Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Wednesday Must Read: Internet Sales Tax Passes Assembly; Cellphones May Cause Cancer

By Robert Gammon
Wed, Jun 1, 2011 at 9:52 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. A bill that would force online retailers such as Amazon.com to charge sales tax passed the state assembly yesterday and is now headed for the senate, the LA Times reports. The bill by Democratic Assemblyman Charles Calderon is similar to one authored by Berkeley Assemblywoman Nancy Skinner and is one of three pieces of legislation that address online sales taxes. Both small and large retailers support the measures because they contend that current law gives online businesses an unfair advantage. Amazon.com and Overstock.com have threatened to stop doing business in the state if the tax bills become law.

Warning: May Cause Cancer
  • Warning: May Cause Cancer
2. Cellphones have the potential to cause cancer, the World Health Organization has concluded, the LA Times reports. The organization, however, cautioned that there is not yet a direct link between the radiation emitted by cellphones and cancer. Still, the researchers said people should reduce their exposure to cellphones.

3. Alameda’s Interim Fire Chief Mike D’Orazi said he’s instituting immediate policy changes after firefighters stood by and watched a man drown himself in the bay on Memorial Day, the Alameda Journal reports. Firefighters said they decided not to try to save 52-year-old Raymond Zack because they had no training in land-water rescues.

4. Asmerom and Tewodros Gebreselassie were found guilty yesterday of murdering three of their family members in North Oakland whom they mistakenly thought had killed their younger brother, the Trib reports. The Gebreselassies now face life in prison without parole for the 2006 Thanksgiving Day shooting spree.

5. And a mild spring and slow snowmelt in the Sierra are lessening the threat of flooding this year in California, the CoCo Times reports. However, the huge snowpack in the Sierra from this year’s heavy precipitation means that California rivers will be running much higher than normal this summer.

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