By Laila Kearney SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - San Francisco may become the latest U.S. city to try to curb the consumption of sugary drinks with a proposed ballot measure to impose a tax on beverages seen as a culprit in rising rates of childhood obesity and diabetes. Supervisor Scott Wiener on Tuesday formally proposed asking voters in November 2014 to impose a 2-cents-per-ounce tax on soda and other drinks with added sugar sold in the famously liberal northern California city. No other U.S. city has enacted such a tax, though a similar proposal is in the works in the southwestern Colorado town of Telluride, according to the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity. Two other California cities, Richmond and El Monte, failed last year in their attempts to become the first in the nation to impose taxes of a penny per ounce on businesses that sell sugary drinks. In New York, Mayor Michael Bloomberg last year spearheaded a ban on the sale of large, sugary drinks last year, but the move was later declared illegal by a state judge after a challenge by soft drink makers and a restaurant group. New York's highest court has agreed to hear an appeal. "We know that this will be a long road," Wiener said in introducing the measure to his colleagues. "This type of proposal has occurred in other cities and the beverage industry always comes out full guns blaring, so we're going to need to pull together to make sure that this wins." A ballot measure would need two-thirds support from voters in order to pass. Wiener said his proposed measure would reduce the consumption of sugary beverages while specifically setting aside proceeds of the tax for physical education and health programs. "Voters really want to know where their tax money is going to go," he said. In both Richmond, located in the San Francisco Bay Area, and El Monte, located east of Los Angeles, revenues from the proposed taxes would have gone to each city's general fund. 'WASTEFUL DISTRACTIONS' The tax would amount to an extra 24 cents per average 12-ounce (35 cl) can of soda. Wiener said it would bring in an estimated $30 million in tax proceeds annually. It would apply to drinks with added sugar and at least 25 calories per ounce. A third of the expected tax windfall would go to San Francisco schools for physical education and healthy lunch programs, and the remainder would go to city parks and recreation programs and community health organizations. Roughly two out of three California voters surveyed in a Field Poll last fall and released in February said they would support taxing sugary beverages if proceeds were tied to improving school nutrition and physical activity programs. The poll of 1,184 voters had a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points. Wiener's proposal will go to a city Budget and Finance subcommittee for a hearing in the spring. The board would vote between May and July on whether to add the tax measure to the city's elections ballot, Wiener said. A spokesman for the American Beverage Society said raising taxes and restricting drink consumption would not necessarily lead to a healthier population. "Californians have rejected beverage taxes like the one San Francisco Supervisor Scott Wiener proposes because such measures are unnecessary, wasteful distractions from serious policymaking," spokesman Chuck Finnie said in a statement. The society, which represents industry leaders including PepsiCo Inc and Snapple Group Inc, has spent millions of dollars fighting proposed soda taxes around the country. "Providing people with education, opportunities for physical activity and diverse beverage choices to fit their lifestyles are proven strategies for maintaining health," Finnie said. (Editing by Daniel Trotta, Gunna Dickson and Leslie Adler)
- Yahoo News
Republicans built up QAnon backer Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, but now are they afraid of what they created?
On the eve of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration, freshman Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, the combative Georgia Republican known for her association with QAnon, was back on Twitter after a 12-hour suspension, and back to making waves.
- Yahoo News
Here’s a look at the inauguration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris through the lenses of photographers who were there.
- Yahoo News
Donald Trump bragged about his tax cuts and attempted to take credit for an anticipated economic boom under President Biden to the smattering of supporters his team was able to corral for the event.
Tam Dinh Pham of the Houston police department was part of the deadly mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. A veteran Houston police officer is in trouble after attending the U.S. Capitol riots in Washington, D.C., then lying about it. Officer Tam Dinh Pham joined the deadly mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.
- The Week
President Biden's inaugural address has won some high praise on Fox News.Fox News anchor Chris Wallace on Wednesday praised Biden's "great" inaugural address, going as far as to deem it the best he's ever watched in his life."I thought it was a great speech," Wallace said. "I've been listening to these inaugural addresses since 1961 -- John F. Kennedy, 'ask not.' I thought this was the best inaugural address I ever heard."Biden during his first address as president declared that "democracy has prevailed" and urged unity, saying politics "doesn't have to be a raging fire destroying everything in its path." Wallace noted the speech and the ceremony itself was especially meaningful coming exactly two weeks after a mob of former President Donald Trump's supporters stormed the Capitol building in an attempt to disrupt Congress' certification of the election results."It was a less an inaugural address and more part sermon, part pep talk," Wallace said.The Fox News anchor also called for those in the media to particularly take note of Biden's comment that "there is truth and there are lies, lies told for power and for profit, and each of us has a duty and a responsibility ... to defend the truth and defeat the lies.""Now he's gotta turn words, rhetoric into reality and action," Wallace added. "But I thought it was a great start." > Fox News's Chris Wallace: "This was the best inaugural address I ever heard." pic.twitter.com/W2tauGp5g5> > -- Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) January 20, 2021More stories from theweek.com Bernie Sanders steals the inauguration with his grumpy chic outfit Amazon offers Biden help with COVID-19 vaccine distribution Only a sprinkling of Trump supporters showed up at state capitols to protest Biden's inauguration
- Associated Press
China imposed sanctions on nearly 30 former Trump administration officials moments after they left office on Wednesday. In a statement released just minutes after President Joe Biden was inaugurated, Beijing slapped travel bans and business restrictions on Trump’s secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, national security adviser Robert O’Brien and U.N. ambassador, Kelly Craft. Others covered by the sanctions include Trump’s economic adviser Peter Navarro; his top diplomat for Asia, David Stilwell; health and human services secretary, Alex Azar; along with former national security adviser John Bolton and strategist Stephen Bannon.
- The Independent
‘What happened?’: QAnon followers left upset and angry as conspiracy theory’s ‘storm’ fails to materialise
Followers of QAnon have been left upset and angry in the wake of the apparent collapse of the conspiracy theory. Followers had hoped for mass arrests of their enemies and the final proof that their faith in the unknown person named Q and Donald Trump had not been misplaced. The baseless QAnon theory suggests, without any evidence, that argued that a group of powerful, Satan-worshipping people running a cannibalistic child sexual abuse ring.
President-elect Joe Biden is expected to sign 15 executive actions upon taking office Wednesday, immediately reversing key Trump administration policies. Why it matters: The 15 actions — aimed at issues like climate change and immigration — mark more drastic immediate steps compared with the two day-one actions from Biden's four predecessors combined, according to incoming White House press secretary Jen Psaki.Get smarter, faster with the news CEOs, entrepreneurs and top politicians read. Sign up for Axios Newsletters here.What they're saying: The actions are the first of many, Psaki said in a news release, as Biden works "to address the four crises that he's laid out" — COVID-19, the economic crisis, racial injustice and climate change. * "In the coming days and weeks we will be announcing additional executive actions that confront these challenges and deliver on the President-elect's promises to the American people," Psaki said, "including revoking the ban on military service by transgender Americans, and reversing the Mexico City policy." Highlights * Moving to rejoin Paris Climate Agreement * Asking the Department of Education to extend student loan relief * An executive order to rescind Keystone XL pipeline permit * Rejoining the World Health Organization * Asking the CDC to "immediately" extend eviction restrictions * Reversing Trump's travel ban on several Muslim-majority countries * Temporarily halting oil and gas leasing in Arctic National Wildlife Refuge * An initiative on advancing racial equity in federal policymakingGo deeper: See the full listSupport safe, smart, sane journalism. Sign up for Axios Newsletters here.
- The Week
Melania Trump was reportedly "emotionally checked out" long before boarding Air Force One to leave D.C. on Wednesday, going as far as to outsource writing her "thank you" notes to the White House residence staff, The New York Times and CNN report.Traditionally, the first family of the United States will write short cards to their household staff, thanking them for taking care of them over the past four to eight years. The cards tend to be intimate and "much of the correspondence includes personal anecdotes and the letters become 'cherished keepsakes' for the residence staff," such as the butlers, cooks, and housekeepers, who do not tend to turn-over between administrations, CNN writes.Melania Trump, however, reportedly did not personally write the cards for the approximately 80 staff members charged with caring for her, her husband, and her teenage son, Barron, while they lived in the White House. Instead, she is said to have instructed a "lower-level East Wing staffer" to write the type-written notes "in her voice," and then signed her name."I think she was a reluctant first lady and she did it for her husband," society publicist R. Couri Hay, who knows Trump from New York, told The New York Times. He added that after she departs Washington, "I think that you will find that she will be even less visible, and less available."More stories from theweek.com Bernie Sanders steals the inauguration with his grumpy chic outfit Amazon offers Biden help with COVID-19 vaccine distribution Only a sprinkling of Trump supporters showed up at state capitols to protest Biden's inauguration
- Associated Press
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson narrowly avoided a defeat in Parliament on Tuesday after lawmakers voted against a controversial proposal seeking to bar trade deals with any country deemed by the U.K. High Court to be committing genocide. The amendment to the government’s post-Brexit trade bill was largely designed to force international action in addressing China’s alleged human rights abuses against the Uighur minority in the far western Xinjiang region.
- NBC News
The charges say he was one of the first to enter the building, through a door that was opened by a small group that got in by breaking a window.
- The Week
President-elect Joe Biden is revamping outgoing President Trump's coronavirus approach before he even takes office.On Wednesday morning, Biden asked Surgeon General Jerome Adams, whom Trump nominated for a four-year term back in 2017, to step down from his post. Biden has already announced his intention to nominate former Surgeon General Vivek Murthy to the post, but will install an acting surgeon general in the meantime, The Washington Post reports.The nation's top doctor is appointed for four-year terms; Adams took office in Sept. 2017, allowing him to stay on through this September. But amid the Trump administration's bungling of the COVID-19 crisis, it seems Biden wants a fresh start. He'll even bypass Deputy Surgeon General Erica Schwartz, a career civil servant, in naming an acting top doctor to take Adams' spot, the Post reports.Adams acknowledged his forced resignation in a statement, which focused more on smoking cessation and other health crises than on COVID-19. > I've been asked by the Biden team to step down as Surgeon General. Its been the honor of my life to serve this Nation, and I will do all I can to ensure everyone has an equal opportunity to achieve and maintain health. See my full statement at: https://t.co/pCkbpealt8> > -- U.S. Surgeon General (@Surgeon_General) January 20, 2021More stories from theweek.com Bernie Sanders steals the inauguration with his grumpy chic outfit Amazon offers Biden help with COVID-19 vaccine distribution Only a sprinkling of Trump supporters showed up at state capitols to protest Biden's inauguration
- Architectural Digest
Mercedes-Benz’s Hyperscreen, General Motors’ Bright Drop, and Jeep’s Electric Wrangler were among the unveils that turned headsOriginally Appeared on Architectural Digest
"This is also a desire that's shared by other GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) countries," he said in an interview. Separately, the Qatari government was supporting discussions between Iran and South Korea to secure the release of an oil tanker seized by the Islamic Revolutionary Guards early this month, the foreign minister said. As far as any potential U.S.-Iran talks, he said that Qatar will facilitate the discussions if asked and will support whoever is chosen to do so.
- Yahoo News Video
Alejandro Mayorkas, President-elect Joe Biden’s pick to head the Department of Homeland Security, said during his Senate confirmation hearing that he would execute Biden’s plan to stop building the wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Mayorkas also said that CBP and ICE play “critical roles” in the federal government and that he wouldn’t abolish them.
- Associated Press
A panel of experts commissioned by the World Health Organization has criticized China and other countries for not moving to stem the initial outbreak of the coronavirus earlier and questioned whether the U.N. health agency should have labeled it a pandemic sooner. In a report issued to the media Monday, the panel led by former Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and former New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark said there were “lost opportunities" to adopt basic public health measures as early as possible. “What is clear to the panel is that public health measures could have been applied more forcefully by local and national health authorities in China in January,” it said.
- NBC News
Patrick Edward McCaughey allegedly told the officer, “Come on man, you are going to get squished, just go home.”
- The Week
President Biden has taken office, former President Donald Trump is in Florida, and the U.S. still hasn't seen a mass arrests of Democrats or a nationwide blackout.All of these facts were shocking for some followers of the far-right conspiracy theory QAnon, as they thought and hoped that Trump would somehow seize permanent power on Wednesday, NBC News reports. But as Biden was sworn in without a hitch, QAnon message boards lit up with followers who realized a violent overthrow of the government wasn't about to happen, that Trump had no secret plans to somehow stay in office, and that they'd been wrong for months, if not years.> "Q was a LARP the entire f---ing time." > "There is no plan.' > "It's over and nothing makes sense... absolutely nothing..." pic.twitter.com/I2k8C7708m> > — Ben Collins (@oneunderscore__) January 20, 2021> Current mood in Q circles> > "I just want to throw up" > "I'm so sick of the disinformation and false hope" > "What a waste of my life" > "I feel sick" > "Burning my flag" > "Game over" > "Where is the military" > "I'm just so confused" > "I'm just sick" pic.twitter.com/hUR2N6y1sg> > — Shayan Sardarizadeh (@Shayan86) January 20, 2021Even Ron Watkins, the administrator of the extremist message board 8kun who may have even originated QAnon, posted a last-ditch call for unity that didn't acknowledge the harmful conspiracy theories he'd allowed to spread for years.> Ron Watkins, the former 8kun admin who helped keep QAnon afloat for years (and who some suspected of being Q himself), is throwing in the towel. pic.twitter.com/HJdBrOexO2> > — Kevin Roose (@kevinroose) January 20, 2021Still, just as the many flaws in QAnon's past predictions failed to dissuade supporters, some believers are continuing to make excuses for Wednesday's events and suggesting some sort of overthrow is still possible.More stories from theweek.com Bernie Sanders steals the inauguration with his grumpy chic outfit Amazon offers Biden help with COVID-19 vaccine distribution Only a sprinkling of Trump supporters showed up at state capitols to protest Biden's inauguration
- LA Times
Thousands of pro-Trump crowds have gathered since he took office. No state has had more than California
Despite its reputation as a leader of resistance, California saw more pro-Trump crowds than any other state during the president's term in office.
- Associated Press
China’s Foreign Ministry described outgoing U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday as a “doomsday clown” and said his designation of China as a perpetrator of genocide and crimes against humanity was merely “a piece of wastepaper.” The allegations of abuses against Muslim minority groups in China's Xinjiang region are “outright sensational pseudo-propositions and a malicious farce concocted by individual anti-China and anti-Communist forces represented by Pompeo,” spokesperson Hua Chunying told reporters at a daily briefing.