Daily News Bulletin: California Assembly votes to raise smoking age to 21

California Assembly votes to raise smoking age to 21

The 46-26 vote on Thursday was one piece of a package of tobacco-related legislation scheduled for discussion and would make California among the first states to raise the smoking age.

The Senate approved the bill last year but it stalled for months in the Assembly.

The other parts of the package approved Thursday would regulate electronic cigarettes and make other efforts to restrict access to tobacco, including imposing new restrictions on workplace smoking, allowing counties to raise tobacco taxes and expanding tobacco bans to more schools.

Proponents say the bill to raise the smoking age would save lives and prevent 18-year-olds from buying tobacco for their high-school-age friends.

Critics say the bill infringes on individual freedoms and the government shouldn’t tell adults what to do.

The smoking age bill returns to the Senate, which must agree to changes made in the Assembly that allow members of the military to continue buying cigarettes if they’re at least 18. (KPCC)

Uber Driver Suspected of DUI After Slamming Into Party Bus in San Diego

An Uber driver was facing DUI and resisting arrest charges Thursday after driving through a red light and slamming into a party bus in downtown San Diego, police said.

The crash took place just before midnight Wednesday near the intersection of Sixth Avenue and F Street, said Lt. Dan Smyth with the San Diego Police Department.

The Uber driver was traveling south on Sixth Avenue when he ran a red light at F Street and rear ended the back of a parked bus, witnesses told Smyth.

The bus, described as a “large party bus” by Smyth, was not badly wrecked but sustained some damage to the rear.

“Fortunately the bus was empty other than the driver,” Smyth said.

Video from the scene showed the damaged car had an Uber sticker attached to the front windshield.

“The Uber driver’s car was totaled,” according to Smyth, who said the driver had sustained a minor injury to his shoulder.

The driver also failed a field sobriety test and put up a struggle while being taken into custody, according to Smyth.

“We had to maximumly restrain him,” Smyth said.

Kaleb Weakley said he was exiting a nearby business when he saw the Uber driver being arrested.

“All I know is he got tased, he went to the ground and then disappeared,” Weakley said.

Following the crash, authorities said the Uber driver had been on his way to pick up a fare when he struck the bus.

“He was on his Uber shift. We don’t know if he had driven anybody yet, but he said he was en route downtown to pick up a fare,” Smyth said.

A spokesperson for Uber later contacted KTLA and confirmed the driver did work for the company but said he was not logged in or picking up a fare at the time of the crash.

It was unclear if the Uber driver, who was not identified, was speeding at the time of the crash.

He was facing driving under the influence and resisting arrest charges, according to Smyth.(KTLA)

Obamas to remain in D.C. after presidency so daughter can finish high school

President Obama cast some light on his post-presidency plans Thursday, telling lunch companions in Milwaukee that he plans to remain in Washington so that his youngest daughter can finish high school.

“We’re going to have to stay a couple of years so Sasha can finish. Transferring someone in the middle of high school — tough,” he said while eating lunch at a Milwaukee restaurant.

Beyond that? “We haven’t figured that out yet,” he said.

Perhaps realizing that he was within earshot of his traveling press corps, he then shooed reporters away. “Thanks guys,” he said. “Get out of here.”

Obama was in Milwaukee Thursday to congratulate that city on having the most health insurance enrollments under Obamacare of any city under a White House initiative called the Healthy Communities Challenge. He had lunch in Milwaukee Wednesday with people who had written him letters about the Affordable Care Act, considered the signature legislative achievement of his presidency.

Sasha, 15, attends Sidwell Friends School in Washington. His elder daughter, Malia, is going off to college this year.

Obama’s remark was more definitive than his earlier statements on the matter. In 2013, Obama told ABC’s Barbara Walters that he might stay in Washington until Sasha goes off to college. “We gotta make sure that she’s doing well,” Obama told Walters. “Sasha will have a big say in where we are.”

Obama would be the first president not to leave Washington since Woodrow Wilson. (USA Today)


A 43-year-old man has died after authorities say he accidentally shot himself in the face while taking selfies.

The Skagit Valley Herald reports the man and his girlfriend were photographing themselves with the weapon on Sunday at a residence when he shot himself.

Skagit County Sheriff’s Office Patrol Chief Chad Clark says the woman reported that she and the man had taken photos with the gun several times that day and that the man had loaded and unloaded bullets multiple times.

Clark says a bullet apparently remained in the gun the final time he fired.

The death is being investigated as accidental. The man’s name has not been released.(ABC)


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