Today’s Headlines: Recall campaign ads target two different Californias


Here are the stories you shouldn’t miss today:


On Google and YouTube, Newsom and Elder aim for two different Californias

As California’s recall election continues, campaigns are pouring millions into ads on Google and its world-leading video site, YouTube.

A Times analysis of records shows the rival camps are using the platform’s vast collection of user data to target areas they see as key to victory.


The result is two different campaigns aimed largely at two different Californias.

Here are Gavin Newsom vs. Larry Elder on the issues: A California recall guide.

More California politics

— As candidates crisscross California ahead of the recall election, faith communities have become a central place for proselytizing to potential voters. The role of religion on the campaign trail has been amplified in recent weeks by lingering anger over California’s COVID-19 restrictions.

— As the recall charges into its final days, Democrats’ mid-summer panic has given way to cautious confidence that Gov. Gavin Newsom’s chances have brightened, aided by healthy turnout so far, towering advantages in money and manpower, and the emergence of an ideal foil: Larry Elder.


— A shaman, a rapper and a surgeon: Meet the lesser-known names on your recall ballot.

— Ten months after California voters rejected a state law to eliminate cash bail for many offenses, a new fight is brewing in the Legislature over an alternative plan by lawmakers that would slash the amount arrestees must pay to get out of jail.

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.

The NFL had a secret COVID-19 plan. Here’s why the league didn’t need it

The league relied on rigorous testing, tough enforcement of its own protocols and transparency with the players, staff and public. But candor had its limits. Unbeknownst to almost everyone, including many team owners, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and a small group of schedulers had a secret plan.

More top coronavirus headlines

— Coronavirus cases are showing new signs of slowing across many parts of the state, led by improvements in urban areas of Southern California and the San Francisco Bay Area. But rural Northern California and the Central Valley continue to struggle with much higher rates of hospitalizations.

— Orrin Heatlie, early leader of Newsom recall movement, has contracted COVID-19.

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

Dixie fire reaches 900,000 acres as crews battle multiple blazes across California

As crews turned a corner on the Caldor fire near South Lake Tahoe, the Dixie fire in northern California continued to rage, surpassing yet another worrisome milestone on Monday as it grew to more than 900,000 acres.

Sunny skies will meet with near-record heat in some areas of the fire this week, including temperatures in the high 90s around Milford and Herlong, where crews are scrambling to maintain containment lines along the 395 corridor.

Meanwhile, the fight against the Caldor fire south of the Dixie fire is not yet finished and more than a dozen large fires are burning in California, including three new fires over Labor Day weekend: the Lawrence fire, the Aruba fire and the Bridge fire.

Michael K. Williams never shied away from his demons: He acted with ‘100% honesty’

News of Michael K. Williams’ death Monday shocked and devastated not only his fans but also journalists who had the privilege to cover the actor during his acclaimed career. Here is Williams in his last photo shoot with us, just three weeks ago.

What made Williams such a compelling force on screen was his ability to challenge viewers to see the humanity in a character who struggles to show humanity toward others.

Williams’ portrayal in “The Wire” of a gay antihero with a Robin Hood-like moral code shattered boundaries. And like any formidable antagonist, he possessed an infectious charisma.

Williams’ career was changed by the scar on his face, a remnant from a dangerous run-in when he was younger. Here’s how his signature scar changed his career.

More headlines from Hollywood and the arts

Britney Spears’ father filed Tuesday to end the court conservatorship that has controlled the singer’s life and money for 13 years.

— Patricia Cardoso’s “Real Women Have Curves” was landmark Latina cinema, but Hollywood shut her out. Until now.

— Impeachment as entertainment might seem impossible after years of slogging through the real thing. But the addictive “American Crime Story” turns President Clinton’s impeachment into must-see TV, writes television critic Lorraine Ali.

— L.A.’s new film museum was plagued by delays. With the changes the industry has undergone in recent years, that turned out to be a very good thing, writes culture columnist and critic Mary McNamara.

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Twenty-five years ago today: A year after Los Angeles County’s vast public health system — the nation’s second-largest — was rescued from collapse by a massive federal bailout, the first serious steps were made to transform the expensive hospital-heavy system into one that emphasizes less costly primary and preventive care at community clinics.

By the end of the year, county health officials hoped to more than double the number of outpatient clinics in the community from 39 to 83 through the most extensive use of partnerships with private medical groups in the county’s history. It was a dramatic departure from the traditionally separate public and private health care systems in the county.

“This will avoid hospitalization. This will bring patients and their families closer to [clinics] where they live when they need care,” Health Services Director Mark Finucane said at the time. “It is the essence of the way a healthcare system ought to be redirected, further and further away from institutions and out into the community.”


— Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva has demoted a high-ranking official who entered the race to unseat him. A Sheriff’s Department spokesman indicated it was an unapologetic move to shut a competitor out from planning meetings.

— California is preparing for a first-in-the-nation experiment to move Medi-Cal beyond traditional doctor visits and hospital stays into the realm of social services. Over the next five years, the state will plow nearly $6 billion in state and federal money into the plan.

— Amid pandemic closures and crowding, L.A. County animal shelters are trying a new approach to encourage pets to stay with their families as often as possible.

— Four people were hospitalized after two cars collided in Koreatown early Tuesday morning, sending one vehicle careening into a sidewalk homeless encampment and trapping a person underneath the car, authorities said.

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— A powerful earthquake struck near the Pacific resort city of Acapulco on Tuesday night, causing buildings to rock and sway in Mexico City nearly 200 miles away.

— As the newly-in-power Taliban prepares to announce a government in Afghanistan, the Biden administration is being forced to abruptly recalibrate its approach to a group long viewed in the U.S. as terrorists.

— Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed an elections overhaul into law Tuesday, after Democrats spent months protesting what they say are efforts to weaken minority turnout and preserve the GOP’s eroding dominance.

— Mexico’s Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that it is unconstitutional to punish abortion, unanimously annulling several provisions of a law from Coahuila — a state on the Texas border — that had made abortion a criminal act.

— El Salvador will become the first country to accept bitcoin as legal tender. But the rollout of cryptocurrency has been upstaged by a more urgent concern: a series of withering attacks by the ruling party on the country’s three-decade-old democracy.

— The trial of 20 men arrested in connection with the 2015 Paris terror attacks that killed 130 people is set to begin this week.


— Adding dental coverage to Medicare makes a lot of sense — except to dentists, writes columnist David Lazarus. The reason: They wouldn’t make as much money.

— Meet the “grandfluencers” — a growing group of folks 70 and older who have amassed substantial followings on social media with the help of decades-younger fans.


Sam “Bam” Cunningham, the Hall of Fame running back from USC credited with helping integrate college football in the early 1970s, died Tuesday. He was 71.

— UCLA has returned to the national top 25 football rankings for first time since September 2017. It’s also the first time the team has been ranked under coach Chip Kelly.

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— The threat posed by the Supreme Court’s refusal to block the Texas abortion law goes far beyond reproductive rights. It opens the door to attacks on other constitutional rights, writes Erwin Chemerinsky, dean of the UC Berkeley School of Law.

— Goodbye fossil fuels. California should commit to going carbon neutral by 2045, writes the editorial board.


What is Los Angeles, if not a city filled with trash people? To the outside world, street furniture may not seem like one of the things that is, or should be, representative of L.A. It’s not the shiny sea of cars reflecting rays of sun on the 10, the hand-painted signs at mom-and-pop shops in Mid-City or the rainbow umbrellas that shade street vendors from MacArthur Park to South Central. But love it or hate it — and some people really, really hate it — these pieces are just as much a part of the cultural and visual fabric here.

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