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Today’s Headlines: Newsom invests big to flight climate change, wildfires

Here are the stories you shouldn’t miss today:

TOP STORIES

Newsom signs $15-billion climate package

Standing before a foil-wrapped, fire-proofed monument in Sequoia National Park amid a haze of wildfire smoke, Gov. Gavin Newsom on Thursday signed a $15-billion climate package for California, the largest such investment in state history.

As ash from the nearby KNP Complex fire rained from an opaque sky, Newsom outlined the details of the package, which included investments in drought response, forest management and climate risk mitigation.

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More wildfire news

— The Windy fire swirling around California’s giant sequoia trees spurred additional evacuation orders as a new blaze in Shasta County sent residents fleeing. The Fawn fire on Thursday prompted Shasta County Sheriff Michael Johnson to declare a local emergency.

— Smoky skies over Los Angeles on Thursday prompted some to call 911. But the haze, which varied from orange to gray, was actually from wildfires burning more than 100 miles away, forecasters said.

— California’s wildfires have claimed lives, homes and cherished summer destinations. But the giant sequoias have lived for thousands of years. Until recently, many thought of them as nearly immortal. As fire imperils the Ancient Ones, people speak of their grief.

Committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection subpoenas Trump allies

The House special committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol has subpoenaed four of former President Trump’s advisors and associates who were in contact with him before and during the attack.

The panel subpoenaed former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, former White House Deputy Chief of Staff for Communications Dan Scavino, former Defense Department official Kashyap Patel and former Trump advisor Stephen K. Bannon.

More politics

— The House on Friday is expected to vote to legalize abortion nationwide until fetal viability, and even though the legislation is almost certain to fail in the Senate, it would mark a historic victory for abortion-rights supporters following a decades-long fight.

— How does the oldest president in American history connect with voters who are 40, 50 or even 60 years younger than he is? That’s the challenge facing President Biden. His solution: Bring Gen Z celebrities into the White House. Include young people in advisory circles. Advocate policies to address millennials’ needs. Will it work?

— Vice President Kamala Harris invoked her familial ties to India as she gently pressed Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on human rights during a history-making meeting Thursday between America’s first vice president of Indian descent and the leader of a country that has become an increasingly close ally.

For more news and analysis, sign up for our Essential Politics newsletter, sent to your inbox three days a week.

CDC panel recommends Pfizer booster shots for seniors, declines them for healthcare workers

The U.S. vaccination drive against COVID-19 stood on the verge of a major new phase as government advisors Thursday recommended booster doses of Pfizer’s vaccine for millions of older or otherwise vulnerable Americans.

On Wednesday, a sign-off on boosters by the FDA included people whose jobs put them at high risk for COVID-19. But the CDC advisors refused to go further and open boosters to otherwise healthy front-line healthcare workers who weren’t at risk of severe illness.

More top coronavirus headlines

— With millions of Californians slated to be eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine booster, the state is planning to dramatically ramp up its inoculation rate. Officials unveiled a new COVID-19 Vaccine Action Plan on Thursday.

— Federal health officials are reshuffling their systems for distributing COVID-19 vaccines as they try to reassert control over the country’s divided response to the pandemic and prevent more unnecessary deaths. States will no longer be allowed to order as many vaccines as they want.

— Is the Delta variant worse for children than other versions of the coronavirus? Experts say there’s no strong evidence that it makes children and teens sicker than earlier versions of the virus — although Delta has led to a surge in infections among kids because it’s more contagious.

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

Appeals court strikes down order to house L.A.’s skid row homeless population

A federal appeals court on Thursday unanimously overturned a judge’s decision that would have required Los Angeles to offer some form of shelter or housing to the entire homeless population of skid row by October.

A three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that U.S. District Judge David O. Carter, who issued the order in the spring, failed to follow basic legal requirements.

The panel said most of those who sued L.A. city and county had no legal right, or standing, to bring the case. Carter deployed “novel” legal theories that no one had argued, and ruled on claims that no one had alleged and on evidence that was not before him, the 9th Circuit said.

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FROM THE ARCHIVES

Twenty-five years ago today, then-President Clinton — wielding the pen that JFK had used 33 years earlier on the world’s first treaty limiting atomic testing — signed what he called “the longest-sought, hardest-fought prize in arms control history,” a pact banning all nuclear explosions. China, Britain, France and Russia also signed. Three years later, the Senate, on a mostly party-line vote, refused to ratify the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, crippling the 152-nation accord.

CALIFORNIA

— A watchdog panel that oversees the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department on Thursday asked county attorneys to look into whether a special investigative unit that has targeted critics of Sheriff Alex Villanueva broke the law.

— Since the arrests of a mother and daughter in the death of a woman who was seeking an enhancement of her buttocks, more allegations have piled up of botched cosmetic surgeries. Many of the patients who have spoken to authorities are “permanently disfigured and suffering gruesome consequences” from the in-home procedures, a police official said.

— A day after Melina Abdullah, a leader of Black Lives Matter Los Angeles, filed a lawsuit this week alleging the Los Angeles Police Department mishandled a “swatting” incident at her home, she was targeted with another false emergency call Thursday.

— Many Californians who enjoy day hiking, camping or biking in the wilderness have been barred from trails due to fires, and many worry this could become the new normal if wildfires continue their high-intensity trend.

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NATION-WORLD

— In the “Ka-bubble” of Kabul, Afghanistan, which had felt like a relatively safe space in a battered nation, the effect of the Taliban is clear: Real estate prices have plummeted. Every Western embassy is shuttered. Mansions of former officials who fled stand abandoned.

— The most significant rift in decades between the United States and France seemed on the mend Wednesday after French President Emmanuel Macron and President Biden got on the phone to smooth things over. France said it would send its ambassador back to Washington.

The Texas border town of Del Rio has been divided by the influx of Haitian migrants this month that stirred national controversy. Some donated to support the local migrant shelter. Others voiced support for the surge of law enforcement and National Guard troops sent to secure the border. Meanwhile, Border Patrol announced it would halt horse patrols after agents were photographed and videotaped threatening migrants at the camp.

— A shooter attacked a grocery store in an upscale Tennessee suburb on Thursday afternoon, killing one person and wounding 12 others before he was subsequently found dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound at the store, authorities said.

HOLLYWOOD AND THE ARTS

— ABC News staff was told there would be no outside investigation into the company’s handling of sexual assault allegations against former “Good Morning America” senior producer Michael Corn.

— A look at how Lil Nas X made the most radical run of queer music videos in pop history.

— Three decades after Nirvana’s “Nevermind” was released, pop music critic Mikael Wood searches for the album’s real impact.

— When the Red Hot Chili Peppers moved into a haunted Hollywood mansion in 1991 to make “Blood Sugar Sex Magik,” the band, and pop music, was at a crossroads. Thirty years later, the band and its team tell the unlikely story of the album’s creation.

— HBO’s “Scenes From a Marriage” doesn’t work. Ingmar Bergman’s original version shows what the remake is missing, writes theater critic Charles McNulty.

BUSINESS

— A video app, TikTok has emerged as an unlikely forum for text in the form of its increasingly ubiquitous captions. They’re “glasses for your ears,” experts and users say.

— How do influencers make money? Gone are the days of the accidental YouTube celebrity. Many influencers set out strategically to make a living, and one makes a living telling others how.

SPORTS

— The Dodgers use a late-inning rally to beat the Rockies and move within a game of the Giants.

— In a city that is almost half Latino, in a stadium packed with diehard Latino Dodgers fans, on Fernando Valenzuela Bobblehead Night at the start of Hispanic Heritage Month, a famously dark moment in L.A.'s history was dredged up. And fans booed, writes Times columnist Gustavo Arellano.

— During his Saturday debut, USC freshman quarterback Jaxson Dart played through a torn meniscus in his knee, a person with knowledge of the situation said.

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OPINION

— Yes, Southern California, we have a water shortage emergency too. We’ll need clearer guidelines from our political and water supply leaders, and more respect for water’s scarcity and its value.

— Latino voters in the recall election set up a winning model for the midterms.

ONLY IN CALIFORNIA

Well, that wasn’t much of a summer. And fall is a wild card. But there’s still hope for the season. Despite the lingering pandemic and fires, many of California’s choicest destinations are open. The Times’ Christopher Reynolds has 40 experiences to try this fall.

See props, posters and scripts at the new Academy Museum of Motion Pictures. Pick up peach cobbler at the Crenshaw Farmers Market. Stargaze among the Joshua trees. Or visit a lighthouse — perhaps the state’s northernmost, Battery Point, or Point Reyes, where you climb down — and then back up — 313 steps while lashed by wicked winds. You’ll be in the fall spirit in no time.

A lighthouse sits on a rocky promontory.
The Battery Point Lighthouse in Crescent City, Calif., survived a 1964 tsunami.
(Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)

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


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