By Andrew Shi
Seoul’s Mayor Park Won-soon was found on the morning of Friday, 7/9, near the presidential office. A recent prominent political contender for the South Korean presidency, Mayor Park has recently come under scrutiny due to a recent police investigation stemming from a sexual harassment allegation from a municipal employee. This comes as a great surprise to many as he, through this career as both a lawyer and a public servant has had a proven track record of support for the MeToo movement in South Korea.
Early in his legal career, Park found himself defending many women in sexual assault cases, and would be a front runner on gender equality through career.
Since graduating from university, he was a notable human rights advocate, and was known for his demands as a student against inequality and was an avid critique of Japanese mistreatment of women during the second world war. More recently, he was a preeminent member of the block of politicians calling for accountability and the later ousting of the president.
Recently, however, he has become a prominent member of the South Korean political system and was poised to be one of the many candidates to run for the presidential office. As Mayor Park was expected to become a more liberal voice in a conservative state, his passing will likely be a great loss to Korean politics for years to come; nonetheless, his legacy of activism and controversy will live on.
By Disha Gupta
Authorities in Beverly Hills, West Hollywood, Santa Monica, and Monterey have declared that the mask mandate set forth by the California Governor Gavin Newsom will be enforced by citing and fining people who don’t practice the new social norms of the pandemic like social distancing and wearing proper personal protection equipment.
“Beginning this month, we will start issuing Administrative Citations for people who are not conforming to the Order to wear a face cover/mask in public.” said the Captain of West Hollywood Sheriff's Station, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. “The fine is $250 and a fee of $50 for a total of $300 for the first offense.” was listed on the Community Bulletin of the West Hollywood Sheriff's Station.
In Santa Monica, the fines are more varied with $100 for not wearing a mask or not keeping at least a 6 feet distance from one another and $250 and $500 for second and third-degree violations respectively. These fines are for the public. For business, on the other hand, the damage is higher. If businesses are caught breaking social distancing rules, including but not limited to having a maximum capacity of customers, they may be fined up to $1,000.
Having set these regulations, California is flexible when it comes to what you use to cover your face. Lane Dilg, Santa Monica’s Interim City Manager said “I encourage everyone to try different styles to find what works for you. But it is a critical time to save lives by wearing face coverings whenever we are outside of our homes and not gathering with people outside of our households.” Even with this flexibility, this mandate has not gone well with the residents of Orange County in the south of California. The former county health officer was threatened for mandating masks and social distancing. In response, the guidance was revised from “required” to “strongly recommended”
Now that COVID-19 cases are skyrocketing again in the majority of the US States because of reopenings, politicians and state officials are following suit. Greg Abbott, Governor of Texas, released an order which mandated the residents of "counties with 20 or more positive COVID-19 cases, with a few exceptions," to wear masks. Brian Kemp, Governor of Georgia, after dipping into controversy after releasing plans of reopening the state in late April, has made efforts to redeem himself by “encouraging” residents to wear masks, however still not “requiring” it by law.
Officials in the Trump administration are also mirroring these thoughts. They have started showing muted support even if they’ve paused short of wearing masks themselves. Vice President Mike Pence said “wearing masks is a good idea.” Even President Trump who has been notorious for his refusal to wear masks claimed that he is "all for masks" and that he "thinks masks are good." He also added he would have "no problem" with being seen with a mask on.
New York City Removes $1 Billion from NYPD Funding
By Luca Adamo
NYC Lawmakers approved the $88.9 Billion FY 2021 budget late Tuesday night, which included “remov[ing] $1 billion from the NYPD’s spending,”. These agreements came during mounting pressure from thousands of constituents calling to defund the police.
“The reduction includes nearly $484 million in cuts, $354 million in shifts to other agencies best positioned to carry out the duties that have previously been assigned to the NYPD, such as [the Department of Education], [the Department of Education], [the Department of Health & Mental Hygiene] and [the Department of Homeless Services], and $162 million shifts in associated costs.”
Other changes, as directly quoted from the NYC Council agreement, include:
“Eliminating two of the four NYPD classes this year, reducing headcount by 1,163 uniform officers and creating ongoing savings without laying off our newest officers under the city’s last in, first out rule.”
“Returning control of School Safety to the Department of Education, ending a harmful zero-tolerance plan implemented by former Mayor Rudy Giuliani to put the police department in charge of school safety. The new agreement includes a commitment to working with stakeholders, school administrators, advocates and school safety officers to move toward a community model and away from a punitive, enforcement-focused model.”
“Removing NYPD from homeless outreach. Police often merely moved these individuals from one unsafe spot to another, continuing the cycle of injustice. The new model will focus on meaningful outreach by individuals trained to deal with this vulnerable population.”
“Reducing overtime spending by $352 million and instituting strict oversight on overtime limits.”
“Removing crossing guards from NYPD.”
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