On Tuesday, San Francisco's Board of Supervisors voted, 6-4, to propose a tax on soft drinks, energy drinks, and other high-calorie beverages on the November ballot. This fall, then, San Francisco voters will decide whether to tax their sugary drinks at two cents an ounce, with the money going toward health and exercise programs for teens and children. The measure will only pass if two-thirds of voters approve it.
City lawmakers say they are proposing the soda tax because sugar consumption has been tied to rising obesity and diabetes rates, especially among black and Latino youths. At NBC Bay Area, Sam Brock and Kinsey Kiriakos argue that tying the tax to calories, not fluid ounces, would be more likely to cut sugar consumption and improve public health.
The American Beverage Association is already gearing up for a big fight. If San Francisco — or Berkeley, whose voters will consider a similar penny-an-ounce tax — approves the measure, it will be the nation's first soft drink tax based on public health concerns. Peter Weber
Reddit users shut down hundreds of the site's sub-sections Friday following the alleged removal of Victoria Taylor, the online discussion board's director of talent and supervisor of the popular Ask Me Anything function connecting Redditors with famous people, Mashable reports. Moderators, often Reddit community members as opposed to employees, set subreddits to private in protest.
"I want to apologize to our community for yesterday," interim CEO Ellen Pao told Time on Friday. "We handled the transition in a way that caused some disruption, and we should have done a better job."
The site appointed staff member Kristen Fasnacht to communicate with subreddit moderators. Julie Kliegman
Iran has reached a tentative agreement with the U.S. and five other world powers, anonymous diplomats told The Associated Press on Saturday. The deal, which hasn't yet been officially signed, is expected to relieve some international economic sanctions on Iran in exchange for curbing their nuclear program over the next decade
Negotiators face a July 7 deadline, extended from June 30 after more than a year of talks. Iran Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said in a YouTube video Friday negotiations had "never been closer to a lasting outcome." Julie Kliegman
Governors and law enforcement officials are increasing security Saturday in light of State Department warnings of a heightened risk for a July Fourth terrorist attack, CNN reports. Authorities didn't have one specific threat to highlight, but are especially mindful of any attacks from suspected ISIS supporters in the country.
In particular, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Friday he is upping security statewide for various holiday-related events.
"We are keenly aware that New York State remains a top target for terrorists," he said. Julie Kliegman
Only in America: Man complains about NBC changing logo to 'colors of gays,' doesn't realize it hadn't changed
A Little Rock, Arkansas, man lodged a complaint with the local NBC affiliate over its peacock logo, charging it included "colors of gays" to show support for the Supreme Court's same-sex marriage ruling. Don Stair said the logo was "a disgrace" and vowed to switch to ABC. The station responded that its multicolored NBC peacock — which dates from 1956 — is the "same logo as always."
As America continues its slow, miserable climb out of the 2008 recession, wage stagnation is becoming a bigger concern. On Thursday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics' jobs report showed that wage growth effectively remains flat. It's a trend that has actually defined most of the 21st century — and, at least in comparison to one particularly well-off group, the depressingly slow growth of worker compensation goes back further still:
Since 1978, CEO compensation has risen 90 times faster than the average worker's, the liberal Economic Policy Institute shows in the above graph. That's not CEO pay vs. worker pay; that's just rates of growth.
The average CEO made $1.5 million, after adjusting for inflation, in 1978, EPI says. He or she now makes $16.3 million. The salary of the average worker, however, has risen from $48,000 to just $53,200. CEOs at top firms now make over 300 times more than the average worker. Nico Lauricella
The Solar Impulse made history on Friday when it landed without incident in Hawaii. Flying about 5,000 miles from Japan and spending 118 hours in the air, the Impulse set records in distance and time for manned, solar-powered flights. The pilots Andre Borschberg and Bertrand Piccard, who switch off flying legs, are on a quest to circumnavigate the globe. Next stop: New York. Read more at BBC News. Nico Lauricella
In a short televised address Friday, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras asked Greece to vote "no" on Sunday's bailout referendum. "I ask you to say no ultimatums, blackmail, and fear-mongering," he said. "No to divisions, no to those who want to spread panic." Polls show both sides neck-and-neck, and many Greeks are reportedly confused by the technical language of the referendum, which is over a bailout deal that is reportedly off the table. Tsipras tried to clear up the confusion, saying the vote is over a bad deal, "not Greece's participation in the euro." Read more at The New York Times. Nico Lauricella