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Today’s Headlines: L.A. school officials mandate vaccines by January

Here are the stories you shouldn’t miss today:

TOP STORIES

L.A. school officials order sweeping student vaccine mandate

All children 12 and older in Los Angeles public schools must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by January to enter campus under an order approved Thursday by the Board of Education, the first such mandate among the nation’s largest school systems.

The requirement cements the standing of the L.A. Unified School District as an early adopter of COVID-19 school safety measures that are wide-reaching and aggressive — a posture that has resulted in both praise and pushback. The nation’s second-largest school system has moved faster and more comprehensively than most others in testing all students and employees for infection every week, requiring masks indoors and outdoors and ordering employees to get vaccinated.

More top coronavirus headlines

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— President Biden on Thursday announced expanded efforts to stamp out the lingering pandemic, including stricter rules to get more Americans vaccinated against COVID-19 and additional funding for testing. All federal workers and contractors will be required to get vaccinated, with only limited exceptions, and Biden is eliminating the option to get tested weekly instead.

— As the Delta variant brought another wave of COVID-19 infections this summer, the age of those being hospitalized with the illness has dropped significantly in some parts of California compared to earlier surges.

What is the Mu variant of the coronavirus?

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

Biden to campaign with Newsom on Monday in Long Beach

President Biden will fly to California on Monday and urge voters to reject the GOP-backed effort to recall Gov. Gavin Newsom as part of a three-state western swing, a White House official confirmed.

Biden and Newsom will appear together at a rally on Monday in Long Beach, a final effort to ensure that Democratic voters cast ballots — and vote no — in Tuesday’s recall election.

Biden’s campaign appearance for Newsom will come just days after Vice President Kamala Harris visited California — all in the hopes of galvanizing Democrats, both in support of Newsom and against the possibility of a Republican taking over the country’s largest state.

More politics

— Gov. Gavin Newsom warned in the Bay Area that electing Larry Elder would have deadly consequences for Californians amid the still-raging COVID-19 pandemic.

— The self-proclaimed “Sage from South Central” has embraced his origin story as a defense of racial politics. His critics say he’s made a career of upbraiding Black people to white audiences. They say he’s the Black face of white supremacy and his proposals would harm Black and Latino Californians.

— A GOP governor would radically upend California. Here are 12 key issues at stake.

— Smith: About that fantastical rhetoric from Gavin Newsom and Kamala Harris.

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.

Twenty years after 9/11

As the 20th anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001, nears, the toll to the U.S. military in the war on terror — in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere — has reached a terrible peak. With at least 13 troops killed in the August suicide bombing at the Kabul airport, about 7,050 men and women in uniform have died in the “forever war.”

No state has lost as many as California; 776 men and women who called the Golden State home have died, 11% of the nation’s casualties.

The events of the last 20 years also came with other kinds of losses at home. The Sept. 11 attacks upended U.S. immigration policy, linking it for the first time to the nation’s anti-terrorism strategy and paving the way for two decades of restrictive laws.

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FROM THE ARCHIVES

Sept. 12, 2001: In the worst terrorist attack ever against the United States, hijackers struck at the preeminent symbols of the nation’s wealth and might Tuesday, flying airliners into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon and killing or injuring thousands of people.

As a horrified nation watched on television, the twin towers of the World Trade Center in lower Manhattan collapsed into flaming rubble after two Boeing 767s rammed their upper stories. A third airliner, a Boeing 757, flattened one of the Pentagon’s five sides. A fourth jetliner crashed in western Pennsylvania.

Front page of the L.A. Times the day after the 9/11 attacks
Front page of the L.A. Times the day after the 9/11 attacks

CALIFORNIA

— The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on Thursday confirmed what many people felt and saw: California — along with Idaho, Nevada, Oregon and Utah — recorded its hottest-ever summer.

— With more than 2 million acres burned so far this year, California’s already destructive wildfire season may worsen this fall, with long-term forecasts showing little signs of relief. The monstrous Dixie fire, now burning for nearly two months, surged north on Wednesday, forcing residents to flee as the possibility of dry lightning and fierce winds threaten to intensify the blaze.

— Former California Sen. Barbara Boxer talks abortion policy, being mugged and Sen. Dianne Feinstein with Times columnist Mark Z. Barabak.

— A San Quentin prison guard and two others were charged in federal court Wednesday in a scheme to smuggle cellphones to death row inmates, officials said.

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NATION-WORLD

— The Justice Department announced Thursday it will challenge a controversial Texas abortion law that bans the procedure after about six weeks, well before most women know they are pregnant.

— Rain drenched southeast Georgia and coastal South Carolina as Mindy, previously a tropical storm but now a tropical depression, made its way across the states early Thursday.

— Now in charge, the Taliban faces a daunting challenge: convincing Afghans that it can govern as well as it can fight, from picking up trash to running schools. So far, their policing system is more “Judge Judy” than “Cops.”

— Teams working on two continents have marked similar milestones in their respective efforts to tap an energy source key to the fight against climate change: They’ve each produced very impressive magnets.

HOLLYWOOD AND THE ARTS

— On Kacey Musgraves’ divorce album “Star-Crossed,” a pop star-in-waiting seeks wellness more than revenge, writes pop music critic Mikael Wood.

— Memoirist Prisca Dorcas Mojica Rodríguez’s electrifying debut, “For Brown Girls With Sharp Edges and Tender Hearts,” calls on all Latinas to embrace the parts of themselves they have long been taught to bury.

— How to keep pigeons away from the new Academy Museum of Motion Pictures’ new glass dome? Officials hired a hawk. His name is Spencer, and he scares for a living.

— “Black Panther” at the Hollywood Bowl and other best bets for your weekend.

BUSINESS

— As Hulu’s price rises, how much is too much for a streaming service? Companies are testing the waters to find out, writes columnist David Lazarus.

— Facebook unveiled its long-awaited smart glasses in partnership with Ray-Ban, entering a nascent wearables market with a focus on capturing photos rather than augmented reality.

SPORTS

— The Dodgers are on the wrong side of a tight division race they didn’t expect, still trying to chase down their bitter rivals to the north even with the second-best record in the National League. If they don’t finish in first place, their World Series title defense could end Oct. 6 in the wild-card game. It’s a risk they want to avoid.

— There will be no room for excuses if Rams Coach Sean McVay and new star quarterback Matthew Stafford do not lead the Rams deep into the playoffs, which conclude in February with Super Bowl LVI at SoFi Stadium.

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OPINION

— Many of the voters of color who support recalling Newsom have one thing in common: They subscribe to the idea that hard work and self-discipline are really all it takes to win in this society, writes columnist Jean Guerrero.

— When it comes to protesters gathering at the homes of elected officials, “I don’t like intimidation,” writes columnist Nicholas Goldberg. “But I’m also reluctant to see L.A. toughen its laws or crack down on speech until it has used the enforcement tools it already has.

ONLY IN THE WEST

A $400,000 land yacht to explore America? Not quite #vanlife or glamping or touring in an RV, overlanding is loosely defined as a self-reliant way to explore rugged terrain and undeveloped areas in a specialized vehicle. It’s also an expensive hobby, even as newcomers flood the market seeking remote adventures while they work from home.

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


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