Today’s Headlines: California storms may be more hype than they are climate change

San Diego firefighter Brian Sanford rescues a dog from a flooded home
Experts say California’s recent series of storms were no more severe than what the state has experienced in the last century.
(Josh Edelson / AFP/Getty Images)

Hello, it’s Thursday, Jan. 19, and here are the stories you shouldn’t miss today:


Scientists cast doubt on storms’ link to climate change

As California emerges from a two-week bout of deadly atmospheric rivers, a number of climate researchers say the recent storms appear to be typical of the intense, periodic rains the state has experienced throughout its history and not the result of global warming.

Although scientists are still studying the size and severity of storms that killed 19 people and caused up to $1 billion in damage, initial assessments suggest the destruction had more to do with California’s historic drought-to-deluge cycles, rugged topography and its aging flood infrastructure than it did with climate-altering greenhouse gas.


California duplex law not yet working as expected

Once seen as the death knell for single-family-home neighborhoods in California, a new law meant to create more duplexes has instead done little to encourage construction in some of the largest cities in the state, according to a new report.

Across 13 cities in the state, Senate Bill 9 projects are “limited or nonexistent,” according to a new study by the UC Berkeley Terner Center for Housing Innovation.

The report focused on cities considered high-opportunity areas for duplexes because they’ve reported significant increase in the construction of accessory dwelling units — also known as granny flats, casitas or ADUs — in recent years and have available single-family properties for possible divided lots. By the end of November, the cities had collectively received 282 applications for SB 9 projects, and had approved only 53.

LAPD tasing of Keenan Anderson brings scrutiny to police policy


For a disturbing 42 seconds, a Los Angeles police officer repeatedly stunned Keenan Anderson with a Taser gun earlier this month as other officers tried to pin and handcuff the 31-year-old teacher in the middle of a busy Venice street. Anderson died several hours later, though his cause of death has not yet been established.

The actions of the officers, captured on LAPD body cameras, have sparked protests, an internal investigation and calls for changes in police policies. In particular, the case has placed scrutiny on Los Angeles Police Department guidelines on officers’ use of Tasers.

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

Alec Baldwin ‘Rust’ shooting: Will anyone be charged?

New Mexico prosecutors will soon reveal whether they will bring criminal charges in the accidental deadly shooting by Alec Baldwin of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of “Rust,” a low-budget western movie.

First Judicial Dist. Atty. Mary Carmack-Altwies, along with special prosecutor Andrea Reeb, plan to issue a written statement this morning, according to the district attorney’s office. A spokesperson for Carmack-Altwies declined to say who, if anyone, will be charged.


Check out "The Times" podcast for essential news and more.

These days, waking up to current events can be, well, daunting. If you’re seeking a more balanced news diet, “The Times” podcast is for you. Gustavo Arellano, along with a diverse set of reporters from the award-winning L.A. Times newsroom, delivers the most interesting stories from the Los Angeles Times every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Listen and subscribe wherever you get your podcasts.


Four people tend to a small dog on the street. one of them holds a stethoscope to the dog.
Meet ‘The Street Vet.’ Veterinarian Dr. Kwane Stewart, left, checks the heart rate of Exodus the Chihuahua. Kwane visits Skid Row twice a month to treat the dogs and cats of the homeless.
(Genaro Molina/Los Angeles Times)


Who would execute a baby? Tulare sheriff said a drug cartel, then backtracked. After six people were killed Monday in what local officials have called a targeted attack in the small Tulare County town of Goshen, residents and authorities were left with questions about who would commit such a heinous crime.

Family disputes Mexican authorities’ account of O.C. public defender’s death. The death of an Orange County public defender at a Baja California resort last week, labeled an “unfortunate accident” by Mexican authorities, has raised several unanswered questions with little to no investigation by local police, the man’s family said in a statement.

So much rain and snow may boost hydropower — good news for California’s grid. If rain and snow totals hold up, they’ll support hydroelectric production and could help the Golden State’s electric grid in the summertime when the system comes under strain.

Support our journalism

Subscribe to the Los Angeles Times.



Ukraine’s interior minister and other top officials were killed in a helicopter crash. The helicopter crashed in a residential area near the capital, Kyiv, killing at least 14 people. Interior Minister Denys Monastyrsky is the most senior official to die since Russia invaded.

The world’s struggles are ‘piling up like cars in a chain reaction crash,’ U.N. chief says. The world is in a “sorry state” because of myriad interlinked challenges including climate change and Russia’s war in Ukraine, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said at the World Economic Forum’s meeting Wednesday.


How ‘Housewives’ fans upended the franchise. The Bravo mainstay is an addictively messy and scandal-plagued fantasy epic, one that has obsessed fans throughout its nearly 17 years on air. And its admirers aren’t passive viewers; they’ve become main characters in their own right.

Indie film is at a crossroads. And Sundance is full of ‘canaries in the coal mine.’ Even after producing last year’s Oscar winners for best picture (“CODA”) and documentary feature (“Summer of Soul”), Sundance returns to Park City on Thursday as the purpose of the festival, and perhaps of film festivals in general, seems ripe for reconsideration.


Microsoft is laying off 10,000 workers as job cuts in tech sector continue. The company said in a regulatory filing Wednesday that it had just notified employees of the layoffs, some of which are effective immediately.

L.A. film shoots dive 20% in final quarter of 2022 as production returns to 2019 levels. The last couple of years have seen a surge in filming driven by pent-up demand. However, now production appears to be settling back down to pre-pandemic levels.



If you bank with the Big 4, your money has an alarming carbon footprint. “As the world warms, expect a lot more heat aimed at global banks, in particular at the biggest American ones. That’s because they’ve allowed themselves to become the ultimate and most powerful enablers of the fossil fuel industry.”

Free online games

Get our free daily crossword puzzle, sudoku, word search and arcade games in our new game center at


The Rams are revamping staff as they decide to part ways with six assistant coaches. In the aftermath of a 5-12 season, Rams coach Sean McVay is turning over much of his staff.

USC switches strategies to deal with a daunting 2023 football schedule. When Brigham Young backed out of its scheduled November meeting with the Trojans amid the Cougars’ impending move to the Big 12, USC was faced with the prospect of playing a dozen straight games without a break.

Mater Dei completes sports safety assessment but will not release details. The school gave no indication results will be shared publicly despite a commitment by former school president Father Walter E. Jenkins to release the findings.


10 plant gurus on how they’ll experiment in their gardens in 2023. Southern California water agencies have already declared a drought emergency for 2023, so expect another tight year for irrigating gardens and lawns (if yours survived last summer’s restrictions). Luckily, there’s plenty of time to plan. Here’s what the experts say they’re rethinking.



Sandy Koufax of the Los Angeles Dodgers smiles as he holds a baseball
Sandy Koufax of the Los Angeles Dodgers smiles as he holds a baseball on May, 12, 1963, symbolizing his second no-hitter in less than a year.
(Associated Press)

Fifty-one years ago, former Los Angeles Dodgers left-handed pitcher Sandy Koufax became the youngest player to be elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. Koufax was also the first pitcher to win multiple Cy Young Awards (1963, ’65 and ’66), as well as the first pitcher to win a Cy Young Award by a unanimous vote (1963, when he went 25-5 with a 1.88 ERA). He also has two World Series MVPs.

A fun fact about Koufax: He went to the University of Cincinnati, where he walked on to the basketball team and earned a partial scholarship.

We appreciate that you took the time to read Today’s Headlines! Comments or ideas? Feel free to drop us a note at