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New laws roll out across California
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California state
lawmakers in 2017 passed nearly
900 bills that Gov. Jerry Brown then
signed into law. Most of them took ef-
fect at the start of the new year. The
new laws cover topics ranging from
the Trump administration’s immigra-
tion crackdown, to the state’s new
recreational cannabis market, to the
price of a college education.
Here are some of the laws taking
effect in California this new year:
Police will no longer be able to
ask people about their immigration
status or participate in federal immi-
gration enforcement actions under
a law making California a sanctuary
The law also allows jail officials
to transfer inmates to federal immi-
gration authorities only if they have
been convicted of certain crimes.
It was among numerous bills
designed to thwart the policies of
President Donald Trump’s adminis-
Also starting yesterday, immigra-
tion officials will need a warrant to
access workplaces or employee re-
cords and landlords will be barred
from disclosing tenants’ citizenship.
Another new law will prohibit uni-
versity officials from cooperating
with immigration officers.
An additional bill will bar law en-
forcement officials from detaining a
crime victim or witness only because
of an actual or suspected immigra-
tion violation, or turning them over
to immigration authorities without a
Sales of recreational marijuana
will be legal under a 2016 voter initi-
ative that created the nation’s biggest
legal drug market.
But it will be illegal to take and
drive under a bill taking effect Jan-
uary 1 that outlaws smoking and in-
gesting marijuana, just as it’s already
unlawful for drivers or passengers to
drink alcohol while driving.
A separate law that took effect in
June bars the possession of open
containers of cannabis while driving.
ON THE JOB
The state minimum wage will in-
crease to $10.50 per hour for busi-
nesses with 25 or fewer employees
and to $11 per hour for those with 26
or more employees.
Small businesses with between 20
and 49 people will have to offer 12
weeks of unpaid maternity and pa-
ternity leave to employees.
Employers can’t ask job applicants
about their past salaries, a measure
designed to narrow the pay gap be-
tween men and women.
California will become the 10th
state to require both public- and
private-sector employers of five
or more employees to delay back-
ground checks and inquiries about
job applicants’ conviction records
until they have made a conditional
job offer, a measure known as “ban
Those arrested but not convicted
of a crime may ask a judge to seal
their records, a move advocates say
will help them get hired. (AP)
File - In this Friday, July 8, 2016, file photo, a
pharmacist displays a package of EpiPens, an
epinephrine autoinjector for the treatment of
allergic reactions, in Sacramento, Calif. California
state lawmakers passed and Gov. Jerry Brown
signed nearly 900 new laws in 2017, most of which
took effect January 1, 2018.
S/Korea holds Panama
oil tanker suspected
of N/Korea trade
SEOUL — South Korean authorities
have seized a Panama-flagged oil
tanker suspected of evading inter-
national sanctions by trading with
North Korea, officials said Sunday.
An official from South Korea’s
Foreign Ministry said the 5,100-ton
KOTI and its crew members were
being held at Pyeongtaek-Dangjin
port on the country’s west coast
amid an inspection over supposed
“North Korea-related” activity.
The official didn’t elaborate on
the specifics of the activities or
when and where they allegedly
She spoke on condition of ano-
nymity, citing office rules.
An official from the Pyeongtaek
Regional Office of Oceans and
Fisheries, who also requested ano-
nymity, confirmed that the vessel
had been disallowed from leaving
the port since Dec. 21.
The revelation comes days after
South Korea said it was holding a
Hong Kong-flagged ship and crew
members over transferring petro-
leum products to a North Korean
vessel in international waters in
The Lighthouse Winmore is be-
lieved to have transferred about
600 tons of refined petroleum
products to the North Korean ship
in international waters in the East
China Sea, according to the For-
Ship-to-ship trade with North
Korea at sea is prohibited under
U.N. sanctions adopted Sept. 11.
North Korea has come under
heavy sanctions imposed by the
U.N. Security Council as it has ac-
celerated efforts to expand its nu-
clear weapons and ballistic missile
In recent months, North Korea
conducted its most powerful nu-
clear test to date and flight-tested
intercontinental ballistic missiles
three times, raising concerns that
it’s closer than ever to gaining a
military arsenal that can viably
target the mainland United States.
The Lighthouse Winmore, a Hong Kong-flagged ship, is seen in waters off Yeosu, South Korea, December 29, 2017.
South Korean authorities boarded the Hong Kong-flagged ship and interviewed its crew members for allegedly
violating UN sanctions by transferring oil to a North Korean vessel in October, an official said Friday.
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