Today’s Headlines: OPEC+ move could pump up the gas-price pain
By Elvia Limón and Jason Sanchez
Hello, it’s Thursday, Oct. 6, and before we turn to the top news, we’d like to give a shout-out to a story from Singapore-based correspondent David Pierson about Thailand’s bid to be the king of cannabis. It’s part of Global California, a project that showcases connections between California and the world. In this case, it’s a weed connection. The owners of one of Thailand’s largest legal cannabis farms are awaiting approval to import seeds from Humboldt Seed Co. to crossbreed Thai and California marijuana.
David took a Jeep tour of the farm, where a supervisor from the facility told him, “This is a dream job … I wish I could smoke all day, but we’re just too busy.” Thailand is very busy, David writes, “barreling toward a future in which it could surge past Amsterdam and parts of the United States as a global destination” for cannabis cultivation and consumption. Read more about the green rush.
A move by OPEC+ could make California gas prices (even) worse
As gas prices hit record highs in Los Angeles County, a pledge by OPEC+ to reduce its oil production by 2 million barrels a day brought concerns about more economic pain to come.
California is seeing surging pump prices in the wake of shutdowns at several oil refineries that produce a specific formula of gasoline for the state. This most recent spike is mostly confined to California and the West Coast.
There was debate among experts about the effect of the OPEC+ move, which was designed to boost sagging oil prices. It remains unclear how the reduction will affect pump prices. Experts say it poses another threat to the shaky global economy; others say the spike could be brief in California as refineries come back online.
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Should this low-lying Florida city rebuild after Ian?
After Hurricane Ian barreled into southwest Florida with a biblical surge of ocean surf, Cape Coral residents are confronting the downside of living just 7 feet above sea level.
For decades, scientists, environmentalists, geographers and city planners have warned that large swaths of the U.S. coastline are at risk — and no city has a greater percentage of homes in peril than this rapidly developing Florida metropolis of 200,000 where the Caloosahatchee River empties into the Gulf of Mexico.
Five years ago, a Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment for Cape Coral warned that, in a worst-case scenario, much of the city could be underwater by 2200.
Voters support Newsom’s mental health plan, and most back mandatory kindergarten
California voters strongly support Gov. Gavin Newsom’s plan to set up a new court system for people struggling with a combination of severe mental illness, homelessness and substance use, but split with the governor on requiring children to attend kindergarten, a new poll shows.
Seventy-six percent of registered voters said they favored the Community Assistance, Recovery and Empowerment (CARE) Court, including 41% who said they strongly supported the idea. Fifteen percent said they opposed the plan, while 9% reported no opinion.
The poll also found that 57% of likely voters favored making kindergarten a requirement while 33% opposed it. Support was divided along partisan lines, however, with 70% of Democrats backing the proposed law and 58% of Republicans opposing it.
- A federal appeals court ordered a lower court review of Biden administration revisions to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
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Here’s how the ‘Rust’ settlement could affect any criminal case
News that the husband of Halyna Hutchins had reached a settlement with actor Alec Baldwin and other producers over her shooting on the set of “Rust” stunned many in Hollywood and beyond.
Speculation that the proposed settlement would influence the ongoing criminal investigation into the accident was swiftly dispelled when Santa Fe County Dist. Atty. Mary Carmack-Altwies vowed to proceed with the case, in which she has said up to four people, including Baldwin, could be charged.
But legal experts said the settlement could certainly complicate the D.A.’s case.
The flu could be far worse in L.A. this season
More than 2½ years into the battle against COVID-19, officials are warning that this fall and winter could see the rebound of a more traditional foe: the flu.
Influenza has been largely dormant the last two seasons, a development some attribute to the infection-prevention protocols put in place to ward off the coronavirus.
But with measures such as mandatory masking, physical distancing and limitations on business and social activities being put aside amid improved pandemic conditions, California could be in line for a more active flu season this year.
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PHOTO OF THE DAY
Want a speed hump to deter speeders on your L.A. street? Act fast. Starting at 9 a.m., the city will open the application window for speed humps, the low and wide version of the familiar parking-lot axle bouncers. The Los Angeles Department of Transportation says it will accept just 25 applications from each of the 15 City Council districts before closing the window, so the sooner you apply, the better your chances will be.
An internal LAPD report ruled that an officer’s training death was an accident. The first detailed public accounting the LAPD has offered of Houston Tipping’s death last spring found that Tipping and the other officers involved in the training session followed standards set by a state agency. It did not uncover any evidence to support an allegation made by Tipping’s mother that other officers were simulating a mob and beat Tipping during the training.
“No bones, no teeth, no body parts.” Ruben Flores never dug Kristin Smart’s grave, a lawyer said. With a jury already deliberating whether to find Flores guilty of the 1996 murder of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo student Kristin Smart, a second jury began considering the fate of his father, who is charged as an accessory to the crime.
A man was sentenced to probation and time served in a Walk of Fame attack on three transgender women. Carlton Callaway, 31, was sentenced to one year in jail and probation and ordered to undergo mental health treatment as a result of the August 2020 attack, according to Los Angeles County Deputy Dist. Atty. Richard Ceballos. Police had alleged he made derogatory comments about the victims’ gender during the assault.
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At least 35 people dead in Thailand shooting rampage. A gunman, identified as a former police officer, attacked a child-care center in Thailand and then fired from his car as he fled, with two dozen children among the victims, authorities said. It was the deadliest mass shooting in the country’s history.
Fury over minks’ deaths has spurred Denmark’s prime minister to call an early election. Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen called a general election for Nov. 1, seven months ahead of the end of her term in office. Frederiksen has seen her popularity dwindle because of her role in a decision to cull millions of healthy minks at the height of the coronavirus pandemic to protect humans from a mutation of the virus.
Turkey OK’d sending troops to Qatar for World Cup security. Turkish lawmakers passed a motion to send an unspecified number of troops to the Persian Gulf country for six months. The troops would be in addition to about 3,000 riot police officers that Turkey said it would send to the event. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan requested parliamentary approval to deploy troops, explaining that the soldiers would join forces from the United States, France, Britain, Italy and Pakistan.
HOLLYWOOD AND THE ARTS
Commentary: It’s OK to let gay art bomb. Though marketed as a landmark moment for LGBTQ people in popular culture, in truth “Bros” is not nearly so radical as it claims. But a film expressly about the refusal to butch up one’s voice for a straight audience isn’t for everyone, and it doesn’t need to be.
Acclaimed artist Kim Jung Gi has died. The 47-year-old South Korean artist died suddenly of a heart attack on Monday. Kim was known for his exceptional ability to draw intricate illustrations entirely from memory, with no references whatsoever, on large canvases with his trusty brush pen. The talented craftsman also contributed artwork to graphic novels, as well as Marvel and DC comics.
In France, Oscar winners cut off their hair for Iran protesters. Actors Marion Cotillard and Juliette Binoche, as well as other French celebrities, filmed themselves chopping off locks of their hair in a video in support of protesters in Iran. The video comes as Iran is engulfed by anti-government protests sparked by the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini while in custody of the so-called Morality Police. Some of the Iranian demonstrators have publicly hacked off locks of hair at the protests, and the gesture has spread.
Does Kim Kardashian’s SEC fine mark the end of the crypto-celebrity gold rush? It can be hard to talk about crypto without mentioning the sometimes bizarre overlap that the still relatively niche financial technology has with the entertainment industry. Yet questions still abound about why, exactly, so many celebs have hopped aboard the crypto hype train — and what financial incentives they may have for doing so.
In Syria, my fame became a curse. Now it helps give meaning to my journey as a refugee. Once a target of the regime in Syria, Times Opinion contributor Jay Abdo fled the country and started over as an actor in Hollywood, realizing he could use his art and voice to call attention to the plight of refugees. “In every moral challenge, some people find the fortitude to stand up while others don’t. Some Syrian artists who were once my friends became cheerleaders for the Assad regime. They chose to remain on the dark side of history. I chose to seek the light.”
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The Dodgers’ Trea Turner hopes to break bad habits. Normally, early batting practice isn’t the place you find two-time all-stars with near-.300 batting averages. But for the last several weeks, it has become a familiar part of Turner’s pregame routine — another indication that, in spite of another solid season for a 29-year-old considered to be one of the game’s best hitters, he hasn’t felt like the best version of himself for much of the year.
The Angels have given Phil Nevin a one-year contract to return as manager. Nevin spent most of the 2022 season as the Angels interim manager. Now he’s had the “interim” dropped from his title and will remain the team’s manager for the 2023 season. The former third base coach, hired by the Angels in January, was promoted to the interim role after Joe Maddon was fired on June 7 in the middle of a franchise-record 14-game losing streak.
ONLY IN SOCAL
Beyond lattes. Whether it’s decades-old family endeavors or budding businesses, local pumpkin patches celebrate the season with a personal touch. Most patches expand beyond pumpkins to offer a bounty of fall activities such as hayrides and corn mazes. And, if you ask their owners, they’re all looking forward to the same thing: the joy of the people who visit.
Check out these 16 L.A. and O.C. pumpkin experiences that scream fall.
FROM THE ARCHIVES
Fifty-five years ago today, on Oct. 6, 1967, the curtain fell on the Summer of Love at Haight-Ashbury in San Francisco, with participants staging a mock funeral called “The Death of the Hippie.”
In July of that year, The Times featured a Travel story that recounted a recent Hippie Hop Tour, in which a Gray Line bus traveled through “the heart of hippie territory … and called it ‘the only foreign tour within the continental limits of the United States.’ Anyone with the price of admission could take the trip without swallowing the acid.”
On the 20th anniversary of the storied summer, The Times wrote: “In some ways the Summer of Love lasted an entire year. The first signpost may have been in October 1966, when the Legislature outlawed LSD and hippies responded with a peaceful ‘Love Pageant’ protest rally in Golden Gate Park.” Some of those involved said that as the Summer of Love unfolded, the magic died. Many of the thousands who descended on the area were in search of a party, rather than a way of life. So the wrap party was seen by some as overdue.
Times staff writer Amy Hubbard contributed to this report.
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