January 15, 2021


Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020 | 9:14 a.m.

The driver of a pickup truck died after rear-ending an SUV that had just made a U-turn Monday in the northwest valley, according to Metro Police.

The crash happened about 7 p.m. at Tenaya Way and Old Mission Drive, police said.

The pickup was headed north on Tenaya at a “high rate of speed” when it collided with the SUV, which was initially headed south and had just made a U-turn into the northbound lanes, police said. The pickup truck then hit a brick wall, police said.

The driver of the pickup, a 39-year-old Las Vegas man, was taken to MountainView Hospital, where he later died, police said. His name was not released, pending notification of his family.

The driver of the SUV and two passengers suffered minor to moderate injuries, while a 3-month-old baby was not hurt, police said.

The crash remains under investigation, police said.

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Welcome to Hillicon Valley, The Hill’s newsletter detailing all you need to know about the tech and cyber news from Capitol Hill to Silicon Valley. If you don’t already, be sure to sign up for our newsletter with this LINK.

a close up of a flag: Hillicon Valley: Leadership changes at top cyber agency raise national security concerns | Snapchat launches in-app video platform 'Spotlight' | Uber, Lyft awarded federal transportation contract

© The Hill illustration/Madeline Monroe
Hillicon Valley: Leadership changes at top cyber agency raise national security concerns | Snapchat launches in-app video platform ‘Spotlight’ | Uber, Lyft awarded federal transportation contract

Welcome! Follow our cyber reporter, Maggie Miller (@magmill95), and tech team, Chris Mills Rodrigo (@chrisismills) and Rebecca Klar (@rebeccaklar_), for more coverage.

LEADERSHIP CHANGES RAISE SECURITY CONCERNS: The departure of the three of the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) top cybersecurity officials over the past week is leading experts and officials to voice concerns that the United States has been left vulnerable to attacks in cyberspace, with national security potentially compromised.

The concerns come after President Trump fired Christopher Krebs, the director of DHS’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), and after both CISA Deputy Director Matthew Travis and top cybersecurity official Bryan Ware resigned following pressure from the White House.

These changes left the nation’s key cybersecurity agency without Senate-confirmed leadership in the last months of Trump’s presidency, amid a shakeup of major government officials following a contentious election.

“Today, cybersecurity and disinformation threats are among the most significant risks our nation confronts,” Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, told The Hill in a statement. “For that reason, it’s enormously disturbing that the president has paired an unwillingness to begin an orderly transition with a zeal to gut key national security agencies of their senior-most leadership.”

CISA, established by legislation signed into law by Trump in 2018, describes itself as “the nation’s risk advisor,” and leads efforts to secure critical infrastructure against foreign and domestic cyber threats.

The agency was heavily involved in coordinating with state and local officials to shore up election security ahead of this year’s general election, and has spearheaded efforts to defend all sectors against attacks.

Read more here.

HOPPING ON THE BANDWAGON: Snapchat is launching a new feature to highlight user-created videos called Spotlight, signaling another competitor for the highly popular video sharing app TikTok.

While Snapchat, unlike other social media platforms, has largely focused on peer-to-peer features, the new Spotlight announced on Monday will showcase user-generated content within the app and offer users a chance to be paid for top content.

The content on Spotlight will also “become tailored to each” user over time, based on their “preferences and favorites,” Snapchat said.

Spotlight was “designed to entertain the Snapchat community while living up to Snapchat’s values, with their well-being as a top priority,” the company said in the announcement.

Snapchat’s Spotlight rollout comes as TikTok’s popularity has risen.

TikTok allows users to create 60-second videos. The platform’s main “For You Page” features content for users tailored to them based on posts with which they’ve engaged.

Read more here.



SACRAMENTO — Maya Katz-Ali said she never thought she would be able to afford an electric car. She thought it was something unattainable, something for the elite.

And in many ways, Katz-Ali is the opposite of a typical electric-car buyer in California: She’s 26, a woman and a person of color, and she doesn’t earn a six-figure salary. The Oakland native expected to drive her 1992 Volvo until it died.

That all changed last month, when Katz-Ali traded in her car for a new Honda Clarity plug-in electric hybrid with a fraction of the Volvo’s emissions. She bought it with the help of a state subsidy program.

“There’s lots of ideas that you have to be of a certain income bracket to be able to even think about” an electric car, Katz-Ali said. “It’s not just a Tesla thing. It’s not just a higher-class, higher-income thing.”

Electric-car advocates say her initial perception speaks to a diversity problem that the state must solve to reach Gov. Gavin Newsom’s goal of banning the sale of new gas-powered cars starting in 2035.

California drivers who buy electric vehicles overwhelmingly fit a narrow demographic profile. Most are male, white or Asian American, and between the ages of 30 and 49. The majority earn more than $100,000 a year and live in expensive coastal areas.

That’s according to data The Chronicle analyzed of buyers who received electric car rebates from the state Air Resources Board, California’s air-quality agency. The rebates, which can total several thousand dollars, are available to people whose income is below a certain level and have not received earlier rebates.

About half of Californians who buy new electric cars receive rebates from the agency, so the data doesn’t include all buyers. However, it is the largest public source of demographic information about electric-car buyers in the state and is a detailed snapshot of the market.

The stereotype of “Silicon Valley dudes buying Teslas” is part perception and part reality, said Lucy McKenzie, a consultant who co-leads the San Francisco chapter of Women of EVs, a group for women who work in the industry.

“There’s widely been a view of electric vehicles as toys for wealthier folks,” she said. “There is a lot of work in California going on to try and highlight that that is not the case.”

Newsom signed an executive order this fall setting the 2035 deadline, the first mandate of its kind in the country. The mandate applies only to new vehicle sales; drivers will still be able to buy and sell used gas cars.

Still, the deadline is ambitious: Only about 6% of new cars sold in the state now are zero emission.

“To get to that (2035) goal, you pretty much have to start getting to everybody who buys cars,” said Ken Kurani, a researcher at the UC Davis Institute of Transportation Studies. “We need to be moving very rapidly. We do need to get out of that narrow band of people.”

Getting there will require the


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