Hello, it’s Tuesday, January 4, and here are the stories you shouldn’t miss today:
L.A. Unified orders mandatory COVID testing as transmission speed peaks
The Los Angeles Unified School District has ordered coronavirus tests for all students and staff before returning from winter break next week. The decision comes as the Omicron strain of the coronavirus is causing new infections in Los Angeles County at record speeds and because the county has tightened coronavirus safety rules in schools.
Many parents expressed their fear about the contamination; others are terrified of potential campus closures that could derail a return to normality for their children. While L.A. County school districts aren’t closing campuses, staff shortages have forced schools in other parts of the country to close or go online.
In the San Gabriel Valley, Alhambra Unified welcomed its 16,000 students back to school Monday, with new rules requiring students to wear masks outdoors and advising all students and staff to wear medical-grade masks on campus. Other school systems have discussed what actions to take in the coming weeks.
Meanwhile, many school districts are resuming classes without receiving a single COVID-19 test at home from the state, despite Governor Gavin Newsom promising 6 million COVID-19 tests for students. Only half arrived.
Stay up to date on variant developments, case count and vaccine news with Coronavirus Today.
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Former CEO of Theranos, Elizabeth Holmes, is guilty of fraud and conspiracy
Former Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes was convicted Monday on four counts of fraud and conspiracy, ending a lengthy trial that gripped Silicon Valley. The jury found her not guilty of four other felony charges. On the three remaining charges, the jury was deadlocked.
Holmes attended Monday’s hearing to review the jury’s note. When the judges had gone, Holmes turned and hugged her mother, who was sitting behind her. Her father then kissed her forehead through his mask, which the court rules demand from all present.
Devin Nunes Officially Resigns From Congress
Devin Nunes submitted his resignation to Congress this weekend, paving the way to take over as chief executive of former President Trump’s new media and technology company.
In the coming weeks, Trump Media & Technology Group is expected to launch Truth Social, Trump’s response to Twitter and Facebook. The social media companies kicked the former president off their platforms last year for his role in instigating the attack on the Capitol and attempts to undo the presidential election.
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Inside Klete Keller’s Fall From Olympic Gold To The Capitol Riots
Klete Keller was one of the world’s elite freestyle swimmers in the 2000s, competing in three Olympics and winning two gold medals. He was also among more than 700 people charged with participating in the 2021 Capitol bombing. Keller, 39, has pleaded guilty to obstruction of official proceedings before Congress and agreed to join. to work on the government’s investigation.
Friends and fellow swimmers knew him as easy going and likeable. Now they were stunned. Why had someone who spent much of his life representing his country join the mob to attack a defining symbol of American democracy?
In Watts, murder rate rises after years of declining violence
Murder is certainly on the agenda in Watts, in Los Angeles County, and in the US as a whole. But in this South L.A. enclave. the leap into deadly violence is more painful and complicated than the headlines and political bombing that followed a series of robberies at luxury boutiques elsewhere in L.A.
Captain Ryan Whiteman, of the LAPD’s Community Safety Partnership Office, said many variables over the past 18 months have caused the homicide rate to rise, and many are out of control over many people.
“Is COVID related to this? Do the changing methods and practices of contemporary policing have anything to do with it?” he asked. “We do not know. … Hopefully we will have a safer 2022.”
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PHOTO OF THE DAY
On Monday, the east coast was covered in winter weather and snow fell over the United States Capitol in Washington. The mid-Atlantic storm exacerbated holiday travel delays due to pandemic staff shortages and inclement weather. Airlines have canceled thousands of flights and delayed thousands since last week, leaving travelers stranded and frustrated.
(Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times)
San Francisco faces a crime wave that is unusual in American cities. Unlike nearly every other major U.S. city, San Francisco saw no significant increase in homicides during the pandemic. Instead, it’s in the grip of a different kind of crime wave: videos of thefts and burglaries that have given the impression that the city has become a lawless place.
California lawmakers may stop linking funding for K-12 schools to daily attendance. Legislators are poised to consider ditching that decades-old norm, opting instead for a new method that could provide a major boost to major districts like Los Angeles Unified.
California Supreme Court rejects parole for violent criminals. Correction officers are not required to consider prior release for violent felons, even those whose primary offense is considered nonviolent under state law. The ruling stems from inmates’ latest attempt to extend the scope of an initiative championed by former Governor Jerry Brown and approved by nearly two-thirds of voters in 2016.
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Trump, Ivanka and Don Jr. were subpoenaed by the New York Attorney General. atty. Gene. Letitia James recently subpoenaed former President Trump and his two oldest children and demanded their testimony in connection with an ongoing civil investigation into the family’s business practices, according to a court made public on Monday.
A document that Prince Andrew says prevents a lawsuit is released. The 2009 private legal deal was related to a woman’s allegations that Jeffrey Epstein hired her as a teenager to be a sexual servant at his estate in Palm Beach, Florida. Andrew was not named in that lawsuit.
Researchers narrow the search for the origin of a Colorado wildfire. The fire destroyed nearly 1,000 homes and two people were still missing on Monday. Experts say the winter fire was rare, but similar events will become more frequent as climate change warms the planet and suburbs grow in fire-prone areas.
Tensions in the Middle East mount as Yemeni rebels seize a UAE ship and hackers attack an Israeli newspaper. A series of attacks showed the reach of Iran-affiliated militias. The attacks coincided with a huge memorial in Tehran to Qassem Suleimani, the top Iranian general killed by a US drone strike in Iraq in 2020.
HOLLYWOOD AND THE ARTS
The 18 TV shows we’re most looking forward to in 2022. As the backlog created by the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic clears — even if the pandemic itself doesn’t — 2022 promises a record crop of high-profile TV titles.
David Bowie’s estate is selling his songwriting catalog for a reported $250 million. Nine figure sales include songs like “Starman,” “Heroes,” and “Ziggy Stardust,” along with music from his 26 studio albums released between 1968 and his death in 2016.
Jean Chen Ho’s debut book captures a bittersweet friendship in L.A. “Fiona and Jane” is a refreshingly honest treatment of long-lasting friendships – especially their unrelenting ebb and flow. Story by story, the book captures the way friendships negotiate their own boundaries.
Be the boss of your money. Jessica Roy of The Times made a New Years resolution to pin down and started budgeting. Now she writes a newsletter to help readers do the same. Step One: Here’s how to create a budget that you’ll stick to.
Massage chair mogul sells his Brentwood fortress for $56.55 million. Security was the selling point of the property. Gates guard the 6.2-acre property, which slopes back to the Santa Monica Mountain Preserve, adding to its privacy. In addition, there is an underground level of meeting rooms with a towering vault door and state-of-the-art security.
Lakers roster moves may soon include Kendrick Nunn’s debut. One of the few off-season moves in which the Lakers could invest more than a minimum deal, the Lakers signed Nunn with the expectation that he would contribute on both sides of the field.
Steven Cherundolo becomes LAFC’s new head coach, replacing Bob Bradley. At 42, Cherundolo is the seventh youngest manager in the MLS and one of 15 to have never played in the league. But managing a first division team is something he aspired to before he retired as a player.
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As far as political satire goes, “Don’t Look Up” fails in more ways than one. Adam McKay’s black comedy doesn’t have to be subtle. But it completely misleads the media, politics and the effect of climate change, writes columnist Jonah Goldberg.
What the US can learn from Stalin’s abortion ban In 1920, Soviet Russia, which would become the Soviet Union in 1922, became the first country to legalize abortion. Soviet leaders saw abortion less as an individual human right than as “an evil” resulting from poverty and oppression. The rationale behind America’s legalization of abortion was different.
ONLY IN L.A.
Katsu Sando’s Pork Katsu Sando from Chinatown. The restaurant’s second location is expected to open in San Gabriel this year.
(Mariah Tauger/Los Angeles Times)
Perhaps the greatest glory of dining in Los Angeles is that a street-side taco can rival a white-tablecloth tasting menu in complexity and fun.
In a season driven by blatant spending, it’s always a good time to highlight the most affordable restaurants from our annual guide of 101 best restaurants. Whether they serve burritos, za’atar-dusted Lebanese flatbreads, noodles, dumplings, bubbling tofu stews, or smash burgers, their deliciousness and cultural significance far outweigh their cost.
FROM THE ARCHIVES
January 1934: Cars get stuck in flood debris outside a Los Angeles nightclub.
Eighty-eight years ago this week, communities were digging out flooding and a deadly landslide that followed wildfires. At around midnight on New Year’s Eve, a 20-meter wall of rocks and mud swept over La Crescenta and Montrose, killing 49 people. In subsequent years, more such disasters occurred, with a higher toll.
The tragedy of 1934 destroyed an American Legion Hall where the Red Cross helped flood victims. In the Times of January 2, 1934, one survivor said: “When the black demon of roaring water struck, the building shook for a few minutes, then the wall fell and we found ourselves tossing back and forth, fighting rocks, boulders and rubble while we were swept further and further.” More historical photos here.
We appreciate you taking the time to read today’s headlines! Comments or ideas? Feel free to send us a message at [email protected] — Elvia Limon, Laura Blasey and Amy Hubbard