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California first state to sue Trump administration over new international student visa rules

New ICE rule makes international students leave US

Fox News senior judicial analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano responds to the lawsuit filed by Harvard and MIT asking for a temporary hold on the new ICE rule and discusses whether it’s legal.

California became the first state to sue the Trump administration over a new visa rule that says international students must leave the United States if all their classes are online, the state’s Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced Thursday.

The suit, which is supported by California State University (CSU) and California Community Colleges officials, claims it unfairly harms international students and puts "themselves, teachers, other students and the community at large at risk of getting and spreading the coronavirus — or be subject to deportation."

"Shame on the Trump Administration for risking not only the education opportunities for students who earned the chance to go to college, but now their health and well-being as well,” Becerra said in a statement.  “Not on our watch…Today’s lawsuit rests on America’s enduring principle that everyone who works hard and plays by the rules can earn a chance to get ahead. We'll see the Trump Administration in court."

CSU plans to mainly hold online classes in the fall due to the virus, The Los Angeles Times reported.

Cal State Chancellor Timothy White called the policy “callous and inflexible,” adding it places thousands of international students into an “extremely difficult position,” The Times reported.

Under the new policy, F-1 and M-1 visa holders "must depart the country or take other measures, such as transferring to a school with in-person instruction to remain in lawful status," Immigration and Customs Enforcement said in a statement, according to NBC News.

Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, in a letter to Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf, called for the extension of an exemption adopted by ICE in March through the end of the 2020-2021 school year. The ICE exemption allowed international students with F-1 visas to attend classes online while retaining their visa status.

"The exemption worked and ought to be extended,” Collins wrote. “Its termination on short-notice is especially troubling given that the Student and Exchange Visitor Program’s (SEVP) new guidance requires colleges and universities to certify by July 15—just one week from now—whether to not fall semester courses will be offered online only, in-person only, or using a hybrid model.”

The rules would also hurt colleges already struggling financially amid the outbreak since many colleges rely on international student tuition. California has more students on international visas than any other state, NBC reported.

“In addition to being cruel, Defendants’ attempt at a policy change to force in-person learning in the middle of a pandemic is absurd and the essence of arbitrary and capricious conduct in violation of the Administrative Procedure Act,” the suit says, according to the Times.

The lawsuit seeks an injunction to block the policy and separately the University of California plans to seek a restraining order as well.

Becerra said it is the 86th lawsuit he’s filed against the administration.

Fox News’ Brooke Singman contributed to this report.

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California Coronavirus Update: Governor Gavin Newsom Reports Record Number Of COVID-Related Deaths In State

California Governor Gavin Newsom began his Thursday news conference speaking about the state’s efforts to mitigate wildfires, announcing the addition of 12 Blackhawk helicopters to the state’s fleet as wildfire season begins to peak. He then transitioned to addressing a more immediate conflagration.

Newsom announced a record number of daily deaths in the state from COVID-19, with 149 lives lost over the past 24 hours. That’s up about 23 percent from the previous high of 115 deaths. That grim mark was reported on April 22, during the previous peak of the virus in California. The total number of lives lost in the state due to coronavirus is now 6,711.

Newsom pointed out that one recent tally of daily deaths was 6, and that delayed reporting can inflate or deflate daily numbers. As a result, Newsom asked Californians to focus on the 7 day mortality rate, which is 73 lives lost each day. He said that number indicates how devastating the virus continues to be. It is worth noting that the previous high of 114 deaths occurred just two days ago, on July 7.

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California Coronavirus Update: Gov. Gavin Newsom Reports New COVID-19 Case Numbers That Shatter Daily Record by 64%

Newsom reported 7,031 new cases of coronavirus in the state. The 7-day average of new cases is currently 8,043, a number that, three days ago, would have been an all-time high.

The 14 and 7 day rolling positivity rates are both at 7.3 percent, announced Newsom.

Just one day before, the state reported a 7.1 percent positivity rate over 14 days, according to the governor. “That 7 percent can spike,” warned Newsom on Wednesday. “[It] can quickly turn into the 20-plus range.”

Hospitalization up .4 percent and ICU down .1 percent. Again, Newsom emphasized looking at the 14-day average for both of those metrics.

Hospitalizations, he said on Tuesday, had spiked 44% over a two-week period. The state now has 41,000 beds out of 75,000 occupied. About 18% of those cases are COVID-19-related.

Likewise, ICU admissions are at a 34% increase on Tuesday, with 15% of those beds occupied by coronavirus patients.

Newsom singled out Los Angeles and 4 other heavily-impacted counties county, saying they “continue to be areas of additional focus for our team.”

On Wednesday, Newsom announced a staggering number of new coronavirus cases in the state. Over the previous 24 hours, California had seen 11,694 new cases, which included a backlog of cases from Los Angeles County.

Testing backlogs have spiked the state’s daily new-case numbers before, but Wednesday’s number so far exceeded the state’s previous all-time high of 7,149 reported on June 24 that it cannot be ignored.

For a more measured idea of where the state is, the seven-day average of daily cases provides some perspective. California averaged 8,116 new cases in the 7-day period that ended Wednesday. That daily average, in itself, exceeded the previous daily record.

Earlier in the day, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health on Tuesday confirmed 4,015 new cases of COVID-19, the region’s highest number of new cases reported since the pandemic began. The high number of cases was due, in part, to a backlog of about 2,000 test results received from one lab that had just submitted lab results from July 2-5.

Testing results are available for more than 1.2 million individuals with 9 percent of those people testing positive, said L.A. County Health Director Barbara Ferrer. The daily positivity rate of all tests — a composite of a seven-day rolling average — rose to 11.6 percent on Tuesday. The day before, that seven-day average was pegged at 10 percent.

Also on Wednesday, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti began his coronavirus press conference with a warning.

Noting that Los Angeles is currently seeing its highest level of hospitalizations since the pandemic began, Garcetti warned, “These [next two] weeks are absolutely critical. Critical to whether our schools open, whether our economy thrives.”

He reminded residents that “All options remain on the table. We will do whatever we need to.”

If things get worse, said Garcetti, “We’d likely return to a mandated stay-at-home order,” in one or two weeks.

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Coast-to-Coast U.S. Heat Wave May Break Records, Hurt Crops

Oppressive heat will blanket the U.S. from California to the Northeast through at least the middle of next week, driving up energy demand, stressing crops and probably setting new records.

New York’s Central Park is forecast to reach 91 degrees Fahrenheit (33 Celsius) Thursday, and will remain in the high 80s through the weekend, according to the National Weather Service. Heat advisories are in place in Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Illinois, and reach into western and northern New York and central New England.

50,​820 Million metric tons of greenhouse emissions, most recent annual data +0.​95° C May. 2020 increase in global temperature vs. 1900s average

$81.​9B Renewable power investment worldwide in Q4 2019 -16.​99% Today’s arctic ice area vs. historic average

Temuco, ChileMost polluted air today, in sensor range

“This heat is different,” Matt Rogers, president of the Commodity Weather Group LLC in Bethesda, Maryland, said by telephone. “It’s spread over a large geographic area all the way from Southern California to New England.”

Don’t expect much relief after the sun goes down. Daytime temperatures in the 90s will be followed by overnight lows lingering in the 70s. While past years may have been hotter, notably 2011 and 2016, the extensive reach of this heat wave and the warm nights may create record electricity demand for cooling.

Record Demand

Population-weighted cooling degree days, a measure of weather’s impact on energy demand, may break the current record of 415 set in 2011, Rogers said. The higher the number the more electricity is used by consumers to stay cool.

The heat can stress developing corn and soybean plants affecting yields later in the season.

“It’s definitely going to have some impacts on corn and beans, especially corn,” Don Keeney, a meteorologist with Maxar in Gaithersburg, Maryland, said by telephone.

From Friday to Monday, a searing blast of heat will press down on the Southwest from Arizona to West Texas. Temperatures in some areas could soar as much as 10 to 15 degrees above normal, with pockets reaching 20 degrees higher than the 30-year average, according to Lara Pagano, a forecaster with the U.S. Weather Prediction Center in College Park, Maryland.

The heat drove up wholesale power prices in Michigan to $396 a megawatt-hour at 5 p.m. Tuesday, the highest in records going back to 2005, according to Genscape data. And the Midcontinent Independent System Operator has warned there could be shortages as demand taxes the grid.

The entire U.S. grid will be stressed by the heat, especially the PJM Interconnection LLC system that stretches across 13 states in the Midwest and the Mid-Atlantic, said Jim Rouiller, lead meteorologist at the Energy Weather Group LLC.

“There will be a brief break and then the real deal, which never goes away from the Midwest, will reach our area next week.”

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New York State Doubles The Number Of States Whose Residents Face COVID-19 Travel Quarantines, Adding California

New York, New Jersey and Connecticut have doubled the number of states whose residents will be asked to go into quarantine when they travel to the Tri-State Area due to rising COVID-19 concerns.

California has joined the list of 16 states, as have Georgia and Tennessee. Residents of 16 states will now have to go into 14 days of quarantine if they choose to travel to the New York area. Signs have gone up at airports and along highways. Hotels have been asked to inform their guests of the procedures.

Last week, the limit was introduced for eight states, including Texas and Florida. Aside from Idaho and Iowa, all 16 of the states now on the list are in the southeast and southwest portions of the U.S.

The restrictions come as many parts of the U.S. are seeing big surges in coronavirus infection rates, leading the Centers for Disease Control to issue warnings that the disease may have gotten beyond control. The new limits are a dramatic reversal of the pattern from early on in the pandemic, when travelers from New York were blamed for spreading the virus in Florida and elsewhere. New York was initially the global epicenter of the pandemic, but it has made the most progress in fighting the disease, with the rest of the country heading in the opposite direction in recent weeks.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo did not hold a press briefing Tuesday after announcing the expansion of the quarantine measures. At a briefing on Monday, he made note of new COVID-19 clusters that had been identified, including one involving travel to and from Florida by a family living in New York. Despite the significant headway made by New York and New Jersey, they are considered at risk by health officials because of travelers coming from out of state, a particular concern during the summer months.

In responding to COVID-19, New York, New Jersey and Connecticut have often acted jointly given their shared stake in the New York City metro area, a top travel and commercial hub.

“Our numbers have come way down, probably as much as any American state, but we paid a huge price,” New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy told NBC’s Today on Tuesday. “We’ve gone through hell. The last thing we want to do is go through hell again.”

On Monday, Murphy indefinitely delayed the return of indoor dining at restaurants in the state. Cuomo has also put the brakes on the reopenings of movie theaters and other parts of the state’s commercial landscape.

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California University Paid $1.14 Million After Ransomware Attack

The University of California, San Francisco paid criminal hackers $1.14 million this month to resolve a ransomware attack.

The hackers encrypted data on servers inside the school of medicine, the university said Friday. While researchers at UCSF are among those leading coronavirus-related antibody testing, the attack didn’t impede its Covid-19 work, it said. The university is working with a team of cybersecurity contractors to restore the hampered servers “soon.”

“The data that was encrypted is important to some of the academic work we pursue as a university serving the public good,” it said in the statement. “We therefore made the difficult decision to pay some portion of the ransom.”

The intrusion was detected as recently as June 1, and UCSF said the actors were halted during the attack. Yet using malware known as Netwalker, the hackers obtained and revealed data that prompted UCSF to engage in ransomware negotiations, which ultimately followed with payment.


Season 1, Episode 2, The Bar Is Now at Your Desk

The WeWork Story, Part 2Forward 15 secondsBack 15 seconds00:00:00

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The WeWork Story, Part 2:

WeWork sold office space, but also it sold something else: fun. Beer flowed freely, members partied at the office, and your work was your life. But getting these offices off the ground was utter chaos, especially for the burgeoning company’s young, inexperienced workers. In this episode, reporter Ellen Huet takes a look at WeWork’s early days, when the company was growing so fast that some buildings opened without doors or functioning bathrooms.

In exchange, the university said it received a key to restore access to the files, and copies of the stolen documents. The university declined to say what was in the files that was worth more than $1 million, except that it didn’t believe patient medical records were exposed.

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California considers 1st-in-US electric truck sales rule

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California regulators are scheduled to approve new rules on Thursday that would force automakers to sell more electric work trucks and delivery vans, a first-of-its-kind rule aimed at helping the nation’s most populous state clean up its worst-in-the-nation air quality.

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The rules would require a certain percentage of work truck sales each year to be zero emission vehicles. By the time its fully implemented in 2035, the board estimates at least 20% of the 1.2 million trucks on the road would run on electricity.

“It’s the only way we think we can make significant progress on the most stubborn air pollution problems,” said Mary Nichols, chair of the California Air Resources Board. “This will have a really transformational impact not just in our state but around the world when people see that it can be done.”

Trucks travel along a loading dock at the Port of Long Beach in Long Beach, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)

Work trucks and delivery vans, while just a small fraction of all vehicles on the road, are some of the largest sources of air pollution in the transportation sector. They travel many more miles than passenger vehicles and often have diesel engines, which are more powerful but produce more pollution than gasoline engines.


California has lots of these trucks on the road because it is home to two of the largest ports in the world at Los Angeles and Long Beach, where heavy duty trucks are constantly hauling freight to and from warehouses in the Inland Empire while spewing harmful pollutants into the air.

The American Lung Association’s State of the Air report for 2020 said seven of the 10 most ozone-polluted cities in the U.S. are in California, with 98% of its residents living in counties with poor air quality.


The rules, which if approved would not take effect until 2024, would require at least 40% of all tractor trailers sold in California to be zero emission by 2035. For smaller trucks, including models like the Ford F-250, 55% of all sales would be zero emission by 2035. The standard is the toughest for delivery trucks and vans, with 75% of sales required to be zero emission by 2035.

Zero emission Fuso Canter e-Cell parked on the charging station. / iStock

California already has similar rules in place for passenger vehicle sales. But no one has yet imposed rules like these for work trucks, which unlike passenger vehicles are purchased with the intent of returning a profit.

The Truck and Engine Manufacturers Association argues the proposed rule would eventually “collapse” because there are not enough charging stations available to support that many electric trucks on the road. Plus, they argue requiring the industry to sell more electric trucks won’t succeed without first requiring companies to buy more of them.


“Vehicle manufacturers will be faced with unacceptable costs and market risks, and may be compelled to reduce their sales into the California market, or abandon that market altogether,” the association told the board in written comments.

Nichols said the board plans to adopt rules next year requiring fleets to have a certain percentage of electric trucks.

“First you have to make sure the engines and the trucks are going to be available, then you have to assure there is a market for them,” she said. “We’re proceeding methodically to make that happen.”


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California Breaks Record For New Daily Coronavirus Cases, Hospitalizations Surge

The California state health department on Tuesday reported a record number of new coronavirus cases. The new daily tally of 5,019 was a big jump from the previous record of 4,230, which was recorded on Monday. Hospitalizations, a confirmation that these are new infections vs. the result of increased testing, also rose to a record of 3,868 total.

Hospitalization totals broke records on both Saturday and Sunday, with 3,702 COVID-19 patients reported in hospital beds. The previous high before the weekend came nearly two months earlier on April 29. That was 3,497 new hospitalizations.

California was one of seven states that, on Tuesday, reported the highest number of hospitalizations since the pandemic began, according to the Washington Post. The others included Texas, Arizona, Arkansas, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.

Hospitalized patient figures are increasing most rapidly in Southern California. But some counties in the Central Valley and Bay Area came within a handful of cases of their highest-ever total number of COVID-19 hospitalizations, as well.

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Los Angeles County Coronavirus Update: Hospitalizations Rise, Positivity Rate Jumps Amid Ongoing Spike In Cases

Generally, after an increase in cases is reported, experts look to see if there is then an increase in hospitalizations to confirm an outbreak — as opposed to just increased cases from increased testing. L.A. County’s weekly number of tests sits at 87,000. That’s an eight-week low, down from a high of 117,000 five weeks ago.

The Los Angeles County health department — the state’s largest– announced on Tuesday the fourth instance in a week that the region had seen over 2,000 new COVID-19 cases. That’s a daily mark not seen even at the height of the virus’s spread. The 24-hour total reported Tuesday was 2,364.

Even more worrisome was rise in hospitalizations and spread rate.

From the L.A. health department’s press release:

Public Health continues to assess key recovery indicators to understand how COVID-19 is affecting communities and capacity to treat people who may become seriously ill. Public Health is seeing small increases in hospitalizations and in the 7-day average of the daily positivity rate. There are 1,515 people who are currently hospitalized, 27% of these people are in the ICU and 18% are on ventilators. Although this number is significantly lower than peaks of over 1900 people hospitalized daily for COVID-19, this is higher than 1350 to 1450 daily hospitalizations seen in recent weeks. And while the cumulative positivity rate remains at 8%, the 7-day average of the daily positivity rate has increased to 8.8%.

One day earlier, the department had pegged the 7-day positivity rate at 8.4 percent.

See Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announce a new COVID-19 testing initiative on Tuesday:

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