Tubman still part of $20 bill redesign as Mnuchin focuses elsewhere and other news in brief

Tribune News Service

WASHINGTON — The U.S. government agency that prints currency notes hasn’t been instructed to take Harriet Tubman’s picture off the $20 note redesign project and is proceeding with the Obama administration’s plan.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said last month he would review the Obama-era initiative, adding that it’s not a high priority amid a heavy policy agenda that includes the first major tax overhaul in three decades. The department’s Bureau of Engraving and Printing said it has not received any orders to slow or halt the redesign.

The bureau “is still following current guidance,” spokeswoman Lydia Washington said in an emailed reply to questions. “The redesign of the next currency series is still in the early stages and the Secretary of the Treasury approves all final currency designs.”

Asked in a CNBC interview on Aug. 31 whether Mnuchin supports his predecessor’s decision to put Tubman on $20 bills, he said: “People have been on the bills for a long period of time,” Mnuchin said. “This is something we will consider.” The top issue to consider when redesigning notes is security against counterfeiting, he said.

Tubman, a former slave who helped others to freedom, was to become the first woman and first minority to appear on U.S. paper currency. Andrew Jackson, the seventh U.S. president, is currently on $20 bills.

A decision to drop plans to replace Jackson, a slaveholder who advocated the removal of Native Americans from the U.S., with Tubman could prompt criticism that would be amplified by the controversy surrounding President Donald Trump’s statements following violence at a Charlottesville, Va., protest last month. The president said “both sides” of the clashes between white supremacist protesters and opposition demonstrators were to blame.

—Bloomberg News


Appeals court blocks San Francisco law requiring health warnings on soda

SAN FRANCISCO — A federal appeals court Tuesday blocked a San Francisco ordinance that requires advertisers of sugary drinks to post health warnings, saying in a unanimous decision that it likely violates freedom of speech.

A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals faulted the 2015 ordinance for mandating a large warning on billboards, structures and vehicles.

“By focusing on a single product, the warning conveys the message that sugar-sweetened beverages are less healthy than other sources of added sugars and calories and are more likely to contribute to obesity, diabetes and tooth decay,” wrote Judge Sandra S. Ikuta, an appointee of President George W. Bush.

“This message” Ikuta added, “is deceptive in light of the current state of research.”

The San Francisco law requires the warning to be posted prominently: “Drinking beverages with added sugar(s) contributes to obesity, diabetes and tooth decay.”

The American Beverage Association, the California Retailers Association and the California State Outdoor Advertising Association sued, but a district judge refused to block the law.

The 9th Circuit said an injunction was warranted.

According to the decision, the warning conflicts with statements by the Food and Drug Administration that added sugars are “generally recognized as safe” and “can be a part of a healthy dietary pattern when not consumed in excess amounts.”

—Los Angeles Times


Instagram post of guns lets LAPD track down gangster on Texas’ most wanted list

LOS ANGELES — One of Texas’ 10 most wanted criminal suspects was taken into custody by Los Angeles police early Tuesday after he displayed video of an arsenal of weapons on Instagram that authorities used to track him to Woodlands Hills.

Christopher Ricardo Gonzalez, 18, a Texas gang member with a lengthy history of violent robberies, home invasions and alleged murder, was captured by the LAPD after Dallas police were able to track his position when he posted a video of himself on Instagram displaying a gun collection, according to law enforcement sources familiar with the arrest.

Los Angeles police said Gonzalez was taken into custody with the help of a police K-9 about 2 a.m.

Detectives in Dallas provided the LAPD with GPS coordinates for the Instagram post and an LAPD fugitive team found a rented Chevrolet SUV connected to Gonzalez.

Gonzalez sped off in the SUV and eventually struck a power pole. Gonzalez and an unidentified man abandoned the vehicle and fled to a nearby area where the police dog tracked them down, according to police. Both men were treated at a hospital for minor injuries, officials said.

According to Dallas police and the Texas Department of Public Safety, Gonzalez — who is also known as Little Chris — is tied to a Bloods clique and wanted for murder, leading an organized crime group and a series of aggravated robberies and home invasions.

—Los Angeles Times


Third person arrested after London underground attack

LONDON — British police have arrested a third person in connection with last week’s terror attack on the London underground railway.

A 25-year-old man was arrested by counterterrorism officers in Newport, Wales, London’s Metropolitan Police said Tuesday in a statement.

Two men arrested on Saturday were still in custody, and searches were ongoing at four addresses, police said.

Some 30 people were injured Friday when a bucket packed with nails and the explosive triacetone triperoxide (TATP) detonated after being left on a busy train during the morning rush hour.

The attack was claimed by the Islamic State extremist group.


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