Monkey business

Sep 12, 2017

Lawsuit settled over rights to monkey's selfie photo (Yes, you read that correctly.)


The Chronicle's BOB EGELKO: “Selfie” photos taken by a monkey in Indonesia six years ago belong to the photographer who left his camera unattended in a wildlife reserve, and who later processed and published the pictures."

"But a share of any proceeds the photographer makes from the photos will go toward saving the monkey and its fellow endangered creatures. Those are the terms of a settlement, announced Monday, in a San Francisco lawsuit by the nonprofit People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, which sought to establish the right of a thinking nonhuman to hold rights to its own creative work."


"British photographer David Slater was visiting the Tangkoko Reserve in Sulawesi, Indonesia, in 2011 when he put down his camera and walked away. When he looked back, a crested black macaque monkey was examining the camera, looking at its reflection in the lens, and, as Slater described it, making funny faces before snapping the shutter."


California Assembly passes drug-price transparency bill


East Bay Times' TRACY SEIPEL: "The California State Assembly on Monday overwhelmingly approved Senate Bill 17, controversial legislation that could soon become the nation’s most comprehensive law aimed at shining a light on prescription drug prices."

"The 66-9 vote easily overcame the 41 votes needed to pass, though an earlier vote late Monday afternoon had come up short at 31-6. At that point, the bill was put on call and the voting roll was kept open for less than an hour until the final vote was called."

"SB 17, authored by Sen. Ed Hernandez, D-West Covina and co-authored by Assemblyman David Chiu, D-San Francisco, aims to make drug prices for both public and private health plans more transparent."


After an earthquake and a hurricane -- and Trump's failure to send condolences -- Mexico rescinds offer of aid to U.S.


LA Times' KATE LINTHICUM: "Mexico on Monday withdrew its offer of aid to the United States to help victims of Hurricane Harvey, saying those resources are now needed at home as Mexico recovers from a separate hurricane and a devastating earthquake."

"Last month, as Hurricane Harvey flooded Houston with days of record-breaking rains, Mexico issued a statement offering to send food, generators and medical aid to Texas “as good neighbors should always do in trying times."

"Mexico offered help even as President Trump was attacking the country on Twitter, calling Mexico “one of the highest crime nations in the world” and reiterating his claim that Mexico will pay for construction of a border wall between the two nations."


READ MORE related to Beltway/POTUS45: UN approves watered-down new sanctions against North Korea -- AP's EDITH M. LEDERER


The conservative mayor of a liberal Bay Area town, out of step with his community, is forced out of office.


LA Times' ROBIN ABCARIAN: "After a few days of thought, Jeff Wieler decided to invite me over to his hillside home. I could understand his reluctance."

"The last few weeks have not been pleasant for Wieler, who was forced to step down as mayor of Piedmont, a charming and affluent city nestled in the Oakland Hills. He was not particularly eager to meet with a journalist. But he also wanted a chance to explain himself."

"A couple of weeks ago, what seemed to be a routine Facebook argument over whether President Trump had properly condemned the neo-Nazis in Charlottesville, Va., mushroomed into a townwide controversy that led to sharp words, revelations about disparaging or vulgar social media posts and the end of his tenure as a city official."


READ MORE related to Local Politics: East Bay developer accused of illegal contributions to Swalwell campaign -- The Chronicle's MICHAEL CABANATUAN


Colorado cake maker asks SCOTUS to provide a religious liberty right to refuse gay couple


LA Times' DAVID G. SAVAGE: "Sorry, guys, I don’t make cakes for same-sex weddings."

"With that blunt comment, Jack Phillips, a baker who designs custom wedding cakes, sent two men out the door and set off a legal battle between religious liberty and gay rights that comes before the U.S. Supreme Court this fall."

"The Trump administration last week sided with Phillips and argued that decorating a wedding cake is a type of “expressive conduct,” similar to burning a flag or marching in a parade. If so, they say, the Constitution’s free-speech protection gives the baker, a devout Christian, the right to refuse to participate in the marriage celebration of two men."


The real outrage isn't Equifax's arbitration clause -- it's all the others


LA Times' DAVID LAZARUS: "Equifax won’t win any prizes for its handling of a massive security breach that potentially exposed the personal information of 143 million people to hackers.


But it was striking that of all the things that outraged consumers, the one that drew the most attention was Equifax’s inclusion of an arbitration clause in its offer of free credit monitoring."

"Yes, it was slimy for the company to try to deny people their right to sue or to join class-action lawsuits."


How a relentless work ethic and an eye to bridge cultures transformed a Vietnamese refugee into Alhambra's police chief


LA Times' FRANK SHYONG: "Timothy Vu grips the wheel of a police cruiser and casts a grim gaze south on Atlantic Boulevard in Alhambra."

"He’s staring down one of the city’s most pernicious public safety issues — a long line of cars snaking down a two-lane road for nearly half a mile, frustrating drivers and endangering pedestrians."

"This is a big issue for us,” Vu said."


They cleaned up the wreckage of 9/11. Now they face the threat of deportation


LA Times' BARBARA DEMICK: "Within days of the terrorist attack that destroyed the World Trade Center, word spread in the immigrant neighborhoods of New York that workers were desperately needed to aid in the cleanup. The job would pay cash, about $10 an hour — no questions asked about Society Security cards or immigration status."

"Then 32, Carlos Cardona had watched with horror from a construction site across the river in Brooklyn. Although his construction job paid a little better, he felt he ought to pitch in to help the country where he’d lived since his teens, having moved illegally from Colombia. He was married to a U.S. citizen and raising a 2-year-old daughter."

"The money wasn’t very good. But I felt I had to be there to do what I could,’’ Cardona said. “It was an emergency. We had to serve."


READ MORE related to Immigration: LA County leaders to consider travel ban on states that oppose DACA -- Daily News' SUSAN ABRAMNonprofit trains Bay Area immigrants to become baristas -- East Bay Times' LOU FANCHER


356 rescued during Jacksonville flooding


AP: "Jacksonville sheriff's officials said on Twitter that 356 people were rescued from flooding on Monday as Hurricane Irma moved over Florida."

"And they tweeted some advice for them: "We hope the 356 people who had their lives saved yesterday will take evacuation orders seriously in the future."

"Sheriff's officials also said that all bridges leading into downtown Jacksonville have re-opened."


READ MORE related to Environment/Hurricane Season: Bay Area sees hundreds of lightning strikes after wind storm -- East Bay Times' JASON GREEN/MARK GOMEZ; Thunderstorms light up the night from Acton to Malibu -- Daily News' DEAN MUSGROVE


Teams selected in competition to remake Castro's Harvey Milk Plaza


The Chronicle's JOHN KING: "Three local design teams are finalists in a competition that could lead to a makeover of San Francisco’s busy but barren Harvey Milk Plaza."

"The plaza runs alongside the Muni station at Market and Castro streets, a major point of entry to the Castro District. It holds the giant rainbow flag that has been a visual landmark of the internationally known gay neighborhood since 1997. But it’s also a sunken space out of sight of Castro Street, a passageway where few people linger."

"The nonprofit Friends of Harvey Milk Plaza this year put $500,000 into a design competition that seeks to change that dynamic along with the landscape. Three teams, all local, were selected from 33 submissions:"


Iraq's parliament rejects Kurdish independence vote


AP's MUHANAD AL-SALEH: "Iraq's parliament voted on Tuesday to reject a controversial referendum on independence for Iraqi Kurds set for later this month, saying it is "unconstitutional" and a "threat" to the country's unity, according to a lawmaker who attended the session."

"Iraq's Kurds plan to hold the referendum on Sept. 25 in three governorates that make up their self-ruled region as well as disputed areas that are controlled by Kurdish forces but claimed by Baghdad, including the oil-rich province of Kirkuk."

"The parliament decision states that the referendum is a "threat to Iraq's integrity which is guaranteed by the constitution.... in addition to the civil peace and the regional security," lawmaker Mahmoud al-Mashhadani said, reading from the resolution."


READ MORE related to International: Uganda lawmakers plan to remove presidential age limit -- AP's RODNEY MUHUMUZA; Death toll from southern Mexico's big earthquake rises to 96 -- AP's CHRISTOPHER SHERMAN


EXPERTS EXPOUND: Universal health care


Capitol Weekly's STAFF: "Everybody’s talking about it, so we though we’d ask our experts:"

"Universal health care: Do we want it, will we get it? If so, when?"

Here’s what they told us."

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