Wednesday's Briefing: Nia Wilson murder trial begins; Oakland seeks to make fossil fuel industry pay for climate change

Newsom wants to end state health test for students


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Nia Wilson was murdered in 2018 at the MacArthur BART station.

News you don't want to miss for Feb. 5:

1. The murder trial for John Lee Cowell, who is alleged to have killed Nia Wilson in 2018 at the MacArthur BART station, began on Wednesday. KTVU reports. But during the first day of the trial, Cowell was escorted out the courtroom following an outburst.

2. A Catholic priest who was removed from St. Joseph's Basilica in Alameda for inappropriate conduct with a female church employee was removed from living in a Pleasant Hill church rectory as another investigation begins, the East Bay Times reports. $$

3. A U.S. District Court will hear arguments from several California counties and cities, including Oakland, over a lawsuit that seeks to penalize the fossil fuels industry for contributing to the current climate emergency, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Wednesday's hearing deals with the question of whether the lawsuit should be heard in federal or state court. $$

4. Gov. Gavin Newsom wants to suspend for three years a statewide test used to gauge the physical health of students, the Associated Press reports. The plan comes as the percentage of fifth-graders receiving healthy scores has dropped over the last five years. The test, however, also leads to bullying, Newsom said.

5. The results of the Iowa Caucus are still incomplete. Don't forget vote-by-mail ballots in California will begin arriving this week. KQED reports that Election Night results on Mar. 3 will likely come in slowly. For one reason, it's a big state. Locally, the Alameda County Registrar of Voters has also been notoriously slow in producing vote counts.

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