"For the first time in California's history, mandatory water reductions (of not-small 25%). End is nigh, etc," dryly summarizes onetime Californian reporter Annie Zak, now with Puget Sound Business Journal. That news collected a staggering 50,000 shares as of this morning, inviting commentary from journalists all over the country. "Why wasn't this done 5, 10, 15, 20 yrs ago?" demands Ann Derry at the New York Times. “The idea of your nice little green lawn getting watered every day, those days are past," California Gov. Jerry Brown is quoted. "'This is the new normal.' (This breaks my heart)," divulges Fusion's Anna Holmes. But officials claim the California water restrictions won't increase farm or food prices. "Um, that means you're doing it wrong," argues academic Erik Brynjolfsson.
The other big news of late is that McDonald's announced it will raise its hourly pay by 10% for 90,000 workers--although franchisees are excluded (6,400+ shares). "McDonald's is raising wages. Just not for the 90% of people who operate franchises," points out Wall Street Journal's Angela Chen. "Are you loving it? @McDonaldsCorp raises pay, but move only applies to about 10% of stores," colleague Eric Morath puts it another way. Still, some progress: "In addition to wage increase, @McDonalds will allow workers to accrue up to 5 days of paid leave annually," notes Washington Post's Catherine Rampell. Speaking of financial breaks, Stanford just made tuition free for families earning less than $125,000 per year--and if they're making less than $65,000, they won't have to pay for room and board, either (which deservedly earned more than 64,000 shares). "Game changer," tweets Yahoo's Garance Franke-Ruta.
Chris Rock has a new project/game and it's called Taking a Selfie Every Time He Gets Pulled Over By the Police (more than 36,000 shares). Alternatively titled by Mother Jones' Elizabeth Gettelman, "Today in being a famous black man." Checking in on the Religious Freedom Restoration Act saga, Indiana is now weighing a deal that sets limited protections for LGBT (61,000+ shares), which CNN's Margaret Hoover calls "not perfect, I'm told, but pretty damn good!" Bloomberg News boasts an exclusive with Belarus strongman Aleksandr Lukashenko, who has been president of Belarus for so long that he's been called "Europe's last dictator" (~500 shares). It's an interview that birthed this amazing quote: “I’m not Europe’s last dictator anymore ... there are dictators a bit worse than me, no?” And in scandals just breaking, New Jersey senator Robert Menendez has just been indicted on corruption charges that have "long been expected" (~4,000). "Real importance of Menedez indictment: shows how the rise of super PACs have opened new way for rich to get favors," observes NYT's Patricia Cohen.
Abroad, the Iran nuclear talks have reportedly have had no breakthrough yet even after overnight negotiations (300+). In Kenya, gunmen attacked a college, targeting Christians and killing at least 15 (news that garnered more than 95,000 shares). A Yemen official denies that dozens of troops disembarked from Aden port, despite witness accounts to the contrary (100+).