Today’s Headlines: Trump’s push to overturn the election

President Trump
President Trump listens during an event on Operation Warp Speed in the Rose Garden of the White House on Nov. 13.
(Evan Vucci / Associated Press)

President Trump has stepped up his desperate effort to hold on to power.


Trump’s Push to Overturn the Election

President Trump is escalating his slapdash yet persistent attempts to overturn President-elect Joe Biden’s election victory, pushing for judges and for Republican state lawmakers and local officials in several battleground states to ignore the voters’ will and award him the electoral votes he needs for a second term.


Experts and even some Republican officials say Trump is all but certain to fail. States are in the process of certifying the results while his legal team so far has failed to advance his baseless case in state and federal courts. The clumsy effort nonetheless represents an extraordinary assault on American democracy, spearheaded by the president himself and with at least the tacit approval of his party.

On Thursday, Rudolph W. Giuliani and a group of lawyers known for promoting conspiracy theories held a news conference at Republican National Committee headquarters, where they spun outlandish tales of a nationwide Democratic plot.

Meanwhile, the Associated Press reported that Trump summoned Michigan’s Republican legislative leaders to the White House for an extraordinary meeting today. Trump’s allies have floated a far-fetched effort to have Republican-controlled legislatures in states Biden won ignore the vote and appoint pro-Trump electors to the electoral college Dec. 14.

More Politics

— A top Georgia election official said that a hand tally of ballots cast in the presidential race has been completed, and that the results affirm Biden’s narrow lead over Trump.

— In private, Republican leaders are congratulating Kamala Harris and sharing their doubts about Trump’s legal cases. But they have yet to publicly accept his defeat or push back on the president’s claims.

— As he looks to rebuild a State Department hollowed out by the Trump administration, Biden is turning to the diplomats Trump fired.

California’s ‘Limited’ Curfew

California officials have announced they will impose a mandatory overnight stay-at-home order for most of the state as COVID-19 surges to unprecedented levels and Los Angeles County appears to be headed toward even more severe lockdown measures.

While coronavirus cases are rapidly growing across the state, the situation in L.A. County has been quickly reaching crisis levels, with nearly 5,000 new coronavirus cases Thursday. That’s the most in any one day since the pandemic began, and if the number of new daily cases on Friday, Saturday and Sunday remains the same, the county would be on the cusp of a new stay-at-home order.

The curfew order already issued by the California Department of Public Health will prohibit most nonessential activity outside the home from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. in counties in the strictest tier of the state’s reopening road map: the purple tier. Roughly 94% of Californians — 37 million people — live in counties that are in that tier. The restriction goes into place on Saturday and lasts through Dec. 21, though it could be extended.

Who Will Get Inoculated First?

As the first COVID-19 vaccines move toward federal approval, California and other states are racing to finalize plans for who will get the first doses and how they will be distributed. These critical decisions have taken on new urgency as drugmakers prepare to ship vaccines in just a few weeks.

State and federal health officials have largely agreed that frontline healthcare workers who have direct contact with COVID-19 patients should be vaccinated first, along with nursing home residents and patients at other long-term care facilities.

But that means most Americans shouldn’t expect to get a vaccine at their doctor’s office or pharmacy for many months — and there are a number of complicated questions in the meantime.

More Top Coronavirus Headlines

— With Thanksgiving next week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urged Americans to skip holiday travel this year. The recommendation released by the CDC was a break from earlier messaging.

— California is on track to issue emergency rules aimed at curbing workplace spread of COVID-19 — offering a chance at relief to essential workers, who have been disproportionately sickened by the worsening pandemic.

— The San Bernardino school system will not reopen its campuses for the remainder of the school year. Will others follow?

A Discriminatory Policy?

“Crime-free housing,” a collection of policies expanding the power of the police to decide who can and can’t live in cities, has disproportionately affected Black and Latino renters in California.

The programs approved by cities vary but are aimed at empowering landlords to evict or exclude tenants who have had brushes with law enforcement.

A Times investigation found tenants of color have been more likely to face eviction under the policies than white tenants. As Black and Latino residents moved to the suburbs, crime-free housing policies often came soon after.


Locals called it the “Iron Zoo.” In Coalinga, dozens of oil pumps were spread across a field, and it was far from an appealing view.

In the 1970s, a local artist named Jean Dakessian received permission — and paint — from Standard and Shell oil companies to decorate them. A Nov. 20, 1975, Times story chronicled her work. At the time, she had painted 46 of them, turning the creaky pumps into cowboys, turtles, skunks and characters like Snoopy.

Dakessian said she did the work for free. Ultimately, more than 50 pumps were painted, though few are still standing today.

A painted pumpjack
Nov. 20, 1975: The slowest pump in a field near Coalinga, Calif., was dressed up, quite naturally, as a turtle by artist Jean Dakessian.
(John Malmin / Los Angeles Times )

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— Consider doing your Thanksgiving grocery shopping early to avoid crowds.

Black Friday will look different this year. Check out these 17 shopping opportunities in L.A. and online.

— Here 13 places you can still volunteer for Thanksgiving and Christmas in L.A.

— Tempted to put up a Christmas tree? Go for it. Experts say it might improve your mood.


— California’s unemployment benefits agency, which has reported a deluge of fraudulent claims, has sent out more than 38 million pieces of mail containing Social Security numbers since the COVID-19 pandemic began, despite a call last year for the practice to stop.

— Two Encino couples are facing federal charges for an alleged scheme to bilk more than $5.6 million out of COVID-19 economic relief programs, federal prosecutors announced.

Michael Tubbs lost his bid to return as Stockton mayor. But some say he’s still a rising star.

— Indigenous tribes took over Alcatraz 51 years ago. Now, for the first time, the “holy grail” of the occupation can be read by anyone.

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— Redlands Rep. Pete Aguilar was elected vice chair of the House Democratic Caucus, guaranteeing at least one Latino member of House leadership in 2021 and 2022.

— U.S. Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo became the first top American diplomat to visit an Israeli settlement in the occupied West Bank.

— For Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu, navigating a Biden presidency poses a challenge after going all in with Trump.

— The National Science Foundation is closing the huge telescope at the Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico, a blow to scientists worldwide who depend on it to search for planets, asteroids and extraterrestrial life.

Singapore’s Red Ants are here to remind — and occasionally shame — you into wearing your mask.


— Get ready for holiday movie season. Here are the releases Times critics are most excited about.

“Venero,” a show about the 1990s trans icon that Spain “didn’t want to see,” was a smash hit abroad. Now, it’s heading to HBO Max.

Barack Obama’s “A Promised Land” sold nearly 890,000 copies in the U.S. and Canada in its first 24 hours, putting it on track to be the bestselling presidential memoir in modern history.

— Philip Glass and “Einstein on the Beach”: How one opera changed everything.


— Americans prized colossal Thanksgiving turkeys, until the pandemic hit. It’s too late to raise smaller birds, but butchers, chefs and consumers are finding ways to work around it.

— Weary but determined, California’s small, family-owned farms are fighting through the pandemic by offering farm boxes and sacrificing trees.


— Time is growing short for the NHL to meet its target of launching the 2020-21 season on Jan. 1, and the list of obstacles is growing longer, columnist Helene Elliott writes.

Chino Hills is the first school to have three former teammates taken among the NBA draft lottery picks.

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— Trump’s absurd claims and far-fetched schemes are depressing, editorial writer Michael McGough writes. Equally depressing is that many of his supporters believe his false claims about a rigged election.

Amazon’s new drugstore sounds convenient. But columnist David Lazarus asks: What does it mean for your privacy if you give the tech giant access to your health?


— Around the world, people under 30 are bearing the brunt of the pandemic’s economic fallout and their resentment is building. (Financial Times)

John Yang, a national correspondent for “PBS NewsHour,” shares his experience as a COVID-19 vaccine trial participant. (Stat News)

“Marge vs. the Monorail”: an oral history of the classic episode of “The Simpsons.” (Vice)


In 1925, Paramahansa Yogananda purchased the long-abandoned Mount Washington Hotel and immediately set about transforming its grounds into a lush and expansive oasis. It became the headquarters for the Self Realization Fellowship. Today it houses a visitor center and gift shop and an administration building that includes Yogananda’s living quarters, left exactly as they were when he died in 1952. Even the food he was served that day remains preserved under glass.

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