By Jennifer Chaussee San Francisco (Reuters) - A long-shot effort to break California into six separate states got a boost on Monday, when the billionaire venture capitalist behind the proposal said he had gathered enough signatures to place it on the ballot in two years. Timothy Draper, a founder of a Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm that has invested in Twitter, Skype and Tesla, among other companies, has been agitating for months for a ballot initiative to chop the most populous U.S. state into smaller entities. "It’s important because it will help us create a more responsive, more innovative and more local government, and that ultimately will end up being better for all of Californians," said Roger Salazar, a spokesman for the campaign. "The idea ... is to create six states with responsive local governments - states that are more representative and accountable to their constituents." Salazar said Monday that the campaign had gathered more than the roughly 808,000 signatures needed to place the measure on the November, 2016 ballot.
By Brendan O'Brien (Reuters) - Missouri Governor Jay Nixon vetoed a bill on Monday that would have allowed public school districts to designate certain teachers and administrators as armed protection officers. The legislation would have required a teacher or administrator to have a concealed carry permit and go through special weapons training before being allowed to be armed at school. Nixon, a Democrat, said in a statement that he supported placing law enforcement officers in schools but could not "condone putting firearms in the hands of educators who should be focused on teaching our kids." The bill passed the Republican-controlled House by a vote of 111-28 and the Republican-led Senate with a 21-7 vote, enough for the two-thirds needed for a veto override. The mass shooting in 2012 in Newtown, Connecticut, where 20 first-graders and six adults were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School, sparked a national debate about whether to arm teachers.
By David Bailey ST. PAUL Minn. (Reuters) - Former Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura told a court on Monday his annual income dropped sharply after his reputation was damaged by what he called a fictitious passage in a book by a former Navy SEAL who said the two had gotten in a bar fight. Seeking unspecified damages for defamation, Ventura testified on Friday that he has not been in a fight since he left the Navy decades before the alleged 2006 encounter in California described by former Navy SEAL Chris Kyle in "American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History," published in 2012. Lawyers for Kyle's estate told the court on Monday Ventura's income was on the decline before the book due to waning popularity, and that the passage about the bar fight had little impact on the dwindling demand for him as a media personality.