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Today’s Headlines: A deadly day in Gaza City

A huge pile of rubble and damaged high-rises serve as the backdrop to a man walking by
A man walks past the destruction wrought by Israeli airstrikes targeting buildings in Gaza City on May 16, 2021.
(Adel Hana / Associated Press)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned the war with Gaza’s Hamas rulers would go on.

TOP STORIES

A Deadly Day in Gaza City

Israeli airstrikes on Gaza City flattened three buildings and killed at least 42 people Sunday, Palestinian medics said, in the deadliest single attack in the latest round of violence. Despite the toll and international efforts to broker a cease-fire, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu signaled the fourth war with Gaza’s Hamas rulers would rage on.

In a televised address, Netanyahu said Israel “wants to levy a heavy price” on the Hamas militant group. Early Monday, Israeli warplanes unleashed a new series of heavy airstrikes at several locations in Gaza City.

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Hamas also pressed on Sunday, launching rockets from civilian areas in Gaza toward civilian areas in Israel. One slammed into a synagogue in the southern city of Ashkelon, Israeli emergency services said. No injuries were reported.

On Saturday, thousands of protesters gathered in Westwood to demonstrate support for Palestinians. The event was one of dozens staged across the country to mark the 73rd anniversary of what has come to be known as the Nakba, or catastrophe, a reference to Palestinians’ displacement in the first Arab-Israeli war in 1948.

More About Masks

The head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defended the decision to ease mask-wearing guidance for fully vaccinated people, saying that increasing political pressure had nothing to do with the abrupt shift in guidelines.

Under the new guidelines released last week, fully vaccinated people — those who are two weeks past their final dose of a COVID-19 vaccine — can quit wearing masks outdoors in crowds and in most indoor settings and give up social distancing. But partially vaccinated or unvaccinated people should continue wearing masks, the agency said. The guidance also still calls for masks in crowded indoor settings including buses, airplanes, hospitals, prisons and homeless shelters.

Yet concerns have been raised from those who say there’s no easy way for businesses and others to determine who is fully vaccinated and who is not. Trader Joe’s, Walmart and Costco will no longer require fully vaccinated shoppers to don masks, but others are taking time in reviewing their policies. And many customers aren’t ready to go maskless.

More Top Coronavirus Headlines

— More than 50% of California residents have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, according to a Los Angeles Times analysis.

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— Hope here, despair there: For Indian Americans, there is heartbreak over the homeland.

Taiwan, which has had enviable success in containing COVID-19, imposed new restrictions in its capital as the island battled its worst outbreak: 180 confirmed new locally spread cases. For the entire pandemic period, it had just 164 such cases.

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

A Brush Fire in May

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Despite cooler, moist weather that could help firefighters get the upper hand, the Palisades fire forced evacuations and continues to threaten homes in Topanga Canyon.

Los Angeles fire officials said Sunday evening that they were questioning a possible arson suspect in connection with the fire, which began Friday night and had grown to 1,325 acres with 0% containment. Another suspect who was detained earlier for questioning has been released, they added.

The fire was burning through dense, old-growth chaparral that hadn’t burned in more than 50 years, authorities said. The vegetation was very dry because of a lack of recent rainfall, as well as longer-term drought.

Sorry, Wrong Number

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Three years ago, AT&T Inc. marched into Hollywood with big ambitions to be a 21st century media colossus, connecting its booming cellphone business with legendary media properties — HBO, the Warner Bros. film and TV studio and Turner channels including cable news juggernaut CNN. Now, the company is retreating from those plans.

Facing the challenges of competing in the streaming age and a mountain of debt, the company will spin off its entertainment assets into a new venture with Discovery, which owns HGTV, the Food Network and Animal Planet, according to people familiar with the matter who were not authorized to comment.

The deal would reshape Hollywood, which has already seen thousands of workers laid off. The proposed transaction, which would require the approval of federal regulators, would mark a stunning retreat for AT&T, which spent $85 billion three years ago to buy Time Warner Inc.

OUR MUST-READS FROM THE WEEKEND

— In L.A. County Dist. Atty. George Gascón‘s view, victims are not just those targeted by criminals. But many of his own prosecutors, a growing number of elected officials and others don’t see eye to eye.

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— Richard Montañez has for years told a story of how he dreamed up Flamin’ Hot Cheetos while working as a Frito-Lay janitor. More than a dozen former employees, the archival record and Frito-Lay say otherwise. (This story is exclusive to Times subscribers.)

— If L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti leaves early for an India ambassador post, how will he be remembered? Columnist Steve Lopez asks.

— Minh Phan’s Phenakite is the Los Angeles Times’ restaurant of the year, while Guelaguetza is this year’s winner of the Gold Award. Plus, here’s our map of where to eat outside in L.A. right now.

FROM THE ARCHIVES

In 1929, Fox Studios hired Duke Morrison (real name Marion Morrison, later known as John Wayne) and fellow current and former football players as extras for the movie “Salute.”

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The move landed some of the players who were bound for USC in hot water. The next morning’s Times carried an article with the headline, “U.S.C. Football Stars’ Status Periled by Film Stunt.” In the end, all eligible players kept their amateur status and played that fall for USC.

For Morrison, it was no problem. He played on the 1925 undefeated USC freshman team and was also on the 1926 varsity team, but a shoulder injury while bodysurfing ended his football career.

Men in suits in 1929
May 17, 1929: A group of current and former football players pose for a Times photographer before heading back to Maryland to appear in the movie “Salute.” At far right is Duke Morrison, who later became known as John Wayne.
(Los Angeles Times)

CALIFORNIA

— More than 100 University of San Diego students held a protest on the edge of campus demanding the university expel all students found guilty of sexual assault by a campus hearing board.

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— The driver of a Tesla involved in a fatal crash that California highway authorities said may have been operating on Autopilot posted social media videos of himself riding in the vehicle without his hands on the wheel or foot on the pedal.

— Toxic chemicals sullied a Lincoln Heights site where state regulators worked to clean up the soil and check the groundwater. Now neighbors are worried about whether a five-story housing project with underground parking would be safe.

— In Compton, the fate of Woodlawn Memorial Park hangs in the balance.

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NATION-WORLD

— The Republican who now leads the Arizona county elections department targeted by a GOP “audit” of the 2020 election results is slamming former President Trump and others in his party for their continued falsehoods about how the election was run.

— Rep. Liz Cheney, newly ousted from House Republican leadership, said there was “no question” an attack like the one on Jan. 6 could happen again if Trump’s claims go unchecked.

Nayib Bukele, the 39-year-old president of El Salvador, has employed TikTok and Twitter in a drive for ever more power.

HOLLYWOOD AND THE ARTS

— The L.A. Phil returned to the Hollywood Bowl for a special concert for the pandemic’s first responders. “For us, it’s like a resurrection,” Gustavo Dudamel told the audience.

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— The Starz series “Run the World” has been likened to “Sex and the City” with Black women, but to do so would be selling it short.

— The stars of “Spiral” explained for us the film’s twist ending and what’s next for the “Saw” franchise. (And yes, there are spoilers.)

Fatphobia in the theater has been a long-standing issue, but actors now hope there’s greater acceptance of body diversity.

BUSINESS

— The federal and California income tax filing deadline is today. Here’s how to file online for free.

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— Elon Musk continued to whipsaw the price of bitcoin, briefly sending it to the lowest since February after implying in a Twitter exchange that Tesla Inc. may sell or has sold its cryptocurrency holdings.

SPORTS

Kobe Bryant entered the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, highlighting a legendary class that included rivals Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett. His wife, Vanessa Bryant, spoke on behalf of the late Lakers star.

LeBron James injured his right ankle again after a 360-degree spinning layup in a win over the Pelicans. The victory means the Lakers will play the Golden State Warriors in the NBA’s play-in tournament.

Free online games

Get our free daily crossword puzzle, sudoku, word search and arcade games in our new game center at latimes.com/games.

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OPINION

— Gov. Gavin Newsom’s plan to make transitional kindergarten universal in California is intriguing, but there are several issues to resolve first, lest it backfire, The Times’ editorial board writes.

— We need to acknowledge that the same culture that turns doctors into heroes is also contributing to a healthcare crisis of rising costs and decaying standards, writes Dr. Robert Pearl, former chief executive of the Permanente Medical Group.

WHAT OUR EDITORS ARE READING

— Before Bill Gates resigned from Microsoft’s board of directors, the board had hired a private law firm to investigate a decades-old “intimate relationship” he had with a company employee. (NPR)

— Two former Navy pilots say they saw something “unsettling” and unexplainable while flying over the Pacific Ocean in November 2004. But what was it? (“60 Minutes”)

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ONLY IN L.A.

Lowriders are once again riding high. The custom of leisurely drives on urban boulevards in dropped and dolled-up vehicles never really left, but cruising is reaching heights not seen since the heydays of the 1980s and ’90s, according to interviews with car owners, law enforcement officials, neighbors and aficionados across Southern California. Social-distancing guidelines in the last year have also made vehicle caravans the new normal for birthdays, protests, graduations and funerals. Check out these sweet rides.

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


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