Today’s Headlines: The Central Valley had the rare recall result, it was a close one

Here are the stories you shouldn’t miss today:


The Central Valley gives California a recall rarity: a squeaker of a race

In 48 of California’s 58 counties, from Oregon to the Mexico border, voters either loved the guy or hated Gov. Gavin Newsom, with double-digit differences on Saturday afternoon between the yes vote and the no.

Except for one small island in the middle of this vast state, where the recall election was a nail-biter.


Here in the agricultural heart of California, where the drought weighs heavy and the pandemic even heavier, the results were nearly 50-50.

More politics

— In red California, there was anger over recall blowout. In rural Lassen County — where a whopping 84% of voters supported the recall, the highest percentage in the state — it was hard not to believe Newsom would be recalled. Then Newsom’s landslide victory landed like a kick in the shin with a steel-toed boot.

— The group that had been seeking to recall Los Angeles City Councilwoman Nithya Raman ended its signature gathering effort on Friday, saying it would not meet the target by the Nov. 4 deadline.

— Dozens of anti-vaccination protesters gathered for a rally Saturday in front of Los Angeles City Hall, but unlike previous gatherings no counter-demonstrators turned out and things remained mostly peaceful.

— A key Senate advisor on Sunday said existing rules will not allow Democrats to include a pathway to citizenship for up to 8 million immigrants as part of their upcoming social safety net bill, a significant setback for Democrats, President Biden and so-called Dreamers, immigrants brought to the U.S. as children.

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.

Sequoia National Park’s General Sherman tree, one of largest in the world, still safe amid growing wildfire

Firefighters battling a major wildfire in Sequoia National Park had some good news to report on Sunday: General Sherman — the giant sequoia and one of the largest living trees in the world — is still standing.

In an upbeat report Sunday, fire officials said they were feeling fairly confident about protecting the Giant Forest, home to thousands of towering sequoias.

Firefighters on the KNP Complex
Firefighters on the KNP Complex at Sequoia National Park used structure wrap to protect the historic Sequoia National Park entrance sign and the General Sherman tree.
(National Parks Service)

Big gap between Pfizer, Moderna vaccines seen for preventing COVID hospitalizations

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed suspicions that America’s workhorse shot is significantly less effective at preventing severe cases of disease over the long term than many experts had realized.

Data collected from 18 states between March and August suggest the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine reduces the risk of being hospitalized with COVID-19 by 91% in the first four months after receiving the second dose. Beyond 120 days, however, that vaccine efficacy drops to 77%.

Meanwhile, Moderna’s vaccine was 93% effective at reducing the short-term risk of COVID-19 hospitalization and remained 92% effective after 120 days.

More top coronavirus headlines

— Despite apparently divergent strategies, officials in both the U.S. and the EU are struggling with the same question: how to boost vaccination rates to the max and end a pandemic that has repeatedly thwarted efforts to control it.

— COVID-19 vaccinations are lagging the most in younger Black and Latino residents of Los Angeles County.

— Los Angeles police officers will be barred from working overtime at major events or off-duty security at venues like Dodgers Stadium or Staples Center unless they show proof of a COVID-19 vaccination or negative coronavirus test.

— Chris Rock on Sunday said he has been diagnosed with COVID-19 and sent a message to anyone still on the fence: “Get vaccinated.” The 56-year-old comedian wrote on Twitter: “Hey guys I just found out I have COVID, trust me you don’t want this.”

— After months of COVID-closed doors, Boyle Heights’ Casa 0101 gingerly steps forward.

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

On the front lines of the U.S. homicide epidemic: Milwaukee faces historic violence

Milwaukee is in the grip of the worst violence in its modern history. There were 189 killings here last year, a 93% increase from 2019 and the most ever recorded.

The jump reflects a nationwide trend. In one study, researchers from the nonprofit Council on Criminal Justice looked at 34 cities and found that 29 had more homicides last year than in 2019. The overall rise was 30%, though in most places killings remained below their peaks in the 1990s.

Among the 19 cities with more than half a million people — including Los Angeles, New York and Chicago — none saw a bigger surge than Milwaukee. With 127 killings through the first half of September, the city is nearly on pace to match last year’s record.

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— Review: “Peril” is a damning — and tedious — portrait of American democracy on the brink.

Clippers give virtual glimpse of new arena: The Intuit Dome

— Comedian Paul F. Tompkins is done trying to be famous. A new variety show is part of his second act

— What just happened with single-family zoning in California?

Robert Durst convicted of murdering his friend Susan Berman

— The 22 best things to do with your dog in L.A.


Twenty-five years ago today, the White House, reversing a plan to send astronauts to Mars, said that surface exploration of the planet will be done by robots, including one scheduled to land there July 4.

President Clinton, who discussed the revised policy while campaigning for reelection in Tacoma, Wash., alluded, tongue in cheek, to the science-fiction movie thriller “Independence Day,” in which space aliens attack the Earth. “We thought we’d go visit them first and try to get around that blowing up the Capitol and the White House business,” he said.

The announcement came on the day that the space shuttle Atlantis retrieved American astronaut Shannon Lucid after her record-breaking stay aboard the Russian space station Mir.


— Malibu got one step closer to its ultimate goal Saturday: a divorce from the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District and control over its students’ educational futures. But a resolution is probably years away.

— Los Angeles County health officials have reported the county’s first death this year due to West Nile virus.

— Ryan Fischer, Lady Gaga’s dog walker on the night that two of her three Frenchies were stolen, knows his healing journey might be hard for others to understand. On Friday, he tried to explain it more — and offered clarity about the singer’s role in his recovery.

— Sports enthusiasts could be able to bet on Major League Baseball and even college football games at the Del Mar Fairgrounds as soon as 2023.

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— As Haitian migrants continue to flock to the Texas border, the Biden administration began making good on its promise to send those in Del Rio back to their homeland.

— As China’s property giant Evergrande veers toward collapse, its unpaid debts spark protests.

— King Willem-Alexander officially unveiled a new memorial in the heart of Amsterdam’s historic Jewish Quarter on Sunday honoring more than 102,000 Dutch victims of the Holocaust. The Dutch prime minister vowed that it would remind citizens today to be vigilant against antisemitism.

— Authorities say a body discovered Sunday in Wyoming is believed to be missing traveler Gabrielle “Gabby” Petito.


— The Emmys tried to look diverse. But they gave us predictable white winners.

— The Emmys make it a night of royalty with “Queen’s Gambit,” “The Crown” wins

— While there were many victories to celebrate at the Emmys, one loss seemed to cast a cloud over the gala ceremony — Michael K. Williams.

— The Emmys showered “Ted Lasso” with awards on Sunday, including wins for best comedy series, leading man Jason Sudeikis, supporting actress Hannah Waddingham and supporting actor Brett Goldstein.

— VH1’s “RuPaul’s Drag Race” was named the top competition program at the 2021 Emmys on Sunday, which means executive producer and host RuPaul Charles is now the most-awarded Black artist in Emmys history with 11 career wins.

— Powered by multiple wins for “The Crown” and “The Queen’s Gambit,” streaming giant Netflix reclaimed the top spot among all TV platforms on the 73rd Emmy Awards presented Sunday.

The must-see fashion from the Emmys 2021 red carpet.

— Photos: Go behind the scenes at the 73rd Primetime Emmys.

Here’s the full list of 2021 Emmy winners


Lesli Linka Glatter is the new president of the Directors Guild of America after being elected at the union’s national convention in Los Angeles.

California’s job growth tripled the nation’s, even as the Delta variant spread.


— The Rams’ reasoning for trading for quarterback Matthew Stafford was on full display late in the game Sunday against the Indianapolis Colts. The situation: Fourth quarter. Rams trailing. He erased a four-point deficit with a touchdown pass to Cooper Kupp. On the next series, he directed a drive that ended with a tie-breaking 38-yard field goal by Matt Gay that gave the Rams a 27-24 victory.

— The Chargers’ first regular-season appearance in front of fans at SoFi Stadium didn’t feel like a home game. They lost 20-17 to the Dallas Cowboys on a last-second field goal that caused three-quarters of the 70,240 fans to bounce gleefully in their seats while the rest of them lowered their heads and perhaps quietly pondered this city’s eternal football question: Will Los Angeles ever accept the Chargers?

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— Op-Ed: Are Supreme Court justices “partisan hacks”? All the evidence says yes.

— Op-Ed: Just teach the truth about America’s less-than-glorious history.


After the FBI seized Joseph Ruiz’s life savings during a raid on a safe deposit box business in Beverly Hills, the unemployed chef went to court to retrieve his $57,000. A judge ordered the government to tell Ruiz why it was trying to confiscate the money.

It came from drug trafficking, an FBI agent responded in court papers. The FBI was wrong. When Ruiz produced records showing the source of his money was legitimate, the government dropped its false accusation and returned his money.

Ruiz is one of roughly 800 people whose money and valuables the FBI seized from safe deposit boxes they rented at the U.S. Private Vaults store in a strip mall on Olympic Boulevard.

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