Today’s Headlines: Ship investigated in massive oil spill


Here are the stories you shouldn’t miss today:


Vessel under scrutiny

The U.S. Coast Guard investigated a vessel in Oakland on Wednesday as part of its probe into whether a ship’s anchor damaged an oil pipeline off Orange County and spilled 144,000 gallons of crude.

The container ship was in the area of the pipeline before the spill was discovered, according to a source familiar with the investigation, and later headed north. Investigators are probably looking for data showing the ship’s movements and other mechanical information.


More on the oil spill

— Winds forecast to blow over the Orange County coast beginning late Thursday may push parts of the oil slick onto shore, threatening ecologically sensitive areas.

— The spill has potentially contaminated fishing grounds and aquafarms that feed Californians and keep hundreds of commercial fishermen employed.

Dodgers beat St. Louis in dramatic fashion

Chris Taylor’s two-run walk-off home run Wednesday night at Dodger Stadium propels the Dodgers to a National League wild card win over St. Louis. Up next: a meeting with rival San Francisco in the National League Division Series, which starts Friday in San Francisco.


California lawmakers demand more info from two federal agencies on oil spill

Federal lawmakers are demanding more information on the spill as a legislative battle looms over whether to include a ban on future offshore drilling in a scaled-down $3.5-trillion bill.

The House Oversight and Reform Committee on Wednesday requested records from federal agencies to figure out whether regulatory failings contributed to the spill of an estimated 144,000 gallons of crude oil into the Pacific Ocean.

More politics

— Republican and Democratic leaders edged back Wednesday from a perilous standoff over lifting the nation’s borrowing cap, with Democratic senators signaling they were receptive to an offer from Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell.

— Can the U.S. shield a “state secret” that’s actually widely known? The Supreme Court will decide when it takes up the case of a Guantanamo Bay prisoner.

— Opponents of hypodermic needle exchanges relied on a novel strategy to shut them down: using environmental regulations to sue over needle waste. A bill signed Monday by Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom will thwart that tactic.

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

Vaccination proof now required at many L.A. businesses

The Los Angeles City Council on Wednesday approved a new ordinance that requires proof of vaccination against COVID-19 to enter indoor restaurants, shopping malls, movie theaters, hair and nail salons and many other indoor venues.

More top coronavirus headlines

— COVID-19 hospitalizations have dropped by half from the summer peak, as California continues to steadily, if slowly, shake off the worst of the Delta surge.

— A UCLA anesthesiologist who had been vocal about his opposition to the COVID-19 vaccine mandate was escorted out of his workplace Monday for attempting to enter the building unvaccinated.

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

Texas ordered to suspend law that bans most abortions

A federal judge on Wednesday ordered Texas to suspend the most restrictive abortion law in the U.S., which since September has banned most abortions in the nation’s second-most populous state.

Some providers have said that Texas clinics are now in danger of closing while neighboring states struggle to keep up with a surge of patients who drive hundreds of miles.

Long Beach school district fires safety officer after fatal shooting

The Long Beach Unified School District Board of Education unanimously voted to fire the safety officer who opened fire last month on a moving car filled with young people, killing a female passenger

Manuela “Mona” Rodriguez, 18, died Tuesday after more than a week on life support.

Our daily news podcast

If you’re a fan of this newsletter, you’ll probably love our new daily podcast, “The Times,” hosted by columnist Gustavo Arellano, along with reporters from across our newsroom. Every weekday, it takes you beyond the headlines. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts and follow on Spotify.


Twenty-five years ago today, Rupert Murdoch launched Fox News with Roger Ailes as its chief executive. The Times reported early in 1996 that Murdoch said he felt a more conservative cable news network was needed to counter the “liberal” CNN.


— Laguna Beach is one the inarguable wonders of California’s coast. Its hills plummet into the sea, creating a scalloped seascape of caves, cracks and arches, of blowholes, tide pools and white sand beaches. The specter of disaster hovers because alongside these fragile habitats is sprawling oil infrastructure and one of the busiest shipping channels in the world.

— Drought wants to knock out the small town of Stratford, Calif., about 40 miles south of Fresno in Kings County. The people who love it are trying to save it from ever-rising temperatures and recession.

Black and Latinx students are disproportionately harmed by the state’s failure to exert oversight and take action against some school district disciplinary practices, according to a lawsuit by parents and an advocacy group.

— Weather outlook maps for October offer a glimmer of hope for California. For the first time in months, its precipitation outlook map isn’t colored brown, indicating drier-than-normal conditions. And the temperature map isn’t glowing red like a stove-top burner set on high.

Support our journalism

Subscribe to the Los Angeles Times.


— In a reversal of Trump administration policy, the State Department has revealed the number of nuclear weapons in the U.S. stockpile, a disclosure that it said would aid global efforts to control the spread of such arms.

— The Biden administration is temporarily relaxing the rules for a student loan forgiveness program that has been criticized for its notoriously complex requirements — a change that could offer debt relief to thousands of teachers, social workers, military members and other public servants.

— The World Health Organization recommended Wednesday that the world’s first malaria vaccine should be given to children across Africa.


— For the first time in its 128-year history, the IATSE union has voted overwhelmingly to support a strike if no deal is reached with the studios. The last time crews staged a major strike was the 1945 walkout known as “Hollywood’s Bloody Friday.” We break down how we got here and what a walkout would mean for the industry.

— Spotify’s “Loud,” which comes out with its 10th and final episode this week, has arguably set a new standard in Latin music-focused historical cultural podcasts.

— Hulu’s “Only Murders in the Building” gets plenty right about our cultural obsession with true crime, writes television critic Lorraine Ali.

— NBCUniversal has made a confidential settlement with former Universal studio executive Ron Meyer, who was ousted last year amid a sex scandal.


— Heads up, California drivers: Your insurer may owe you even more in pandemic refunds, writes business columnist David Lazarus.

— A hack of Amazon’s video game streaming platform Twitch showed top gamers raking in six-figure payouts.

— The global outage that knocked Facebook and its other platforms offline for hours was caused by an error during routine maintenance, the company said.

— Veteran ESPN host Sage Steele is off the air this week after criticizing the Walt Disney Co. unit’s vaccination policy on a podcast. Steele also questioned why former President Obama identified as Black when his mother was white and his father was not part of his upbringing.


— Appealing to Mexican nationalism by refusing to sign foreign players has made Chivas one of the country’s most popular clubs. But it’s also a big reason the team has won just two titles this century and only three since Mexico went to the short-tournament format in 1996.

Controlling Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson will be a top objective of the Rams on Thursday night at Lumen Field, where they will attempt to bounce back from a defeat to the Arizona Cardinals.

Free online games

Get our free daily crossword puzzle, sudoku, word search and arcade games in our new game center at


— Beyond Bruce’s Beach is the tarnished American dream for Black Americans, the editorial board writes.

— There have been plenty of shortages during the pandemic, but here’s a supply-chain issue that columnist LZ Granderson fears may send much of American society into complete chaos: We’re running low on bacon.


If you’re the kind of person who can purchase “The One,” you may not be able to relate. But the rest of us know that finding a place to call home is one of L.A.’s great challenges. Whether it’s renting a room or buying your dream home, house hunting in Southern California can be complicated, cutthroat and oftentimes bizarre.

The Times wants to hear your wild housing stories. Tell us about how many people you conquered in the bidding war for the home you just bought. Or about that strange agreement with your landlord. Send us your success stories and horror stories, your wins and your losses, for the chance to have them included in an upcoming house-hunting column.

Unless you’re busy plunking down $225 million on The One.

Couches and recliners face a large screen.
The theater inside the Bel-Air giga-mansion that once listed for $500 million.
(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

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