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California governor pardons 5 men facing deportation

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Those pardoned Friday included Sokha Chhan and Phann Pheach, both of whom face deportation to Cambodia, a country ruled in the 1970s by the genocidal Khmer Rouge. Chhan was convicted of two counts of misdemeanor domestic violence in 2002 and served 364 days in jail.

Pheach was convicted of possessing drugs and obstructing a police officer in 2005 and served six months in jail. His wife said he is in federal custody.

Also pardoned was Daniel Maher, who was convicted in 1995 of kidnapping, robbery and being a felon in possession of a firearm and served five years in prison. Maher is facing deportation to China.

Chhan, Pheach and Maher hold permanent U.S. residency but had exhausted all legal avenues to fight deportation, making Brown’s pardons for them their last hope to stay in the U.S., Prasad said.

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“This is a life-changing, enormous event,” he said.

Also pardoned while facing deportation were Daniel Mena and Francisco Acevedo Alaniz, but their home countries were not immediately known. Mena was convicted in 2003 of possessing illegal drugs. Alaniz served five months in prison for a 1997 auto theft conviction.

Brown on Friday also commuted the sentences of 14 others convicted of crimes.

The governor is a former Jesuit seminarian and traditionally issues pardons close to major Christian holidays. Easter falls on Sunday.

California’s longest-serving governor has now issued 1,519 pardons, including 404 during his first two terms as governor from 1975 to 1983.

Brown’s father, Edmund G. “Pat” Brown issued 467 pardons and 55 commutations, but there have been long stretches of very few in California.

From 1991 through 2010, former Govs. Pete Wilson and Gray Davis issued no pardons while Arnold Schwarzenegger handed out just 15.

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Sturgeon warned UK debt hampers ANY independence bid as 'economies are meshed together'

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NICOLA STURGEON has been warned Scotland would suffer economically if the nation were to become independent due to its close ties to the UK.

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Biden to detail Lyft, Uber plan to provide free rides to vaccination sites

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WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden is backing an effort by Lyft and Uber to help provide free rides for people traveling to get a Covid-19 vaccine as the administration ramps up efforts to motivate those who been hesitant to get the shot.

The ride sharing companies will begin promoting the locations of vaccination centers in their apps and provide instructions for how to redeem a free ride, the White House said today in a statement. While the companies have already provided free and discounted rides to some users, the new promotion will apply to anyone seeking a vaccine and begin in the next two weeks and last through July 4.

The move is part of an effort by the administration to make getting a vaccine as simple and convenient as possible in hopes it will encourage more Americans to get the shot. Demand for the vaccine has been slowing, with 59 percent of the population having already received at least one dose. Biden has set the goal of having 70 percent adults with at least their first dose by July 4.

Biden will hold a meeting with a bipartisan group of governors Tuesday to talk about creative ways their states have tried to reach the unvaccinated. The federal government has been shifting away from a model focused on mass vaccination centers and to more targeted distribution utilizing retail pharmacies, doctor’s offices and mobile vaccination units.

At the meeting Biden will also announce a program for community colleges to set up vaccination sites for students, staff and the general public through June. There will also be additional funding available for states to conduct phone banks, door-to-door canvassing, and pop-up vaccination sites in workplaces and churches.

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Keir Starmer dealt fresh blow as closest aide quits amid Angela Rayner 'briefing war'

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SIR KEIR STARMER is facing a party crisis after his closet aide, Carolyn Harris, quit amid accusations she was spreading rumours about Angela Rayner’s private life.

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