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JEWISH CAUCUS HANGS MEZUZAHS IN STATE CAPITOL
FOLLOWING PASSAGE OF MEZUZAH BILL














SACRAMENTO -- Monday, Aug. 12, was the first day in Sacramento following Summer Recess.  Jewish Caucus members affixed mezuzahs to their office doors in the California State Capitol. Over Summer Recess, Gov. Newsom signed SB 652 (Allen), the "Mezuzah Bill", into law, which ensures landlords and HOAs can no longer prohibit residents from putting religious items on their doors. The bill was a Jewish Caucus priority bill, co-authored by every member of the caucus.

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) was the lead sponsor of the bill, after reporting several instances of landlord and HOA discrimination against Jewish residents who wished to fulfill the Jewish commandment of affixing a mezuzah at the entrance of one's home. Senator Ben Allen, Jewish Caucus Chair and lead sponsor of SB 652, worked with the several faith-based organizations, including the Hindu American Foundation, who requested an increase in the minimum size to meet their religious needs.

SB 652 received wide bipartisan support, and passed through the legislature unanimously. It was signed into law by Gov. Newsom on July 30.




HARVEY WEINSTEIN PLEADS NOT GUILTY TO NEW CHARGES












Film producer Harvey Weinstein has pleaded not guilty to two additional charges of predatory sexual assault. Mr Weinstein, who briefly appeared in a New York court, has already pleaded not guilty to raping a woman in 2013 and a forcible sex act on another in 2006.

Prosecutors filed the new indictment on Monday to allow jurors to hear testimony from a third accuser, actress Annabella Sciorra.

Mr Weinstein, 67, has denied sexual misconduct claims by over 70 women. Ms Sciorra, who is known for her role in the HBO series The Sopranos, says Mr Weinstein raped her inside her Manhattan apartment in 1993.

She is not listed as a plaintiff in the new case because the alleged assault took place too long ago to be prosecuted under state law. However, prosecutors hope to use her testimony to bolster their case that Weinstein is a sexual predator.

The defence said in court documents that the legal move to introduce Ms Sciorra as a witness was a "desperate" bid to prop up a "weak" case.  Gloria Allred, a lawyer who represents sex abuse accusers in high-profile cases, said in a statement on Monday that she was representing Ms Sciorra.

The actress went public with her allegation in the New Yorker magazine in October 2017. Mr Weinstein's trial was pushed back on Monday four months to January. The Hollywood producer could face a life sentence if convicted. --BBCi