SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California is seeing an increase in hate crimes.

There were 931 incidents in 2016, an 11.2 percent spike over 2015, the state Department of Justice reported Monday.

More than half of those involved bias based on race, ethnicity or national origin. The second-most-common incidents were based on sexual orientation.

Race-based hate crimes jumped 21.3 percent, the report said.

State Attorney General Xavier Becerra said the report is consistent with findings of an increase in national hate crimes motivated by biases against racial minorities, Muslims, people with disabilities, women, immigrants and the LGBTQ community.

“When someone commits a crime motivated by hate, it is not just an attack on one innocent person, but an attack on the entire State and our communities,” Becerra said in a statement. “We can see from today’s report that words matter, and discriminatory rhetoric does not make us stronger but divides us and puts the safety of our communities at risk.”

—Los Angeles Times


South Florida men in Key West jail after taking endangered Key deer, authorities say

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Two South Florida men are jailed in Key West and the three endangered Key deer they are accused of taking and injuring were released back to the wild, authorities said.

Tumani Anthony Younge, 23, with ties to Tamarac and Port St. Lucie, and Erik Yosmany Damas Acosta, 18, of Miami Gardens, were on their way to camp in the Florida Keys on Sunday and wanted to take pictures with the creatures, which were found tied, bleeding and distressed in the trunk and back seat of a Hyundai Sonata, according to a state investigation.

A little after 1 a.m., a Monroe County Sheriff’s deputy noticed a taillight was out on the Hyundai and stopped the southbound sedan on Little Torch Key, an island in the lower Keys.

The deputy found one deer in the trunk and two in the back seat. The animals, about the size of a large dog, had been hog-tied with twine.

They had wounds on their heads and bodies and were struggling to get free. Blood had soaked into the Hyundai’s seat and was smeared on the roof of the trunk, and deer hair was heavily scattered in both areas of the car, according to arrest reports.

Damas Acosta told investigators they were on Big Pine Key, drove a bit off U.S. 1 toward some homes, fed the deer to bring them close, grabbed them, tied them up and put them in the car so he could photograph them.

Key deer are endangered and are protected by state and federal laws. It is illegal to feed them. Habitat for the vegetarian mammals includes wetlands, hammocks and even residential neighborhoods, according to the FWC website.

—Sun Sentinel


Boiler explosion kills 8 at Bangladeshi garment factory

DHAKA, Bangladesh — At least eight people were killed and dozens others injured after a boiler exploded at a garment factory near the Bangladeshi capital on Monday, firefighters said.

The boiler exploded Monday evening at Multifabs Ltd. factory in Gazipur, said Mohammad Akhtaruzzaman, an official at the Fire Service and Civil Defense department.

Five died at the scene. Three others died after they were rushed to a nearby hospital, physician Pronoy Bhushan Das said.

Thirty-five people are undergoing treatment at different health facilities in the Gazipur district, Das said, adding that many of those injured were in critical condition.

Firefighters launched rescue operations soon after a portion of the four-story factory building collapsed because of the explosion, Akhtaruzzaman said.

It was not immediately known how many people were working at the factory when the blast occurred.



Brazil ex-minister arrested, adding to pressure on Temer

BRASILIA, Brazil — A former Brazilian Cabinet minister and close aide of President Michel Temer was arrested by federal police on Monday, in yet another sign of the country’s political volatility.

Geddel Vieira Lima was detained on claims that he has tried to obstruct investigations into the deviation of funds from the state-run bank, Caixa Economica Federal, according to a statement by the public prosecutor’s office. Vieira Lima’s attorney didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

The arrest of the ex-minister, who resigned in November last year following allegations of influence trafficking, adds to the turbulence in Brasilia. It comes just hours after Temer decided to attend the G-20 summit in Germany this week, reversing plans to stay in Brazil to deal with the political crisis, including his own defense against corruption charges. Over the next few days, the Senate is also due to vote on labor reform, one of the government’s flagship bills. The latest scandal may increase the cost of support for the Temer administration in Congress.

“The opposition will try to exploit the case to create more economic and political instability,” said Andre Moura, from the government-allied Social Christian Party. “For them, the worse things get, the better.”

—Bloomberg News

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