Today’s Headlines: Elon Musk’s strategy for buying Twitter based on sound negotiation principles
By Elvia Limón, Laura Blasey and Amy Hubbard
Hello, it’s Tuesday, April 26, and here are the stories you shouldn’t miss today:
Elon Musk’s strategy for winning Twitter: ‘Ready, fire, aim’
Elon Musk has a long history of making showy product announcements that are light on details years before the innovations he’s touting are ready for market, if they ever materialize at all.
That was the approach he brought to his campaign to buy Twitter, initially publicizing his $44-billion bid with no financing or plan for operating the San Francisco company. But just 11 days after Musk’s offer, and three weeks after he became its largest shareholder, Twitter announced it had agreed to sell itself to the billionaire.
Even though Musk’s tactics this month appeared unconventional or even half-cocked, merger-and-acquisition experts say his strategy incorporated sound negotiation principles — with a twist of his distinctive, unpredictable style.
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More about Musk and Twitter
- Could banned Trump allies return to Twitter under Musk? A look at the former president’s backers who were kicked off the social media platform.
- Musk, the founder of a company that California is suing for allegedly silencing thousands of Black employees who complained about racism, is buying a company that has given millions of Black people a megaphone-like voice to complain about racism, writes Times columnist Erika D. Smith.
- Let’s stipulate that nobody knows whether Musk will be good or bad for Twitter. It all depends on which policies he decides to implement as the platform’s owner, and how, writes Times business columnist Michael Hiltzik.
Russia is ‘failing’ in the Ukraine war, Blinken says
U.S. Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken declared that “Russia is failing” in its war aims, as new fighting flared in Ukraine’s eastern battle zone and Russian forces reportedly aimed a round of airstrikes at railway facilities in the country’s west and center.
Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III, who traveled with Blinken to the Ukrainian capital to meet with President Volodymyr Zelensky, made clear that Washington‘s goals extend far beyond seeing Ukraine repel Moscow’s forces. He said he wanted to see Russia “weakened to the point” where it cannot mount such aggression again.
Anti-LGBTQ legislation troubles queer and trans Angelenos
Legislators in 19 states, including Florida, Tennessee and Texas, have introduced bills that aim to restrict children’s access to gender-affirming care, and legislators in 30 states have introduced proposals to exclude transgender children from youth athletics.
The legislative debates have coincided with a rise in attempts to restrict access to books that discuss sexuality and gender identity. The message to transgender children, whether they live in Florida or California, is “that they don’t belong,” said Olivia Hunt, policy director at the National Center for Transgender Equality.
Regardless of where you live, “the impact of seeing your identity being debated or legislated on is really dehumanizing,” said Long Beach resident Jaden Fields, a transmasculine person.
Claim alleges Sheriff Villanueva directed a cover-up of a deputy kneeling on an inmate
Allen Castellano, a Los Angeles County sheriff’s commander who was critical of efforts to cover up an incident in which a deputy kneeled on a handcuffed inmate’s head, has filed legal papers accusing Sheriff Alex Villanueva of obstructing justice and retaliating against those who blew the whistle. The legal claim offered new details that contradict the sheriff’s claim that he learned of the incident several months after it happened.
According to the claim, Villanueva, along with a lieutenant working as his aide, Undersheriff Tim Murakami and Assistant Sheriff Robin Limon, viewed a video of the incident five days after it occurred. After watching, Villanueva allegedly said, “We do not need bad media at this time,” and told Limon that he would “handle the matter.”
Supreme Court OKs ‘race neutral’ admissions policy to admit more Black, Latino students
The Supreme Court cleared the way for a Virginia school board to admit more Black and Latino students — and slightly fewer Asian students — to a magnet high school for math and science.
The justices, over three dissents from conservatives, agreed with a federal appeals court that the school board may use “race neutral” means, including family income, to admit more Black and Latino students to the highly selective Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology.
Lawyers for some parents had sued to challenge the change in the admissions policy, which they said discriminated against Asian American students. A federal trial judge agreed and ruled the board’s new policy amounted to illegal “racial balancing.”
- The Supreme Court gave a mostly sympathetic hearing to a former high school football coach whose prayers on the field may open the door for broader expression of religion in public schools.
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PHOTO OF THE DAY
The head of the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority quit over an employee-pay conflict. Heidi Marston tendered her resignation over a disagreement with the organization’s board about the salaries of its lowest-paid staffers. She leaves at a pivotal moment as elections in the city and county could alter the strategy for how the region addresses its homeless population.
Despite April rains, California still faces significant drought conditions as summer nears. April helped make a small dent in drought conditions, experts said, but the majority of the state is still far below where it needs to be as it heads toward the hot, dry months of summer.
‘Pure greed’: Former DWP general manager gets six years in prison in corruption case. David Wright, the former top executive at the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, who pleaded guilty to one count of bribery earlier this year, is the first city employee sentenced in the corruption case.
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Melissa Lucio’s execution was delayed by a Texas appeals court. The decision was made amid growing doubts about whether Lucio fatally beat her 2-year-old daughter in a case that has garnered the support of lawmakers, celebrities and even some of the jurors who sentenced her to death. A lower court will review her claims that new evidence would exonerate her.
A New York judge found Trump in contempt of court. The judge said the former president failed to adequately respond to a subpoena issued by the state’s attorney general as part of a civil investigation into his business dealings. He ordered Trump to pay a fine of $10,000 per day.
Florida’s governor signs a bill creating an election police unit. The new law comes after Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis made voting legislation a focus this year, pushing the Republican-controlled statehouse to create the policing unit as states reevaluate their own election systems in the wake of Trump’s unfounded allegations.
China promotes coal in a setback for efforts to cut climate-changing emissions. Official plans call for boosting coal production capacity by 300 million tons this year, according to news reports. That is equal to 7% of last year’s output of 4.1 billion tons, which was an increase of 5.7% over 2020.
HOLLYWOOD AND THE ARTS
After streaming’s worst week, Hollywood bows at the altar of cinema. Studios now are, in fact, releasing movies in theaters first, and seeing the benefits at the box office. The results are giving studios and analysts hope that a summer movie slate with a number of potential blockbusters will get more butts back in seats.
‘The Bad Guys’ shows off an animated Los Angeles. DreamWorks Animation’s newest release pays homage to classic L.A.-set gangster films and director Pierre Perifel’s appreciation of the area. But unlike with live action, incorporating a real city into an animated movie is more complicated than just filming there, and you can’t simply reproduce architectural works. Here’s how they pulled it off.
She sang of abuse in a Broadway smash. Fifteen years on, she reveals she’s a survivor too. In the documentary “Spring Awakening: Those You’ve Known,” premiering May 3 on HBO, Lauren “LOLO” Pritchard — an original cast member who became a singer and songwriter after “Spring Awakening” — speaks about playing the character of Ilse, who ran away from a colony of artists who sexually abused her.
‘I’m sorry, I’m sorry I’m sorry.’ Documents reveal new details about ‘Rust’ shooting. The documents include a 204-page case report summarizing the investigation, which remains open and ongoing. The sheriff’s office has not yet filed any charges related to the shooting.
Directing a short film is expensive. Here’s how to crowdfund it. An average short costs from $700 to $1,500 per minute. You have to hire a cast and crew, rent equipment and secure locations, then pay for postproduction, promotion and distribution. Crowdfunding is one way to make it work.
Angel Stadium land sale could mean more affordable housing in Anaheim but maybe less on site. The city had agreed to provide Angels owner Arte Moreno and his development company with $124 million in credits to include 466 units of affordable housing within a neighborhood to be built on the Angel Stadium parking lots.
Chargers have drafted well in the first round under GM Tom Telesco, but look at the rest. When the draft begins, they‘ll have the 17th overall selection and face a great deal more uncertainty about what player and position they’ll select. In a draft that feels less settled than usual, the Chargers fit right in with all their question marks.
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California’s schools don’t need a vaccine mandate — at least, not right now. Faced with vaccine-hesitant parents, state Sen. Richard Pan pulled his vaccine-mandate bill for students. What the state needs now is for kids to be in school.
Truth doesn’t matter to the GOP. House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy was caught lying, and few Republicans seem to care.
ONLY IN CALIFORNIA
Can I get some peanut butter with that jelly? Researchers in Monterey Bay have discovered a new species of deep-sea jelly that looks a little different from others that float through the ocean’s depths.
Dubbed Atolla reynoldsi, the scarlet crown jelly was first found by Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute researchers 15 years ago as it swam more than 4,000 feet below the ocean’s surface. Now, they’ve published the scientific description of the relatively large new species. The researchers named their discovery after Jeff Reynolds, the first volunteer at the Monterey Bay Aquarium.
The creatures live in the midnight zone, a part of the ocean so deep that it can’t be penetrated by sunlight. So far, researchers have found the new species only off Monterey Bay, but they believe the jelly isn’t unique to the area.
FROM THE ARCHIVES
Eighty-four years ago today, President Franklin D. Roosevelt designated Anacapa and Santa Barbara islands as a Channel Islands National Monument. A few days later, in its April 30, 1938, edition, The Times reported: “The Presidential order described the islands as containing fossils of Pleistocene elephants, ancient trees and noteworthy examples of ancient volcanism, deposition and active sea erosion.” It wouldn’t be until March 5, 1980, that President Carter would sign legislation to create Channel Islands National Park. In addition to Anacapa and Santa Barbara, the park encompasses San Miguel, Santa Rosa and Santa Cruz islands.
Last week, our colleague Rachel Schnalzer (author of Escapes) included the islands in a list of parks that can be visited in a weekend from L.A. (the 7 Park Challenge!). Rachel writes that the park is the least-visited in California, “a world away from the crowds associated with Yosemite and Joshua Tree.” With its multiple islands, “the park has a ‘choose your adventure’ feeling.” More info here for those feeling up to the challenge.
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