GO AD-FREE FOR $1

Did the FBI go too far questioning Chinese researchers without reading them their rights?

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — As federal prosecutors press forward with cases against Chinese researchers accused of lying about their ties to China's military to gain access to prestigious American universities, the FBI's conduct in two Northern California cases has become a central focus of court proceedings. Prosecutions involving researchers at the University of California, Davis, and Stanford University now include claims by defense attorneys that FBI agents improperly interviewed their clients without first explaining that they had the right to refuse to answer questions. Last week in federal cou...

Caitlyn Jenner, once an 'American hero,' struggles to win support from California voters

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Caitlyn Jenner's initial ascent into American social strata was astronomical. Before 1976, she was relatively unknown: a dyslexic kid from Westchester, New York, who had traveled to Iowa on a football scholarship before heading to California to pursue athletic glory. Jenner, who at that point had not yet come out as transgender, sold insurance at night and trained for the decathlon during the day. She relied mostly on her then-wife Chrystie Crownover's income as a United Airlines flight attendant to survive. When Jenner won gold in Montreal on July 30, 1976, she became an ...

Assault rifle case about 'average guns used in average ways,' California judge wrote in reversing ban

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — In his decision to strike down California’s assault weapons ban, U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez described the AR-15 rifle as “good for both home and battle.” “Like the Swiss Army Knife, the popular AR-15 rifle is a perfect combination of home defense weapon and homeland defense equipment,” Benitez wrote in his opinion. The language Benitez employed in striking down a gun control law crafted in response to a 1989 shooting at a Stockton elementary school drew condemnation from gun control advocates and Democrats like Gov. Gavin Newsom. “It shows a really flippant disregar...

DA to drop death penalty retrial against Scott Peterson, his attorney says

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — In an about-face, the Stanislaus County District Attorney’s Office informed one of Scott Peterson’s attorneys on Friday that they no longer plan to pursue the death penalty against him, another of Peterson’s attorneys said. Pat Harris said the District Attorney’s Office served Peterson’s attorney, Andras Farkas, with the notice on Friday and a third attorney notified Harris. Farkas, an attorney with the Habeas Corpus Resource Center, who worked on Peterson’s death penalty appeal, could not be reached for comment. District Attorney Birgit Fladager and Assistant District Att...

'We stormed the Capitol.' Founder of Mamalitia survivalist group boasted of insurrection activity

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Denise Aguilar, a vocal California vaccine critic and founder of a survivalist group known as Mamalitia, has said she wasn't involved in the violent insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, although she admits to being in Washington, D.C. that day. But despite attempts to distance herself from the attempted coup, a since-deleted Instagram video shows Aguilar celebrating the deadly mob and suggesting she was among the rioters who roamed the Capitol grounds. She also called for similar take-overs in statehouses across the country. "We stormed the Capitol. And patriots bro...

California veterinarian is going to prison — but first he's headed to the Tokyo Olympics

World-famous equine veterinarian Jack Ray Snyder was sentenced Monday to six months in federal prison and six months of home detention following his guilty plea to tax evasion. Snyder, who has treated horses at five Olympic games and has traveled the world volunteering his services, had faced a prison term of up to five years. But after Snyder pleaded with U.S. Senior District Judge William B. Shubb for a sentence of probation that would allow him to continue treating animals and work at the upcoming Tokyo Olympic games, the judge agreed to allow Snyder to report to prison on Aug. 17, nine day...

Trump loves to bash California. Why is he quiet on Gavin Newsom's recall?

California Republicans are motivated, and the nation is taking notice. After years of declining membership, and repeated failures to win state office, Golden State conservatives feel they have a real shot at kicking California's top Democrat out of office. Big-name GOP players like Mike Huckabee, party chairwoman Ronna McDaniel and the Republican Governors Association are taking notice and contributing money. Prominent donors to former President Donald Trump, like real estate mogul Geoff Palmer, have endorsed the recall. National media attention also ramped up in recent weeks, thanks in part t...

California prison guards missed inmate's decapitation and misled investigators, report says

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Two California prison guards falsely reported that a decapitated inmate was still alive, according to a new report from the State Office of the Inspector General. The incident was one of several detailed in a semiannual report describing discipline in the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. It looked at complaints, allegations of misconduct and incidents in which correctional officers used force between July and December 2020. Overall, the report found the department acted too slowly in investigating alleged misconduct in dozens of cases. It found dela...

Cremations surpassed burials among California Latinos during the pandemic. Here's why

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — When Martha Castro's uncle died of cancer last March, her family had limited options to put him to rest. Statewide closures prompted by the coronavirus pandemic forced funeral homes throughout the state to temporarily halt burials and church services early on in the pandemic. The indefinite delays meant a casket burial for her uncle was off the table. "Our thought was, 'Of course there would be a casket burial,' but because the pandemic had just hit it was: No Mass, no services, not even burial at that particular point," Castro said. "Latinos in general — we're used to lay...

California's population declined last year for the first time ever. Here's why

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — For the first time in state history, California's population declined in 2020. The milestone followed a deadly pandemic, a long-term decline in births and former President Donald Trump's immigration policies that drove away potential newcomers, according to the California Department of Finance. That combination contributed to a population decline of 182,083 residents, according to new data released by the state on Friday. That marks a .46% decline in the state's population, keeping it under 40 million residents. The new data comes after the U.S. Census Bureau announced las...

California state worker union backs Newsom anti-recall effort in sign of labor's support

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A California state union's big donation to defend Gov. Gavin Newsom from recall likely heralds a coming show of support from organized labor, according to union representatives and experts. The Professional Engineers in California Government, which represents about 11,000 state engineers, recently contributed $250,000 to the main campaign committee supporting Newsom. Last week, the Secretary of State's Office announced the recall campaign had submitted enough valid signatures to qualify for the ballot, a milestone that is expected to usher in more money from Democratic-lea...

Suspects, a father and son, plead not guilty in 1996 Kristin Smart murder case

Nearly a week after their arrests in the 1996 disappearance of Cal Poly student Kristin Smart, Paul and Ruben Flores pleaded not guilty Monday in San Luis Obispo Superior Court to respective counts of murder and accessory. A judge also ruled that Paul Flores will remain in jail without bail and scheduled a hearing Wednesday to find out what, if any, bail amount Ruben Flores can afford given his assets. Ruben Flores’ bail is currently set at $250,000. Deputy District Attorney Chris Peuvrelle, the lead prosecutor in the case, had said last week that he expected to seek a higher bail amount for R...

'Racism is this country's original sin': Elite private school confronts its past

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – On a late-February morning, more than 100 high school students were joined by teachers and parents as they gathered in East Portal Park in East Sacramento. Some held signs and others chanted, "No justice, no peace," as they marched toward their destination. The last year has seen countless scenes like this play out in Sacramento and other cities as people marched by the thousands, demanding social justice and calling out racism. But on this morning, the focus of the demonstration was a new one: St. Francis High School, a prestigious all-girls private school. The February m...

Gov. Gavin Newsom's anti-recall strategy: Brand the other side as Republican

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Gov. Gavin Newsom is pulling out all the stops to paint the people trying to recall him as conservative Republicans. He's run ads on Facebook that say the effort is all about "riling up that Trump base." He's emailing donors saying "anti-maskers, anti-vaxxers, and notably, some of Trump's biggest donors" are pushing the recall. He's sending supporters bumper stickers that say "Stop the Republican Recall," the official name of his campaign. Although some Democrats and independents do support a recall, Newsom's frame is based in truth — the effort is run and funded mostly by...

Mysterious disease killing young California bears in Tahoe. One symptom: fearlessness

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The video of a small bear, its head tilted at an inquisitive angle, caught ambling up to a Tahoe snowboarder was the sort of clueless cuteness guaranteed to go viral. But for scientists, it was just too cute to be true. The bear cub was exhibiting behavior — fearlessness at being around humans — that’s been popping up in bears around the state, due to a mysterious lethal condition that causes their brains to become dangerously inflamed. Scientists have discovered five new viruses in some of the bears with the symptoms, but they have no idea whether the viruses are to blame...

Don't Sit on the Sidelines of History. Join Raw Story Investigates and Go Ad-Free. Support Honest Journalism.