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Today’s Headlines: Democrats struggle with the recall’s second question

Here are the stories you shouldn’t miss today:

TOP STORIES

Democrats feel helpless on recall ballot’s second question

With the recall election three weeks away, many Democrats are stumped by the ballot’s second question: If Newsom is recalled, who do you want to replace him?

Newsom wants voters to leave it blank, which could let a Republican candidate with far fewer votes become the governor of California.

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L.A. Times Opinion Columnist Jean Guerrero says if Latinos don’t mobilize to vote “no,” they can say goodbye to decades of progress. But columnist Gustavo Arellano says Newsom shouldn’t count on the Latino vote.

Here is everything you should know about the recall election.

More California politics

— Members of the California Assembly who won’t provide proof of a COVID-19 vaccination would be suspended during the final days of this year’s legislative session under a proposal unveiled Wednesday by a Bay Area lawmaker.

— The move by a California judge to invalidate Proposition 22 was a bold rebuff of an aggressive effort by companies such as Uber and Lyft to rewrite the rules of gig work.

Sign up for our California Politics newsletter to get the best of The Times’ state politics reporting, including full coverage of the recall election and the latest action in Sacramento.

Wildfires transform communities and seasons

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Across the northern half of California, a relentless series of uncontrolled wildfires have burned more than a million acres and destroyed entire communities in one fell swoop. Exacerbated by the interplay of drought, heat and global warming, extreme fire behavior has profoundly changed lives on the doorstep of California’s wildlands.

For many, summer has become a time of fear, and the canopy of trees that once shaded their homes and streets is now seen as an existential threat. Similarly, smoky skies have become a harbinger of terror, causing residents to wonder when they might be ordered to flee — and whether there will be anything left when they return.

Meanwhile, the fast-growing Caldor fire was approaching the southern end of Lake Tahoe on Wednesday as winds continued to drive the flames toward the popular vacation destination.

As the blaze nears, the lake has been blanketed in smoke, turning skies an eerie orange and sending ash raining from the sky.

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What is fueling L.A.’s coronavirus surge

A study conducted by USC in collaboration with the L.A. County Department of Public Health found that in a cohort of 1,200 adults, unvaccinated people were more likely to go out to bars and clubs, visit friends and family at home and attend gatherings, while vaccinated people were more likely to wear face masks and avoid large gatherings or shaking hands.

More top coronavirus headlines

— Los Angeles school officials on Wednesday confirmed the first coronavirus outbreak in the district at Grant Elementary School in Hollywood, sending home an entire classroom of children.

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— Here is how parents can keep their kids safe from COVID as they return to school.

— Health officials reported Wednesday that hospitalizations for confirmed cases of COVID-19 have continued to rise in California.

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

The evacuations continue in Afghanistan

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Afghan families in California are flooding lawmakers’ offices for assistance. But lawmakers say there’s only so much they can do despite their best efforts. Meanwhile, several of the nation’s largest air carriers have been recruited to help transport American citizens and Afghan evacuees.

With despair growing over who will be left behind in Afghanistan, Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken on Wednesday promised that all American citizens who want to leave will be able to do so, even after the Aug. 31 deadline for withdrawal of Western troops from the country.

As you witness the scenes of desperation as Afghans try to secure evacuation flights out of the Kabul international airport, you might be wondering what you can do about it. Here’s how to help

More top nation and world stories

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— U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement could get its first Senate-confirmed leader in nearly five years this fall — laying the groundwork for change at an agency long criticized for its treatment of immigrants in detention.

— For the first time in more than a decade, an Israeli prime minister not named Netanyahu is arriving in Washington to visit the U.S. president at the White House.

— Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has confirmed rumblings that he will run next year for vice president, in what critics say is an attempt to get around constitutional term limits.

Our daily news podcast

If you’re a fan of this newsletter, you’ll probably love our new daily podcast, “The Times,” hosted by columnist Gustavo Arellano, along with reporters from across our newsroom. Every weekday, it takes you beyond the headlines. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts and follow on Spotify.

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FROM THE ARCHIVES

In 1974, young people working on the congressional campaign of Republican David Rehmann gained access to an abandoned bomb shelter in Garden Grove, turning it into a youth headquarters.

The Times reported on their unusual office set-up on Aug. 24, 1974. The campaign said it had been offered use of the shelter and the property it was on. The access ladder had decayed, a false ceiling was disintegrating and two feet of water from years of rain covered the floor. But “otherwise the shelter was found to be in excellent condition,” The Times reported.

“It will provide a relaxed atmosphere for the kids,” one staffer said.

Rehmann lost the election to Santa Ana Mayor Jerry Patterson.

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two people stand at the ladder of a bomb shelter as another person looks in from above
Aug. 23, 1974: Grant Ostapeck watches cleanup crew Hollye Draves and Mark Kehke climb steps of abandoned Garden Grove bomb shelter that is being converted into youth headquarters for congressional candidate David Rehmann. This photo appeared in the Aug. 24, 1974 Los Angeles Times.
(Cliff Otto / Los Angeles Times)

CALIFORNIA

— With anti-lockdown rallies, pushback against mask mandates and a restaurant catering to the unvaccinated, Orange County has seized the spotlight as a nexus of aggressive COVID denialism and anti-Asian racism.

— The California Department of Housing and Community Development did not properly distribute federal relief funds meant to help homeless residents during the COVID-19 pandemic, auditors say. The mismanagement was so prolonged that local organizations might lose the money because of missed deadlines.

— Two Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies were charged Wednesday with lying to cover up an on-duty assault, prosecutors said. The charges are the latest in a string of cases Gascón has brought against law enforcement officers in the county since taking office in December, including other deputies from the Sheriff’s Department’s East L.A. station.

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— Wearing a Los Angeles Fire Department hat and T-shirt, the firefighter glares into the camera as he launches into a searing criticism of the city’s new COVID-19 vaccination requirement, prompting an internal investigation.

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HOLLYWOOD AND THE ARTS

— The Emmys honor the big moments. But what about the best use of a flash-forward? Best method acting with a prop? We call out the smaller, more distinctive scenes.

— Four shipping containers transporting the sets for the Los Angeles Opera’s season opener are stuck at the Port of Los Angeles — victims of coronavirus disruptions. But the show must go on: The company will build its own set.

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— From Saweetie to the Linda Lindas, this fall’s must-see music fest could be Head in the Clouds. The event comes from 88 Rising, a record label and digital hub for ambitious pan-Asian music.

— This year looks like a return to blockbuster fiction, as well as more varied and nuanced nonfiction. Here are the 30 books we’re most anticipating this fall.

— Sarah Paulson has regrets about playing the polarizing whistleblower Linda Tripp in the upcoming “Impeachment: American Crime Story.” But she’s not ready to let her go.

BUSINESS

— Less than a week after the company sent shockwaves through the adult entertainment industry, OnlyFans reversed course on a ban on pornography on its platform, saying it will continue to support explicit content.

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— Time’s Up, which began as a sisterhood of powerful Hollywood women who vowed to upend the male-dominated status quo, is facing its own painful reckoning. Tainted by its leaders’ ties to former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, can it survive?

SPORTS

— The Rams bolstered their running back corps by acquiring Sony Michel from the New England Patriots in a trade. The Rams love his big-game experience.

— Sioux Falls, S.D., star pitcher Gavin Weir shut down Torrance, throwing a 14-strikeout no-hitter in a 1-0 masterpiece that will force Torrance to play an elimination game Thursday against Hamilton, Ohio.

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

— After a quake, crawling out alive won’t be enough, writes seismologist Lucy Jones. We need homes, workplaces and infrastructure that survive with us.

— The election is over. In Arizona, the Trump campaign continues and that should worry us, writes columnist LZ Granderson.

ONLY IN L.A.

Chances are you’re spending more time on the road than you did last year, which means you’re also looking for parking. And parking, like poker, is not solely a matter of luck. With patience and skill, you can improve your odds and game the system. Use yellow lights to your advantage. Carry loose change. Here are 13 parking hacks every L.A. driver should know.

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


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