Repeal misses ballot
A measure to block California’s transgender students rights law failed to qualify for the November ballot Monday, according to the Secretary of State’s office. The referendum would have repealed a law passed last year that requires school districts to let transgender students participate in school programs and use school facilities, such as bathrooms and locker rooms, based on their gender identity instead of their biological sex. Supporters submitted more than 619,000 signatures, but only 487,484 were found to be valid by county officials, missing the threshold to qualify by about 17,000 signatures. The measure’s backers vowed Monday evening to challenge the results of the signature count.
Senator pleads not guilty
State Sen. Ron Calderon, 56, pleaded not guilty Monday to federal charges that he accepted $100,000 in bribes in return for pushing legislation, charges that could send him to federal prison for years. Calderon, a member of a powerful Democratic political dynasty, stood before U.S. District Judge Suzanne Segal and entered pleas to 24 counts involving various forms of fraud along with conspiracy, money laundering and aiding the filing of false tax returns. Calderon surrendered to authorities earlier Monday. If convicted of all charges, the potential sentence could total nearly 400 years.
Nuclear deal approved
President Barack Obama approved an agreement for civilian nuclear cooperation between the U.S. and Vietnam in a sign of deepening ties between the former foes. The U.S. and Vietnamese governments reached agreement in October. Congress now has 90 days to review it. If lawmakers do nothing, the deal will take effect. The “123 agreement,” approved by Obama on Monday, allows U.S. firms into Vietnam’s civilian nuclear power market. Russian and Japanese companies are already planning to build reactors there. Under the U.S. agreement, Vietnam is committing to rely on the international market for its nuclear fuel supply rather than enrich uranium or reprocess plutonium itself.
Compiled from wire reports.