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Today’s Headlines: Gas prices are the highest they’ve ever been in California

Here are the stories you shouldn’t miss today:

TOP STORIES

Gas prices hit a peak

Gas prices in California reached an all-time high as the average price of a regular gallon soared to $4.682, according to the American Automobile Assn. It was the state’s second record-breaking day in a row.

Prices are being driven by higher crude oil costs and an increased demand for fuel. California’s numbers have surpassed those of the nation, which hovered at an average of $3.415 per gallon on Monday. And the painful pump prices are arriving just ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday, which typically sees millions of people hitting the road. At nearly $60 to fill a 12-gallon tank, some may reconsider their plans, but most will likely stay the course, said a AAA Southern California spokesman.

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Where will the next pandemic begin?

A black and gray sloth blends in with the shades of a woman's hair as he clings to her head, seen from the side.
A sloth takes refuge in the hair of a researcher with the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation in Manaus, Brazil’s most prominent scientific institution.
(Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

More global pandemics like COVID-19 are on the way, scientists say. The next one is likely to emerge from communities like those on the edge of the Amazon rainforest, where people are encroaching on the natural world and erasing the buffer between themselves and habitats that existed long before a shovel cut this earth. (More great photos by The Times’ Luis Sinco with this story.)

  • In other coronavirus news: 70% of Californians have now gotten at least one COVID vaccine dose.

Biden and Xi Jinping meet virtually

President Biden and Chinese President Xi, once travel companions, must now navigate the tense relationship between their nations. Against a backdrop of what some analysts have described as a second Cold War, the two met via videoconference. “We need to establish a commonsense guardrail,” Biden said.

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CALIFORNIA

Here’s where they’re drilling for “white gold.” Near the southern shore of the Salton Sea, a massive drill rig stands sentinel over some of the most closely watched ground in American energy. The project is searching not for oil or gas but lithium, a crucial ingredient in electric car batteries.

California makes plans to be the nation’s abortion provider in a post-Roe world. Gov. Gavin Newsom and legislative leaders have asked a group of reproductive health experts to propose policies to bolster the state’s abortion infrastructure and prepare it for more patients.

If you’re getting takeout in L.A. and want plastic, you’ll have to ask for it. Restaurants in Los Angeles no longer will freely distribute plastic utensils and napkins and will offer the disposable items only to customers who ask for them. The new rules are meant to reduce waste and costs for businesses.

The feds have pledged $2.7 million in funds for Klamath Basin salmon recovery. The number of endangered coho salmon have dwindled amid rising river temperatures and reduced water flows.

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NATION-WORLD

Jurors in the murder trial of Kyle Rittenhouse are set to begin deliberations. But they won’t be considering the charge experts said was most likely to result in a conviction — a misdemeanor for underage possession of a firearm — because the judge threw it out. Rittenhouse shot and killed two men and wounded another on Aug. 25, 2020, after Kenosha, Wis., erupted in protests against police brutality and he showed up with an AR-15-style rifle. He was 17 at the time.

British police are investigating an explosion in a taxi outside a hospital, which killed one person. Authorities say it was caused by an improvised explosive device and is being treated as a terrorist incident, but the motive for the attack remains unclear.

A leader of the Proud Boys is seeking early release. Complaining about jail conditions, a leader of the far-right extremist group asked a judge to free him before he finishes a five-month term for burning a Black Lives Matter banner taken from a historic Black church in Washington, D.C.

A judge denied mistrial requests at the trial of three white men charged with murdering Ahmaud Arbery. Defense attorneys had claimed jurors were tainted by weeping from the gallery where the slain Black man’s parents sat with the Rev. Jesse Jackson.

PHOTO OF THE DAY

A man, rapping into a microphone, is surrounded by men in dinner jackets and ties, some with white face makeup.
Kendrick Lamar headlined Day N Vegas on Friday, the first day of the three-day hip-hop music festival at the Las Vegas Festival Grounds, and he reestablished his greatness, writes pop music critic Mikael Wood.
(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

HOLLYWOOD AND THE ARTS

Hollywood workers ratified a new contract. The union representing 60,000 film and television crew members narrowly voted to ratify the three-year contract with studios, resolving for now a labor dispute that had threatened to disrupt productions nationwide.

“Licorice Pizza” is a valentine to the Valley. Paul Thomas Anderson’s new film is a quasi-romantic comedy and a shaggy-dog epic, a rise-and-fall portrait of a waterbed empire, a string of Hollywood tall tales, a peek inside the chambers of political power and — not to be redundant — a roundelay of men behaving badly.

Olivia Munn refuses to play. The 41-year-old actor, pregnant with her first child, is feeling overwhelmed by impending motherhood. Then there’s the online uproar involving John Mulaney. The comedian announced, in short order, his divorce from his wife, his relationship with Munn and that they were having a baby. Munn says: “If I try to say anything, I run the risk of being called messy or not telling the truth.” So she decided “to not play the game at all.”

Pee-wee Herman is now a DJ. After a viral Twitter campaign, Paul Reubens’ iconic “Pee-wee’s Big Adventure” character will be deejaying his first radio show on KCRW-FM (89.9) — one of Los Angeles’ public radio stations and National Public Radio affiliate.

BUSINESS

Amazon was ordered to pay $500,000 in the first such action under California’s new “right to know” law meant to improve workplace safety amid the pandemic. The state attorney general said Amazon had concealed COVID-19 case numbers from its workers.

Facebook struggled with disinformation targeted at Latinos. The company has long emphasized the strength of its efforts to contain misinformation targeted at Latinos and Spanish speakers. But a whistleblower’s leaks show employees raising alarms about the problem.

SPORTS

Interceptions and dropped passes doomed the Rams. L.A. lost to the 49ers 31-10 — this after the Rams had amped up their star power in recent weeks, adding outside linebacker Von Miller and wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.

UCLA basketball wins over Long Beach State. The Bruins are outscoring everybody while continually faltering on defense. The trends continued Monday night during second-ranked UCLA’s 100-79 victory over Long Beach State.

The Chargers’ offense is coming up short because of a failure to throw long. Despite the talent in Justin Herbert’s right arm, the Chargers — coming off a 27-20 loss Sunday to Minnesota — are left pondering ways to reignite a potentially explosive offense that mostly has fizzled in losing three of four games.

On Sunday, Anthony Davis looked like the player the Lakers needed him to be in LeBron James’ absence. He looked like the player they will need him to be if they are to have any chance of doing anything special this season, writes columnist Dylan Hernández.

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

OPINION

Don’t look now but deep-blue California has become a congressional battleground, writes columnist Mark Z. Barabak. Unlike gerrymandered states, California may host as many as 10 competitive races.

The world needs to shift into climate emergency mode, and it needs to happen this year. The climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland, made clear that human society remains in business-as-usual mode, with no meaningful curb on fossil fuel use. The soft pledges made at COP26 might have been acceptable decades ago but not now, writes climate scientist Peter Kalmus.

ONLY IN L.A.

A man stands in a grand hall with patterned tile
Michael Fischer of Georgetown Company in the preserved historic lobby of the Herald Examiner Building in Los Angeles.
(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

It could have been a parking lot. For historic architecture in Los Angeles, death can come in one of various ways: fire, earthquake or slow decay. But none is quite as ignoble as being razed to make way for a parking lot.

That was once the proposed fate for Julia Morgan’s dashingly flamboyant Herald Examiner building in downtown Los Angeles. This fall, however, the building came back from the brink, reopened in a new guise and lovingly revived.

FROM THE ARCHIVES

A woman with short blond hair lies inside a coffin and reaches up to a small lightbulb.
Nov. 17, 1935: A young woman lies in the steel coffin that she was buried in as part of a stunt.
(Los Angeles Times)

A woman identified as Gloria Graves — referred to in a Nov. 17, 1935, L.A. Times article as both “tomb girl” and “buried-alive-girl” — was “dug up” and arrested. In what was billed as a side show stunt in downtown L.A., the 19-year-old had been buried (it’s not clear how deep) for seven days days inside a steel casket equipped with a lightbulb and a speaker for talking with the folks above. The Times reported that “Miss Graves received air and food through a shaft.” She was charged with violating the marathon ordinance, which prohibited endurance contests that endangered participants, the same law meant to keep a lid on the multiday dance marathons popular in the 1920s and ’30s.

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


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