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Today’s Headlines: Gun violence fears reawaken

Flowers on a police car, with a mourner next to it
Mourners pay their respects to Officer Eric Talley, who was among the 10 people killed when a gunman opened fire at a grocery store in Boulder, Colo.
(Chet Strange / Getty Images)

Mass shootings in Atlanta and Boulder, Colo., mark an unsettling return to life in the U.S. before the pandemic.

TOP STORIES

Gun Violence Fears Reawaken

For years, mass shootings have been a fixture in American public life. Then came the pandemic, which — while robbing so many of so much — coincided with a decline in mass shootings to the lowest levels in nearly a decade.

But with two deadly incidents separated by a span of just six days, the issue once again is front and center.

“We have to act,” President Biden said, delivering hastily scheduled remarks on a day when the administration had hoped to focus on touting pandemic relief benefits but instead found itself reacting to another act of violence.

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Biden vowed “to use all the resources at my disposal to keep the American people safe.” He called on Congress to expand background checks and ban assault weapons. But it’s unclear what the president can do or persuade Congress to do, given Democrats’ slim margins of control and most Republicans’ opposition to any limits on gun ownership.

In Boulder, where 10 people were killed in a supermarket shooting on Monday, the town’s sense of fragile peace has been shattered.

Authorities have offered few clues about what may have motivated the 21-year-old accused of the killings. He had a history of angry outbursts — including a conviction for violently attacking a high school classmate — and told relatives that he believed he was “being chased” by people who were out to get him. Authorities said he had purchased a high-powered weapon six days before the massacre.

‘Our Community Is Coming Together’

Asian American activism has had some milestone achievements over the years, but it has struggled to gain the same critical mass as movements among Latino and Black Americans.

Now, a new generation is fighting to blow up the myth of the “model minority,” condemn anti-Asian racism and create a sustained movement to end more than a century and a half of bigotry and marginalization. Some observers call the movement unprecedented.

The Black Lives Matter protests last summer inspired many young Asian Americans to coalesce in this effort, as did a surge of anti-Asian hate fueled by then-President Trump and his supporters calling the coronavirus “the China virus.” The shooting deaths of six Asian women in the Atlanta area last week, in which a 21-year-old white man has been charged, hardened their resolve.

The Eligibility Question

In San Diego, anyone with asthma or Type 1 diabetes can get a COVID-19 vaccine. In San Francisco, that goes for anybody who’s HIV-positive or considered obese. In much of California, you’ve got to be 65, unless you’re eligible for some other reason; elsewhere, 45 will do.

As vaccine supplies increase, a growing number of California’s 61 health departments have broken with state guidelines and made the shots available to potentially millions of additional people, sparking joy among locals, and frustration and envy from residents in counties that are sticking with stricter rules.

The expanding, but still patchy, vaccine access has led to some confusion. It is up to each county whether to limit vaccines to those who live or work locally, state officials say. But some federal and retail pharmacy sites don’t have such limitations, and the temptation to cross county lines is persistent.

More Top Coronavirus Headlines

— Despite rising coronavirus case rates in other parts of the nation such as New York and Florida, California is continuing to see its metrics trend downward. At least for now.

— The receding coronavirus wave has Los Angeles and Orange counties on the precipice of additional openings.

— Some Californians resettled in Taiwan to escape the pandemic and lockdowns.

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

Don’t Ignore This Email

You’re scrolling through your Gmail inbox and see an email with a strange subject line: a string of numbers followed by “Notification from Google.”

It may seem like a phishing scam or an update to Gmail’s terms of service. But it could be the only chance you’ll have to stop Google from sharing your personal information with authorities.

Tech companies, which have treasure troves of personal information, have become natural targets for law enforcement and government requests. The industry’s biggest names, such as Google, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, receive data requests — from subpoenas to National Security Letters — to assist in, among other efforts, criminal and noncriminal investigations as well as lawsuits.

An email like this one is a rare chance for users to discover when government agencies are seeking their data.

FROM THE ARCHIVES

Exactly one year ago today, we told you about an apparent trend in 1980 to put boulders in L.A. luxury department stores windows. Today we’ll tell you about a Malibu rock slide 38 years ago today that landed a boulder on a 1980 luxury car.

As The Times reported on March 25, 1983:

“One boulder crashed through a garage door on [the 19700 block of] Pacific Coast Highway, where Robert Tellier, a free-lance technical writer, estimated that his 1980 Jaguar and 1982 Datsun Z car sustained several thousand dollars’ worth of damage.

“He said that at about 6:30 a.m. he heard a noise that sounded like the road being graded and looked out to see the hillside pouring down with boulders bouncing on the pavement.”

A man walks into his garage, where a boulder about 5 feet wide rests where the door, now splintered into boards, once was.
March 24, 1983: A boulder crashed through the door of Robert Tellier’s garage, damaging both cars.
(Dick Oliver / Los Angeles Times)

CALIFORNIA

Homeless people in Echo Park were faced with a decision as an imminent city closure of the site drew near. The choice: leave or hunker down?

— Los Angeles landlords and tenants can apply for $235.5 million in rental relief funds starting March 30, city officials said, outlining an effort to keep tenants housed and enable property owners to pay their bills.

— The Los Angeles Police Department is reviewing an unusual cluster of five separate police shootings that left two men dead, two wounded and a SWAT officer shot last week and that raised concerns about the trajectory of deadly police force.

— Long Beach’s rainbow lifeguard tower — painted by lifeguards in June in honor of Pride month — was destroyed in a fire. Authorities said an investigation is underway.

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NATION-WORLD

— Fresh off passage of the COVID-19 relief bill, Biden is assembling the next big White House priority, a sweeping $3-trillion package of investments focusing on infrastructure and domestic needs. If it gains traction, California stands to reap the biggest piece.

— American and Taliban negotiators are discussing a pause in U.S. airstrikes and drone flights in Afghanistan in order to revive longshot peace talks aimed at settling the 2-decade-old war, U.S. and Afghan officials said.

— A jury has been seated for the trial of a former Minneapolis police officer in George Floyd’s death, with opening statements set for Monday in a case that led to weeks of protests and a national soul-searching about racial justice.

— The other Rio Grande: Central American migrants navigate the Usumacinta River, which forms the border between Mexico and Guatemala, en route to the United States.

HOLLYWOOD AND THE ARTS

— After his public split with “Fresh Off the Boat,” Eddie Huang took control with “Boogie,” a coming-of-age story and his feature directorial debut.

— The first Nipsey Hussle biography, “The Marathon Don’t Stop,” is a thorough and well-researched history that hits the right notes and captures the essence of what made Hussle so significant, our reviewer writes.

— The “Tenet” visual effects team explains how it crafted a palindrome of complex visuals.

— “Of Women and Salt,” Gabriela Garcia’s debut novel about migration, family and survival, is everything “American Dirt” wasn’t.

BUSINESS

— The number of personal and business bankruptcies filed last year in the U.S. fell by nearly 30% from 2019 despite COVID-19. Here’s why.

— The Americans responsible for the most tax evasion are the 1%, writes columnist Michael Hiltzik. So, how do they get away with it?

SPORTS

UCLA’s women’s basketball team had no problem in the first round of the NCAA tournament. But it faces a much taller task in Texas.

— The first five days of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament were a rout for the Pac-12. Yes, finally.

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OPINION

— The Supreme Court should side with California farmworker union organizers in a case challenging the state’s protection of their access to private property and should recognize that the regulation strikes a reasonable balance of interests, The Times’ editorial board writes.

— How did Echo Park become so stratified with landed gentry and poverty? There was a plan 50 years ago, Matthew Fleischer writes.

WHAT OUR EDITORS ARE READING

— Are California oil companies complying with the law? Even regulators often don’t know. (ProPublica/Desert Sun)

Tower Records is back in business. Why now, of all times? (Slate)

ONLY IN L.A.

The Los Angeles Times Festival of Books is back, with a virtual event that will be truer this year to the traditional IRL literary celebration. This year’s festival, running April 17-23, will feature more authors (about 150) and more online events (more than 30) than October’s monthlong virtual event. Authors, moderators and guests will include Zooey Deschanel, James Patterson, Chang-Rae Lee, Lulu Miller, Viet Thanh Nguyen, Richard Thompson and Nikky Finney as well as Meena Harris, niece of Vice President Kamala Harris. It will kick off April 16 with the Times Book Prizes ceremony. Here are more of the highlights.

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


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