Today’s Headlines: Newsom approves major law enforcement reforms for California


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Sweeping reforms for California law enforcement

More than a year after George Floyd’s death, Gov. Gavin Newsom has signed a stack of bills aimed at holding California law enforcement officers accountable for misconduct and restricting uses of force that have resulted in death and injury.

The eight measures, signed into law Thursday, included raising the minimum age for police officers from 18 to 21, and allowing their badges to be permanently taken away for excessive force, dishonesty and racial bias. The new laws also set statewide standards on use of rubber bullets and tear gas for crowd control, and further restrict the use of techniques for restraining suspects in ways that can interfere with breathing.


Bruce’s Beach property will be returned to descendants of Black owners

In a history-making move celebrated by reparations advocates and social justice leaders across California, Gov. Newsom has authorized the return of property known as Bruce’s Beach to the descendants of a Black couple who were run out of Manhattan Beach almost a century ago.

The law confirms that the city’s taking of this shorefront land — on which the Bruces ran a thriving resort for Black beachgoers — was racially motivated and done under false and unlawful pretenses.

Partial government shutdown averted on chaotic day for Democrats

With only hours to spare, Congress passed legislation that would avoid a partial federal shutdown and keep the government funded through Dec. 3, and sent the bill to President Biden.


The work to keep the government open served as the backdrop to a tumultuous day for Democrats. Late Thursday, Speaker Nancy Pelosi canceled a vote on Biden’s infrastructure bill, leaving a key part of his signature domestic agenda in limbo amid deep Democratic infighting.

More politics

— A federal appellate court Thursday temporarily granted the Biden administration permission to continue the use of a public health order, known as Title 42, to quickly expel migrants with children stopped along the U.S. border.

— Meanwhile, facing bipartisan criticism over its approach to immigration, the Biden administration on Thursday announced new rules that require authorities to pursue only migrants who recently crossed into the country without permission or are deemed to pose a threat to public safety.

— Senators fired a barrage of criticism Thursday at a Facebook executive over the social-networking giant’s handling of internal research on how its Instagram photo-sharing platform can harm teens.

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A secret USC payout had a catch

The family of a young woman who had a drug-fueled relationship with a former USC dean received $1.5 million as part of a legal agreement to head off a lawsuit against him and the university, The Times has learned.

But one provision of settlement was not common, according to legal experts: To receive the money, the family had to turn over to USC all of their videos and photographs showing Carmen Puliafito using illegal drugs to allow the university to destroy them. The Times could not determine if USC retained copies of the images.

Most health workers got vaccinated before California’s deadline. Holdouts could be fired

California’s aggressive push to vaccinate millions of healthcare workers against COVID-19 appears to have been mostly successful, with many hospitals and other healthcare facilities reporting overwhelmingly high rates of inoculated employees by the Thursday deadline.

Thousands of workers remain unvaccinated, either in defiance of the state’s order or through approved exemptions for medical or religious reasons. But the number of holdouts seems to represent a small fraction of the Golden State’s about 2.4 million healthcare workers.

More top coronavirus headlines

— Amid all the focus on COVID-19 vaccinations, U.S. health experts have another plea: Don’t skip your flu shot.

— A side effect of the pandemic: Teen vaping plummeted this year as many U.S. students were forced to learn from home, according to a new government report.

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

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In September 1996, Israel opened a new door to the Hasmonean tunnel near Al Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem’s Old City, sparking riots that led to combat between Palestinian police and Israeli soldiers. At least 75 people were killed and about 1,000 injured.

Twenty-five years ago today, The Times reported on the Israeli-Palestinian violence and high-level meetings in Washington that followed, meant to salvage the Mideast peace process.

Two days of talks that began Oct. 1, 1996, involving President Clinton, Israel’s Benjamin Netahnyahu and Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat were strained, to say the least. At a news conference, The Times later wrote, Netanyahu and Arafat looked “as dour as an estranged couple after a court-ordered visit to a marriage counselor.”


— With California’s extreme drought persisting and reservoirs declining to new lows, state officials said Thursday that they would consider imposing mandatory water restrictions if dryness continued this winter.

— The gunman who opened fire at a Poway synagogue in 2019, killing one worshipper and injuring three others, was sentenced Thursday to life in prison without parole.

— The University of California hopes to add 20,000 seats for students by 2030, the equivalent of a new campus, to help meet surging demand.

— Visitors 12 and older to Universal Studios Hollywood and Six Flags Magic Mountain soon will have to show proof before entering that they’ve either been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or have recently tested negative. We outline how that will work.

— The Long Beach school safety officer who opened fire Monday on a moving car filled with young people, critically wounding one of the occupants, may have violated policy, according to documents obtained by The Times and several law enforcement experts who reviewed videos of the shooting.

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— Myanmar’s military-installed government on Thursday defended its detention of American journalist Danny Fenster without offering any details of the crimes it alleges.

— While the FDA paused a crackdown on clinics selling unproven stem cell treatments, they became more rampant. Regulators now confront an enormous, uncooperative industry that contends it shouldn’t be subject to regulation.

— As the Chinese Communist Party turned 100, President Xi Jinping led a ceremony at Tiananmen Square meant to underscore the path he’d laid out, including greater party control over every aspect of life, and resistance to “foreign oppression and bullying.” Spurred by the anniversary, The Times’ Beijing bureau chief, Alice Su, traveled 4,300 miles across China to explore parts of its told and untold history.


— A group of 120 U.S. senators and representatives including Rep. Adam B. Schiff (D-Burbank) and Sen. Alex Padilla (D-Calif.) has called on the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers to resume bargaining with the union representing Hollywood crews.

— Jon Stewart has returned to television with “The Problem With Jon Stewart” on Apple TV+. It is a current affairs show organized around big themes (including “War” and “Freedom). There’s comedy, writes TV critic Robert Lloyd, but above all there is an activist impulse at work.

— A five-member hip-hop supergroup will perform during the halftime show at Super Bowl LVI next year. Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Mary J. Blige and Kendrick Lamar will join forces when the NFL takes over SoFi Stadium in Inglewood on Feb. 13, organizers announced.

— In “The Many Saints of Newark,” the “Sopranos” prequel movie arriving in theaters and on HBO Max on Friday, Tony Soprano’s origin story gets short shrift, writes TV critic Lorraine Ali.

— Pop star Shakira said she and her son survived a wild boar attack in Spain and lived to tell about it. She and Milan, 8, encountered the boars in a park in Spain and the animals made off with her handbag and cellphone. The singer said she managed to get them back.


Scarlett Johansson and Walt Disney Co. have settled their high-profile dispute over the release of Marvel’s “Black Widow.” Terms were not disclosed.

— Stocks on Wall Street fell broadly Thursday, closing out September with their worst monthly loss since the beginning of the pandemic.

— President Biden’s nominee to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Rohit Chopra, was finally approved, writes columnist David Lazarus. This is a big deal for consumers because for the last four years we’ve essentially been without the consumer protection agency that Congress mandated in 2010.

— Airlines are debating a new effort to address air rage by having airlines share with one another their lists of passengers banned from flying because of unruly behavior. By sharing their lists, airlines may prevent passengers who are banned from one airline from flying on another.


— After a resurgent season, pitcher Alex Cobb hopes a return to the Angels could be in his future.

— The Dodgers’ four-homer eighth inning against the Padres on Wednesday night reversed a three-run deficit and delivered the most incredible of the team’s 102 victories this season. “That was a crazy inning,” said outfielder Cody Bellinger, “maybe the craziest I’ve ever been a part of.”

— The pro women’s soccer team the North Carolina Courage fired coach Paul Riley on Thursday after allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct were detailed in a published report.

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Bruce’s Beach has been returned to my family. I hope our fight will help others, writes a direct descendant of Willa and Charles Bruce.

— LAUSD has had a steep drop in enrollment. That could be a good thing. The district has been a behemoth, often to the detriment of parents and students. Its unions, especially United Teachers Los Angeles, are too powerful. And the district is seen by families as remote.


Overall, a pretty great day

For Black Californians, it was a good day, writes columnist Erika D. Smith.

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a package of bills to, at last, force law enforcement agencies to hold their officers accountable for racial bias, misconduct and abuse. Then in Manhattan Beach, Newsom said he was signing a bill to return the swath of grassy land before him to the descendants of a Black couple, Willa and Charles Bruce.

The author of the Bruce’s Beach bill told Smith: “I hope we’ve shown today what leadership looks like on issues of reparations. What leadership looks like on the issues of criminal justice and police reform. And I hope we’ve set a fine example of what the rest of the states in the nation can do.”

An aerial view of a stretch of beach with a city behind it.
In Manhattan Beach, a view of Bruce’s Beach at sunset.
(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Today’s newsletter was curated by Amy Hubbard. Comments or ideas? Email us at