Political Analysis: Russia Indictments, Supreme Court Nominee, Mayor London Breed
This morning, the Justice Department issued indictments against 12 Russian intelligence officers for offenses related to meddling in the 2016 presidential election. The charges come just a few days before President Trump is scheduled to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Earlier this week, the president nominated Brett Kavanaugh to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy. Kavanaugh has a conservative record on key contentious issues, including abortion and gun rights, and has expressed strong support for presidential immunity. His confirmation would push the court to the right, and a showdown is already underway.
In the Bay Area, London Breed made history in San Francisco when she was sworn in as the first female African-American mayor on Wednesday. During her inauguration speech, Breed responded to recent immigration news, saying, “We are going to tell the president that here in San Francisco we don’t put our children in cages. We put them in the classroom.”
- Professor Melissa Murray, NYU of Law
- Scott Shafer, KQED politics and government senior editor
- Sean Walsh, Wilson Walsh Consulting
Reuniting Migrant Families
This week the federal government scrambled to meet a court-imposed deadline to reunite children under the age of 5 who were separated from their families at the border under a recent zero tolerance policy. The Trump administration says there are roughly 100 separated children under the age of 5, and almost half of them could not be reunited due to the status of their parents. Meanwhile, a bigger deadline looms on July 26 to reunite the nearly 2,000 other children who were recently separated from their families at the border.
- Cindy Carcamo, L.A. Times immigration writer
- Talia Inlender, Public Counsel attorney
- John Sepulvado, The California Report host
Alta Bates Emergency Room Closure
Many East Bay residents fear that the planned closure of Alta Bates' Berkeley emergency department is part of a broader trend: Hospital leaders looking for cost efficiencies end up making decisions with regional consequences. With fewer hospital options, it could be increasingly challenging to get medical care for emergencies like gunshot wounds, delivering babies and heart attacks.
While Berkeley residents who have come to rely on having a hospital in town are dismayed by the impending move, residents who live farther away -- in Richmond, for example -- are also worried about what the changes will mean for their health care options.
“The harder you make it to get that care, the more difficult it's going to be and the more of a need it's going to be,” said Marty Lynch, CEO of LifeLong Medical Care. “There's no question that folks in Richmond, folks in San Pablo, need a good system of emergency care.”
This story was produced by UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism students Bo Kovitz and Hao Guo.