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News Briefs: Jan. 28 – Feb. 10, 2016
[su_label type=”info”]Bay Area[/su_label] Planning Commission approves interim controls on Mission housing
The San Francisco Planning Commission has approved new temporary controls on housing developments in the Mission District. Under the new guidelines, which will be in place for at least 15 months, developers will need to provide information about the potential impact of any project containing 25 or more units on the neighborhood’s economic diversity—unless at least one third of units are affordable housing. Developments with more than 75 units will be required to produce data about the project’s impact on “existing and future residents, businesses and community-serving providers in the area.”

Former City Hall staffers indicted for corruption
San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón’s office has charged three former City Hall insiders with taking money from undercover FBI agents in exchange for political favors. Former Human Rights Commissioner Nazly Mohajer and staffer Zula Jones were each charged with bribery and money laundering.  Keith Jackson, a former political consultant, has been charged with money laundering and grand theft of public money. The indictments stemmed from the FBI investigation of Chinatown gang leader Raymond “Shrimp Boy” Chow.

[su_label type=”info”]National[/su_label]

Many undocumented in Flint, MI unable to obtain clean water
The National Guard has been called in to distribute free bottled water and filters in Flint, MI after the town’s water supply was found to be highly contaminated with lead in October 2015. But some undocumented residents report being forced to produce state IDs in order to receive water. In other cases, the National Guard has gone door to door to deliver to the elderly and disabled, but many undocumented residents have been scared to open their doors to law enforcement.

Study shows decline in U.S. undocumented population
A recent report from the Journal on Migration and Human Security has concluded that contrary to loud public outcry, the number of undocumented immigrants in the U.S. in 2014 dipped below 11 million—the lowest number since 2003. The report found that there are growing naturalized citizen populations in almost every state and that “since 1980 the legally resident foreign-born population from Mexico has grown faster than the undocumented population from Mexico.”

[su_label type=”info”]Latin America[/su_label]

Virus in Latin America a threat to pregnancy
Numerous Latin American countries, including El Salvador, are asking women to delay getting pregnant for up to two years, due to a virus that is rapidly spreading across Latin America. The Zika virus, which is transmitted by mosquitos, is believed to cause birth defects, including microcephaly, which causes children to be born with incomplete brain development. Zika infections have been documented in at least 20 countries, with Brazil being the hardest hit.

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