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Today’s Headlines: Trauma from insurrection bonds members of Congress, even a year later

Rep. Sara Jacobs (D-San Diego) in her office.
Rep. Sara Jacobs (D-San Diego) has found emotional support from the “Gallery Group” of fellow members of Congress who were trapped in the House gallery during the insurrection on Jan. 6, 2021.
(Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times)

Hello, it’s Wednesday, Jan. 5, and here are the stories you shouldn’t miss today:

TOP STORIES

Trauma in the U.S. House gallery bonds members of Congress, even a year later

A support group of 28 House members, known to its participants as the “Gallery Group,” formed a tight and intimate bond as they navigated the unsettling experience of surviving a violent insurrection last year.

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The diverse group of Democrats has supported one another through the immediate shock of the day, the impeachment of President Trump over his role in inciting the mob, the release of haunting videos of the violence, the continuation of the false narrative that Trump won the election and simmering tension between Democrats and the Republicans who continue to perpetuate that myth.

With the memory-laden and stress-filled anniversary approaching on Thursday, lawmakers say the Gallery Group is proving to be their lifeline.

More about the insurrection:

As coronavirus cases explode in California, the next few weeks are ‘absolutely critical’

Coronavirus cases in California exploded into record territory as counts from the holiday weekend were tallied, and officials are warning that the next few weeks are crucial in the fight against the highly infectious Omicron variant. The mounting toll was evident in long lines for those seeking tests.

Hospital workers and other healthcare employees have been getting infected with the coronavirus in rising numbers as cases skyrocket in Los Angeles County, compounding staff shortages at medical centers.

The booming numbers of COVID-19 cases in L.A. County have not resulted, so far, in hospitalization numbers as dire as those of last winter. Health authorities believe that’s due to more people being vaccinated, and early signs show that Omicron may cause milder illness than other variants.

More top coronavirus headlines:

  • Why are so many vaccinated people getting COVID-19 lately? A couple of factors are at play, starting with the highly contagious Omicron variant.
  • Federal jury trials in Los Angeles, Santa Ana and Riverside have been suspended for at least three weeks due to the latest surge.
  • California has a new COVID mortgage relief program. Here’s how to get help.
  • The start of 2022 at the University of California feels like March 2020 deja vu for some students, as most campuses started Monday with two weeks of remote classes.

Stay up to date on variant developments, case counts and vaccine news with Coronavirus Today.

California is suddenly snow-capped and very wet. But how long will the water rush last?

After one of the driest years in recent memory, Los Angeles — and California — are off to a wet start. The state received more precipitation in the final three months of 2021 than the entire 12 months prior, the National Weather Service said.

While all that moisture gave a much-needed boost to statewide drought conditions, experts emphasized that California will need to maintain this wet trend to truly climb out of its dry spell. But they say some seasonal forecasts are shifting in a positive direction.

Since much of the state is still in the “extreme” drought category, California water officials have imposed new drought rules prohibiting overwatering yards, washing cars without a shutoff nozzle, hosing down sidewalks or watering grass within 48 hours after rainfall.

California lawmakers unveil plan to hold gun makers liable for shootings

Gov. Gavin Newsom’s plan to target the gun industry through private lawsuits is coming together in legislation unveiled Tuesday that would allow gun violence survivors and other citizens to sue firearm manufacturers and dealers.

Assembly Bill 1594 would hand the state, local governments, gun violence survivors and victims’ families the power to pursue legal action against “irresponsible, reckless or negligent gun manufacturers, importers and dealers,” said Assemblyman Phil Ting of San Francisco, one of three Democrats pushing the plan. The bill would leverage a loophole in federal law that largely shields gun manufacturers and dealers from liability when their products are involved in a crime, Ting said.

More politics

  • Conservative talk show host Larry Elder said he would not run in California’s 2022 gubernatorial election.

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

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PHOTO OF THE DAY

People wearing masks stand in line.
The hunt for tests. People wait in line Monday for coronavirus testing in Santa Monica. Many Californians started 2022 with the same types of concerns and anxieties as in March 2020: seeking medical-grade masks, waiting in line to get tested and scaling back plans.
(Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)

CALIFORNIA

An investigation finds that the Dixie fire was started by a PG&E power line. State investigators have determined that a Pacific Gas & Electric power line was responsible for sparking last year’s massive Dixie fire, which torched more than 960,000 acres in five Northern California counties.

Disciplinary hearings begin in the fatal sinking of a Marine amphibious vehicle. A Marine lieutenant colonel and sergeant will face hearings this week for their roles in a series of failures that led to the deaths of eight Marines and a sailor off the San Diego coast in 2020.

Twins born in Northern California 15 minutes apart have birthdays in different years, one in 2021 and the other in 2022. The twins’ pregnancy was a surprise to their parents. So were the deliveries, with an expected due date on Jan. 16.

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NATION-WORLD

Hundreds of people were stranded all night on a snowy highway in Virginia. Motorists waited desperately for help after being stranded for nearly 24 hours in freezing temperatures along a 50-mile stretch of highway south of the nation’s capital that became impassable when tractor-trailers jackknifed in a winter storm. The group included Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine.

Prince Andrew’s effort to toss a sex assault suit hits a roadblock. A judge was mostly dismissive Tuesday of oral arguments by a lawyer for Andrew who wants to win a fast rejection of a lawsuit alleging that two decades ago, the prince sexually assaulted a 17-year-old American who was trafficked by Jeffrey Epstein.

A record number of migrant boats crossed the English Channel to Britain in 2021. At least 28,300 people packed into small boats crossed the English Channel from France to England’s southern coast in 2021, triple the previous year’s tally.

HOLLYWOOD AND THE ARTS

The paternity test is in — and so is Tristan Thompson’s apology to Khloé Kardashian. After a court battle with Maralee Nichols, who gave birth to a boy on Dec. 1, the NBA player publicly copped to the results of a court-ordered paternity test that showed Thompson is now a father of three, no matter how hard he had been denying the third one.

‘Nirvana baby’s’ lawsuit over the ‘Nevermind’ album cover is thrown out — for now. U.S. District Court Judge Fernando M. Olguin ordered Monday that artist Spencer Elden’s child pornography lawsuit against Nirvana and its associates be dismissed after Elden missed a deadline to respond to a December motion to have it thrown out, according to an order reviewed by The Times on Tuesday.

Our critic picks three new sitcoms worth your time — and one that needs time to grow. Network series no longer reap the big awards, and attract far less media interest, but people do watch them. Here are two friendship comedies and two workplace comedies.

No host. No stars. No televised ceremony. The Golden Globes are going ahead anyway. Still struggling to rebound from months of controversy sparked by a February 2021 Times investigation, the HFPA on Tuesday revealed its plans for the 79th edition of the awards.

BUSINESS

A record 4.5 million Americans quit their jobs in November. Exits were high in the low-wage hotel and restaurant industries. The Labor Department also reported Tuesday that employers posted 10.6 million job openings in November, down from 11.1 million in October but still high by historical standards.

AT&T and Verizon delay new 5G service. The companies said Monday that they will delay activating 5G wireless service for two weeks after a request by Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, who cited the airline industry’s concern that the service could interfere with systems on planes.

SPORTS

The Clippers sign Xavier Moon to a second 10-day contract under NBA hardship allowance. The Clippers signed Moon because their second unit was woefully short of guards who could help organize the offense. The Clippers also have wing James Ennis III and forward Wenyen Gabriel signed to 10-day contracts.

UCLA and USC women’s basketball games against Utah are postponed. The games at Utah will be postponed because of COVID-19 issues within the Utes program, the schools announced Tuesday. The Bruins were expected to face Utah on Friday in their first game in almost a month.

The Rams face a tough 49ers test with home field in NFC playoffs at stake. Since 2018, the Rams have not enjoyed momentum — or wins — against the 49ers. They have lost five games in a row, including a 31-10 defeat at Levi’s Stadium in November.

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OPINION

The link between underregulated firearms and an LAPD bullet killing a teen in a fitting room. The weaponry and tactics deployed in the Burlington store by the LAPD are the consequence of a government unable and unwilling to regulate an enormous supply of firearms. In lieu of firearm regulation, police have become the default stopgap to address our deadly gun violence problem.

Not again. AIDS nonprofit wants to block L.A.’s ambitious plan for desperately needed housing. The AIDS Healthcare Foundation, a nonprofit based in Hollywood that often fights development, sued last month, arguing that the city violated state environmental law when it adopted the plan. That’s the story of L.A. and much of California.

ONLY IN L.A.

David Crosby is famous for his music. He also famously loves cannabis. The Laurel Canyon legend has earned a reputation for doling out sage advice (not just on cannabis) via a long-running column in Rolling Stone magazine called “Ask Croz,” as well as humorously critiquing joint-rolling handiwork submitted for scrutiny via social media. In the latest episode of The Times’ “Green Room” video series, he talks about his lifelong love of weed, how he became the Beatles’ ganja go-to in L.A. and long-simmering plans to parlay his penchant for pot into an authentic — and seriously strong — celebrity cannabis brand.

FROM THE ARCHIVES

A group of people wave flags, hold signs and cheer.
Jan. 5, 1961: A crowd, some of them refugees from Cuba, rally outside the Cuban Consulate in L.A.
(Los Angeles Times)

Sixty years ago today, a crowd gathered outside the Cuban Consulate in Los Angeles. They were voicing their support in the days after President Eisenhower’s announcement that the U.S. was breaking off diplomatic relations with Fidel Castro’s regime.

The Jan. 4, 1961, Los Angeles Times said: “The United States broke off diplomatic relations Tuesday night with the left-leaning, boisterous regime of Fidel Castro in Cuba.” It wasn’t until 2015 that moves were made to reestablish that relationship.

We appreciate that you took the time to read Today’s Headlines! Comments or ideas? Feel free to drop us a note at headlines@latimes.com. — Elvia Limón, Laura Blasey and Amy Hubbard


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