Today’s Headlines: Dismembered bodies, charred tanks, lost souls are scattered in Bucha

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky accompanied by Ukrainian soldiers.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, center, visits the town of Bucha.
(Anadolu Agency)

By Elvia Limón and Laura Blasey

Hello, it’s Wednesday, April 6, and here are the stories you shouldn’t miss today:


Dismembered bodies, charred tanks and lost souls are scattered in Bucha

Bucha, a town northwest of Kyiv, was a nice place to live, residents say. Now it has become notorious as ground zero of what Ukrainian authorities call a Russian war crime, a killing rampage targeting civilians, some found with hands tied behind their backs, apparent victims of summary executions.


At least 417 bodies of civilians have been discovered in Kyiv-area towns recently recaptured from retreating Russian forces, Ukrainian officials say. Who they all were, how exactly they perished, are questions that remain under investigation as authorities toil to identify the dead in a war that has stretched into its second month.

Russia has denounced the scenes from Bucha and other nearby towns as fake — a “stage-managed anti-Russian provocation,” in the words of Sergei Lavrov, Moscow’s foreign minister. As Times foreign correspondent Patrick J. McDonnell reports, in Bucha and other suburbs, though, is evidence of how the world appears powerless to stop atrocity.

More about Ukraine

Second suspect arrested in deadly Sacramento shooting

Sacramento police announced they had arrested a second suspect in connection with a shooting that killed six people. Police said they had arrested the brother of the first suspect they apprehended. Smiley Martin, 27, brother of Dandrae Martin, was among the seriously injured and is under police custody in a hospital.

Police also said a stolen firearm used in the shooting in Sacramento was converted to be used as a fully automatic weapon.

Authorities did not offer more details about the weapon. Investigators have obtained a social media post made by Smiley Martin in which he wields the stolen gun, according to law enforcement sources.

Virus cases are rising in L.A. County, San Diego and San Francisco

Coronavirus cases have begun to rise by a small amount in Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco counties, according to a Times analysis, likely a result of the highly contagious Omicron subvariant BA.2, decreased use of masks and waning immunity.

The trends in some of California’s most populous areas are an echo of what has been seen in parts of the East Coast, where a small wave has begun in New York and Massachusetts. BA.2 now makes up an estimated 72% of new weekly cases in the U.S., up from 57% the previous week, and became dominant faster in the Northeast than on the West Coast.

BA.2 is considered 30% to 60% more contagious than an earlier Omicron subvariant, BA.1.

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

‘Clearly ludicrous’ smears fly in Republican-on-Republican attacks

For the second time in two weeks, GOP lawmakers have found themselves the targets of outlandish, evidence-free attacks — lobbed by fellow Republicans.

First, freshman Rep. Madison Cawthorn of North Carolina was rebuked by House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy of Bakersfield for suggesting on a podcast that their colleagues partook in orgies and cocaine. Then, freshman Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene smeared three Republican senators as “pro-pedophile” in a tweet because they have said they intend to support Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s confirmation to the Supreme Court.

Increasingly, conservatives are throwing unsubstantiated claims that Democrats are aligned with predators. But the recent comments offer a new twist, with newer GOP politicians harnessing sensationalized rhetoric and nodding at right-wing conspiracy theories to harm members of their own party.

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As UC and CSU deliver rejection letters, can Arizona State fill the void?

After years of steadily targeting California, the No. 1 source of Arizona State University’s out-of-state students, the university has planted its first flag in the heart of downtown Los Angeles with a high-profile, multimillion-dollar takeover of the landmark Herald Examiner building.

The upstart program is too tiny to measure now. But California public university leaders have taken note — and are watching whether ASU President Michael Crow’s alternative vision for higher education will be a trendsetting incubator launched in L.A. or a failed incursion into a neighboring state.

Crow sees California gold in the tens of thousands of students each year who are delivered rejection letters from the University of California’s and California State University’s most popular campuses — the annual heartbreak happening now.

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Wild pigs feed on roots and acorns
Wild pigs feed on grubs, roots and acorns at Joseph D. Grant County Park in Santa Clara County. Across the nation, federal officials estimate the pigs cause between $1.5 billion and $2.5 billion worth of damage every year. California wants to ease the hunting of wild pigs. Evidence suggests that won’t work.
(Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)


A study finds California adults who live with a gun owner face twice the risk of death by homicide. It is a belief that helped drive a historic rise in U.S. firearms sales: Having a handgun at home will make you safer. Groundbreaking new research from Stanford University researchers conducted over a 12-year period in California shows that the opposite is true.

Paranoia and a mashup of conspiracy theories gripped a surf instructor before child killings. The latest affidavit, filed last week in San Diego federal court, offers the most detailed account yet of the mashup of conspiracy theories and increased paranoia that friends, family and Matthew Taylor Coleman himself say were churning in his head before he killed his two children last August.

Orange County D.A. is reviewing cases worked by a DNA analyst whose faulty analysis damaged a murder prosecution. The inquiry will target only a handful of active cases relying on testimony from the DNA expert, Mary Hong. But in more than 30 years with the O.C. Sheriff’s Department’s crime lab, Hong was involved in hundreds, possibly thousands, of cases.

A suspect in the robberies of 21 men he met through the Grindr gay hookup app is arrested by the FBI. FBI agents arrested Derrick Patterson in Inglewood on a federal robbery charge. The case is a cautionary tale of the risks people take when they open the door to strangers for a hookup on the basis of a few photos and a quick chat online.

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Oklahoma state House approves a bill to make abortion illegal. With little discussion and no debate, the Republican-controlled House voted 70 to 14 to send a bill that would make performing an abortion a felony to Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt. Stitt has previously said he’d sign any antiabortion bill that comes to his desk.

Sarajevo marks the 30th anniversary of its long siege with thoughts of Ukraine. Bosnian Serb forces laid siege to Sarajevo in 1992 for 46 months during the bloody breakup of Yugoslavia. Survivors say the anniversary comes against the backdrop of what they see as similar suffering in Ukraine.

Think U.S. gas prices are high? Try filling up in Hong Kong — for about $11 a gallon. Even before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine roiled energy markets, Hong Kong, a semiautonomous city in southern China, was one of the most expensive places in the world to fill up a tank.


Pioneering female comics finally get their due in Shawn Levy’s book ‘In On the Joke.’ For Joan Rivers, Moms Mabley, Minnie Pearl, Phyllis Diller and many others, masking their femininity, sexuality and intellect added extra layers to showbiz’s glass ceiling. In the new book, Levy unearths a lost history in stand-up that gives jaw-dropping insight into the barriers they faced.

Britney Spears is definitely writing her memoir: ‘Sorry if I’ve offended anyone.’ According to transcripts from the Hollywood Reporter, the pop musician described the writing process as “hard,” “healing” and “therapeutic.” Her announcement comes more than a month after Page Six reported that she had signed a $15-million book deal with publisher Simon & Schuster.

Snoop Dogg, Mindy Kaling and Billy Eichner join the Netflix Is a Joke festival lineup. The festival comprises more than 250 live shows, spread across 30 Los Angeles venues between April 27 and May 7.

‘A Hero’ director Asghar Farhadi is accused of plagiarizing the film from a former student. The film centers on a real-life Shirazi prisoner who finds a purse of coins and goes viral for tracking down the owner rather than keeping it for himself.


Elon Musk joins Twitter’s board of directors after acquiring 9% stake. Musk’s intentions with his stake in the social media platform remain unclear. He is now the company’s largest stakeholder, but his investment is a passive one, meaning that he isn’t allowed to pursue control of the company.

Want to understand streaming churn? Here are four charts to help. There are so many streaming options for consumers that media companies don’t just have to worry about acquiring enough subscribers. They increasingly have to fret about losing them too and about what causes them to bail.

Smart & Final gouged egg prices during the COVID-19 rush, says California’s attorney general. State Atty. Gen. Rob Bonta said the company sold more than 100,000 cartons of illegally priced eggs, having raised the price by more than 10% — the maximum increase allowed by California law — as panicked shoppers stocked up in the early days of the pandemic.


Tiger Woods plans to play in the Masters 14 months after his horrific car accident. Woods confirmed that he intends to play in the Masters this week in pursuit of his sixth green jacket after his Monday practice round drew a gallery of thousands.

MLB makes Shohei Ohtani the face — and voice — of opening week. The Angels star captivated fans around the world last season, in particular taking center stage at the All-Star game. He hit and pitched in the first inning, then stayed in the game to hit — a rule adjustment so popular it now has been memorialized in his name.

Ryan Getzlaf will retire at the end of the NHL season as one of the mightiest Ducks of all. Getzlaf has scored 282 goals and earned 731 assists for 1,013 points. His assist total ranks 51st all-time among NHL players and fifth among active players. His point total ranks ninth among active players and 88th all-time. He’s the last player still with the Ducks from their 2007 Stanley Cup championship team.

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Op-Ed: I never imagined that being a Black author could put me in harm’s way. “Our books — fiction and nonfiction — are being banned as part of a conservative movement to quash teaching and the discussion of racism in America. With a ‘hate the book, hate the writer’ ethos taking hold, suddenly, threats are being made against us.

She helped win an early fight for gay rights. Now it feels like history is repeating. Gwenn Craig, who helped defeat the anti-gay Proposition 6 back in 1978, hears echoes in recent legislation.


Fast Food America is a universe of its own, born out of Southern California. Jack in the Box, Taco Bell, Del Taco, Carl’s Jr., McDonald’s — it’d almost be easier to list the fast-food chains that did not begin in these palmy latitudes, writes columnist Patt Morrison. A Big Bang of burger-and-burrito chains in postwar California was fueled by a vertiginous economy, spreading suburbia and cars.

Ironclad proof can be hard to come by, so we’ll steer clear of some disputed “firsts,” like which chain came up with the first drive-up service for cars or the first cheeseburger (though there are plenty of claims here). But California fast food was the first fast food.


Civilian Conservation Corps volunteers battle a blaze.
Civilian Conservation Corps volunteers battle a blaze in Glendale in 1935.
(Los Angeles Times)

President Franklin D. Roosevelt established the Civilian Conservation Corps 89 years ago to help unemployed Americans during the Great Depression. The first “emergency agency” eventually put 3 million men to work in the national park system. By the end of the program in 1942, CCC workers had built scores of bridges, constructed flood-control projects, cut 97,000 miles of fire roads and planted 3 billion trees, prompting the nickname “Roosevelt’s Tree Army.”

The Labor Department recruited around the country, and working for the corps became a much-desired job. Each enrollee signed on for a one-year stint and was paid $30 a month — with a stipulation that $25 be sent home to support their families.

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