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Today’s Headlines: How boomers’ pandemic retirements will hit the economy

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How boomers’ pandemic retirements will hit the economy

Even with declining numbers of young Americans entering the job market and the Trump administration’s crackdown on immigration, U.S. employers were able to count on the last of the baby boomers to prevent labor shortages and soaring wages.

But the COVID-19 pandemic has hit that long-standing reality like a hand grenade. And the effects are likely to be felt throughout the economy for years to come, in recurrent labor shortages, pressure for higher pay, problems for Social Security and private pension funds, and a host of other areas.

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When the health crisis struck early last year, workers of all ages were laid off by the tens of millions. But the result of the pandemic-induced recession is turning out to be vastly different for older workers than for their younger counterparts. Regardless of the increased jobless benefits provided by the federal government temporarily, younger workers now face intense pressure to resume their interrupted careers relatively quickly. And recent jobs numbers reflect that pressure to get back to work.

Not so among older workers. In large numbers, many have reassessed their finances and other factors and have concluded that they are about as well off retiring now as they would be going back to work and soldiering on for a few more years.

Right now, it looks like many of these older workers will never come back. But what could that mean for the economy?

California to investigate fatal police shootings

The state Department of Justice has opened field offices throughout California to investigate police shootings that kill unarmed civilians and has told law enforcement agencies that they must notify the state whenever such incidents occur, Atty. Gen. Rob Bonta said.

The actions, including the opening of investigative offices in Los Angeles and Riverside, were in response to a new law that took effect July 1 requiring Bonta’s office to independently probe all fatal police shootings of unarmed civilians to determine whether criminal charges should be filed against officers.

Bonta said he expected the two new teams, one for Northern California and Southern California, to investigate 40 to 50 fatal police shootings each year based on historical trends.

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The new law was written by Assemblyman Kevin McCarty (D-Sacramento), who said he was concerned that the state Department of Justice had denied requests from some community leaders to undertake independent investigations of several high-profile police shootings. The state Justice Department has traditionally deferred to county prosecutors, who have handled such cases after investigations by the law enforcement agencies involved.

Haitian president assassinated

Haiti has demonstrated extraordinary resilience in the face of seemingly unstinting political turmoil and natural disaster. The Caribbean nation, the poorest in the Western Hemisphere, is again in the international spotlight with the assassination early Wednesday of its president, Jovenel Moise.

Moise, 53, took office in 2017 and had been ruling by decree, despite a legal consensus that his term had expired — triggering widespread pro-democracy protests. The uproar took a turn early Wednesday when assassins stormed the president’s home in the hills of Port-au-Prince under the cover of darkness and shot him to death. The killing of Moise could plunge the Caribbean island nation into deeper chaos.

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Acting Prime Minister Claude Joseph, who first told his fellow Haitians about the president’s assassination, said that he is in charge and that the country is now under martial law.

Late Wednesday, Leon Charles, the interim Haitian national police chief, announced that police had encircled the killers and were engaged in a gun battle. He said police killed four of the suspected assailants, whom he referred to as “mercenaries” and “assassins,” and arrested two others.

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FROM THE ARCHIVES

During their 90-minute performance in 1979, the Bee Gees included more than a dozen of their Top 20 hits. During the concert, actress Barbra Streisand borrowed photographer George Rose’s camera and 400-millimeter lens for a close-up look.

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Times pop music critic Robert Hilburn reported in the July 9, 1979, edition:

“Thank goodness for the Bee Gees. I was beginning to think Dodger Stadium was jinxed. The ball club appears headed for its worst season since coming here from Brooklyn 21 years ago. The Bee Gees concert Saturday night, however, showed that the stadium can still field a winner. Maybe the team will get inspired now.

“The Bee Gees — Barry, Maurice and Robin Gibb — sold out the place (56,000 tickets) and put on a classy though conservative demonstration of why it is one of the biggest-selling record acts of the pop-rock era.”

As for Streisand’s closeup with the camera: Read on.

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July 7, 1979: The Bee Gees perform at Dodger Stadium. From left are Maurice, Robin and Barry Gibb.
(George Rose / Los Angeles Times)

CALIFORNIA

— Abandoned L.A. buildings have become MS-13 gang “destroyers” — places to sleep, party and kill.

— As metropolitan areas around California were building urban rail systems over the last few decades, one was a notable holdout: Orange County. It’s finally getting a streetcar.

— Two people were killed and another was injured when a car slammed into a median and landed in a backyard swimming pool in Chino, according to authorities.

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— As crews continue to combat wildfires in Northern California, the southern part of the state is preparing for extreme heat and elevated fire danger through the end of the week.

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NATION-WORLD

Former President Trump announced he is filing suits against three of the country’s biggest tech companies — Facebook, Twitter and Google, as well as their chief executives — claiming he has been wrongfully censored by the companies.

— Former South African President Jacob Zuma turned himself over to police to begin serving a 15-month prison term for contempt of court.

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Iran’s leaders rarely have a good word for the U.S. But there’s one American who to this day is revered in the Islamic Republic, and who even has his own statue in a northwestern Iranian city: Howard C. Baskerville.

— A bankruptcy judge has set a July 29 hearing on the proposed $850-million settlement agreement the Boy Scouts of America have with attorneys representing some 60,000 victims of child sex abuse, giving insurance companies and others who oppose it more time to weigh in.

HOLLYWOOD AND THE ARTS

— In a petition filed Tuesday with the L.A. County Superior Court, Lynne Spears requested that her daughter Britney Spears be allowed to hire her own private attorney or have the court appoint an attorney of the singer’s choosing.

— Out of prison, Bill Cosby is already planning a comeback sure to court controversy.

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— More than 10 years after her character’s first onscreen appearance — and another 14 months since it was originally planned for release — Marvel’s “Black Widow” standalone film is finally here. Scarlett Johansson says the long wait revealed the right timing.

— A new trailer for “Val,” an upcoming documentary about the life of Val Kilmer, promises a unique look at his life, chronicled by the actor himself.

BUSINESS

— The USC presidential mansion, which housed the university’s presidents for more than 40 years, just traded hands for $25 million. That’s $500,000 more than the asking price, making it the priciest home sale in San Marino history.

— Movies from Comcast’s Universal Pictures will go to its sister streaming service Peacock after their theatrical and home video releases, ending a longtime pact with HBO. But there’s a twist to the deal.

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SPORTS

— The Dodgers have removed a Trevor Bauer bobblehead night from their promotional schedule this season. Bauer is under investigation by Pasadena police after a woman accused him of choking her to the point of losing consciousness during two sexual encounters and injuring her during the second.

— The Tampa Bay Lightning beat the Montreal Canadiens to repeat as Stanley Cup champions.

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OPINION

— Popular sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson knew what the rules were and chose to break them. But the anti-doping rules that ban marijuana and not alcohol make little sense, The Times’ editorial board writes.

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— Yes, the Olympics are political. Just look at the ridiculous rules on swim caps designed for swimmers with thick, curly and voluminous hair, writes columnist LZ Granderson.

WHAT OUR EDITORS ARE READING

Lil Nas X wants to be not just a pop star but a visibly gay one — founded on genuine pride and comfort. (New York Times Magazine)

Angelica Ross is making it her business to “curate courage” for marginalized communities. (LGBTQ Nation)

Jazmine Sullivan took some time off, but don’t call it a comeback. She bounced back from heartbreak with 2021’s most bluntly honest R&B songs. (Rolling Stone)

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ONLY IN L.A.

If you didn’t already know, Los Angeles has a logo — and it just got its first refresh after nearly a decade with a collaboration between Shepard Fairey’s Studio Number One and House Industries, a design shop led by Andy Cruz with a specialty in logos and fonts. The multicolored design was trumpeted as reflecting the diversity of Los Angeles with punchier script and a tropical palette. But if there’s one thing it channels best for culture columnist Carolina A. Miranda, it’s ‘80s Ocean Pacific.

"los angeles" in script and a pink to blue gradient with a setting sun image
A new logo unveiled by the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board in June 2021 is displayed on a billboard before the Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood.
(Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board)

Today’s newsletter was curated by Daric L. Cottingham and Laura Blasey. Comments or ideas? Email us at headlines@latimes.com.


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