Today’s News: Businesses could pay higher jobless tax; Protesting at the border; Surf contest ends in a melee

Written by


Unemployment shortfall. Governor Jerry Brown is pushing a bill that would erase California’s $10 billion unemployment insurance deficit by raising payroll taxes on businesses.

California has been saddled with one of the highest jobless rates in the country in recent years. To sustain the state’s unemployment insurance program, California has had to borrow money from the federal government.

But with unemployment edging down 8.5 percent, Brown wants to pay off the state’s federal tab and build an $11 billion unemployment surplus.

The draft bill being circulated by the Brown Administration would increase the amount of pay subject to unemployment insurance taxes. Currently, businesses pay taxes on an employee’s first $7,000 of income. That would increase to $9,500 and eventually reach $12,000. L.A. Times

Border protest. More than 100 young immigrants stopped pedestrian traffic at the San Ysidro border crossing yesterday to demand a halt to deportations and the militarization of the U.S.-Mexico border. The protestors picketed on the sidewalk and moved into the entrance way of the pedestrian crossing. They planned to get arrested to bring attention to their fight. Instead of being detained, however, the protestors were forcibly removed from the pathway by Border Patrol agents. Some protestors said they were roughed up.

Surf City scrum. So much for the mellow surfer stereotype…At least eight people were arrested last night after a full-blown riot erupted following the U.S. Open of Surfing in Huntington Beach. Police and witnesses say a large fight broke out downtown about two hours after the completion of the tournament. Officers tried to break up the melee and that’s when things got out of hand. The crowd refused to disperse, signs were ripped down, store windows were shattered and several patrol cars were damaged. Police say they will be scouring videotape and photos in a search for more suspects. KTLA

Trafficking charge. A Saudi royal princess accused of human trafficking faces formal arraignment today in Orange County. Prosecutors say Meshael Alayban forced a Kenyan woman to work as a domestic servant 16, hours a day, seven days a week for $220 a month. The woman was allegedly unable to leave the princess’ Irvine summer home because her passport was taken away. Lawyers for Alayban, who is free on $5 million bail, have characterized the matter as a wage dispute. KCBS

Flipping frenzy. With prices quickly, home flipping is back with a vengeance. Nearly 1,400 homes were flipped in Southern California in May, according to real estate research firm DataQuick. That’s more than any month since the height of the housing boom in 2005. Home flippers buy properties and try to resell them quickly for a profit. The practice was widespread in Southern California until the market crashed. Many investors misread the housing tea leaves and lost a bundle. L.A. Times