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Today’s Headlines: The vaccine honor system

People in a line
People wait in a line that stretched for several blocks for a chance at receiving leftover vaccines at Kedren Community Health Center in Los Angeles, as vaccinations started for those with disabilities.
(Jason Armond / Los Angeles Times)

California’s newest vaccine rollout depends on trust and honesty. Will it work?

TOP STORIES

The Vaccine Honor System

As Los Angeles County unlocked a significant portion of its battered business sector — allowing the return of in-restaurant dining and the resumption of indoor activities at gyms, movie theaters and other venues — California began a new phase of its COVID-19 vaccine rollout. Nearly half of all residents are now eligible for a shot, including those 16 and older who have disabilities and underlying health conditions.

In turn, the system — which has dealt with supply shortages and line jumping — is relying more than ever on public trust and honesty to make sure the doses get to those who need them most.

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Previous eligibility tiers focused on jobs and age groups, which are easily verifiable. But there will be a much looser verification system for this new group due to issues of privacy and access. And despite eligibility lists provided by the state, there is still confusion about which health conditions are covered, so the true size of the new group is unclear.

Advocates, health experts and public health officials are optimistic that most residents won’t take advantage of the system, though they admit that it would not be difficult to do so.

More Top Coronavirus Headlines

— About half of Los Angeles Unified students will not be returning to campus, based on early, partial results of a parent survey, with more wariness expressed in communities hit hard by COVID-19 and among families with older students.

— A San Bernardino County resident is the first in California to test positive for a coronavirus variant from Brazil, known as P.1, that is believed to be more contagious than the most common strain of the virus, officials said.

— Can Republicans be persuaded to give COVID-19 vaccines a shot?

For more, sign up for Coronavirus Today, a special edition of The Times’ Health and Science newsletter.

Is the Recall About Newsom or Trump?

Gov. Gavin Newsom and his Democratic allies are fighting back against the Republican-led campaign to recall him by invoking a name sure to provoke a negative reaction among a majority of Californians: Donald Trump.

Meanwhile, recall supporters want the spotlight to stay trained on Newsom’s actions in office, including his response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and are trying to send a message to the former president to stay out of the fray.

“I think the less he’s involved in the recall, the better it will be for the recall,” said Dave Gilliard, a veteran Republican consultant who is working on the campaign and helped place the successful 2003 recall of Democratic Gov. Gray Davis on the ballot. “The recall has to be about Gavin Newsom for it to be a success.”

Newsom on Monday for the first time directly attacked the effort to oust him from office.

More Politics

President Biden kicked off a week of high-level administration efforts to tout the benefits of his $1.9-trillion COVID-19 relief package as he seeks maximum political benefit from his first major legislative victory.

— Biden is planning the first major federal tax hike since 1993 to help pay for the long-term economic program designed as a follow-up to his pandemic relief bill, according to people familiar with the matter.

— Rep. Deb Haaland became the first Native American confirmed to serve in the president’s Cabinet — a historic moment celebrated by American Indians throughout the country. She will lead the Department of the Interior.

— House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy of California and a dozen of his colleagues denounced the Biden administration’s handling of immigration at the southwest border and called for congressional action during a visit to Texas.

— Newsom pledged to nominate a Black woman to replace Sen. Dianne Feinstein if the 87-year-old decides to retire before her term is up in 2024.

A Haunting Decision

Tens of thousands of North Korean women have escaped the poverty and oppression of a totalitarian government and made it into China, only to be sold into forced marriage. Most soon give birth to a child whom no government recognizes.

When the situation becomes no longer bearable, and the women weigh the prospect of fleeing to South Korea — where they’re granted automatic citizenship and resettlement support — they’re faced with a terrible choice: Stay with their sons and daughters, or leave to seek freedom and safety.

Here is a glimpse at their heart-rending stories.

All About Oscar

In the midst of a pandemic that has damaged Hollywood’s spirits along with its business models, the nominations for the 93rd Academy Awards were a bright spot.

The black-and-white period film “Mank” leads the pack with 10 nominations, including best picture, while the dramas “Nomadland” and “Minari” also earned top nods. A number of actors of color were recognized for their work. Steven Yeun became the first Asian American to be nominated in the lead actor category for his role in the film “Minari.” And or the first time, the directing category included two women, Chloé Zhao and Emerald Fennell.

With moviegoing largely reduced for the past year to what you could watch on your couch, the academy altered its eligibility rules to enable films for the first time to qualify for Oscar consideration without a theatrical release. Not surprisingly, streaming services dominated.

Here are all the nominees, the history-making nominations, and the snubs and surprises.

FROM THE ARCHIVES

Los Angeles Airways was a regional helicopter service operated from 1947 to 1971. It wasn’t always a smooth ride.

On March 15, 1966, a helicopter overturned at Los Angeles International Airport, destroying its blades as they struck the ground. The three crew members inside were uninjured, but a ground crew person was struck by a chunk of pavement. In 1968, two more helicopters crashed, killing 44 people.

After the 1968 accidents, the company grounded its helicopters and tried to pivot to commuter flights without success.

A helicopter without blades lies on its side
March 15, 1966: Los Angeles Airways helicopter, its rotor blades broken off, rests on its side at at Los Angeles International Airport.
(George Fry / Los Angeles Times)

CALIFORNIA

— Nearly 25 years after Kristin Smart vanished while walking back to her dorm at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, investigators searched a nearby property using cadaver dogs and ground-penetrating radar.

— A judge has ordered the L.A. Department of Water and Power to continue providing historic quantities of irrigation water to lessees of its pasturelands east of Yosemite, despite the agency’s assertion that climate change is making the water supply increasingly unreliable.

— A coalition of California prosecutors has sued the nation’s largest senior living operator, alleging it ignored laws that protect patients when they are discharged from skilled nursing facilities and that it exaggerated the level of care to the federal government’s nursing home rating system.

— Love her or loathe her, few in Shasta County are agnostic about the one-woman watchdog who has become the leading antagonist against what she sees as creeping extremism in the region.

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NATION-WORLD

— U.S. officials have arrested and charged two men with assaulting U.S. Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick with bear spray during the Jan. 6 riot, but they do not know yet whether it caused the officer’s death.

— An attorney for a former Minneapolis police officer charged in George Floyd’s death said that he was “gravely concerned” that the announcement of a $27-million settlement for Floyd’s family made it impossible for his client to get a fair trial.

The Vatican decreed that the Roman Catholic Church cannot bless same-sex unions because God “cannot bless sin.”

Myanmar’s ruling junta has declared martial law in six townships in the country’s largest city. Security forces killed dozens of protesters over the weekend in an increasingly lethal crackdown on resistance to last month’s military coup.

HOLLYWOOD AND THE ARTS

— In the latest wave to roil the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn., more than 100 of the most powerful publicists representing the majority of entertainment talent and artists warned the association they would cut them off if the organization did not take significant steps toward reform and transparency.

— It didn’t take much to convince Woody Allen defenders that HBO’s “Allen v. Farrow” was a one-sided hatchet job. But that’s not what they’re really upset about, writes television critic Lorraine Ali.

Beyoncé made Grammys history, but the Recording Academy has failed her for years, writes pop music critic Mikael Wood.

— In the last decade, the festival boom has come to television. Creators say they’re transforming the industry, but not how you might think.

“The Bachelor’s” uncomfortable silences spoke volumes in an emotional finale special.

BUSINESS

Waitstaff and workers at restaurants across L.A. County are bracing for uncertainty as they resume shifts indoors for the first time since June.

— Need help paying rent? California is accepting rental relief applications.

SPORTS

— Former Dodger Mike Bolsinger blames the Houston Astros for prematurely ending his major league career. But his lawsuit against them is all but dead.

— Despite years of futility, USC and UCLA could have good paths in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament, writes columnist Bill Plaschke.

— In the women’s tournament, third-seeded UCLA will open against Wyoming.

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OPINION

All three COVID-19 vaccines available in the U.S. have pros and cons. And all are essential to stopping the pandemic, The Times’ editorial board writes.

— Whether you like it or not, Biden’s COVID-19 relief plan is the result of a historic election, writes columnist George Skelton.

WHAT OUR EDITORS ARE READING

— A new bill proposes making daylight saving time permanent. But for a family in Connecticut, it already is. (The Atlantic)

— These U.S.-born, Irish-dancing brothers are a hit on Tiktok. (The Irish Times)

ONLY IN CALIFORNIA

The giant Marilyn Monroe statue with her billowing white dress in downtown Palm Springs drew lots of attention — from tourists, residents and city events — until she disappeared. Now “Forever Marilyn” by J. Seward Johnson is set to return to a prominent spot in the resort town, and not everyone is happy about it. Is it a downtown draw or sightline-blocking and sexist?

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


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