June 21, 2024


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Today’s Headlines: California nurse-midwives struggle to get trained in abortions


By Scott Sandell and Amy Hubbard

Hello, it’s Monday, July 18, and here are the stories you shouldn’t miss today.


Nurse-midwives struggle to get trained in abortions

As Texas, Mississippi and other states have clamped down on abortion, California leaders have vowed to make the state a haven for patients. UCLA researchers have estimated that 8,000 to 16,000 more patients will head to California annually for abortions after the Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe vs. Wade.

But the limited availability of training has constrained the number of clinicians who can provide the procedure, abortion rights advocates warn.

California lawmakers have laid the legal groundwork for a range of health providers to provide abortions, but certified nurse-midwives and other eligible health professionals say scant opportunities for training have made it harder for them to do so.

A backlash in Boyle Heights

The proposed Los Angeles Life Rebuilding Center would house up to 10,000 homeless people and provide medical and mental health services, job training, immigration help and drug abuse diversion programs in the old Sears building in Boyle Heights.

But when an activist, philanthropist and wealthy Anaheim businessman met with locals about the project, dozens of speakers blasted his plan, calling it “a crime against humanity,” “irresponsible” and “a threat to the area’s children.”

The project felt to many attendees like a pie-in-the-sky approach to a problem that keeps growing exponentially. But the vehement opposition on display at the meeting was about more than practicality; it reflected the frustration of Boyle Heights residents who feel their community has been persistently shortchanged.

Most Californians live amid high COVID-19 community levels

Nearly 9 in 10 Californians now live in counties that have a high COVID-19 community level, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The agency recommends universal masking in indoor public spaces.

The development underscores the increasing concerns about super-infectious subvariants of Omicron that have fueled a summer coronavirus wave.

With cases and hospitalizations on the rise, Los Angeles is poised to become the first Southern California county to reinstate mandatory public indoor masking.

More top coronavirus headlines:

Stay up to date on variant developments, case counts and vaccine news with Coronavirus Today.

A historically diverse slate of candidates in Britain

For the first time in history, Britons could have a person of color as prime minister. That person could also be a woman. Least likely? A white man.

A historically diverse slate of candidates is vying to succeed Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who announced his resignation this month as premier and as leader of the Conservative Party after a series of ethics scandals. The competition is down to five contenders, only one of whom is a white man — a development that might seem all the more surprising considering that the Conservatives stand exactly where their name implies: firmly on the right.

The race in Britain has cemented the Conservative Party as the one of diversity, at least at its highest levels if not its general membership.

More politics:

  • A House committee’s prime-time hearing Thursday will offer the most compelling evidence yet of former President Trump’s “dereliction of duty” on the day of the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection, with new witnesses detailing his failure to stem an angry mob storming the Capitol, committee members said Sunday.
  • Democrats are on the defense across the country in this year’s midterm elections but believe some of their best chances for flipping GOP congressional districts are in California.

Sign up for our California Politics newsletter to get the best of The Times’ state politics reporting and the latest action in Sacramento.

A former bracero farmworker breaks his silence

For decades, Fausto Ríos has kept his experiences as a migrant farmworker in the bracero program a secret from all but close family members. The father of four felt ashamed to tell his children about the indignities and abuses by unscrupulous bosses he endured without ever filing a complaint. His children knew only that their father had been a farmworker.

Now an 82-year-old widower, with a damaged back, arthritic knees and a treadmill as his constant companion, he wants to play whatever role he can in exposing, and ending, the long history of racism, wage theft and mistreatment that many farmworkers experienced between the early 1940s and the mid-’60s.

He believes sharing his story will give voice to all those immigrants who still are tethered to a system that, he says, exploits them and repays their sufferings with indifference.

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People trying to get pregnant turn to period tracking apps for help — and community. People on fertility apps find a sense of community online as they try to conceive. But some experts have reservations about privacy.

Haunted by his father’s role in Vietnam, he turned to farming to grow a new legacy. Craig McNamara talks about his lifelong struggle to figure out what it means to be the son of Robert McNamara, the former U.S. Defense secretary.

Charles White hopes for a USC reunion. Years of drug and alcohol abuse led him to sell the Heisman Trophy he won at the school, disengage from the football program and become a virtual outcast. He is now suffering from dementia and living in an assisted care facility, as columnist Bill Plaschke reports.

Charles White

Charles White, the former USC running back who won the Heisman Trophy in 1979, is suffering from dementia and living in an assisted-living facility in Orange County.

(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Vin Scully, Dodgers fans and the transistor radio: How an unbreakable bond was formed. Plus: Jaime Jarrín’s fondest memories as the longest-tenured broadcaster in Major League Baseball.


A former legislative staffer who sued the state Senate wants changes to the Capitol misconduct unit. A little over a year after the #MeToo movement first jolted the California Capitol with extensive allegations of sexual harassment in the statehouse, legislative leaders responded by launching the Workplace Conduct Unit, an independent panel charged with investigating complaints of inappropriate behavior in the Legislature. The unit is now at the center of a sexual harassment and retaliation lawsuit.

L.A. City Council members call for action on overcrowded animal shelters. Two councilmen have called for more resources for the city’s struggling animal shelters following a Times article about crowded kennels, shelter dogs that go for weeks without walks and staffing shortages.

Fights erupted at Knott’s Berry Farm, forcing the park to close early Saturday. Some of the fighting was captured on video and posted on social media as teenagers threw punches on a street outside the park and security guards were caught up in the melee. Panicked visitors ran for safety.

Endangered salmon will swim in the McCloud River for the first time in 80 years. State and federal wildlife officials collected about 20,000 winter-run Chinook salmon eggs from the Livingston Stone National Fish Hatchery near Redding and drove them for three hours to a campground on the river’s banks.

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Report finds ‘systemic failures’ in Uvalde school massacre. Nearly 400 law enforcement officials rushed to a mass shooting at a Uvalde, Texas, elementary school, but “systemic failures” created a chaotic scene that lasted more than an hour before the gunman who took 21 lives was confronted and killed, according to a report from investigators.

Ukraine wages its own war against Russia’s cultural icons in its midst. Pyotr Tchaikovsky is having a turbulent afterlife. As war rages, streets bearing names of famous Russians strike a discordant note for Ukraine.

Holocaust survivors mark 80 years since Paris roundup. French President Emmanuel Macron decried his Nazi-collaborator predecessors and rising antisemitism, vowing to stamp out Holocaust denial as he paid homage to thousands of French children sent to death camps 80 years ago because they were Jewish.


Is Hollywood ready for the 3-D internet? There’s been a lot of talk about the metaverse and how it will affect entertainment, even though there’s still a lot of confusion about what it actually is. Author Matthew Ball’s new book “The Metaverse: And How It Will Revolutionize Everything” attempts to provide a roadmap.

‘Where the Crawdads Sing’ opened strong at the box office. But ‘Thor’ stayed No. 1. The Marvel sequel “Thor: Love and Thunder” dropped a hefty 68% in its second weekend but still held the top spot, according to studio estimates.

Lizzo is back: Here are five takeaways from her new album, “Special.”


Flight Club reopens two years after COVID and civil unrest shut L.A. sneakerheads’ favorite hangout. It was a clubhouse and cultural hub, a gallery where customers could browse some of the most famous shoes ever made. Now the Fairfax store for sneaker marketplace GOAT is reopening after having been gutted.

Are you an optimist? These are the best side gigs for you. Although almost any work pursuit can benefit from an optimistic outlook, there are some that practically demand it.


An L.A. program helps people get mental healthcare instead of jail time. Why not expand it? “As a mental health court judge, I work every day with people who are homeless and have serious mental illness,” writes California Superior Court Judge James Bianco. “Over nine years in this role I have helped connect thousands to treatment. I’ve seen what works and what doesn’t.”

How would you feel if you lost $58 billion? Would you still buy that superyacht? The world’s richest billionaires have lost a staggering amount of money lately. But that means nothing in this neo-Gilded Age of income inequality.

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The Dodgers have better days ahead while the Angels find themselves in an ugly situation. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts he gave his team an A-minus for its performance during the first half of the season. Columnist Helene Elliott writes that the Angels would get F-minus, if that’s possible for a team that has two of the game’s best players.

U.S. women’s track is making strides with a new wave of athletes. The American women are coming off an Olympics in which they won 15 medals only 15 years after winning six. Who and what is driving this talent surge?

Cameron Smith rallies to win British Open for his first major. The affable Australian, whose Joe Dirt hairstyle makes him identifiable from two par-five holes away, overtook fan favorite Rory McIlroy and held off a late surge by Cameron Young to finish the major championship at 20 under par.


Over the past several decades, the Los Angeles River hasn’t gotten much respect. After a devastating 1938 flood, it was remade as a concrete channel that has often been the butt of jokes for its general lack of water — dry humor, if you will. But that hasn’t stopped folks from trying to navigate it.

In 1958, L.A. Times reporter Charles Hillinger and photographer Bruce Cox set out to sail down the river from its start to the sea in an inflatable raft. After a series of misadventures, they ended up finishing their journey by car.

Current Times contributor Matt Pawlik and photo intern Wesley Lapointe have had better luck kayaking along a stretch of the L.A. River. Sound intriguing? Here’s how you can do it.


A newspaper page has a banner headline that says "Disneyland." Beneath is Walt Disney beside a large map of Disneyland.

July 15, 1955: An advertising preview in The Times showcased the new theme park.

(Los Angeles Times)

Sixty-seven years ago today, on July 18, 1955, Disneyland opened to the public. In a starry-eyed report, The Times wrote: “Once-upon-a-time-land — that magical land of fantasy and faraway places in the minds of little children — became a dream come true.”

In reality, Disneyland had a rocky start, particularly on July 17, 1955, the day The Times and other media visited. Since its groundbreaking the previous year, Walt Disney’s project had been beset by problems and skyrocketing costs — it was dubbed by critics as “Walt’s Folly.”

Although Disneyland wasn’t ready, he decided to allow in about 5,000 media and invited guests. Thanks to counterfeit tickets, the number mushroomed to 28,154. In 2015, The Times wrote about the July 17 “nightmare”: “Rides broke down. Restaurants ran out of food and drink, and a plumbers strike meant drinking fountains were in short supply. Long lines formed at bathrooms. Bunting hid unfinished attractions. Women’s high-heeled shoes sank into the fresh asphalt.” The day came to be known known in Disney lore as Black Sunday. Among the low points:

  • A gas leak caused flames at Sleeping Beauty Castle.
  • A 90-minute live television broadcast captured chaos as painters, landscapers and carpenters scrambled to finish.
  • Areas were roped off with “To be open soon” signs, and TV crews cordoned off spaces for remote broadcasts. Ronald Reagan was one of the TV hosts and had to scale the wall of Frontierland to make a scheduled appearance.
  • Disney, who kept an apartment above the Main Street firehouse, got locked in and had to yell for help.

Despite the initial nuttiness, crowds flocked to Disneyland. By the end of its first year, the Orange County theme park had welcomed 3,642,597 visitors.

We appreciate that you took the time to read Today’s Headlines! Comments or ideas? Feel free to drop us a note at [email protected].


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