- Fiscal cliff likely to trigger filing delays for taxpayers (SJ Mercury News)
The upcoming tax season is going to be even more unpleasant than usual. And more complicated. And maybe more costly for millions of Americans. Most of the negotiations in Washington over the so-called fiscal cliff will affect tax rates for 2013. But as many as 25 million Americans, including thousands in the Bay Area, will see their 2012 tax bill spike if Congress allows the Alternative Minimum Tax to extend to more taxpayers. The key tax issue in Washington is whether George W. Bush-era tax cuts should be extended, and for whom, for the 2013 tax year. But those negotiations are also likely to affect the AMT, which already applies to thousands of Bay Area workers.
- Woman stabbed to death, two men fatally shot in Oakland Friday morning (Oakland Tribune)
A woman was stabbed to death and two men fatally shot within 90 minutes early Friday in different parts of the city, police said. The three killings brings the number of homicides in Oakland this year to 130, the highest number since 148 people were killed in 2006.
- Unions can picket, state high court rules (SF Chronicle)
The state Supreme Court on Thursday upheld California laws allowing labor unions to picket in a store's parking lot or on private sidewalks, but cautioned that unions might still be barred from using large signs, amplified sound volumes or other tactics that unduly interfere with a business. An appellate court in Sacramento had declared the laws unconstitutional in 2010 because they single out labor speech for special protection, allowing unions to assemble on private property outside a store to communicate to the public about a labor dispute. The state's high court disagreed in a 6-1 ruling, saying such activity is a legal component of collective bargaining.
- A cold war over Russian adoptions stings Bay Area families (Contra Costa Times)
Russia was poised Thursday to break the hearts of some Bay Area families and others nationwide awaiting the arrival of orphaned Russian children they have met and chosen to adopt.In a brusque move aimed at rebuking American foreign policy, the Russian Parliament on Wednesday approved an immediate U.S. adoption ban, and President Vladimir Putin said he is likely to sign it. "Everybody's devastated," said Janet Shirley of Bay Area Adoption Services in Mountain View.
In a scathing opinion published Thursday, a state appellate court reversed a judgment against a felon accused of being a sexually violent predator, saying the prosecutor handling the case -- now District Attorney Jeff Rosen's right-hand man -- engaged in a "pervasive pattern'' of misconduct. The misconduct finding against Chief Assistant District Attorney Jay Boyarsky is the first black mark against Rosen's administration since he took office two years ago on an ethics platform and appointed Boyarsky as his top assistant.
The Petaluma City Council Thursday unanimously approved an amendment to its contract with the state retirement system to create a second tier of retirement benefits for new employees. The changes take effect today and cover non-public safety employees of the city’s largest union. Earlier, the city reached similar agreements with its police, fire and other bargaining groups.
Online gun sellers are facing greater scrutiny in the weeks after the second-deadliest shooting in U.S. history, spurring a nationwide debate and proposals to limit the availability of firearms.Among them is Armslist LLC, an online gun marketplace that is being sued for wrongful death by the family of Jitka Vesel, whose killer shot her as many as a dozen times with a weapon advertised on the site.