San Diego State University is now accepting donations in the form of Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum.
An anonymous donor has sent the school approximately $25,000 worth of Bitcoin, according to the SDSU NewsCenter.
“The SDSU auxiliary will keep almost all of the contribution in the form of Bitcoin instead of immediately converting it all to cash as many other universities have done,” the outlet reported.
California state senators have introduced a bill to allow children 12 and older to receive vaccinations against diseases like COVID-19 without parental consent.
State Sens. Scott Wiener and Richard Pan on Thursday introduced SB 866, which clarifies eligible vaccines as those that are “approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration” and meet “the recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”
Federal authorities are investigating Chinese investment in a California-based plane maker after shareholders alleged that the firm’s technology was being transferred to China, The Wall Street Journal reported.
The FBI and the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. (CFIUS) have launched separate reviews of Chinese investment in small plane manufacturer Icon Aircraft Inc., according to the WSJ, which cited company documents and people familiar with the matter. The authorities are investigating allegations that technology from the company with military applications was transferred to China.
The investigation follows a lawsuit filed in June 2021 by a group of minority shareholders, including former Boeing CEO and chairman Phil Condit, who alleged that Pudong Science and Technology Investment Co. (PDSTI), a Chinese firm which owns 47% of Icon’s shares, was exploiting the company for its technology’s military applications to the detriment of the firm’s bottom line.
Gov. Gavin Newsom unveiled a plan to expand Medi-Cal coverage to many income-eligible residents regardless of immigration status on Monday as part of his 2022-2023 budget proposal.
The plan, which Newsom hopes to see implemented in January 2024, would expand Medi-Cal eligibility to all income-eligible adults between 26 and 49 years old regardless of immigration status. The proposal would also close a gap in health-care coverage for undocumented immigrants, who the state already covers up to age 26 and after age 50.
The program lies within Newsom’s $286.4 billion budget proposal, announced on Monday, including a surplus of $45.7 billion.
The wife of a former La Mesa, California police officer told The Star News Network that since a jury December 10 acquitted her husband Matthew Dages, the couple fights now to regain his spot on the force so that he can return to his law enforcement vocation.
“The foreman handed it to the court clerk, and she read the verdict, and I think all of us were just waiting for the end pronunciation of the not guilty words – and as soon as we heard that everyone kind of erupted in a huge sigh of relief and just tears,” said Christina Dages, whose husband was charged with the felony filing a false police report regarding his May 27, 2020, interactions and arrest of Amaurie Johnson, at the Grossmont Transit Center here.
Dages said when the couple celebrated their second wedding anniversary, December 28, it was poignant because, for 19 months of their marriage, they have been dealing with the severe possibility of her husband going to prison.
Campus Reform is monitoring the colleges and universities starting the 2022 academic year online.
These institutions are imposing the changes due to the Omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus.
Seven out of the 10 University of California chancellors decided to begin the winter quarter remotely. This includes UC Davis, Irvine, Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, Santa Barbara, and Santa Cruz.
Over half of the states in the U.S. will institute a minimum wage increase in 2022, according to a report.
A total of 26 states will raise the minimum wage in 2022, with 22 of the states starting the pay hikes on Jan. 1, accordingto payroll experts at Wolters Kluwer Legal & Regulatory U.S.
“These minimum wage increases indicate moves toward ensuring a living wage for people across the country,” Deirdre Kennedy, senior payroll analyst at Wolters Kluwer, said in the report. “In addition to previously approved incremental increases, the change in presidential administration earlier this year and the ongoing coronavirus pandemic have also contributed to these changes.”
Homeless encampments have begun cropping up near schools throughout the city of Los Angeles, even despite a citywide ban on any such encampments near public areas, as reported by the Epoch Times.
The Los Angeles City Council had previously passed a new resolution, Ordinance 41.18, which was signed into law by Mayor Eric Garcetti (D-Calif.), forbidding any such homeless camps from being set up within 500 feet of “sensitive-use” areas, including schools, daycares, libraries, and parks. The ordinance also banned such camps from forming near freeway overpasses and underpasses, ramps, tunnels, and bridges.
But in order for the ordinance to be enforced, each individual district’s councilmember must introduce a motion to do so, which then must be approved by the council. As such, homeless encampments have begun sprouting up near schools in the Venice Beach neighborhood, which falls under District 11; that district is represented by Councilman Mike Bonin (D-Calif.), who has a history of refusing to enforce anti-homeless measures for other districts, and has not yet introduced any such measures to protect his own district.
Hogs born Jan. 1, 2022, or later are subject to California’s Prop 12.
Some Iowa agricultural leaders have criticized the law, which prohibits the sale of pork from hogs that are the offspring of sows that were raised in pens with less than 24 square feet of usable floorspace per pig.
California accounts for about 15% of the U.S. pork market, the National Pork Producers Council said in a September news release. The NPPC is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to determine Prop 12’s constitutionality.
California may not be what it used to be, but it still looks tempting in the middle of a Minnesota winter. So tempting two of Hennepin County’s highest paid public employees made the Golden State their home base for working remotely during–and now–after the pandemic.
Michael Rossman takes home $189,000 in salary as Chief Hennepin County Human Resources Officer supervising 70 employees from his Palm Springs pad, while Chad Helton gets paid $184,000 to lead over 500 employees of the Hennepin County Library system out of Los Angeles.
The Biden administration approved two solar projects, and it is nearing approval of a third, that will power hundreds of thousands of homes in California.
Construction of the Arica and Victory Pass solar projects — the two that received administration approval — will begin immediately on a large swath of land in Riverside County, California, the Department of the Interior (DOI) announced on Tuesday. Together, the projects will cost $689 million, be able to produce 465 megawatts of electricity, store 400 megawatts of energy and power 132,000 homes.
Oberon, the third solar project mentioned in the announcement, would be built on 2,700 acres of public lands in Riverside County if approved, according to DOI. The project would generate 500 megawatts of electricity and power an additional 142,000 households.
California’s citizen redistricting commission finalized a new congressional map late Monday that puts every Democratic incumbent in a seat that President Joe Biden won by at least 10 points.
The independent commission’s maps also put most of California’s Republican incumbents in more competitive districts. And while Democratic Reps. Alan Lowenthal and Lucille Roybal-Allard’s districts were merged to accommodate California losing a House seat, both are retiring in 2022.
“This is a good map for Democrats,” J. Miles Coleman, an associate editor at Sabato’s Crystal Ball, told the Daily Caller News Foundation, noting how the new map could even “put Trump-won seats in play, depending on the year.”
A California environmental regulator approved a measure banning new purchases of small off-road engines including leaf blowers and lawn mowers beginning in 2024.
The measure will also affect portable generators and recreational vehicle engines which will need to meet “more stringent standards” in 2024 and zero-emission standards in 2028, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) announcedThursday. The vote was part of the state’s aggressive climate program and goal to achieve a “zero-emission future” as outlined by an executive order Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom signed in September 2020.
“Today’s action by the Board addresses these small but highly polluting engines. It is a significant step towards improving air quality in the state, and will definitely help us meet stringent federal air quality standards,” CARB Chair Liane Randolph said in a statement. “It will also essentially eliminate exposure to harmful fumes for equipment operators and anyone nearby.”
Stanford University administrators sent a campus-wide email regarding two ropes with loops discovered in a tree along a walking trail — even though there was no indication that the ropes were hung due to racist intent.
As reported by The Stanford Daily, the Stanford University Department of Public Safety believes that the ropes had been present for up to two years. However, Vice Provost for Institutional Equity, Access and Community Patrick Dunkley and Senior Associate Vice Provost and Dean of Students Mona Hicks informed students that “a noose is a potent symbol of anti-Black racism and violence that is completely unacceptable under any circumstances.”
At least two parents have accused a prep school in South Los Angeles of vaccinating their children without their permission after bribing them with pizza, according to NBC Los Angeles. One distressed mother claimed that her 13-year-old son was told not to tell his parents after he was given a Pfizer COVID-19 injection at Barack Obama Global Prep Academy.
Maribel Duarte told NBC LA on Monday that her son recently came home from school with a vaccine card after he had accepted the jab. The boy told his mom that he agreed to get the shot after he was offered pizza. Duarte said that the woman who administered the shot and signed the form told her son not to tell his parents because she didn’t want to get in trouble.
A conservative think tank is suing California to block a law that will force race, gender and sexual orientation quotas on corporate boards of publicly held companies located in the state.
The suit, National Center for Public Policy Research v. Weber, was filed against California Secretary of State Shirley Weber Monday in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California.
The free market think tank argues that AB 979 perpetuates discrimination by treating people based on fixed characteristics rather than individual merits. Specifically, the law requires that all publicly held companies headquartered in California must meet a quota of female board members or be fined. Beginning in 2022, the law will extend to board quotas based on race and sexual orientation.
Just one week after declaring that he would extend a statewide “state of emergency” order, California Governor Gavin Newsom (D-Calif.) left for a vacation to Mexico with his family, as reported by the Daily Caller.
Newsom, his wife Jennifer, and their children left the state on Monday, and will not return until November 28th. On November 15th, Newsom signed another executive order extending numerous restrictions and other “emergency” measures that he first implemented in March of 2020, as the Chinese coronavirus first began to spread in the United States. Under his latest order, the rules and restrictions now will not expire until March of next year, with the added possibility that they may be arbitrarily extended again.
Despite some of the heaviest restrictions in the nation, including mask and vaccine requirements, California continues to see some of the highest rates of COVID-19 cases out of all the other states. In early November, California saw twice as many new cases as Florida, a state with virtually no restrictions remaining.
A bipartisan coalition of state attorneys general launched a probe into Instagram on Thursday to examine whether the company violated state-level consumer protection laws.
The states are investigating whether Meta (formerly known as Facebook), which owns Instagram, promoted the image-sharing platform “to children and young adults” despite being aware of its negative effects, according to statements from the attorneys general. The probe cites internal Facebook communications and research leaked by former Facebook employee Frances Haugen and published by The Wall Street Journal showing Meta was aware that use of Instagram could contribute to body image and mental health issues among teens.
“When social media platforms treat our children as mere commodities to manipulate for longer screen time engagement and data extraction, it becomes imperative for state attorneys general to engage our investigative authority under our consumer protection laws,” Republican Nebraska Attorney General Doug Peterson said in a statement.
It is now less than a year to the 2022 elections, with this, more stories about the midterms are developing. Below are the latest updates.
In California, Progressive San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin will face a recall. Conservatives have tapped into anger over his decisions not to prosecute certain cases. Meanwhile, CA Governor Gavin Newsom is facing controversy over his lack of public appearances.
In Wisconsin, Republicans are continuing their 2020 election audit, even amidst criticism that the audit is too partisan and unruly. Republican Senator Ron Johnson is set to decide in the next few weeks over whether he will seek re-election
In New Jersey, Powerful Democratic State Senate President Stephen Sweeney has conceded in his race for re-election. Sweeney’s race caused national headlines because it was so shocking.
The sheriff of Los Angeles County warned last week that there could be a massive exodus of police officers and other emergency workers over the city’s demand that all public employees take a coronavirus vaccine, as reported by Breitbart.
Sheriff Alex Villanueva said that the mandate could drive out as many as 20 or 30 percent of employees in the sheriff’s office. The vaccine mandate was passed by the city council in August, ordering that all public employees of the county submit their vaccination status in order to keep their jobs. Those who do not submit a vaccination status will be ordered to get the vaccine within 45 days or else be suspended from work for five days; they are then given another 30 days to comply, after which further action would be taken if they still refuse to get the vaccine.
Integrating activism in the K-12 classroom is the trickle-down of liberal bias in higher education. The results are seen as educators mirror anti-racist trainings and social justice workshops, which evolved from college campuses.
For instance, University of California, Los Angeles’ Teacher Education Program (TEP), trains “social justice educators” and follows an “anti-racist and social justice agenda.”
The pharmaceutical chain Walgreens will be closing five stores in San Francisco, California due to a spike in “organized” shoplifting impacting its locations, according to MarketWatch via MSN.
The decision was made by Walgreens’ parent company, Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc., which will relocate all employees to new locations and ship all outstanding prescriptions to other stores within one mile of the original stores. The stores will be shut down sometime between November 8th and November 17th.
“Retail theft across our San Francisco stores has continued to increase in the past few months to five times our chain average,” the company revealed in the statement announcing the decision. “To help combat this issue, we increased our investments in security measures in stores across the city to 46 times our chain average, in an effort to provide a safe environment.”
Oil prices hit a 7-year high this week as American oil and gas companies continue to fight the Biden administration over policies restricting production.
As the economy began to reopen this year and the demand for fuel increased, President Joe Biden, through executive order, halted and restricted oil and gas leases on federal lands, stopped construction of the Keystone Pipeline, and redirected U.S. policy to import more oil from Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and Russia (OPEC+) instead of bolstering American oil and gas exploration and production.
Actor Clint Eastwood and the company that controls the rights to likeness won a $6.1 million lawsuit Friday against a Lithuanian company that used the actor’s image on its products without his consent, the New York Times reported.
Judge R. Gary Klausner of U.S. District Court for the Central District of California ruled in favor of Eastwood and his company Garrapata after Lithuanian company Mediations UAB did not respond to a summons in March, according to the NYT. The Lithuanian company was also ordered to pay for Eastwood’s $95,000 legal charges and is blocked from using his name again.
The International Chamber of Shipping, a coalition of truck drivers, seafarers, and airline workers, recently warned heads of state at the United Nations General Assembly that if restrictive COVID policies don’t change and freedom of movement isn’t restored to transportation workers, a supply-chain collapse is imminent.
Industry leaders representing some 65 million transport workers asked the United Nations and heads of government to “take meaningful and swift action to resolve the crisis now.”
“Global supply chains are beginning to buckle as two years’ worth of strain on transport workers take their toll,” they wrote in an open letter signed by the International Air Transport Association, the International Road Transport Union and the International Transport Workers’ Federation.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Friday that he would require all private and public school students between seventh and 12th grade to get vaccinated against COVID-19, once the vaccines are approved for ages 12 and over.
According to The Associated Press, the governor’s executive order will take effect once a vaccine receives full federal approval for ages 12 and over.
The designer of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s “Tax the Rich” gown for the recent Met Gala reportedly has her own tax issues, including owing thousands on a $1.6 million home she recently purchased in Los Angeles’ Hollywood Hills.
Designer Aurora James bought the home in September 2020, but the property is already listed as “delinquent” by the Los Angeles County assessor’s office. The office told The New York Post, which this past weekend reported on James’ tax issues, the designer owed $2,504 in property taxes.
In the end, it wasn’t really even close.
California Governor Gavin Newsom easily survived his recall election on Tuesday, with voters rejecting his ouster by nearly two-to-one. The results won’t be official until next month, but as of now, the “no recall” vote leads by a resounding 27 percentage points. By any account, it was a big win for the third-rate politician who is utterly incapable of making a public statement without resorting to platitudes and clichés.
Gov. Gavin Newsom won California’s recall election Tuesday, capitalizing on late momentum and sailing past the field of Republicans looking to oust him in what was considered a neck-and-neck race just weeks ago.
Newsom, first elected in 2018, survived the GOP recall effort with just over two-thirds of voters opting to keep him in office, according to initial results when the Associated Press called the race. Of the approximately 33% voters who chose to recall him, nearly 43% selected conservative radio host Larry Elder as their preferred candidate when the race was declared.
Republican candidate Larry Elder conceded to Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom of California late Tuesday while telling his supporters to “stay tuned.”
Elder said “we may have lost the battle, but we are going to win the war,” according to the Associated Press. Newsom sailed to victory, securing nearly 64% of the vote through Wednesday morning.
Anew poll on the recall election for California Gov. Gavin Newsom shows voters appear essentially locked into their position on whether to remove the embattled Democrat lawmaker.
The poll released Thursday by the nonpartisan The Public Policy Institute of California found 58% of likely voters surveyed oppose removing the governor from office, compared to 39% who support recalling him.
The numbers are largely consistent with those the pollsters collected in March and May – 40% to 56% and 40% to 57%, respectively, in the largely Democrat-leaning state.
A new category of professional has joined the legal challenges to university vaccine mandates: doctors.
University of California Irvine (UCI) School of Medicine psychiatrist and medical ethicist Aaron Kheriaty is suing the university system to recognize his natural immunity from COVID-19 recovery, and he’s getting help from fellow UC medical professors.
by Cole Lauterbach Afghan refugees looking to resettle in the U.S. are being discouraged from picking California as a destination, despite the state having significant Afghan population centers. In the days after the U.S. announced it would resettle refugees fleeing a Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, governors across the country…
Larry Elder said Friday that if he is elected California governor in the state recall of Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom, he will replace Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) with a Republican.
Elder told the “Mark Levin Show” that George Soros, President Biden, Vice President Harris, and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) are getting involved in the California recall election because they’re concerned about the balance of power in the Senate.
The superintendent who will likely fire a pro-Antifa California teacher said his school district has not been able to find any reports from parents or students prior to a Project Veritas video catching him boasting about indoctrinating his students, Fox News reported.
Natomas Unified School District (NUSD) Superintendent Chris Evans asked any parent or teacher who had previously notified the school about the teacher, Gabriel Gipe, to reach out again, Fox News reported.
A pro-Antifa California public school teacher touted his efforts to radicalize his students through political indoctrination in his classroom in a conversation captured on a video and released by Project Veritas.
Gabriel Gipe is an AP government teacher at Inderkum High School in the Natomas Unified School District (NUSD) in Sacramento, California. He described himself as “probably as far left as you can go” and said he has asked the question,”Like, why aren’t people just taking up arms? Like why can’t we, you know — take up arms against the state?” in the video.
Police in a Los Angeles-area city are investigating how an armed felon ended up in possession of hundreds of ballots for Gov. Gavin Newsom’s Sept. 14 recall election.
The Torrance Police Department announced it had received a report from a convenience store employee of a man sleeping in his car parked near the building the night before.
The general perception within Conservatism, Inc. and libertarian circles is that collective bargaining is a violation of the right of the individual to seek work without being compelled to join a union. That sounds good in principle, but there’s much more to the story.
A few years ago, the workers at a local grocery store chain in California went on strike. The reason they voted to strike was that management had implemented a new policy whereby most of the employees, including full-time career workers, had their hours reduced to fewer than 25 hours per week. At the same time, these employees had their health coverage taken away.
A judge granted Michael Avenatti a mistrial on Tuesday in a case accusing him of stealing millions of dollars from his clients, according to multiple reports.
U.S. District Court District Judge James Selna, who was nominated by President George W. Bush, said prosecutors failed to provide financial evidence to Avenatti before the trial started, Law.com’s Meghann Cuniff reported live from the Santa Ana, California, courtroom.
In 2006, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed the landmark AB 32, the “Global Warming Solutions Act.” Determined to leave a legacy that would ensure he remained welcome among the glitterati of Hollywood and Manhattan, Schwarzenegger may not have fully comprehended the forces he unleashed.
Under AB 32, California was required to “reduce its [greenhouse gas] emissions to 1990 levels by 2020.” Now, according to the “scoping plan” updated in 2017, California must “further reduce its GHG emissions by 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030.”
The problem with such an ambitious plan is that achieving it will preclude ordinary Californians ever enjoying the lifestyle that people living in developed nations have earned and have come to expect. It will condemn Californians to chronic scarcity of energy, with repercussions that remain poorly understood by voters.
Californians wanting to attend events with more than 1,000 people will have to prove they have received a COVID-19 vaccine.
The California Department of Public Health announced attending indoor events with 1,000 or more guests will require either proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test within the last 72 hours. The requirement previously was triggered at events with 5,000 or more attendees.
Amazon is planning to open department stores where consumers can purchase a variety of goods like clothing and electronics, The Wall Street Journal reported.
The planned expansion of Amazon brick-and-mortar stores is the online retail giant’s latest attempt to disrupt the industry, according to a WSJ report Thursday. The Seattle-based company has recently expanded its brick-and-mortar grocery store footprint, opening 17 Amazon Fresh stores nationwide, and is developing at least 20 more, Bloomberg reported.
A federal judge has ruled the Biden administration must resume allowing oil and gas leasing on federal land and waters, but the administration is saying it will not go down without a fight.
The Biden administration said it will appeal a court ruling allowing the leases, the latest development in a months-long battle between President Joe Biden and the oil and gas industry, even as gas prices continue to rise.
Dr. Gary Maynard, the California professor allegedly behind a number of wildfires raging in Northern California, who is accused of intentionally trying to trap fire crews with his fires, is an anti-Trumper who said in an interview last November that President Trump suffered from Malignant Narcissistic Personality Disorder, and could become violent and destructive in response to defeat.
“Donald Trump’s lack of or unwillingness to self-reflect in order to self-improve, and his lack of empathy while being threatened with his first major, public, political and personal defeat, might activate a sense of the need for the use of violence, violent protests by his supporters or outright sabotage of the nation by locking down the economy or some other major act to damage the nation before he is forced to leave office, if he loses,” Maynard told left-wing journalist Charles Krause, who writes for The Globalist.
The California Secretary of State’s Office has certified 46 candidates running for governor against Gov. Gavin Newsom during September’s recall election. The list includes five more candidates from the preliminary list released on Saturday, including conservative radio commentator and Republican candidate Larry Elder, who had been left off the list and successfully sued to be added back on.
“Victory!” Elder tweeted after the court ordered he be added to the list. “My next one will be on Sept. 14 at the ballot box.”
The recall election is scheduled for Sept. 14.
California’s community college students are now required to fulfill an “ethnic studies” requirement in order to graduate.
On July 13, California’s Community Colleges Board of Governors announced that students seeking an associate degree must complete a three-unit semester or four-unit quarter class in ethnic studies. A task force will work to determine “the timing for implementation of the ethnic studies requirement as well as the definition of courses that will satisfy the requirement.”
“As the largest and most diverse system of higher education in the country, we have an opportunity to break down barriers to equity,” Board of Governors President Pamela Haynes said in the press release. “By building a faculty and staff that look like the students and communities we serve and by putting diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) and anti-racism at the heart of our work, we can help create a system that truly works for all our students.”
The push to create “equity” and more “social justice” in public schools in America’s largest state rests on this basic premise: “We reject ideas of natural gifts and talents,” declares the current draft of the California Math Framework, which also states that it rejects “the cult of genius.”
Informed by that fundamental idea, the 800-page Framework calls for the elimination of accelerated classes and gifted programs for high-achieving students until at least the 11th grade.
A Republican mayor in Lancaster, California wants to suspend city employees if they refuse to get vaccinated against COVID-19, Fox 11 reported Tuesday.
Republican Lancaster Mayor Rex Parris said that employees who interact with the public must be vaccinated, according to Fox 11. Employees would be suspended without pay if they don’t take the shot.
A coalition of 16 states is urging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to not reinstate a waiver allowing California to implement its own carbon emissions standards that essentially regulate the automotive industry for the rest of the U.S.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton joined a coalition led by Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost, which also includes attorneys general from the states of Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah and West Virginia.
Under the Clean Air Act, the Trump administration created national standards for vehicle carbon emissions for model years 2021 through 2026. The policy revoked a waiver previously granted to California in order to treat all states as equal sovereigns subject to one federal rule, the attorneys general explain in their 12-page letter.
The state government of California has been revealed to have spent $13 million on providing security for 120 empty houses for five months, even as a homeless crisis ravaged the state, Fox News reports.
In a report broken by local outlet Fox 11, the California Department of Transportation (CalTrans) paid $9 million to the highway patrol from November 2020 to April 2021, and gave another $4 million to a private security firm over the same period, all for the purpose of protecting the vacant houses in Pasadena.
In a statement addressing the report, CalTrans said that the houses had been purchased by the government 60 years ago, when there were plans for a change in the local infrastructure by connecting the 710 freeway to the 210. However, that project “is no longer moving forward,” the government statement declared.