Today’s Headlines: Panel lays out a moment-by-moment account of Trump’s actions
By Laura Blasey and Amy Hubbard
Hello, it’s Friday, July 22, and before today’s top stories, we’ll take a quick detour for cinephiles and TV fans. Our Global California colleagues have been writing about Hollywood’s filming boom in far-flung Europe, and they came up with a seven-question filming-locations quiz. Here’s one for free for fellow “GOT” fans: What city was used to represent King’s Landing in “Game of Thrones”? [Answer following From the Archives.]
Now, here are the stories you shouldn’t miss today:
The Jan. 6 panel recounted a ‘dereliction of duty’
Then-President Trump’s refusal to call off the mob attacking the Capitol for more than three hours on Jan. 6 constituted a dereliction of duty, the House committee investigating the insurrection said in its prime-time hearing.
“President Trump did not fail to act during the 187 minutes between leaving the Ellipse and telling the mob to go home,” Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) said. “He chose not to act.”
As the mob raged at the Capitol, Trump did not leave his private dining room at the White House, where he watched the events of the day play out on television. He did not speak to national security leaders, law enforcement, congressional leaders or Vice President Mike Pence. He had to be pressured by family and staff into sending tweets urging rioters not to harm police and to be peaceful, committee members said. And it was only once lawmakers were in safe rooms and law enforcement had begun regaining control of the Capitol that Trump agreed to shoot a video urging his supporters to withdraw and go home. Full coverage
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More from the hearing:
- Trump did not stick to a video script laid out for him after he was urged by officials to ask supporters to peacefully leave the Capitol, the committee said. The panel said the script stated: “I am asking you to leave the Capitol Hill region NOW and go home in a peaceful way.” Instead, he affirmed protesters were “special” and loved and began his video with repeated claims that the election was stolen.
- A former White House official told the panel that Pence’s security detail feared for their lives: “There was a lot of yelling, a lot of very personal calls over the radio, so it was disturbing. I don’t like talking about it, but there were calls to say goodbye to family members.”
- Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), who raised a fist in solidarity with protesters at the Capitol on the morning of Jan. 6, ran from the violence later that day. Hawley’s flight was captured in photos and video.
Los Angeles may be the first city in California to put recycled water directly in your tap
The city and agencies across Southern California are looking into “direct potable reuse,” which means putting purified recycled water directly back into our drinking water systems. This differs from indirect potable reuse, where water spends time in a substantial environmental barrier such as an underground aquifer or in a reservoir.
Water recycling experts shudder at the infamous phrase “toilet to tap” from the late 1990s when projects for using recycled water for groundwater replenishment were beginning to take shape in the San Gabriel Valley and city of L.A. Today, cycles of devastating drought as well as advancements in science have softened opposition.
The State Water Resources Control Board has been tasked by legislators to develop a set of uniform regulations on direct potable reuse by Dec. 31, 2023. The city of Los Angeles is wasting no time in readying projects that can launch once the regulations are passed.
UC regents asked for a review of UCLA’s Pac-12 exit after Newsom demanded an explanation
The board asked for the public review of the university’s controversial Pac-12 exit for the Big Ten, including an assessment on how it will affect student-athletes and other UC campuses. UC Berkeley — the only UC campus that will be left behind in a weakened conference without UCLA and USC — will probably take a big financial hit.
The request came after Gov. Gavin Newsom demanded an explanation from UCLA on its planned move in August 2024 and attended a closed-door regents meeting in San Francisco on the issue Wednesday. He has expressed concern about what he views as a lack of transparency by UCLA, which informed UC President Michael V. Drake but did not consult with regents. Only a handful of UC officials were notified just before the decision was announced.
Indoor masking is likely just a week away in L.A. County
Indoor masking in public settings could return to the county in a week as circulation of the hyper-infectious BA.5 Omicron subvariant continues to push coronavirus case counts higher and sends increasing numbers of people to the hospital.
The likely order is a flashpoint in the pandemic. L.A. County, with its higher rate of poverty and overcrowded housing, has been hit harder than most parts of the state. Still, critics question the need for a new mask order. There is less fear of the illness than a year ago, and thanks in part to vaccinations and anti-COVID drugs, many who test positive are not reporting severe illness.
- President Biden tested positive for the coronavirus and was “experiencing very mild symptoms.” Here’s why his bout with COVID-19 is likely to be easier than Trump’s.
Stay up to date on variant developments, case counts and vaccine news with Coronavirus Today.
Two L.A. COVID swindlers dodged the FBI and joined the European jet set
Today’s must-read is about Richard Ayvazyan and Marietta Terabelian, leaders of a family fraud ring that collected $18 million in pandemic relief for sham businesses in the San Fernando Valley. It was one of the many scams by those who lied to get rescue loans during the 2020 lockdowns.
Freed on bail, they sliced off their ankle monitoring bracelets and absconded. The pair fled to Montenegro as Roberto Niko De Leon and Nataly Rose Perez Garcia, leaving two sons and a daughter behind. As Roberto and Nataly spent lavishly, shopkeepers looked the other way. Their multiple homes included a waterfront villa with a view.
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PHOTO OF THE DAY
1.6 million California households have enrolled in an affordable internet program. The program is administered by the Federal Communications Commission and was made possible by $65 billion in funding from a 2021 law, which the Biden administration said would overhaul America’s ailing infrastructure and boost the economy. California has the highest number of enrollees of any state, according to the White House.
The Washburn fire reached 58% containment as Yosemite National Park planned to reopen the southern entrance. Two weeks after the wildfire ignited in the park, firefighters continue to make progress against the blaze that has scorched nearly 5,000 acres.
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Russia pounded Kharkiv after expanding its war aims in Ukraine. Russian shelling slammed a densely populated area in Ukraine’s second-largest city, killing at least three people and injuring at least 23 with a barrage that struck a mosque, a medical facility and a shopping area, according to officials and witnesses. The bombardment came after Russia reiterated its plans to seize territories beyond eastern Ukraine.
NASA photos show Lake Mead water levels at their lowest point since 1937. Recent satellite images from the space agency reveal the dramatic water loss that has occurred over the last 22 years at the drought-stricken lake, the nation’s largest reservoir and a lifeline for California, neighboring states and Mexico.
Two people were indicted in the migrant-smuggling tractor-trailer case that left 53 dead. A federal grand jury in San Antonio indicted Homero Zamorano Jr., 46, and Christian Martinez, 28, both of Pasadena, Texas, on counts of transporting and conspiring to transport migrants illegally, resulting in death, and transporting and conspiring to transport migrants illegally, resulting in serious injury. Both remain in federal custody.
Beloved monarch butterflies are now listed as endangered. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature added the migrating monarch butterfly for the first time to its “red list” of threatened species and categorized it as “endangered” — two steps from extinct.
Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi has resigned after the implosion of his government. Draghi tendered his resignation to President Sergio Mattarella, who rejected a similar resignation offer last week, after his ruling coalition fell apart. The events deal a destabilizing blow to the country and to Europe at a time of severe economic uncertainty.
The right to use contraceptives would be enshrined in law under a measure that Democrats pushed through the House. It’s their latest campaign-season response to concerns a conservative Supreme Court that already erased federal abortion rights could go further.
The Supreme Court turned down an emergency immigration appeal from the Biden administration. Justices left in place a Texas judge’s order that says the government must detain and deport immigrants who have serious crimes on their record.
Column: How the fight over a City Council seat is tearing apart Black Los Angeles. Allies of suspended Councilman Mark Ridley-Thomas notched a win this week over interim Councilman Herb Wesson. Now neither can lead the 10th District, writes Erika D. Smith.
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HOLLYWOOD AND THE ARTS
Inside the battle for control of a legendary music club — and the soul of a high-desert town. Pappy & Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace has become a renowned high-desert watering hole and music venue in Pioneertown, Calif., attracting some of the world’s most famous musicians. But a deal among the bar’s co-owners imploded, and the roadhouse drama has pitted neighbor against neighbor.
Tanya Kersey, founder of the Hollywood Black Film Festival, has died at age 61. Kersey founded the Hollywood Black Film Festival in 1998, with the goal of spotlighting independent films and filmmakers from the African diaspora. The fest, dubbed the Black Sundance, welcomed notable attendees such as Sidney Poitier, John Singleton, Forest Whitaker, Sanaa Lathan and Loretta Devine.
It’s impossible not to root for Issa Rae’s “Insecure” follow-up, “Rap S—.” The vibrant half-hour comedy layers flashy pop-culture trimmings atop meaningful personal journeys as it follows estranged high school friends Shawna (Aida Osman) and Mia (KaMillion) when they reconnect in their 20s and form an unlikely rap duo, writes TV critic Lorraine Ali.
Comic-Con 2022: 11 interesting things we saw. A San Diego Union-Tribune crew visited on Preview Night, and they tell us what caught their attention, including: professional, highly detailed sandcastles created for Audible; a very lifelike replica of Grogu from “The Mandalorian”; and at the Hard Rock Hotel, fans of the Apple TV+ series “Severance” can immerse themselves in the world of Lumon. Character actors lead you through your “orientation,” and there are full-size sets to walk through.
A protest by truckers over a gig worker law shut down Oakland’s port. The protest, which began Monday, involves hundreds of independent big-rig truckers who have blocked the movement of cargo in and out of terminals at the port, which is one of the 10 busiest container ports in the country.
Barbie and Elon: It’s a thing. Mattel Inc. has agreed to make SpaceX-themed toys in partnership with Elon Musk’s rocket company.
Amazon is set to buy One Medical for $3.49 billion. It’s the latest move by the e-commerce giant to muscle into the healthcare market. One Medical has 182 medical offices in 25 markets in the U.S. Customers pay a subscription fee for access to its physicians and around-the-clock digital health services. “We think healthcare is high on the list of experiences that need reinvention,” said an Amazon executive.
Why are we botching the monkeypox response? Blame homophobia. In the midst of a pandemic during which we supposedly learned the value of quick action to educate and vaccinate, the response to monkeypox is appalling and suggests a collective indifference that stems from the disease largely hitting LGBTQ communities, writes columnist Anita Chabria.
How UC betrays its doctors, students and patients on abortion. UC regents demanded that university personnel face no restrictions when practicing at Catholic hospitals. It hasn’t worked out that way, writes columnist Michael Hiltzik.
Editorial: We need straight talk, please, from L.A. mayoral candidates Rick Caruso and Karen Bass about prosecutorial discretion. L.A.’s election for city attorney and the recall campaign against Dist. Atty. George Gascón have unleashed a load of rubbish about the role of criminal prosecutors.
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A new UCLA “name, image and likeness” collective is led by current and former Bruins. The athletes, from every sport, will profit by showing up to events, serving on an advisory board and fundraising. “We can do something that’s really unprecedented,” said the group’s chairman. “We’re rolling out an NIL model within a charitable organization driven by and owned by current and former athletes.”
Trevor Bauer’s accuser said in a court filing her allegations were not “false.” The woman whose sexual assault allegations against Bauer triggered an investigation that resulted in a two-year suspension of the Dodgers pitcher denied that any of the allegations were “false, fabricated, or bogus,” her attorneys wrote in a court filing. Bauer sued the woman for defamation in April, claiming she lied about her sexual encounters with him.
If you’ve ever wanted to become a ninja warrior, now’s your chance. In the upper reaches of the MainPlace mall in Santa Ana, the American Ninja Warrior Adventure Park — a shrunken version of the popular NBC show in which contestants try to climb, swing and leap toward a million-dollar grand prize — fills space once occupied by four retail stores with challenging obstacles. Here are seven tips for making the most of you visit (though the main rewards are a good sweat and a sense of accomplishment).
Get on over to Irv’s Burgers. The historic WeHo burger shack on Route 66 has reopened with former owner Sonia Hong still behind the counter. When she experienced bumps during her ownership, fans and customers dove in to help — with pro bono publicity services, writing letters to officials to stave off relocation or closure, even jumping behind the counter to take orders when Hong and family were overwhelmed. Now, with consultation from local chef Armen Piskoulian, Irv’s has reopened with upgraded versions of its classic burgers, dogs, milkshakes and confetti cookies, plus some new items and a secret-recipe house sauce.
WHAT OUR EDITORS ARE READING
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The U.S. economy can’t be this weird forever. A three-question Q&A delves into the “everything-is-weird economy.” Among the questions: If consumers are miserable, why is leisure spending on fire? “Americans seem to be having a grand old time. Leisure travel is so strong, airports can barely keep up. ... But if you ask Americans how they’re feeling about the economy, you’d better bring a pack of tissues.” The Atlantic
How I became a pathological liar. Brooklyn-based writer Joshua Hunt writes about how he began lying as a young boy to cover up the fact that he was poor. It grew from there: “Lying as a means of coping with poverty had given way to something more pathological. Instead of easing my passage through reality, lying had become a way of denying it altogether.” His road to “becoming an honest person” was slow and painful, as lying is a “compulsion for which there are no known interventions.” New York Times
“A uniquely dangerous tool.” Politico analyzed states’ use of location data from people’s phones as a surveillance tool. It found that states that had criminalized abortion had “relied increasingly on location data in recent years to probe crimes including robbery and sexual assault.” Ten states where abortions are now illegal sent more than 5,700 “geofence” warrants to Google between 2018 and 2020. Abortion rights advocates are alarmed. With established procedures, states could “quickly shift” to investigating abortions. Politico
FROM THE ARCHIVES
Eighty-nine years ago today, on July 22, 1933, Wiley Post became the first aviator to circumnavigate the globe alone. He became known for his record-breaking around-the-world and high-altitude flights.
The Times wrote in early December 1934 about a visit to Los Angeles by Post, who apparently was seeking some rest and relaxation. The pilot was “unheralded and unannounced” and “expressed surprise when newspapermen and officials of the Lockheed plant” showed up at the airport. He spoke with reporters on having ascended, days before, to “an estimated height of 55,000 feet into the stratosphere” and said he believed he’d set a new record. The Times then helpfully told readers the privacy-hungry aviation hero would be staying at the Hollywood Knickerbocker Hotel.
Post also became known for the plane crash that ended his life, which occurred less than a year after that 1934 visit. He was killed along with passenger Will Rogers, beloved actor and social commentator, when the plane Post was piloting crashed in Alaska. The tragedy was recounted in 1985 by The Times.
[Answer to the filming-locations quiz question: Dubrovnik, Croatia.]
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