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Today’s Headlines: Trump’s trial proceeds

An overhead view of the U.S. Senate chamber
In this image from video, House impeachment manager Rep. Joe Neguse (D-Colo.) prepares to speak during the second impeachment trial of former President Trump in the Senate at the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday.
(Senate Television via AP)

After the Senate voted on its constitutionality, the impeachment trial of former President Trump gets underway in earnest.

TOP STORIES

Trump’s Trial Proceeds

After a widely panned opening-day performance by the legal team of former President Trump, the Senate voted that the Constitution allows for his impeachment trial to proceed for actions he committed while in office.

For the record:

3:23 p.m. Feb. 16, 2021An item in this newsletter stated that Yvonne Craig played Catwoman on the “Batman” TV series. Craig played Batgirl.

The 56-44 vote clears the path for up to four days of arguments on whether Trump should be convicted of inciting the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. House impeachment managers will begin their case today, and House Democratic aides said they would introduce previously unseen evidence in the case.

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On Tuesday, impeachment managers played a graphic, 13-minute video depicting the events of Jan. 6, showing Trump’s comments in real time alongside the actions of the mob. Lead House impeachment manager Rep. Jamie Raskin delivered a heart-wrenching personal account.

The first day of the nation’s fourth presidential impeachment trial was dominated by the question of whether the proceeding was constitutional. His lawyers, Bruce L. Castor Jr. and David Schoen, argued that a trial can be held only when an official is still in office.

Republicans were critical of the presentations by Trump’s attorneys. “The president’s lawyer just rambled on and on,” said Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas). Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.)said the poor performance led him to change his position and vote that the trial is constitutional. Still, it is highly unlikely that Trump will be convicted.

While watching the proceeding, Trump was “livid” when Castor complimented House impeachment managers, according to a person familiar with the former president’s thinking.

More Politics

President Biden “clearly opposes” the ongoing recall effort against Gov. Gavin Newsom, the White House said, adding to a growing chorus of Democratic support.

— First Lady Jill Biden is pushing for access to free community college and training programs, saying the schools will be an important part of the Biden administration’s efforts to rebuild the economy.

Concerns About Vaccine Inequity

As officials work to ramp up COVID-19 vaccine distribution, experts say there is a fundamental problem: A limited supply has been administered unevenly, with some of the most devastated groups having the lowest vaccination rates.

Data show the rate of vaccination among white and Asian seniors in Los Angeles County is far higher than that among Black, Latino and Native American seniors, the very communities where COVID-19 case and death rates are highest, according to county data. Black residents 65 and older have the lowest vaccination rate of all the groups.

The county’s strategies to improve access for people of color include creating more vaccination sites as well as better public messaging campaigns, improving access to transportation and reserving spots at neighborhood vaccination locations before people from other parts of the county can get them.

More Top Coronavirus Headlines

San Francisco will begin vaccinating teachers and other essential workers on Feb. 26, but Mayor London Breed said the vaccines would probably not be enough to get staff and students back into public school classrooms.

— A mass-vaccination site opened at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, where 15,000 people are expected to be inoculated each day once vaccine supplies increase.

Redefining Suburbia?

Sacramento is on the verge of approving a plan that would make the city the first in California, and one of the first in the U.S., to end zoning that permits only one single-family home on a property.

Under the proposal, up to four homes could be built on lots in neighborhoods long defined by their low-density, traffic-free tranquility.

So far, Sacramento has not seen the intense negative reaction from homeowners that led to the demise of other efforts to upend single-family home zoning in California. But some residents say that’s only because most residents remain unaware of what’s going on.

FROM THE ARCHIVES

Jimmy Boyd recorded the song “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” in 1952. The record quickly sold millions.

On this date in 1953, Boyd appeared in court to change his professional contracts. “Red-haired, freckle-face Jimmy Boyd, 14, yesterday was encouraged by [Superior Court] Judge Frank G. Swain to capitalize on his entertainment talent before his childish singing voice changes,” The Times reported.

“ ‘I have never heard you sing, Jimmy,’ Judge Swain said, ‘not even that record about Mommy osculating with Santa.’

Boyd would go on to act on TV and later married Yvonne Craig, who would play Catwoman on the “Batman” series. Boyd died in 2009 at age 70.

Jimmy Boyd
Feb. 10, 1953: Jimmy Boyd, 14, sits in a courthouse for a hearing with a judge.
(Gordon Wallace / Los Angeles Times)

CALIFORNIA

— Federal investigators say the pilot of a helicopter that crashed into a foggy Calabasas hillside one year ago, killing NBA legend Kobe Bryant and eight others aboard, should not have flown into cloudy conditions, where he became disoriented and lost control.

— A number of public-interest attorneys have sued to stop L.A. County courts from holding in-person traffic and eviction trials, saying COVID-19 prevention protocols are failing after two court interpreters died of the virus infection in recent weeks.

— A new study says there is a dramatic increase in the number of great white sharks swimming in Monterey Bay, including an area off Santa Cruz County where a surfer was killed last year.

— The pandemic has forced the cancellation of the Los Angeles County Fair for the second year in a row.

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NATION-WORLD

— The head of the Tokyo Olympics says he won’t step down amid criticism of his sexist complaint that women talk too much in business meetings — a controversy that landed just as the Games are already facing considerable pushback.

— Lie about having gone to a country on the British government’s travel ban list when you arrive in England, and you could face 10 years in prison under tough new coronavirus border policies there.

Pablo Escobar’s hippopotamuses — the descendants of the drug kingpin’s onetime menagerie of illegally imported animals — are foiling government efforts to control their population. Now scientists say some need to be killed, warning that they pose a major threat to the Colombian countryside.

HOLLYWOOD AND THE ARTS

— First LACMA downsized the home it gave director Michael Govan as a perk of the job — trading in a $6.6-million Hancock Park mansion for a $2.2-million Spanish Revival home nearby. Now that house is hitting the market, and Govan is moving out and giving up the perk.

— On the heels of the release of a documentary about her court-approved conservatorship, Britney Spears’ boyfriend is speaking out in the 39-year-old pop star’s support and says he has “zero respect” for her father, who has long controlled her life.

— How exactly did Netflix’s French comedy of manners “Call My Agent” become an American sensation? Maybe it’s the Gallic charm, or the way it “feels true rather than prescribed,” our critic says.

Mary Wilson, singer and cofounder of the Supremes, who changed the way white America viewed Black music, died this week at 76.

BUSINESS

Facial recognition software developed by China-based Dahua, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of video surveillance technology, purports to detect the race of individuals caught on camera and offers to alert police clients when it identifies members of the Uighur Turkic ethnic group The company has a growing presence in the U.S.

— The Biden administration wants California to show that it’s possible to phase out fossil fuels. But the state clearly needs more reliable renewable energy sources — and that’s where climate activists and renewable power companies worry that Newsom’s administration is setting California up for failure.

SPORTS

— As it prepares to start another season during a pandemic, Major League Baseball has agreed with its players on health and safety protocols. Here’s a breakdown of the key rules, from short doubleheaders to coronavirus testing to what players are allowed to do off the field.

— The Times caught up with Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians at home right after his team won the Super Bowl to discuss what he sees in Tom Brady’s future, why he drank paint as a kid (more than once) and what he’s proudest of in his career.

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OPINION

— Washington columnist Doyle McManus makes the case that George P. Shultz was the best secretary of State of the last half-century. “And as much as any American, he deserves credit for making the end of the Cold War possible.”

Impeachment is the last chance for the GOP to divorce itself from Trump’s thuggery, The Times’ editorial board writes.

WHAT OUR EDITORS ARE READING

— A beer ration punch card, a military ID and a chemical warfare pocket reference were a few of the contents of the recovered lost wallet a former Navy meteorologist just got back — 53 years after he left it in Antarctica. (New York Times)

— “The way we treated Britney Spears was a sign of what was to come.” (GEN)

ONLY IN L.A.

The namesakes of Obama Boulevard and the Tom Bradley International Terminal are well-known. Those of Biddy Mason Memorial Park in downtown L.A. and of Ballard Mountain in the Santa Monica Mountains may be less so — but columnist Patt Morrison has some Black history month lessons on both. Mason was a formerly enslaved woman who in 1856 acquired a new life and a new name, talking her family’s way to freedom in court and eventually developing a real estate empire that made her one of L.A.’s richest and most generous-spirited women. John Ballard — a church founder and property owner who, like Mason, had also been enslaved — was nudged out of central L.A. to his 160-acre homestead in the mountains. For years one of those peaks was known locally by a racial slur, then a sanitized version of its old name, before being renamed for him in 2009.

Comments or ideas? Email us at headlines@latimes.com.


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