you who aren’t crazy about President Trump, the good news as we wrap up his first year in the White House is how the courts and federal bureaucracy have kept him from running the country completely off the rails. The bad news, for Democrats, is that he will serve out his term and run for re-election. People hoping he’ll resign or be thrown out of office are dreaming. Willie Brown in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 12/31/17

5 of 6 candidates for California governor oppose death penalty -- As the death penalty has gradually lost its once-overwhelming public support, it may also have lost its effectiveness as a wedge issue among office-seekers. And evidence of that is in the race for governor of California in 2018. Bob Egelko in the San Francisco Chronicle$ -- 12/31/17


Lopez: California's real estate gold rush is even boosting Stockton, but at what price? -- Not long ago, the Delta city of Stockton was drowning in bad news. Steve Lopez in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 12/31/17


Scientists search for survivors after the Thomas fire scorches a condor sanctuary -- Pushed by instinct and age, a fledgling California condor had been expected to step to the edge of its cliff-side cave sometime in December and, with black-and-white wings flapping hard, make its first flight over the scrubby terrain of the Los Padres Sespe Condor Sanctuary. But then the Thomas fire broke out. Louis Sahagun in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 12/31/17


California to begin ban on ‘open containers,’ use of cannabis on the road -- Prohibitions on smoking or ingesting marijuana while driving, as well as carrying an “open container” of cannabis in a vehicle are among several highway safety standards incorporated into new California laws that will be enforced in 2018. Guy Kovner in the San Diego Union-Tribune$ -- 12/31/17


Freeway pollution travels farther than we thought -- If anyone knows where to find refuge from air pollution near Los Angeles freeways, it’s Suzanne Paulson. The UCLA atmospheric chemistry professor has spent years studying how invisible plumes of dirty air from car- and truck-choked roadways spread into surrounding neighborhoods — increasing residents’ risk of cancer, asthma, heart disease and other illnesses. Tony Barboza in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 12/31/17

Also . . . 

LAPD officer wounded by 'coward' in ambush, Beck says -- A suspected gunman was in custody after allegedly opening fire on a group of Los Angeles police officers Friday night, wounding one, in what LAPD Chief Charlie Beck described as an ambush by a “coward.” Kate Mather, Paul Pringle in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 12/31/17

In Los Angeles, homicides are down, but violent crime is up for the fourth year in a row -- Homicides and gun violence were down in Los Angeles in 2017, a payoff of building closer ties between police and communities and increased efforts to remove firearms from the streets, officials said. Cindy Chang in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 12/31/17

San Jose leads array of California cities with spiking violent crime -- In an unwelcome role reversal, San Jose, which has long touted itself as one of the country’s safest big cities, saw street violence continue a recent ascent over the past year while Oakland and San Francisco trended in the opposite direction. Robert Salonga in the San Jose Mercury$ -- 12/31/17

Man arrested in L.A. in fatal 'swatting' hoax in Wichita, Kan., has been accused of making false threats before -- Two years ago, Tyler Barriss called in multiple bomb threats to the Glendale offices of KABC-TV Channel 7, prompting a mass evacuation. Dakota Smith in the Los Angeles Times$ -- 12/31/17

POTUS 45  

How the Russia Inquiry Began: A Campaign Aide, Drinks and Talk of Political Dirt -- During a night of heavy drinking at an upscale London bar in May 2016, George Papadopoulos, a young foreign policy adviser to the Trump campaign, made a startling revelation to Australia’s top diplomat in Britain: Russia had political dirt on Hillary Clinton. Sharon LaFraniere, Mark Mazzetti and Matt Apuzzo in the New York Times$ -- 12/31/17

Trump’s Way: For Trump, a Year of Reinventing the Presidency -- In ways that were once unimaginable, President Trump has discarded the conventions and norms established by his predecessors. Will that change the institution permanently? Peter Baker in the New York Times$ -- 12/31/17


Balz: Democrats think 2018 will be a good year, but are they realistic about their own problems? -- Thanks mostly to President Trump, Democrats believe they are poised for good things in 2018: the possibility of taking control of the House and gains elsewhere in the midterm elections. But planning victory laps would be premature. Whatever their prospects for the fall campaigns, the Democrats are still in need of renovation and renewal. Dan Balz in the Washington Post$ -- 12/31/17