Stories you shouldn’t miss:
1. Warren Hellman, the wealthy San Francisco financier who launched the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival and the Bay Citizen news website, died of complications from leukemia. He was 77. The Bay Citizen, meanwhile, stated that its finances remain strong, despite Hellman’s death. Hellman founded the news website and donated $6.2 million to it. Hellman’s family also said the free annual bluegrass festival in Golden Gate Park will continue.
2. House Republicans are rejecting a bipartisan plan approved by the US Senate that would extend a middle-class tax cut and unemployment benefits, Politico reports. Republican opposition could mean that taxes on the middle class will increase on January 1.
3. California added a modest 6,600 jobs in November, pushing down the state’s unemployment rate to 11.3 percent, the LA Times reports. That’s the lowest jobless rate in California since June 2009.
4. Oakland police continued to crack down on Occupy activities, removing the floating protest on Lake Merritt known as Aquapy and arresting demonstrators who reestablished a food table at City Hall plaza, the Trib and Chron report.
5. And North Korean communist dictator Kim Jong Il has died, AP reports. He is expected to be replaced by his son.