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Today’s Headlines: Biden meets with grieving families

Here are the stories you shouldn’t miss today:

TOP STORIES

Biden meets grieving families of troops killed in Afghanistan attack

President Biden announced this year that he would withdraw troops from Afghanistan, saying he was not willing to send any more American sons and daughters to die there. But in order to safeguard the evacuation of U.S. citizens and Afghan allies after the Taliban swept into Kabul this month, he deployed thousands more service members to provide security at the airport. It’s a dangerous mission that leaves them vulnerable to terrorist attacks as they screen potential travelers.

Those fears were realized Thursday, when a suicide bomber from an affiliate of the Islamic State terrorist group blew himself up at an airport gate. Eleven Marines, one Army soldier and one Navy corpsman died, along with nearly 200 Afghans.

On Sunday, Biden went to meet with the families who lost sons and daughters in America’s longest war days before it was scheduled to end. After the private meetings, he witnessed what’s known as a dignified transfer, as flag-draped cases containing human remains were unloaded from the back of a cargo plane.

More from Afghanistan

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— The United States launched another drone strike Sunday, destroying a car loaded with explosives and suicide bombers heading for the international airport in Kabul.

— What we know about the five California service members killed in the airport blast.

— People fleeing the violence in Afghanistan have arrived in Washington, D.C.'s Dulles International Airport.

Wind, storm surge from Hurricane Ida lash Louisiana

Hurricane Ida blasted ashore Sunday as one of the most powerful storms ever to hit the U.S., blowing off roofs and reversing the flow of the Mississippi River as it rushed from the Louisiana coast toward New Orleans and one of the nation’s most important industrial corridors.

The Category 4 storm hit on the same date Hurricane Katrina ravaged Louisiana and Mississippi 16 years ago, coming ashore about 45 miles west of where Category 3 Katrina first struck land. Here are photos of Ida bearing down on Louisiana coast.

More nation and world headlines

— Thousands of advocates for voting rights rallied across the country to call for sweeping federal laws that would wipe out restrictions advancing in some Republican-controlled states that could make it harder to cast a ballot.

— A team of Arctic researchers from Denmark say they accidentally discovered what they believe is the world’s northernmost island, located off Greenland’s coast.

— The Delta variant of the coronavirus has muted the progress of the U.S. economic recovery from the pandemic.

Larry Elder’s views cost him listeners and even his best friend. But he won’t waver

The Times read books and columns by Republican gubernatorial candidate Larry Elder, reviewed past radio commentaries and interviewed more than two dozen of his friends, professional associates and media peers — past and present — to learn more about the man best-positioned to replace Gov. Gavin Newsom, should he be recalled in the Sept. 14 election.

What emerged was the portrait of a conservative raised in liberal South Los Angeles, a precocious young attorney, adept at arguing and winning, and a media provocateur, deeply committed to the libertarian values of small government and self-determination. Through it all, Elder has been perceived as a true believer who will not quit or back down.

More politics

— Republican candidates hoping to replace Newsom skittered around Southern California arguing that they are the best choice.

— It could ultimately be up to Newsom to determine whether Sirhan Sirhan, the man who assassinated Robert F. Kennedy in 1968, should be paroled. Members of the Kennedy family have been publicly divided on the question.

— Many California farmers have had their water cut off, but a lucky few are immune to drought rules.

— L.A. had a golden opportunity to house homeless people in hotels — but fell short of its goal.

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.

Hospitals see more unvaccinated, younger, healthier people with COVID-19

Among adults and the oldest teenagers who are hospitalized with COVID-19, the median age of unvaccinated or partially vaccinated patients is 51. That’s notably younger than the median age of fully vaccinated patients: 66.

Fully vaccinated people are also less likely to need admission to the intensive care unit or to have such difficulty breathing that they need to be sedated and have a breathing tube inserted into their windpipe.

More top coronavirus headlines

— Hundreds gather in Santa Monica to protest proposed vaccination mandates.

— COVID-19 is increasingly crowding out other types of care in San Diego hospitals.

Contact tracing in the U.S. is taking a back seat during this COVID surge.

— Mortuaries fill, hospitals clog in rural California towns with low vaccination rates.

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

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.

OUR MUST-READS FROM THE WEEKEND

— How Newsom went from landslide victory to fighting for his political survival.

— The Taliban says it wants to ban drugs in Afghanistan. Here’s why it can’t.

— In the ’60s, the Beach Boys were gods; by the ’70s, they were ‘has-beens.’ But it’s not that simple.

— Inside Sirhan Sirhan’s 50-year quest for freedom.

— Video shows the NBA’s Jaxson Hayes demanded to see a warrant before shoving an LAPD officer.

TikTok star Addison Rae: ‘Give me a chance to show myself as an actress.’

FROM THE ARCHIVES

Aug. 30, 1986: It might have been the funeral of a fallen national hero or a Hollywood star.

But the ceremony was for Felix Wayne Mitchell, a man who wore gold chains, drove shiny new cars — and ran one of the most violent criminal organizations in the West. He bought that jewelry and those cars by selling millions of dollars worth of heroin to residents of this city’s poorest housing projects.

He died in 1986 in federal prison, stabbed 10 times by another inmate. Despite his violent death — and life — more than 1,000 people lined up outside Mitchell’s home in East Oakland and cheered as a carriage drawn by two horses pulled away, carrying Mitchell’s body in an intricately cast bronze casket.

CALIFORNIA

— The Caldor fire burning near South Lake Tahoe continued its slow creep east Sunday, as firefighters braced for strong winds.

A mountain lion was killed after mauling a 5-year-old in the Santa Monica Mountains.

— Man arrested in South L.A. fireworks explosion is set to plead guilty, feds say

CHP officers shot an armed woman on the freeway in Glendale.

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HOLLYWOOD AND THE ARTS

— After weeks of delays, Kanye West releases “Donda,” featuring Marilyn Manson, DaBaby and Jay-Z

Ed Asner dies at 91. He played the gruff but lovable Lou Grant on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show.”

— “Shang Chi” star Awkwafina and “Eternals” star Kumail Nanjiani trade notes on their MCU debuts.

“Candyman” slashes toward No. 1 at the box office.

BUSINESS

Full airline menus are back — but say goodbye to pre-meal cocktails, warm cookies and a lot of chitchat with flight attendants.

— Theater owners gathered for CinemaCon in Las Vegas. Here’s what we saw.

SPORTS

— Commentary: Dodgers playing as a No. 4 seed in NL playoffs? Fix this, MLB.

— Big response to UCLA ticket offers could lead to huge crowd at Rose Bowl against LSU.

Free online games

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

OPINION

— Polls show Newsom could be recalled in less than three weeks and a Trump toady installed in his place. If that happens, the entire nation should worry, not just Californians, writes columnist Jackie Calmes.

— Teachers have to put the welfare of transgender students before their own beliefs, writes The Times’ Caroline Petrow-Cohen.

ONLY IN L.A.

Something primal assured us that access to Malibu’s beach should be welcomed, not off-limits like some tycoon’s yacht. So, with a wicked old chain-link fence blocking direct access to the shore, us kids ignored the signs and plunged into an underpass built to allow tiny Coal Creek to flow under Pacific Coast Highway and into Santa Monica Bay.

Then, this May, the chain-link fence that had stood for decades suddenly disappeared. What is technically the westernmost end of La Costa Beach suddenly had its front door flung open to Pacific Coast Highway and, thus, the world.

The dear old Cove had been liberated! It feels clear that something has been gained. But was something lost as well? I wanted to find out how it happened and what it meant.

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


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