Today’s Headlines: Ukraine accuses Russia of deporting citizens against their will

A Ukrainian serviceman takes photos of a demolished church in Mariupol, Ukraine
A Ukrainian serviceman takes photos of a demolished church in Mariupol, Ukraine, after the residential area was hit by Russian shelling.
(Evgeniy Maloletka / Associated Press)

By Elvia Limón

Hello, it’s Monday, March 21, and here are the stories you shouldn’t miss today:


Ukraine accuses Russia of bombing a shelter and deporting citizens

Amid a growing consensus that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is morphing into a bloody stalemate that could last months, Ukrainian officials blamed the Kremlin for a new spate of deadly attacks on civilian targets, including the bombing of an art school in the embattled port city of Mariupol where hundreds had taken shelter.


Ukrainian officials also accused Russian forces of seizing several thousand Mariupol residents and deporting them against their will to “remote cities in Russia.”

Ukraine’s human rights spokesperson, Lyudmyla Denisova, said on Telegram that residents were being transported across the border to a Russian city about 60 miles from Mariupol and then sent by train farther into the Russian interior.

More on Ukraine

  • Former President Trump in 2019 threatened to hold up weapons deliveries to Ukraine — caught even then in a simmering war with Russian proxies — unless Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky helped him dig up political dirt on rival Joe Biden. Today, the shadow of that scandal lingers.
  • In just a matter of weeks, the great 2022 exodus of Ukrainians into Poland and other nations has become the largest refugee crisis involving Europeans since World War II.
  • Top U.S. officials are backing Zelensky’s efforts to negotiate a peaceful end to Russia’s invasion of his country.
  • Brighton Beach Avenue in New York has become a place for Ukrainians to affirm their identity with pride. It has become a hub for non-Ukrainians, too, to show solidarity.

Jackson supporters gear up to protect her historic Supreme Court bid

When Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson sits before the Senate Judiciary Committee this morning to kick off her Supreme Court confirmation hearings, Democrats and civil rights advocates want her to know — and see — they’re behind her.


They’ll start by filling the room with a sea of supporters. But they’ll also dispatch allies to speak out about Jackson’s qualifications and counter her Republican critics across the airwaves and social media.

Jackson’s hearings will begin with opening statements from Jackson and Judiciary Committee members. On Tuesday and Wednesday, each of the panel’s 22 members — evenly divided between Democrats and Republicans — will have up to 50 minutes to question her.

You can watch the hearings, live, here.

More politics

  • Justice Clarence Thomas was hospitalized because of an infection, the U.S. Supreme Court said Sunday. The 73-year-old has been at Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, D.C., since Friday after experiencing “flu-like symptoms,” the court said in a statement.
  • After pushing back on Gov. Gavin Newsom’s proposal to offer tax rebates to exclusively offset rising gas prices, leaders of the state Senate and Assembly are crafting their own plan to provide broader-based refunds.
  • As Mayor Eric Garcetti’s ambassadorial nomination faces more scrutiny in the Senate, text messages suggest that a former Garcetti spokeswoman may have been subjected to unwanted kisses and “squeezes” by one of the mayor’s most powerful aides.

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

Poop surveillance could become standard practice


Wastewater surveillance is not a new concept, but the scale and scope of the current pandemic have vaulted the technique over the narrow walls of academic research to broader public use as a crucial tool for community-level tracking of COVID-19 surges and variants.

Sewage surveillance is proving so useful that many researchers and public health officials say it should become standard practice in tracking infectious diseases, as is already the case in many other countries. But whether that happens — and which communities get access — depends on the nation’s ability to vastly scale up the approach and make it viable in communities rich and poor.

More top coronavirus headlines

  • Starting April 1, guests at concerts, conventions and sporting contests in California will no longer be required to show proof of vaccination or a negative coronavirus test, though screening is still strongly recommended.
  • Southern California recorded the highest coronavirus case and COVID-19 death rates of any region in the state throughout the winter surge, a Times analysis found.
  • In just a matter of weeks, Hong Kong has transformed from one of the safest places during the pandemic to having what’s believed to be the highest rate of COVID-19 deaths in the world.
  • China’s health authorities reported two COVID-19 deaths Saturday, the first since January 2021, as the country battles its worst outbreak in two years.

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

L.A. needs clean energy. Hydrogen could be the answer

Southern California runs on petroleum, with a long history of oil drilling and a landscape dominated by cars and freeways. But Angelenos are also deeply dependent on another dirty fuel: natural gas from the nation’s largest gas utility, Southern California Gas Co.


Scientists say there’s an urgent need to phase out fossil fuels and end the unprecedented global heating that is driving deadlier and more destructive heat waves, wildfires, droughts and floods. So how will Southern California solve its natural gas problem? SoCalGas says it has at least a partial answer: hydrogen.

“It allows California to dramatically advance its climate and environmental goals,” SoCalGas President Maryam Brown said in an interview. “It creates a cornerstone for the California green hydrogen economy, and the hydrogen economy in general.”

A Chumash tribe and conservationists fight offshore wind turbines

In recent months, the Gaviota Coast has become a bitter collision point for several national and global imperatives — the reduction of planet-warming greenhouse gasses, the conservation of natural habitats and the atonement for injustices committed against Indigenous populations.

A plan by private corporations to float up to eight wind power generators less than three miles offshore has run headlong into efforts to designate a vast area of ocean off the Central Coast as a Chumash Heritage National Marine Sanctuary.

The turbine proposal has sparked outrage among conservationists and members of the Northern Chumash Tribe, who say the sanctuary is intended to preserve Chumash tribal history and protect the area’s rich biodiversity. Building a network of floating turbines that are tethered to the seafloor and connected to one another and the mainland with electric cables is an affront to preservation, they say.


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This California wine country town is multicultural. So why do so many feel invisible? Paso Robles is idyllic, but the lack of people of color on the bustling town square left The Times’ Tyrone Beason feeling lonely. Given that nearly 40% of the population is made up of Mexican Americans and other Latinos, their near-total absence is conspicuous. There wasn’t a single Black American besides him among all of the white pedestrians, either.

A retired Navy photographer aims to capture World War II vets’ images before they’re lost to history. Since 2017, Spring Valley resident Mickey Strand has taken 106 of these portraits. Since then, more than 100 of these men and women have died.

USC was in a free fall. Then it turned to Rick Caruso. Now running for mayor, Caruso is inviting voters to look closely at that most recent entry on his resume. His campaign has presented him as ready to fix L.A.’s crime, homelessness and corruption the way he “cleaned up the messes at USC.”


A runner holds up a flag
Delvine Meringor of Kenya was the first to finish the Los Angeles Marathon on Sunday.
(Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times)

Delvine Meringor of Kenya emerges as champion of the 37th Los Angeles Marathon. The race included an estimated 15,000 runners from around the country — and the world — covering a 26.2-mile course through L.A. neighborhoods.


San Mateo County has a plan to end local homelessness in 2022. Using federal CARES Act funds and state Homekey money, the county has been purchasing hotels and similar buildings to convert into temporary and permanent housing. The county closed on a fourth hotel within the last week and will have a fifth come online in early April.

Climate change is ravaging Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, scientists warn. What can be done? Streams are disappearing, plants shriveling. Animals are desperate for nourishment with iconic bighorn sheep ever more dependent on human interventions. Ecologists face tough decisions about how to respond.

Yosemite trailer park residents are forced to leave because of aging power lines that are a fire hazard. The park service, which owns the land, notified residents in December that the federal government would shut down the site. Residents were given a 90-day notice that they would have to leave.

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U.S. will declare Rohingya repression in Myanmar a ‘genocide.’ Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken plans to make the long-anticipated designation today at an event at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, according to officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because the move had not yet been publicly announced.

A U.S. admiral says China has fully militarized isles it built in the disputed South China Sea. Beijing maintains its military profile is purely defensive, arranged to protect what it says are its sovereign rights. But after years of increased military spending, China now boasts the world’s second-largest defense budget after the U.S.


Time to retool the census? Some think so after minorities are missed. The undercounts in the 2020 census were blamed on the pandemic, natural disasters and political interference from the Trump administration, but undercounts of racial and ethnic minorities are nothing new to the census; they’ve been persistent for decades.

Chinese airliner crashes with 132 aboard. The Civil Aviation Administration of China said in a statement that the crash occurred near the city of Wuzhou in Teng county on Monday. There was no immediate word of numbers of dead and injured.


How ‘Bridgerton’ wrote Regé-Jean Page out of Season 2. The British actor was integral to the successful reception of the steamy period romance, created by Chris Van Dusen and executive-produced by Shonda Rhimes. Page’s exit is addressed immediately in the second season, which is based on Julia Quinn’s book “The Viscount Who Loved Me.”

‘CODA’ wins the top prize at the 2022 Producers Guild Awards. Is best picture at the Oscars next? The win for Sian Heder’s lovely, often heartbreaking story of a child of deaf adults (the acronym in the title) continues “CODA’s” late-breaking awards season momentum. The Apple TV+ movie didn’t show up on the radar of many voters until it won the Screen Actors Guild’s ensemble award three weeks ago.

‘The Batman’ continues to lead the box office, while ‘Jujutsu Kaisen 0’ opens strong. “The Batman” added $36.8 million in its third consecutive week atop the domestic box office for a North American cumulative of $300.1 million, while “Jujutsu Kaisen 0” launched at $17.7 million.

Why racism is the real horror in Regina Hall’s college-set thriller ‘Master.’ For filmmaker Mariama Diallo, writing a “spooky drama” about Black women navigating the politics at a tony New England college was a way of excising the microaggressions and racism she’d suppressed during her undergraduate years at Yale.



Will Russia’s invasion of Ukraine block the sale of L.A.’s most over-the-top mansion? The auction of “The One” mega-mansion was held soon after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and those disappointed in the winning bid want a do-over.

The airport of the future? Clearing security without removing laptops or liquids. The Transportation Security Administration announced it is spending $781.2 million for hundreds of scanners that use technology employed in hospitals to examine internal organs to more quickly and thoroughly scan carry-on bags for weapons and explosives.

Video game workers found their voices in the pandemic. Could unions be next? Workers have described working as many as 20 hours a day, sleeping at their offices and scarcely seeing their families — all without getting paid overtime. But lately, a growing segment of the industry’s workforce has made it clear they’re not willing to abide by the status quo.


Four years. Four coaches. Inside the off-court drama that made the Showtime Lakers. We explore the real-life saga behind the Laker coaches — Jerry West, Jack McKinney, Paul Westhead and Pat Riley — who appear in HBO’s “Winning Time.”

‘All bets are off’: The inside story of how the Dodgers lured Freddie Freeman home. On the first day of his Dodger career, fresh off signing a six-year, $162-million deal with the club, the 32-year-old joked with new teammates and waved to new fans, after he was formally introduced at a news conference at Camelback Ranch.

Querétaro fans accept sanctions but wonder if cartels played a role in soccer brawl. Since 2013, at least one match a year has been disrupted by fights or clashes with police, the exception being 2020-2021. But the riot during Querétaro’s match with Atlas of Guadalajara stood out for its savagery and the fact its horrific results were captured and shared on social media.


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He killed himself. She helped him. It should have been easier. “Death with dignity” laws make assisted suicide possible in the U.S., but those laws don’t apply if you’re suffering from Alzheimer’s.

How superhero comics became my springboard to questioning the way things are. Darieck Scott writes: In the 1970s, Wonder Woman’s Black twin sister Nubia lent herself to my imagination and honed my ability to envision what justice looked like.


Mexican Fermented Beverages
Evelyn Flores pours some tejuino at her family’s roadside location, Tequileros Tejuino and Snack Bar, on Rosemead Boulevard; tejuino vendors on Rosemead Boulevard; Jose Reyes, 60, sells pulque from his truck on Olympic.
(Mariah Tauger / Los Angeles Times )

Tepache, tejuino and pulque are rustic beverages with Indigenous roots, yet they’re still barely known north of the border. For weeks, The Times’ Daniel Hernandez tracked street vendors, stores and restaurants in L.A. County that sell these particular three with great expectations, and only moderate successes.

Researchers have identified 16 traditional fermented beverages in Mexico, according to a 2021 academic paper in the journal Foods, which describes them as a “biocultural unseen foodscape.” Mexicans have enjoyed such drinks with little notice for centuries and largely avoided embracing them in packaged or processed form.



Grace Kelly and Ernest Borgnine
Grace Kelly presented Ernest Borgnine the Oscar for best actor at the 28th Academy Awards held at the Pantages Theatre in Los Angeles. Borgnine won the award for his role in the film “Marty.”
(Los Angeles Times)

The 28th Academy Awards took place 66 years ago today. Among the winners that year were Ernest Borgnine for best actor in “Marty” and Anna Magnani for best actress in “The Rose Tattoo.” It was also Grace Kelly’s last public appearance before marrying Prince Rainier of Monaco.

The 94th Oscars will be held on Sunday at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland. But there has been backlash this year after the motion picture academy announced that eight awards would be shifted out of the upcoming live Oscars telecast following 2021’s low ratings. However, the show’s first-time producer, Will Packer, has defended the plan amid the fierce blowback.

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