Today’s Headlines: A battle over the future of L.A. Zoo


Here are the stories you shouldn’t miss today:


Plan envisions a flashier Los Angeles Zoo

For 55 years, the Los Angeles Zoo has been a venerable but decidedly low-key attraction nestled amid the hills of Griffith Park. But officials are considering a controversial transformation backers say would give it a competitive edge in a market dominated by powerhouse tourist attractions such as Disneyland, Magic Mountain, Universal Studios, SeaWorld and other destinations including the San Diego Zoo.

The $650-million plan envisions flashy new attractions such as a 60-foot-deep canyon offering rock climbs. It would involve removing nearly all the zoo’s remaining native woodlands, which has raised the ire of some environmentalists.



Will Smith reaches out to high-five Cody Bellinger.
The Dodgers’ Cody Bellinger, right, celebrates with Will Smith and AJ Pollock after his three-run home run.
(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

Dodgers win Game 3 of the NLCS

The Dodgers came back from a three-run deficit in Game 3 of the NLCS to beat the Braves 6-5 in front of a delirious Dodger Stadium crowd.

Cody Bellinger hit a three-run homer and Mookie Betts drove in the go-ahead run in the eighth to propel the Dodgers to a 6-5 lead. Kenley Jansen got the save by striking out the side in a perfect ninth inning.

The Braves now lead the series two games to one going into today’s Game 4.

Newsom extends drought emergency statewide


Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a statewide drought emergency, appealing to all Californians to do more to conserve water in the face of one of the state’s most severe droughts on record.

Most of California’s 58 counties have been in a state of drought emergency since July, but Newsom’s proclamation added the last eight remaining counties and further bolstered his call for everyone to voluntary reduce water use by 15%.

Jan. 6 panel votes to hold Bannon in contempt

A congressional committee investigating the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol voted to hold former Trump advisor Stephen K. Bannon in contempt for not cooperating with its inquiry, escalating its efforts to get answers about the insurrection from the firebrand political operative.

More politics

— The U.S. Army has closed an investigation into the killing of a paratrooper from California whose head was found severed from his body, according to Rep. Norma Torres, who is asking the Pentagon’s inspector general to examine whether the military’s probe was flawed.

Sign up for our California Politics newsletter to get the best of The Times’ state politics reporting and the latest action in Sacramento.

What Powell’s death does, and doesn’t, teach us about COVID and vaccines

The death of Colin Powell from complications of COVID-19, despite being fully vaccinated, represents a rare but potential tragedy that can occur when the coronavirus infects someone with a severely compromised immune system, experts say.

More coronavirus news

— Los Angeles city workers who have yet to get vaccinated for COVID-19 or tell the city that they’re seeking an exemption by Wednesday could have additional time to get the shots under a plan being put forward by city officials.

— At the vaccine deadline, L.A. city officials have gone soft on resisters, writes columnist Steve Lopez: Can someone please get tough?

— An In-N-Out Burger in San Francisco was forced to temporarily close earlier this month after failing to comply with the city’s proof-of-vaccination requirements.

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

Carson residents are warned against exercising outdoors

After more than two weeks of breathing noxious fumes that can cause headaches and nausea, Carson-area residents are now being advised to avoid prolonged outdoor exercise at night and in the early morning.

The fumes are the result of hydrogen sulfide gas emanating from decaying vegetation and marine life in the Dominguez Channel.

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.


— Underground street racing, with so-called sideshows that draw hundreds of people, has jumped by 27% as of July. L.A. now wants to take the fight from the streets to social media and target those who organize and promote the races, which have caused the deaths of innocent motorists.

— USC has become the object of a tug-of-war between two City Council members, each of whom wants USC to be placed in his district.

— Los Angeles City Council President Nury Martinez introduced a motion Tuesday to suspend Councilman Mark Ridley-Thomas days after federal authorities indicted him on federal bribery charges.

— Migrants are making increasingly dangerous journeys to enter California through the coast, with deadly consequences.

Support our journalism

Subscribe to the Los Angeles Times.


— A gang in Haiti that abducted 17 members of a U.S.-based missionary group, including five children, has demanded a $1-million ransom for each kidnap victim.

— North Korea fired at least one ballistic missile into the sea in what the South Korean military described as a weapon likely designed for submarine-based launches, marking possibly the most significant demonstration in the last year.

— Power shortages are turning out lights in China. The poor in Brazil are choosing between paying for food or electricity. German corn and wheat farmers can’t find fertilizer, made using natural gas. The world is gripped by an energy crunch.


Seventy-four years ago this month, 25 movie actors flew to Washington to protest the actions of the Un-American Activities Committee. Passenger agent Barbara Hughes helps, from left, June Havoc, Marsha Hunt, Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Evelyn Keyes and Paul Henreid. Behind Hunt is Danny Kaye.

Actors line up at a ticket counter.
(Los Angeles Times)


— Marvel wanted to keep Harry Styles’ role in Chloé Zhao’s “Eternals” a secret. Too late. A post-credits scene at the world premiere screening in Hollywood confirmed that Styles had become a superhero.

— Hollywood’s next attraction meant to lure millions of annual visitors is a feast of movie monsters and science fiction villains. It was gathered by a former child actor turned director whose collecting hobby escalated to blockbuster proportions. Welcome to Icons of Darkness, a new pop-up attraction.

— The Black Mountain Institute will discontinue publication of its flagship magazine, the Believer, in 2022. The acclaimed and celebrated literary magazine has struggled after allegations of a toxic work environment and reports that its editor in chief exposed himself to staff on Zoom.


— Longtime Fox News anchor Neil Cavuto is off the air after contracting COVID-19. Cavuto, who has multiple sclerosis and is a survivor of Hodgkins lymphoma and has undergone triple bypass surgery, said in a statement that he was fully vaccinated.

— Helped by “Squid Game,” Netflix reported higher quarterly profit and more subscriber growth than expected. The Korean series was viewed by 142 million households in its first four weeks, the largest series launch in the streamer’s history.

— After decades of abject somnolence, American labor seems to be stirring. Business columnist Michael Hiltzik writes on what’s behind the new worker militancy and why it’s a good thing.

— Facebook is paying a $4.75-million fine and up to $9.5 million to eligible victims to resolve the Justice Department’s allegations that it discriminated against U.S. workers in favor of foreigners with special visas to fill high-paying jobs.


— Russell Westbrook came from seemingly nowhere to become one of the NBA’s most unique, dynamic players. Finally, he’s back in L.A. — the starting point guard on the Lakers.

— Even with The Lakers’ superstars carrying the load Tuesday night, scoring against the Golden State Warriors’ defense without much resistance, everyone else struggled to come along. The defensive issues and poor shooting and rhythm that hampered their winless preseason carried over to their opening night, the Lakers losing 121-114.

— Clippers star Paul George is ready to lead, and he doesn’t care what critics think.

— Matt Duchene and Tanner Jeannot scored in the third period to give the Nashville Predators a 2-1 victory over the L.A. Kings on Tuesday night. Anze Kopitar had the lone goal for Los Angeles.

— Jose Altuve hit a tying home run in the eighth inning and the Houston offense awakened with seven runs in the ninth on Tuesday night as the Astros came back to beat the Boston Red Sox 9-2, evening the AL Championship Series at two games apiece.

Free online games

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


— The trouble with Biden’s “Build Back Better” plan is no one really wants to pay for it, writes columnist Jonah Goldberg.

— It’s sad that some parents of California students staged an anti-vaccine “stay-at-home” protest. The excuse that children can skip inoculation because they rarely die of COVID-19 is threadbare. Their kids put others at risk.


The National Park Service has captured its 99th mountain lion for an ongoing study of the community of big cats living in the Santa Monica Mountains.

Dubbed P-99, the female cat is an estimated 2 to 3 years old and was found in the western part of the Santa Monica Mountains, park service officials said.

Social media users fawned over the cougar, calling her “stunning” and “gorgeous,” with one noting: “Those eyes.” Several local lions have gained celebrity status, including headline-grabber P-22.

Closeup of a mountain lion.
Female mountain lion P-99.
(Jeff Sikich / NPS)

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