The county of 10 million people was one of several that moved into the state’s orange tier, which is the second-least restrictive of California’s four-tier system.,The International Olympic Committee and International Paralympic Committee said they fully respect and accept the move

Placer County is one of 13 California counties that have moved Sunday to the red tier of California’s COVID-19 reopening framework, loosening some restrictions.,The counties became eligible to move from the purple tier (“widespread”) to the red tier (“substantial” spread) after the state hit its goal Friday of delivering 2 million COVID-19 doses to communities hit hardest by the pandemic, triggering new thresholds.,Butte County has qualified to move from the most stringent purple tier to the less-restrictive red tier of the state’s COVID-19 reopening plan.,For a county to move down to the red tier, there should be a case rate of 4-7 per 100,000 residents with a 5-8% test positivity rate. read more

Here’s a look at the legal road ahead for Trump —-

Atlanta prosecutors opened a criminal investigation into whether Trump attempted to overturn his election loss in Georgia, including a Jan. 2 phone call in which he urged the state’s Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to “find” enough votes to reverse Biden’s narrow victory.,Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr., a Democrat, is in the midst of an 18-month criminal investigation focusing in part on hush-money payments paid to women on Trump’s behalf, and whether Trump or his businesses manipulated the value of assets — inflating them in some cases and minimizing them in others — to gain favorable loan terms and tax benefits.,Last month, Vance’s office sent subpoenas to local governments in the New York City suburbs seeking information about a sprawling Westchester estate Trump owns there, and 158 acres of land he donated to conservation land trust in 2016 to qualify for an income tax deduction.,New York Attorney General Letitia James’ civil investigation focuses on some of the same issues as Vance’s criminal probe, including possible property value manipulation and tax write-offs Trump’s company, the Trump Organization, claimed on millions of dollars in consulting fees it paid, including money that went to Trump’s daughter Ivanka.,Lawyers for Summer Zervos, a restaurateur who worked with Trump as a contestant on “The Apprentice,” asked New York’s high court last week to dismiss as moot Trump’s appeal that argued a sitting president can’t be sued in a state court. read more

The end-of-day totals from California public health websites for Tuesday, Feb. 16, registered 8,855 people needing hospital care, a 61.3% drop since the Jan. 1 high of 22,853.,Reports for Tuesday, indicated a 75.9% drop in the 14-day total of 10,208 new cases from a Jan. 1 high of 42,268.,And the 14-day average of 401.9 new deaths represents a 26% decline since its Feb. 1 high of 543.1.,California communities reported 11,236 new cases of the coronavirus on Tuesday, bringing the total number of cases to 3,478,579.,There were 388 new deaths reported Tuesday, for a total of 47,507 people in California who have died from the virus.

Boyle bases his argument on circumstantial evidence: the presence of a Biosafety Level 4 lab in Wuhan, the fact that other viruses have escaped from other labs in the past, and his belief that governments around the world are engaged in a secret arms race over biological weapons.,A World Heath Organization team concluded it was extremely unlikely the virus escaped from the Wuhan lab, and other experts have said the virus shows no signs of genetic IT IS: A website that was an early promoter of the theory that the coronavirus was engineered.,The coronavirus most likely first appeared in humans after jumping from an animal, a World Health Organization panel announced this month, saying an alternate theory that the virus leaked from a Chinese lab was unlikely.,COVID CLAIM: While the center has published several articles about the virus, one suggesting it originated in the U.S. caught the attention of top Chinese officials.,The story by Larry Romanoff, a regular author at the center, cites several debunked theories, including one that members of the U.S. military brought the virus to China during the Military World Games in fall 2019.

By PAUL J. WEBER and JAKE BLEIBERG

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A sprawling blast of winter weather across the U.S. is likely to blame for the deaths of two people in Texas, where an unusually snowy emergency Monday knocked out power for more than four million people, shut down grocery stores and air travel and closed schools ahead of frigid days still to come.,As nightfall threatened to plummet temperatures again into single digits, officials warned that homes still without power would likely not have heat until at least Tuesday, as frustration mounted and the state’s electric grid came under growing demand and criticism.,Massive power outages across Houston included a facility storing 8,000 doses of Moderna vaccine, leaving health officials scrambling to find takers at the same time authorities were pleading for people to stay home.,Temperatures nosedived into the single-digits as far south as San Antonio, and homes that had already been without electricity for hours had no certainty about when the lights and heat would come back on, as the state’s overwhelmed power grid began imposing blackouts that are typically only seen in 100-degree Fahrenheit (38-degree Celsius) summers.,State officials said surging demand, driven by people trying to keep their homes warm, and cold weather knocking some power stations offline had pushed Texas’ system beyond the limits. read more

President Joe Biden has responded by including a provision in the massive pandemic relief bill that would more than double the minimum wage from the current $7.25 to $15 per hour.,The Senate’s parliamentarian may further complicate things with a ruling that the minimum wage measure can’t be included in the pandemic bill.,For now, the measure’s most progressive Senate backers aren’t openly pressuring Biden to step up his campaign for a higher minimum wage.,The Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, the co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign, said Biden has a “mandate” to ensure the minimum wage increases, noting that minority Americans were “the first to go back to jobs, first to get infected, first to get sick, first to die” during the pandemic.,Biden suggested in the same interview that he’s prepared to engage in a “separate negotiation” on raising the minimum wage, but White House press secretary Jen Psaki offered no further details on the future of the proposal if it is in fact cut from the final coronavirus aid bill.

5:16 p.m.: In diverse Stockton, people of color still underrepresented in vaccination People of color in California are still underrepresented among COVID vaccine recipients, even in Stockton, which U.S. News and World Report ranked last year as the most racially diverse city in the country.,According to the Associated Press, as more people are vaccinated and the daily number of COVID-19 cases and deaths drop, public health officials are starting to relax on containment strategies.,While stressing that people should avoid close contact — including sex — with anyone outside their household, the city’s public health department told the San Francisco Chronicle it was updating guidance it first issued last year “to reflect the latest science on COVID-19.”,12:09 p.m.: Some fitness trainers got vaccine as 'health care workers'

Some fitness trainers in California were able to get vaccinated against COVID-19 after state health officials created a loophole that helped them qualify as health care workers.,KGO-TV reports that in January, the California Department of Public Health released updated guidelines on vaccination allocation that classified outdoor recreation as health care, the first tier eligible to get the vaccine along with people over 75. read more

Being No. 1 in the Associated Press poll is old hat for the UConn women’s basketball team.,UConn moved to the top spot in the AP poll released Monday following a 3-0 week that included an overtime victory over last week’s No. 1 South Carolina.,Juniors Christyn Williams and Olivia Nelson-Ododa have been part of two top-ranked teams with the Huskies, while sophomores Aubrey Griffin and Anna Makurat were also part of last year’s UConn club that spent three weeks at No. 1 a year ago before losing to Baylor at the XL Center in Hartford on Jan. 8, 2020.,They have been the top-ranked team at some point nine consecutive years and 22 of the last 27 seasons.,The Huskies improved to 22-3 in games featuring the No. 1 and No. 2 teams in the AP poll with their win over South Carolina and followed up with victories over Seton Hall and Georgetown.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on former President Donald Trump’s second Senate impeachment trial (all times local):

11:00 p.m. read more

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LOS ANGELES — The rates of new coronavirus infections and hospitalizations continue to fall across California, but the state’s death toll remains persistently high.,___ read more