Today’s Headlines: Storms could snuff out fire season in parts of California


Here are the stories you shouldn’t miss today:


After devastating fires, California might catch a break

After suffering through a devastating summer of wildfires, Californians may catch a break this month as a series of anticipated storms could effectively end the fire season in northern and central parts of the state. But wildfire season in Southern California is “absolutely not” over, one expert says, as fall’s Santa Ana winds can still stoke damaging blazes.

Even as the southern part of the state woke up Monday to a sprinkling of moisture, California recorded its driest water year in terms of precipitation in a century.


Biden administration urges Supreme Court to suspend Texas abortion law

The Biden administration asked the Supreme Court to intervene and suspend a Texas law that has banned most abortions there.

The Justice Department filed an emergency appeal that asked the justices to put the Texas law on hold and to eventually declare it unconstitutional.

More politics

— Los Angeles City Councilman Mark Ridley-Thomas, indicted last week on federal charges, said Monday he would “immediately step back” from participation in City Council meetings and committees but would not resign.


— The Biden administration is launching a broad strategy to regulate long-lasting toxic industrial compounds known as PFAs, which are increasingly turning up in public drinking water systems, private wells and even food.

— Former President Trump has filed a lawsuit to block the release of documents to the Jan. 6 select committee of Congress, challenging the decision of President Biden to release them.

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Vaccine mix-and-match approach poised to get FDA clearance

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is poised to clear the use of a COVID-19 booster from a different manufacturer than the one that supplied a patient’s original inoculation, according to people familiar with the matter.

The FDA is still considering the scope of the measure, including whether to allow the widespread mixing and matching of vaccines or whether to narrow the parameters of use.

More coronavirus headlines

— In L.A. County, health officials are enlisting people living in tents, RVs and makeshift shelters to help get unhoused people vaccinated against COVID-19. The fledgling effort, which launched in August, is being funded as a study through the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.

— Daily new coronavirus cases in Japan have plummeted from a mid-August peak of nearly 6,000 in Tokyo down to fewer than 100 in the capital. Yet bars are packed, trains are crowded, and there’s a general bafflement over what, exactly, is behind the sharp drop.

— Across California some parents protested the student COVID-19 vaccine mandate by keeping kids out of school. Some parents and their children spent the day at demonstrations.

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

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Women play leapfrog in a grassy area.
Griffith Park circa 1936 is the setting for a photo of women playing leapfrog that appeared on the front page of the March 12 paper that year with the article “Housewives Have Frolic.”
(Los Angeles Times)


— Faced with getting a COVID-19 vaccine or losing their jobs, thousands of hesitant Los Angeles school-district employees opted for a last-minute jab, allowing them to access schools and offices on Monday and resulting in 99% compliance among classroom teachers and 97% of all employees.

— Los Angeles firefighters and advocates for women called on L.A. Fire Department Chief Ralph Terrazas to resign following months of allegations that female firefighters face hazing, bullying and sexual harassment by their male colleagues.

— The oil company at the center of the Orange County oil spill received millions in federal subsidies, records show.

— Rep. Nanette Barragán (D-San Pedro) asked Gov. Gavin Newsom to declare a state of emergency over an overpowering foul smell that has sickened residents of Carson and surrounding communities for more than two weeks.

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Colin Powell, former secretary of State, has died at age 84. Powell rose from modest origins to break racial barriers at the highest levels of U.S. government, but his stellar reputation was marred by his decision to lead his country into a disastrous war in Iraq. Powell died of complications from COVID-19 exacerbated by an acute blood cancer.

Antiabortion groups in Mexico lure in women by advertising abortions. The duped women are then pressured to continue their pregnancies.

— Thousands of workers angry about Haiti’s lack of security went on strike in protest two days after 17 members of a U.S.-based missionary group were abducted by a violent gang.

— The U.S. special envoy for Afghanistan is stepping down following the chaotic American withdrawal from the country, the State Department said Monday.


— After 10 transformative, and at times tumultuous, years at the helm of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Chief Executive Dawn Hudson said she was stepping down.

— Like Madonna, Prince and Cher, Kanye West will now be known by a mononym. The Grammy-winning musician has officially shortened his moniker to “Ye,” and the “yay”-sounding nickname is now court-approved.

— Pianist Igor Levit inaugurated the historic return, after 70 years, of Thomas Mann’s piano to the Brentwood home that hosted film and literary luminaries.


A sailboat against a huge container ship.
A sailboat passes a container ship near the Port of Los Angeles.
(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

One of the many container ships sitting off Southern California dwarfs a sailboat in today’s photo pick. Amid supply chain issues, we talk to a few of the many sailors stranded on their vessels, enduring monotony and growing desperation.


— Liz Flynt, widow of Larry Flynt, talks about taking over the helm after her husband’s death and embracing the label of “pornographer.”

Amazon plans to hire 150,000 seasonal staffers, about 50% more than last year, as the company seeks a cushion of workers to help it meet demand during the holiday shopping period.

— Storied movie studio Warner Bros. Ranch in Burbank will be redeveloped with 16 new soundstages as demand for facilities to make movies and television shows spurs expansions.

Clean electricity, electric vehicles and home retrofits are among key pieces of Biden’s budget bill that are in trouble and yet crucial, writes columnist Michael Hiltzik.


— Washington State fired football coach Nick Rolovich for refusing a state mandate that all employees get vaccinated against COVID-19, a person familiar with the decision told AP.

— Here are five things the Dodgers need to do to climb out of their 2-0 hole against the Braves in the NLCS, including: improve with runners in scoring position.

— UCLA’s basketball team will start the season ranked No. 2, with a chance to move up quickly.

— Games start today in the NBA’s 75th season. We look at five storylines that are popping, including the refusal by the Nets’ Kyrie Irving to get a COVID-19 vaccination.

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— The late Colin Powell betrayed his values once. Republicans backing Trump today have none to betray, writes columnist Jackie Calmes.

— It’s unacceptable that Southern California will have to wait another decade for 1,200 promised units of housing on the VA campus in West L.A. while about 3,900 veterans sleep on the street or in shelters.

— A high school senior writes: Why didn’t I learn about disordered eating? My schools failed me.


A space below a home in the Mayacamas Mountains of Santa Rosa, Calif., proved to be a snug and cozy spot for about 100 hibernating venomous Northern Pacific rattlesnakes.

The snakes were settling in for a long winter’s nap when the homeowner, who had seen snakes scurrying under her house, called for help. Reptile rescuer Al Wolf popped under the house on hands and knees, and belly at times, and began tipping over rocks. Using a 2-foot-long snake pole, he removed 22 adult rattlesnakes and 59 babies, then came back and collected 11 more.

He was finding snakes for “almost four hours,” he said. “I thought, ‘Oh, good, it was a worthwhile call,’ but I was happy to get out because it’s not nice.”

A pile of snakes.
Some of the rattlesnakes that were pulled from beneath a Santa Rosa, Calif., home.
(Sonoma County Reptile Rescue)

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