Tuesday Must Read: Brown OK’s Popular Vote; What Will the Fed Do?

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Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill into law yesterday that will award all of California’s Electoral College votes to the presidential candidate who wins the most votes nationwide — if enough other states agree to do the same, the Chron reports. The new law is designed to increase California’s influence on presidential races. Currently, presidential candidates usually ignore California unless they come here for fund-raising.

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The law also is intended to avoid a repeat of the 2000 presidential election when Bush defeated Gore even though Gore got more votes nationally. However, the new law, which awards all of California’s votes to the nationwide popular vote winner regardless of how that person fares here, will not take effect until states with 270 total Electoral College votes adopt the same rules. Currently, nine states, including California, with 132 total Electoral College votes have done so.

2. The stock market showed signs of rebounding today after a massive sell-off Monday, as investors wait to see whether the Federal Reserve unveils any plans this afternoon to stimulate the economy, The New York Times reports. The Dow Jones was up more than 220 points this morning, after experiencing the worst one-day performance since December 2008 at the height of the Great Recession.

3. A three-year-old innocent bystander was murdered yesterday afternoon on a busy East Oakland street, when shooters sprayed bullets at a pair of men walking nearby, the Trib reports. The little boy was shot in the neck by a stray bullet in the 6400 block of International Boulevard. The child was the second innocent bystander killed in Oakland in the past few days.

4. The percentage of homes that are now underwater keeps going up in Alameda County and throughout the Bay Area, the CoCo Times reports, citing a new analysis by Zillow.com. In Alameda County, 20.2 percent of single-family homes with mortgages were underwater — that is, their owners owed more on them than they were worth — in the second quarter of 2011, up from 17.2 percent a year ago. In the Bay Area, 22.8 percent were underwater compared 21.1 percent last year. The worst hit were Solano and San Joaquin counties where more than 50 percent of homes were underwater.

5. And Facebook has agreed to remove pages set up by prison inmates or on their behalf because some prisoners are using Facebook to stalk and harass their victims, AP reports.

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