- Three Strikes Law initiative likely to qualify for Nov. ballot (SJ Mercury News)
An initiative written by Stanford University professors to scale back California’s tough Three Strikes Law has garnered more than 830,000 signatures of support, virtually ensuring the measure will make the November ballot and triggering the state’s latest struggle over how harshly criminals should be treated.
- Bill expanding abortion access stalls in Capitol (SF Chronicle)
A bill to allow non-physicians to perform abortions stalled in a Senate committee at the Capitol Thursday, as key lawmakers questioned the scientific findings of UCSF researchers who conducted a study that led to the proposal. The bill, SB1338, would allow nurse practitioners, nurse midwives and physician assistants to perform what is known as an aspiration abortion, which is the most common abortion procedure and takes place in the first trimester of a pregnancy.
- FTC Hires Outside Attorney in Google Antitrust Case (SJ Mercury News)
Signaling the gravity of the government’s antitrust investigation against Google, the Federal Trade Commission has hired a prominent Washington litigator to lead the effort, the first time in at least five years the federal regulatory agency has taken such a step. Beth Wilkinson, who successfully argued for the government that Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh be given the death penalty, will start working on the Google investigation Monday, FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz said Thursday in a meeting with reporters.
- Case of missing control-room video haunts PG&E (SF Chronicle)
Pacific Gas and Electric Co., accused by state regulators of destroying a potentially significant surveillance video taken in a gas-system control center the night of the San Bruno pipeline explosion, now says the recording never existed.
- Testy meeting over BART railcar contract (SF Chronicle)
BART directors won’t decide which foreign firm will build its new fleet of railcars until May 10, but the battle over the contract
- Burning Man on probation after busting its population cap (SF Bay Guardian)
Black Rock City LLC, the SF-based company that stages Burning Man in the Nevada desert, was placed on probation by the Bureau of Land Management after exceeding the 50,000-person population cap at last year’s event, jeopardizing its current efforts to get a five-year permit and adding a new pressure to an already difficult transition year. “Probationary status limits the Bureau of Land Management to issuance of a one-year permit,” said Cory Roegner, who oversees the event from BLM’s Winnemucca office.
- 49ers select A.J. Jenkins in 1st round of draft (SF Chronicle)
…In a move that came as a bit of a surprise to NFL pundits – and was a huge shock to Jenkins – the 49ers selected the honorable-mention All-American with the No. 30 overall pick in the draft. Jenkins, 6-foot and 192 pounds, had 90 catches for 1,276 yards and eight touchdowns as a senior.