Today’s Headlines: A year-old continuing war on truth

Pro-Trump protesters clash with police.
Capitol Police officers try to hold off Donald Trump supporters at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021.
(Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times)
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Hello, it’s Thursday, Jan. 6, and here are the stories you shouldn’t miss today:


How two different Americas see the Jan. 6 insurrection

It’s been a year since the world watched angry Donald Trump supporters, some armed with Molotov cocktails and dressed in tactical gear, storm the nation’s Capitol and violently clash with police. Spurred on by then-President Trump, rioters had traveled from far and wide to stop Congress from certifying the results of the 2020 presidential election.

In the hours after the attack, Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy seemed united as they spoke on the House floor. But over the last year, a chasm has grown between the two leaders over how to move forward. It is a divide that reflects a larger split in America, as more people seek to write and rewrite the history of last Jan. 6.


The lies that fueled the riot remain deeply embedded in American politics. Instead of providing a foundation for national unity, Jan. 6 became a launchpad for disinformation and new state laws to restrict access to the ballot box.

More about the insurrection

  • Hundreds of people are still being sought by the FBI after last year’s deadly insurrection, including the person who placed two explosives outside the offices of the Republican and Democratic national committees.
  • Atty. Gen. Merrick Garland has pledged to hold to account those involved “at any level” in the attack on the U.S. Capitol, whether they were present during the melee or not.

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California extends its indoor mask mandate

California will extend its mask mandate for indoor public spaces for a month as the Omicron variant continues its rapid spread. Given the sharp recent rise in infections and hospitalizations, the mandate will be in place through at least Feb. 15.


The surge has affected first responders, as more than 1,000 police officers, firefighters and paramedics in the Los Angeles region were ill or at home quarantining Tuesday after testing positive for the coronavirus. And a growing number of public and private institutions in California are moving to temporary remote work and closing some offices.

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An airline broke an activist’s wheelchair. Her death months later amplified calls for change

The death of Engracia Figueroa, a Los Angeles activist whose wheelchair was broken by an airline, has amplified calls to fix a system that disabled activists have called archaic and dangerous.

Flying from Washington, D.C., Figueroa returned to L.A. to find that her motorized wheelchair — a custom device that cost tens of thousands of dollars — had been broken. At Los Angeles International Airport, she waited roughly five hours in a manual wheelchair that did not fit her body, which reopened an old sore, according to her attorney, Joshua Markowitz.


Whether the incident led directly to her death, as her attorney has argued, is poised to become the subject of litigation. Regardless of how her case might play out in court, Figueroa’s story has been infuriatingly familiar for many wheelchair users.

Judge rejects L.A. County’s bid to dismiss Vanessa Bryant’s lawsuit over crash photos

A federal judge Wednesday rejected an effort by Los Angeles County lawyers to dismiss Vanessa Bryant’s lawsuit over the handling of photos taken at the scene of the helicopter crash that killed her husband, Kobe Bryant. The lawsuit could go to trial as early as next month.

Vanessa Bryant sued the county in 2020, alleging that she and her family suffered severe emotional distress after learning that L.A. County sheriff’s deputies snapped and later shared gruesome images of the crash scene where her husband, daughter Gianna and seven others died in January 2020.

Coastal residents sue L.A. over a massive sewage spill into Santa Monica Bay

More than 100 people living in and around El Segundo have filed a lawsuit against the city of Los Angeles, accusing it of exposing them to toxic hydrogen sulfide gas and other dangers during and after a sewage spill last year at the Hyperion Water Reclamation Plant.


In July, a backup caused by debris forced officials to use an emergency discharge procedure, sending a flood of raw sewage into Santa Monica Bay. The L.A. County Department of Public Health issued a health advisory and urged people to avoid swimming in the area.

For more than two weeks after the initial 17-million-gallon discharge, the damaged plant continued to release millions of gallons of partially treated wastewater into the Pacific Ocean, a Times investigation found.

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A man is squeezed up against the Capitol exterior.
Jan. 6, 2021: A crowd tries to force its way into the U.S. Capitol as part of a pro-Trump riot. Photographers from The Times and dozens of other media outlets captured haunting images and disturbing video clips of the extraordinary attack, even as some seek to rewrite the history of the day.
(Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times)


Civil rights leader Rev. Al Sharpton will deliver the eulogy for 14-year-old Valentina Orellana Peralta, who was killed by an LAPD officer. Valentina’s funeral will be Monday at the City of Refuge Church in Gardena. The shooting has sparked outrage and spurred debate about police response in tense, crowded situations.

Rabbi who was shot in Poway synagogue attack is sentenced to prison for fraud. Yisroel Goldstein rose to national prominence after being wounded in an antisemitic shooting, and was then exposed as the perpetrator of multimillion-dollar fraud schemes. He was sentenced Tuesday to 14 months in prison.


A former San Diego State frat member sues the university over hazing allegations. The suit claims the school wrongly accused him of engaging in hazing while he was a member of Phi Gamma Delta, a controversial fraternity that was shut down last year.

Nearly two dozen historic streetlights are missing from the Glendale-Hyperion bridge. The stolen lampposts were installed in 1926 and made of bronze, and no replacements are immediately available. The thefts have also continued despite an ongoing Los Angeles police investigation.

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Boy Scouts of America falls short in bid to emerge from sex-abuse bankruptcy. A $2.7-billion settlement offer failed to garner enough votes from thousands of men who say they were sexually abused in Scouting. Although 73% of the nearly 54,000 claimants who cast ballots voted to accept the settlement, the proposal needed at least 75%.

130 years after defying segregation, Plessy of ‘separate but equal’ ruling to be pardoned. Louisiana’s governor posthumously pardoned Homer Plessy on Wednesday, more than a century after the Black resident was arrested in an unsuccessful challenge to a Jim Crow law creating “whites-only” train cars.

March 2023 trial is set for the Florida condo collapse lawsuit. That’s about six months later than Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Michael Hanzman had initially planned. But lawyers in the complex and unusual case said experts need more time to evaluate what caused the condominium building to fall and kill 98 people.



Grammy Awards postponed due to Omicron variant. The Recording Academy, which presents music’s most prestigious awards show, said that “holding the show on Jan. 31 simply contains too many risks” and added that a new date would be announced “soon.”

Omicron also forces Sundance Film Festival to cancel in-person events. Instead of hosting red carpet premieres, parties and panel discussions in the traditional hub of Park City, the 2022 festival will now be mostly virtual for the second consecutive year.

Kanye West to headline 2022 Coachella festival. West (who now goes by Ye) is in the final stages of confirming festival-closing sets on consecutive Sundays, April 17 and 24.


As superstars cash in on vinyl LP boom, small labels and manufacturers struggle to meet demand. Buyers want way more records than pressing facilities in Southern California can supply. That’s true globally too: There aren’t enough manufacturers to meet the renewed demand, and too few workers available to run them.

After turning journalists into TV stars and millionaires, Richard Leibner signs off. Leibner, 82, the godfather of TV news agents, retired at the end of December after 58 years of representing many of the biggest names in the industry, including Diane Sawyer, Dan Rather, Mike Wallace and Norah O’Donnell.


Fans won’t be able to pump up the volume at UCLA basketball’s long-awaited return. The game against Long Beach State comes with an unusually exclusive guest list: Only families of team members will be permitted inside Pauley Pavilion on Thursday afternoon for the Bruins’ first game in nearly a month.


Novak Djokovic was denied entry into Australia after his visa was canceled. The Australian Border Force issued a statement early Thursday local time saying Djokovic failed to provide appropriate evidence to meet entry requirements and “his visa has been subsequently canceled.”

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The brazen, mind-boggling Republican revisionism regarding Jan. 6 never ends. The United States has an unfortunate tendency toward historical amnesia and denial, particularly when it comes to the bad behavior of white people, writes columnist Robin Abcarian.


Arch at Spooner's cove
Before-and-after images at the arch at Spooner’s Cove near Montaña de Oro State Park that collapsed during recent rains.
(Helena Yungbluth)

December’s record-breaking storms provided a much-needed rain, but they also came at a cost. A beloved rock arch at Spooner’s Cove, along the coast of San Luis Obispo, crumbled in the recent rains, officials said.

Eric Hjelstrom, chief ranger for the San Luis Obispo Coast district of California State Parks, said the sandstone cliffs that line the area are home to many natural features. They’re part of “what gives you the allure of this part of California,” he said. But time, rain and wind all take a toll, and “the same force that creates the arch eventually destroys it.”



A man with white hair and a suit and tie sits in court.
January 1945: Comedian Charlie Chaplin, 55, in court during the Joan Berry paternity trial in Los Angeles.
(Los Angeles Times)

Seventy-seven years ago this week, Charlie Chaplin was embroiled in a paternity trial, which, as The Times reported later, exploded into one of Hollywood’s biggest scandals. Chaplin was exonerated by a blood test of being the father of a baby girl born to Joan Berry. But the test was disputed and the trial went forward. The jury deadlocked, as The Times reported on Jan. 5, 1945, and a mistrial was declared.

“The five jurors for the baby, of which I was one,” said one juror in the 1945 report, “did not question but that he was the father. The others, however, could not overlook the fact there was testimony showing she had been alone with Getty [Jean Paul Getty, multimillionaire oilman] and Ruesch [Hans Ruesch, former Hollywood writer] around the time she says she was with Chaplin.” A retrial just three months later ended with a jury upholding Berry’s claim, and the legendary comedian was ordered to pay $75 a week in child support.

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