Monday Must Reads: McCarthy Speakership Would Be a Boon to Big Ag; Immigrants Far Less Likely to Commit Crime than Native Born

Kevin McCarthy.
Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. After John Boehner’s surprise resignation announcement on Friday, California Republican Congressman Kevin McCarthy is now the favorite to become the next speaker of the US House of Representatives — a development that would be a boon to Big Ag and bad news for the environment, the LA Times$ reports. The conservative McCarthy, of Bakersfield, has pushed to gut environmental protections of the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta in order to ship more water to agricultural interests in the south. He also opposes air pollution rules — even though his district has some of the worst air pollution in the nation.

2. A new comprehensive study confirms earlier research that found that foreign-born people in the United States are far less likely to commit crime than native born residents — a fact that blows a hole in GOP presidential frontrunner Donald Trump’s claims about immigrants, the Times of San Diego reports (h/t Rough & Tumble). The new study by the National Academy of Sciences found that “men aged 18–39 are jailed at only one-fourth the rate of native-born American men of the same age.”

3. Flywheel, a company that provides ride apps for the taxicab industry, has sued the state in federal court, alleging that on-demand ride service competitors Uber, Lyft, and Sidecar have an unfair advantage in the marketplace, the Chron reports. Flywheel notes that Uber and Lyft drivers don’t undergo strict background checks and that those companies don’t have to comply with city and county rules that mandate workers’ comp coverage for drivers, fuel-efficient cars, and providing access to disabled people. Flywheel wants cities and counties to regulate Uber, Lyft, and Sidecar like taxicabs.

4. Airbnb has pumped $8 million into a campaign to defeat a November ballot measure in San Francisco that would tighten regulations of Airbnb and other on-demand hotel companies, the Chron reports. Prop F would cap vacation rentals at 75 nights per year and impose strict penalties on scofflaws.

5. Vandals struck Mission San Carlos in Carmel last week after Pope Francis canonized Junipero Serra, the Chron reports. Vandals toppled and defaced headstones and scrawled “saint of genocide” on one.

6. And NASA scientists say they have found evidence of flowing water on Mars, Wired reports, citing a new study in Nature Geoscience.