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

By Jeffrey Heller | Reuters

JERUSALEM – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday acknowledged differences with U.S. President Joe Biden over Iranian and Palestinian issues, but said they enjoy a “very strong” working relationship.,The White House on Friday denied that Biden was snubbing Netanyahu by failing to include him so far in an early round of phone calls to foreign leaders since taking office on Jan. 20.,Netanyahu dismissed any notion that Biden was intentionally excluding him, telling Israel’s Channel 12 television channel: “He’ll call … We have had very strong friendly relations for nearly 40 years, dating from the time I came to Washington as an Israeli diplomatic representative and he was a young senator from Delaware.”,Netanyahu may find the alliance tested if Washington restores U.S. participation in the Iran nuclear deal, from which Trump withdrew, and opposes Israeli settlement building on occupied land where Palestinians seek statehood.,On Friday, the White House said Biden and Netanyahu would speak soon, but gave no date. read more

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.

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

11:00 p.m. read more

In the last couple of weeks, however, Newsom has shifted venues to orchestrated outdoor events at sports arenas and other mass vaccination sites.,At one event in Oakland, the city’s mayor, Libby Schaaf, gushed — extemporaneously, of course — “I can’t tell you how lucky we are in California to have Gavin Newsom as our governor.”,At a similar event in San Diego, newly elected Mayor Todd Gloria, chimed in, “Gavin Newsom has always done the right thing to protect public health, even when it’s hard.”,On Monday, John Cox, the Republican businessman whom Newsom defeated to win the governorship in 2018, launched a statewide ad campaign aimed at both Newsom and Republican rival Kevin Faulconer, the former mayor of San Diego.,The 30-second ad, titled “Gavin Faulconer” depicts both Newsom and Faulconer as corrupt politicians, citing Newsom’s infamous attendance at a maskless birthday dinner in Napa and San Diego’s purchase of an asbestos-ridden building during Faulconer’s mayoralty.

WASHINGTON — Donald Trump’s first impeachment trial centered on a phone call Americans never heard with the leader of a country very far away.,Trump’s second impeachment trial was a steroidal sequel centered on the rage, violence and anguish of one day in Washington.,In a broadside against Trump every bit as brutal as that leveled by Democrats, Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell declared the ex-president “practically and morally responsible for provoking the events of the day” with his “unconscionable behavior” and “disgraceful dereliction of duty.”,This was an impeachment driven by what people saw happen and by Trump’s voluminous public rhetoric, heard that day, for weeks before, and after — until Twitter exiled him and he let his lawyers and supporters do the talking while the trial played out.,The peril to Trump’s vice president, Mike Pence, who was presiding in the Senate during the day’s election certification, also came into sharper relief.

HARTFORD, Conn — Roads near the state capitol reopened after being closed for four hours In light of a recent FBI bulletin to all 50 states warning about the potential for armed protests in the days leading up to the inauguration of Joe Biden, 

There continues to be an increased law enforcement presence at the Connecticut State Capitol in Hartford.,State Capitol Police are in talks with multiple agencies in beefing up security and said their officers will be stationed all around the building.,On Saturday, barriers closed off the driveway and parking lots next to the Capitol building in Hartford.,"We’re increasing our patrols with our K-9 officer who’s a bomb-detecting dog, we’re checking those areas and we’re also working very closely with a lot of other agencies - Hartford police, state police and FBI for additional possible manpower," said Driscoll.,Heavy police, National Guard presence in Hartford to secure State Capitol read more

The representative from Orange County is the latest House member to test positive since dozens of lawmakers huddled together during the riot at the Capitol.,His office said he received the first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine on Dec. 19 and has not received the second shot that would have boosted his immunity to about 95%.,Correa, who represents central Orange County, is the latest House member to report testing positive since dozens of lawmakers huddled together for protection during the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.,Democratic Rep. Adriano Espaillat of New York said Thursday he contracted the coronavirus even after getting the second dose of the vaccine.,The efficacy of the vaccine rises to about 95% after the second dose.

The representative from Orange County is the latest House member to test positive since dozens of lawmakers huddled together during the riot at the Capitol.,His office said he received the first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine on Dec. 19 and has not received the second shot that would have boosted his immunity to about 95%.,Correa, who represents central Orange County, is the latest House member to report testing positive since dozens of lawmakers huddled together for protection during the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.,Democratic Rep. Adriano Espaillat of New York said Thursday he contracted the coronavirus even after getting the second dose of the vaccine.,The efficacy of the vaccine rises to about 95% after the second dose.