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California bars insurance companies from dropping customers in fire-prone zones

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California state regulators on Thursday banned insurance companies from dropping customers who live in fire-prone areas, a move aimed at helping some 800,000 people across the state.

The decision calls for a mandatory one-year moratorium on insurance companies refusing to renew policies in areas at high risk for wildfire.

“This wildfire insurance crisis has been years in the making, but it is an emergency we must deal with now if we are going to keep the California dream of home ownership from becoming the California nightmare,” Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara said in a statement. “I am calling on insurance companies to push the pause button on issuing non-renewals for one year to give breathing room to communities and homeowners while they adapt and mitigate risks, give the Legislature time to work on additional lasting solutions, and allow California’s insurance market to stabilize.”

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Hundreds of thousands of Californians in recent years have seen their fire insurance policies increased or cancelled as wildfires across the state — driven by climate change — have become the new normal.

Consumer groups have warned that loss of coverage could lead to declining home values and turn away prospective home buyers.

They also warn that higher premiums for homeowners and businesses will drive people away.

A 2017 California Department of Insurance report noted that homeowners who had been paying $800 to $1000 in annual insurance had seen their policy go up to as much as $5,000.

Insurance companies say the price hikes and decision to drop some customers are necessary given the more than $24 billion in damage claims paid in the last two years as the fires have become increasingly deadly and destructive.

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2020 Election

Mike Pompeo’s meltdown during interview over Ukraine questions was ‘not the first time’: report

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Secretary of State Mike Pompeo screamed at NPR “All Things Considered” co-host Mary Louise Kelly for asking questions about Ukraine during an interview.

Pompeo has been implicated in the abuse of power and obstruction of Congress scandal for which Trump is being impeached.

The Trump administration cabinet official reportedly "cursed at her, dropping f-bombs, made her point to Ukraine on an unmarked map (she did)," according to NPR host Lulu Garcia-Navarro.

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Star Trek’s George Takei is ‘expecting some royalties’ after Trump unveiled new Space Force logo

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President Donald Trump unveiled his new Space Force logo Friday afternoon, and many immediately noticed a strong similarity to the Star Trek logo. Even the original "Star Trek" series' actor George Takei had a lot of fun at Trump's expense – including demanding some royalties.

I feel like Melania must have had a hand in copyi--I mean, designing this.

— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) January 24, 2020

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Republican Martha McSally absolutely destroyed by GOP consultant for her defense of Trump

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Interim-Sen. Martha McSally (R-AZ) was shut down on Twitter on Friday by a top Republican as she tried to defend President Donald Trump on Twitter.

House impeachment managers have argued that America cannot wait until the 2020 election to pass judgment on Trump, as the first article of impeachment was passed because the House of Representatives concluded he was attempting to cheat in the election.

"The president's misconduct cannot be decided at the ballot box. For we cannot be assured that the vote will be fairly won," Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) charged on Friday.

McSally said Schiff was wrong and judgment on Trump should be decided by the voters, even if Trump was caught cheating.

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