• The U.S. Navy is planning to hold controversial military exercises in the disputed South China Sea and Taiwan Strait in coming weeks. News of the planned exercises was leaked to the media only days after a near collision between the USS Decatur and a Chinese destroyer, near the Spratly Islands, an area contested by China, Vietnam and the Philippines.
(“US Navy Proposing Major Show of Force to Warn China,” CNN, Oct. 4, 2018; “South China Morning Post, US Navy Plans Major Show of Strength in South China Sea As Warning,” South China Morning Post, Oct. 4, 2018)
• In response to growing criticism of the company’s low wages, Amazon is raising its minimum wage to $15 an hour for 350,000 warehouse and seasonal workers in the U.S. and Britain. This comes as other big box retailers like Target and Costco also pledged to raise wages for their employees to $15 an hour. The current federal minimum remains stagnant at $7.25 an hour.
(“Amazon to Raise Minimum Wage to $15 for All U.S. Workers,” New York Times, Oct. 2, 2018; “Amazon off Setting Pay Raise by Removing Bonuses, Union Says,” Guardian, Oct. 3, 2018)
• California is now entering a new era of law enforcement accountability. Gov. Jerry Brown has recently signed two new laws giving the public access to internal police investigations and releasing bodycam videos soon after a police shooting. The new laws scale back what many critics viewed as unfair protections for police officers, that were adopted at the behest of police unions in the late 1970s.
(“Gov. Jerry Brown Signs Landmark Laws That Unwind Decades of Secrecy Surrounding Police Misconduct,” Los Angeles Times, Sept. 30, 2018)