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Today’s Headlines: U.S. inflation reached a new 40-year high

Groceries inside Eataly, in the Westfield Century City, in Los Angeles
The government’s consumer price index soared 9.1% in June from June 2021.
(Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)

By Elvia Limón, Laura Blasey and Amy Hubbard

Hello, it’s Thursday, July 14, and here are the stories you shouldn’t miss today:

TOP STORIES

U.S. inflation reached a new 40-year high

U.S. inflation surged to a new four-decade high in June because of rising prices for gas, food and rent, squeezing household budgets and pressuring the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates aggressively — trends that raise the risk of a recession.

The government’s consumer price index soared 9.1% in June from June 2021, the biggest year-over-year increase since 1981, with nearly half of the increase attributed to higher energy costs.

Lower-income and Black and Latino households have been hit especially hard because a disproportionate share of their income goes toward essentials such as transportation, housing and food.

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Newsom slams red state governors on D.C. trip

Gov. Gavin Newsom said he’s frustrated with Republicans and Democrats. He’s tired of conservatives criticizing California and rolling back rights. And he’s irked that his own national party isn’t fighting harder in the culture war.

If they won’t, he said, he will. He pushed back in a recent television ad in Florida, in an interview, and in a speech in Washington, D.C., as he accepted an education award on behalf of the state he governs — while stoking speculation about his possible presidential ambitions.

“I’m not going to just sit back and watch these guys dominate that narrative,” he said.

More politics

  • In the run-up to a politically uncomfortable meeting later this week with the Saudi crown prince believed to be responsible for the gruesome murder of a journalist, President Biden and his top aides have been tying themselves in knots to avoid politically uncomfortable truths.
  • Many in the U.S. view Biden’s trip to the Middle East as a mission to lower oil prices. But leaders throughout the region see it as a chance to hash out disagreements over Iran.

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

L.A. County coronavirus deaths rising fast

The number of weekly COVID-19 deaths reported in Los Angeles County has doubled over the last month. Over the last week, the nation’s most populous county tallied roughly 100 COVID-19 deaths, the highest total in three months. A month ago, the county was reporting about 50 deaths a week.

Although the numbers are still a fraction of the peak in the winter, when there were more than 500 COVID-19 deaths a week, they underscore the growing concerns over new super-contagious subvariants that have fueled a new wave of infections.

More top coronavirus headlines

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

Dogs at L.A. animal shelters go weeks without being walked

Dogs spend weeks or months inside their kennels without a break at Chesterfield Square Animal Services Center, Los Angeles’ most crowded shelter. Dogs can go more than a week without being walked at other city shelters, according to volunteers. Dogs involved in legal cases may not leave their kennels for months.

The confinement is the result of longstanding practices at Los Angeles Animal Services, critics say. The department largely relies on unpaid volunteers, rather than city employees, to walk and exercise dogs — a system that’s being stressed as more dogs come in.

At the same time, an overcrowding crisis and disagreements over what kind of care the dogs should get is roiling the department. An employee staffing shortage is also hurting operations.

War has shattered Eastern Ukraine’s homes and lives

The war in Ukraine, now in its fifth month, has become a relentless campaign of attrition. Each side daily bludgeons the other with artillery barrages that have killed hundreds, forced millions from their homes, divided families and reduced villages, towns and cities to piles of debris. The Russians — more heavily armed — advance in spurts, pushing the front lines farther west.

It’s an almost five-hour drive east from Dnipro past grain fields, mining works and villages to Kramatorsk in the Donetsk region, one of two provinces that make up the Donbas. Kramatorsk, once home to 150,000, is now a garrison town where Ukrainian troops billet in abandoned apartment blocks and hope to thwart the steady Russian advance. Distant detonations echo across the land.

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PHOTO OF THE DAY

Danny Kim, right, gets a blessing from the Temple Abbot, Say Bunthon
Danny Kim, right, gets a blessing from the Temple Abbot, Say Bunthon, left, during a special ceremony at the Fresno Cambodian Buddhist Temple in Fresno.
(Gary Kazanjian / For The Times)

Danny Kim, a Fresno police sergeant, was inspired to start the traditional Khmer night market after a trip back to Cambodia with his father. He hoped the event, which is the first Friday of the month, will eventually become weekly and will grow to draw a diverse crowd.

CALIFORNIA

L.A. water use plunges a record 9% as restrictions bring savings. The efforts to rein in water use appear to be working. Water officials announced Tuesday that demand for water from city residents plummeted to the lowest use for any June on record.

UC Santa Barbara chancellor is investigated for a hit-and-run allegation, but denies any involvement. The California Highway Patrol investigated allegations that UC Santa Barbara Chancellor Henry T. Yang drove a car that hit a student skateboarding but ultimately said it could not determine what happened.

LAPD killed a man it says aimed a gun at an officer. Body camera video tells a different story. The video uploaded to the LAPD’s YouTube page includes an account of how the shooting unfolded from Capt. Kelly Muniz, a spokeswoman, followed by excerpts of a 911 call and footage of the shooting.

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NATION-WORLD

Man charged with rape of 10-year-old Ohio girl whose abortion drew national attention. Police say the 27-year-old suspect confessed to the crime, though he did not enter a plea. The child had traveled to Indiana for an abortion because of new restrictions in her home state, though some conservatives, including Ohio’s Republican attorney general and a congressman, raised questions about whether the case was real after President Biden cited it.

Wildfires scorch parts of Europe amid an extreme heat wave. Firefighters were battling blazes in Portugal, Spain and southern France on Wednesday in an unusual heat wave that is being linked to climate change.

L.A. lawyer among Americans jailed in Venezuela as U.S. tries to improve relations. Three Americans, including a lawyer from Los Angeles, were quietly jailed earlier this year after allegedly trying to enter the country illegally and now face long prison sentences in the politically turbulent nation.

HOLLYWOOD AND THE ARTS

Netflix’s Jane Austen adaptation ‘Persuasion’ is a dreadful film, never to be borne. The problem with this “Persuasion” is not that it translates its source material into an easily digestible, Netflix-friendly comic idiom. It’s that the translation is so hopelessly at odds with what the movie thinks it’s giving us, writes film critic Justin Chang.

Phoebe Robinson’s new sitcom, ‘Everything’s Trash,’ is full of possibilities. The show, which premieres Wednesday on Freeform, is a decent little sitcom that finds an effective way to frame and fictionalize its star, writes television critic Robert Lloyd. If it’s not always as fizzy or funny as Robinson can be just talking, it’s a friendly place, intriguingly populated and full of possibilities.

The ‘surreal’ search for TV’s next Latina star. As the face of the new HBO Max comedy “Gordita Chronicles,” 12-year-old Olivia Goncalves is already proving to be a performer with the mark of something special.

Why Spotify acquired song guessing game Heardle. The game gives players six chances at guessing the name of a song. With each missed guess, more snippets of the song are revealed. Founded last year, it has already been used by millions of fans, according to Spotify.

Why is the ‘Where the Crawdads Sing’ author wanted for questioning in a murder? What you need to know. It’s all resurfaced just before the movie’s release thanks to a recent article in the Atlantic by its editor, Jeffrey Goldberg, which updates and doubles down on a piece he wrote for the New Yorker in 2010.

BUSINESS

Netflix partners with Microsoft on cheaper ad-supported subscriptions. The announcement comes as Netflix faces challenges in growing its 222-million subscriber base. In the first quarter, Netflix said it lost 200,000 subscribers; in the second quarter, it expects to lose 2 million more.

OPINION

Sorry, Jill Biden, but Latinos want more than your praise of breakfast tacos. Forget breakfast tacos. I’m more upset that First Lady Jill Biden hasn’t pushed for policies that Latinos in the United States desperately need, writes the Times’ Isaac Lozano.

I inherited a 4-pound, furry ball of destruction. Her name is Inky, and I inherited her from my father, who was terribly worried about how she would fare after he died. I had promised my dad that I would always take care of Inky, no matter what. He trusted that I would. And so I have. But it has not been easy, writes columnist Robin Abcarian.

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SPORTS

Talks resume to avert an All-Star Game strike by Dodger Stadium concession workers. In a statement, the union said the workers sought “a fair new union contract,” without specifying any demands. The union said it represents close to 1,500 food servers, bartenders, suite attendants, cooks and dishwashers at Dodger Stadium.

The Angels’ Mike Trout is susceptible again to high fastballs. What is going on? High heat was Trout’s kryptonite in 2014, when he was the American League MVP despite a career-high 184 strikeouts. And it is a glaring weakness again in 2022, even as Trout compiles another All-Star season.

Bru McCoy drops legal action against USC ahead of his fresh start at Tennessee. McCoy, a talented wide receiver from Santa Ana Mater Dei High, transferred to Tennessee in May. He played for USC as a freshman in 2020 but sat out 2021 because he was barred from campus.

ONLY IN L.A.

Thinking about the galaxy? These L.A. space places will spark even more wonder. Sure, there’s the Hollywood Walk of Fame and plenty of celebrity residents. But the Los Angeles area is also home to several spots devoted to seeing real stars and better understanding them if the latest views from NASA’s Webb Telescope have you thinking about space.

The UCLA Meteorite Gallery has one of the largest collections of space rocks on the West Coast. The Space Shuttle Endeavour, a star attraction at the California Science Center in Exposition Park, is viewable daily. And of course, there’s Griffith Observatory.

FROM THE ARCHIVES

A clipping from an old newspaper shows a partially constructed multistory building, scaffolding and piles of lumber.
March 6, 1927: In The Times, the Ahwahnee is pictured under construction.

Ninety-five years ago today, on July 14, 1927, Yosemite’s Ahwahnee Hotel formally opened to the public. According to the National Park Service, the hotel “was the brainchild of the National Park Service’s first director, Stephen Mather,” who envisioned a resort hotel that would pull in wealthier visitors and “set the standard of ‘Park-ictecture.’” He believed they would become supporters of the new national park system.

In its March 1927 edition, The Times reported on the $1-million Ahwahnee, then under construction, in a story headlined “Hotel Decorations Lavish.” “Rare furnishings from every corner of the world, representing an outlay of $250,000 have been purchased,” the paper said. Some of those furnishings ended up walking away. As noted in a 2006 article by The Times’ Robin Abcarian: “The day after the hotel’s opening night — a private, complimentary celebration for an elite few on July 14, 1927 — hotel staff reported that the guests had stolen a remarkable number of pewter ink stands, valuable Indian baskets, rugs and even bedspreads.”

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.


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