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Today’s Headlines: The next step in Trump’s trial

Rep. Ted Lieu speaks
In this image from video, House impeachment manager Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) speaks during the second impeachment trial of former President Trump in the Senate.
(Senate Television via Associated Press)

After House prosecutors concluded making their case to senators in the Trump impeachment trial, the defense will start — and could be finished today.

TOP STORIES

The Next Step in Trump’s Trial

Starting today, lawyers for former President Trump will have up to 16 hours over two days to make their arguments in his Senate impeachment trial — but they’ve said they could wrap things up in as little as three hours.

The defense arguments come after House prosecutors spent roughly 10 hours over two days delivering presentations that combined graphic video and audio recordings of the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol with careful legal arguments that won widespread praise from senators of both parties. Yet their efforts do not appear to have swayed a significant number of Republican votes in the evenly divided Senate.

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House impeachment managers wrapped up their case against Trump on Thursday by arguing that he willfully provoked the violence and by warning that if he isn’t held accountable, he could try to use a mob to regain power.

Closing the prosecution’s case, Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) posed a series of questions he said senators should think about: Why did Trump do nothing to stop the attack? Why did he do nothing to send help to police? Why did he never condemn the violence?

“Is there any political leader in this room who believes that if he is ever allowed by the Senate to get back into the Oval Office, Donald Trump would stop inciting violence to get his way?” said Raskin, the lead House impeachment manager. “Would you bet the lives of more police officers on that? Would you bet the safety of your family on that? Would you bet the future of your democracy on that?”

More Politics

— Border officials are set next week to start processing asylum seekers in California and Texas who were forced back across the border under a Trump-era policy that President Biden pledged to end, advocates and officials said.

— The Biden administration has told the Supreme Court that it believes the entire Affordable Care Act should be upheld, reversing a Trump administration position in a key case pending before the justices.

— Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s approval ratings have fallen sharply in her home state, a new poll showed, marking the first time in her nearly three-decade Senate career that a plurality of Californians hold negative views of her job performance.

For more news and analysis, sign up for our Essential Politics newsletter, sent to your inbox three days a week.

One Pandemic, Two Realities at Schools

A Times survey of more than 20 school districts throughout Los Angeles County in the last two weeks has found a pattern: Schools in more affluent areas are moving faster to reopen than those in low-income communities, many of which were hit hardest by the pandemic.

The districts in the whiter, wealthier communities were among the first to bring back their youngest students under waivers and guidelines allowing in-person instruction for high-needs students. These districts are building on that momentum to quickly expand their reopening.

Districts serving less affluent Latino and Black communities are further behind. Their leaders spoke of the suffering and fears of their families in the bleakest months of the pandemic.

More Top Coronavirus Headlines

— Biden said the U.S. will have enough supply of the COVID-19 vaccine by the end of the summer to inoculate 300 million Americans, while Dr. Anthony Fauci said that by April, “virtually everybody and anybody in any category could start to get vaccinated.” Meanwhile, some L.A. vaccination sites ran out of doses sooner than expected and had to turn people away Thursday.

— People are eating on restaurant patios in L.A. County again, but a challenge to a previous outdoor dining ban is still winding through the courts. At issue is whether county officials need to provide data to back the dining restrictions.

— What if my second vaccine dose is early or delayed? Here’s what the CDC says.

Disaster Prompts New Boating Rules

More than a year after the worst maritime disaster in modern California history, the U.S. Coast Guard said it would enact a series of rules and other reforms designed to make small passenger vessels safer.

The changes come in response to the 2019 Labor Day fire aboard the Conception dive boat off the Channel Islands, which killed 34 people and exposed serious flaws in boat safety later detailed by a series of Times reports and an investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board.

The Coast Guard told the NTSB this week that it agreed with seven recommendations for major changes, including mandatory checks to make sure roving watches are occurring, better smoke detector systems, mandatory safety management systems and improved emergency exits.

Forgoing Cash for Lunar New Year

Normally, Sam Lin goes to his credit union weeks ahead of Lunar New Year to pre-order new bills for the kids and elders in his extended family. But 2021 isn’t like other years. The coronavirus may be lurking on $20 or $100 bills, and Lin is one of many Asian Americans forgoing traditional cash to ring in the festivities.

Lin’s nephews, nieces and in-laws will receive checks instead. Others are sending money through online services to avoid touching anything or opting for virtual envelopes — a marriage of e-cards and Venmo.

And cash isn’t the only tradition that’s changing. Many families will not be getting together over lavish spreads of dumplings, sticky rice cakes, whole fish, spring rolls and longevity noodles.

FROM THE ARCHIVES

The West is filled with towns that sprung up when gold was found, only to slowly disappear as the supply dwindled.

Rhyolite, Nev., was among them. In 1905, tens of thousands of people arrived, seeking their fortunes. When The Times visited in February 1969, only seven residents remained. A story about the small community ran in the Feb. 12 edition of the paper.

They ranged in age from 70 to 88. They told The Times their town once had “42 streets, 400 electric light poles, a $50,000 water works, an opera house, 10 hotels, three banks, five churches and 48 saloons.” But now, “We’re seven old ghosts haunting a haunted old place,” Mrs. Frederica Heisler said.

seven older people walk on a dirt road as one plays an accordion
Feb. 1969: All seven residents of Rhyolite, Nev., greet a visitor.
(Frank Q. Brown / Los Angeles Times)

YOUR WEEKEND

— A Lunar New Year do-over: How to celebrate another new year during the pandemic.

— Looking for a Lunar New Year meal? Restaurant critic Bill Addison suggests poon choi, a one-pot feast grounded in centuries of Cantonese culture, and there are plenty of places to get it in L.A.

— Stoned roller skating, beach brunches: How five L.A. singles are doing Valentine’s Day in a pandemic.

Catalina Island is beginning to reopen to visitors. Ferry service will return to its full range and two-dozen restaurants will be open this weekend.

CALIFORNIA

— Five years after a California law allowed doctors to prescribe lethal doses of drugs to terminally ill people who want to end their lives, new legislation introduced Wednesday would make it easier for those who are dying to choose that option.

— Attorneys for the family of Dijon Kizzee, who was shot and killed by L.A. County sheriff’s deputies last summer in a case that spurred large protests, have filed a legal claim against the county alleging it failed to properly train the deputies on the use of force.

— A San Pedro man was arrested on suspicion of being a felon in possession of a firearm based on information developed when his home was searched last year in the killing of Kristin Smart, who disappeared 24 years ago while walking back to her dorm at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.

— In a historic first at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, women have begun Marine boot camp.

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NATION-WORLD

— Five people prosecutors have linked to a Kansas City metro chapter of the Proud Boys were arrested on federal charges for their alleged roles in the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.

— A Minneapolis police officer was prepared to plead guilty to third-degree murder in George Floyd’s death before then-U.S. Atty. Gen. William Barr personally blocked the plea deal last year, officials said. The deal, which would have averted any potential federal charges, was part of an effort to quickly resolve the case to avoid more unrest.

— A woman’s account of sexual violence reveals new details about the murky conflict in Ethiopia, where human rights groups say pro-government forces are sexually abusing civilians in a remote region that is edging toward a humanitarian disaster far from the world’s gaze.

China has banned BBC World News from airing in China, one week after threatening to retaliate for the recent revocation of the British broadcasting license for China’s state-owned CGTN.

HOLLYWOOD AND THE ARTS

— In Los Angeles probate court, attorneys for Britney Spears and her father did not address the question Spears’ fervent fans want answered: Why does the pop star remain under a court-appointed conservatorship?

Taylor Swift released her rerecorded version of “Love Story,” the first single off her rerecorded “Fearless” album. It’s part of the singer’s broader efforts to rerecord her back catalog.

ALLBLK was the first streamer to feature Black creators. Now it’s launching a talk show.

Novelists are writing for TV shows more than ever, and it’s changing both the publishing and entertainment industries. From “The Queen’s Gambit” to “The Undoing,” the pandemic is fueling a Hollywood book boom.

BUSINESS

Amazon is facing questions from senators over a reported contract with Chinese security camera company Dahua, a day after The Times reported that company documents claim Dahua’s facial recognition software can sort people by race and alert police when it spots Uighur people.

— A small group of app-based drivers backed by a major labor union are pushing forward their legal challenge to Proposition 22 — the California voter-approved law allowing gig companies to keep treating their workers as independent contractors — after the state Supreme Court threw the lawsuit out. The plaintiffs refiled the suit in a lower court.

SPORTS

— The Dodgers’ contract with Trevor Bauer makes him the highest-paid player in the majors this (and next) season, but it isn’t a long-term anchor on the team’s finances.

— Fully recovered from COVID-19, new mom Alex Morgan is preparing for the Tokyo Olympics on the U.S. women’s soccer team.

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OPINION

— They’re political opposites — you’d think they wouldn’t get along. But Willie Brown and Ed Rollins are old friends through it all, writes columnist George Skelton.

Recalling Newsom is a desperation move by the shrinking California GOP, writes author and former Times staffer Dan Morain.

WHAT OUR EDITORS ARE READING

— A Texas doctor had six hours to distribute an expiring COVID-19 vaccine. He succeeded — only to be fired and charged with stealing as the realities of distribution conflict with public health policy. (New York Times)

— There’s a secret, essential geography of the office. It’s one that those of us who worked in one, in the before times, share with our co-workers — whether or not we want to go back. (Wired)

More violence and less accountability: The U.S. Marshals are subject to looser rules than the local police departments with whose officers they’re enmeshed, their teams killing an average of 22 suspects and bystanders a year, a 16-month investigation found. (The Marshall Project)

ONLY IN L.A.

Denise Love Hewett (no relation to Jennifer Love Hewitt) is the founder and chief executive of Scriptd, a digital screenplay marketplace that showcases unproduced scripts from underrepresented groups. She also has a podcast called “Do the Work” in which she talks with executives, entrepreneurs, actors and content creators about creativity leadership in an increasingly diverse world and the elusive crossover between business and spirituality. “Most people in Hollywood are usually there because they’re feeling a spiritual mission or need. I don’t think you come to Hollywood lightly,” she said. “I think it’s a calling.”

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


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