Thursday, August 1, 2013

Thursday Must Reads: A Majority of Californians Oppose Fracking; BART Strike on Monday Appears Likely

By Robert Gammon
Thu, Aug 1, 2013 at 6:47 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. A majority of California residents say they oppose fracking and more offshore oil drilling, the Mercury News reports, citing a new survey from the Public Policy Institute of California. The poll also found that 65 percent of Californians support immediate action to cut greenhouse gas emissions, saying that the government cannot afford to wait for the economy to recover. In addition, the poll found that 79 percent of state residents want the federal government to increase funding for solar and wind power. The poll, however, also showed that old habits are tough to break and that a majority of Bay Area residents still drive alone to work, SFGate reports.

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2. A BART strike on Monday appears to be increasingly likely as transit agency employees and management remain far apart in negotiations. The Mercury News reports that BART union leaders said they likely will announce tomorrow whether they will go on strike before the Monday morning commute.

3. Twelve large California corporations — led by Apple, Google, and Chevron — are parking at least $262 billion in earnings in offshore accounts in order to avoid paying taxes in the United States, the SacBee$ reports. Apple has parked $82.7 billion offshore, followed by Cisco Systems, with $41.3 billion; Hewlett-Packard, with $33.4 billion; Google, $33.3 billion; Chevron, $26.5 billion; and Oracle, $20.9 billion.

4. Another leak of classified documents by whistleblower Edward Snowden shows that National Security Agency has the ability to track virtually everything Americans do online, including monitoring Internet browsing history, searches, content of emails, online chats, and social media habits, the Guardian reports.

5. And the morning-after pill will be widely available today on the shelves of pharmacies and grocery stores as the result of several legal rulings, the Mercury News reports.

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