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Today’s Headlines: Monterey Park shooter’s exact motives continue to elude investigators

People light candles in the shape of a heart
Mourners light candles in the shape of a heart at a vigil honoring victims of the Monterey Park shooting.
(Allen J. Schaben/Los Angeles Times)
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Hello, it’s Thursday, Jan. 26, and here are the stories you shouldn’t miss today:

TOP STORIES

The motive in the Monterey Park mass shooting remains a mystery. In the four days since 72-year-old Huu Can Tran opened fire at a Monterey Park dance studio, fragments of his life and possible motives for the attack have slowly emerged. But why he killed 11 people in Monterey Park before launching another attack at a dance hall in Alhambra that was thwarted by a good Samaritan remains a mystery.

The investigation is in the early stages, and it could take weeks or longer to understand the full picture of what went wrong. The probe is also complicated by Tran’s death.

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More about the recent shootings

L.A. County extends the eviction moratorium by two months. With Los Angeles County’s pandemic eviction moratorium set to lapse in days, the Board of Supervisors has voted to extend the countywide renters protections once more. The moratorium will now expire at the end of March. This, county leaders say, will be the last time they push the end date.

Under the moratorium, landlords cannot evict low-income tenants who say they were financially harmed by COVID-19 and can’t pay rent.

Former President Trump’s Facebook and Instagram accounts were reinstated. Facebook parent company Meta Platforms Inc. reinstated the accounts following a two-year suspension for violating the platform’s rules.

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The company’s decision to withdraw the suspension means the former president can now reach tens of millions of followers across the two services as he makes another presidential bid.

More politics

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

Metro crashes in Mexico City kill dozens. Now troops are sent in. The inauguration of the Mexico City metro shortly after the 1968 Olympics was supposed to modernize this bustling mountain capital. But after years of neglect, the metro has instead become a stand in for entrenched inequality, unreliable public services and corruption so flagrant and pervasive that at times, it actually kills. These days, the metro is also a political battlefield.

Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum has blamed unnamed saboteurs for what she describes as an “atypical” uptick in system failures. President Andrés Manuel López Obrador granted her request to deploy more than 6,000 national guard troops to the metro to guard against what he termed— without offering evidence — possible “premeditated” attacks.

Rand finds homelessness up in L.A. hot spots. In a bit of welcome news that was immediately met with skepticism, the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority reported last summer that homelessness appeared to be leveling off. Most surprisingly, LAHSA found significant decreases in three communities widely identified as hot spots of homelessness: skid row, Hollywood and Venice.

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But a survey recently released by the Rand Corp. casts doubt on those findings. Researchers who zeroed in on those three areas, returning dozens of times over a year, recorded large increases in unsheltered homelessness: 13% in skid row, 14.5% in Hollywood and 32% in Venice, averaging out at 18%.

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.

PHOTO OF THE DAY

two hands hold a roti with fillings
Bridgetown Roti’s chef-founder Rashida Holmes, who serves exciting roti, doubles and other Caribbean dishes, is a first-time James Beard semifinalist. Nominees for the annual restaurant and bar awards will be announced March 29. Read more: “Nearly 20 L.A. chefs and restaurants named semifinalists for 2023 James Beard Foundation Awards”
(Mariah Tauger/Los Angeles Times)

CALIFORNIA

At $611 a day per student, some question if L.A. schools’ extra learning days are worth it. As the district evaluates the high cost and low attendance of the winter learning days, some officials, teachers and parents are questioning whether more should be spent on a similar effort during spring break.

4.2 earthquake and flurry of aftershocks off Malibu’s coast rock Los Angeles. The initial quake was reported at 2 a.m. Wednesday. Residents across Los Angeles reported on social media that they were startled by the flurry of temblors.

The release of 64,000 gallons of untreated sewage prompts beach closures in L.A. County. Mother’s Beach in Marina del Rey, Venice City Beach and Dockweiler State Beach were ordered closed. The closures will remain in effect until bacterial levels in daily water testing meet health standards.

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NATION-WORLD

Germany joins the U.S. in sending battle tanks to back Ukraine war effort. The announcements mark the first stage of a coordinated effort by the West to provide dozens of the heavy weapons to help Kyiv break battlefield stalemates as Russia’s invasion enters its 12th month.

Arizona’s new Democratic governor defends keeping migrant busing program. Gov. Katie Hobbs is continuing her Republican predecessor’s program to transport migrants out of border communities, saying that her focus would be on ensuring that the state’s continued payment of migrants’ travel costs is “efficient and humane.”

Crusading judge tests boundaries of free speech in Brazil. Some accuse Brazilian Supreme Court Justice Alexandre de Moraes of overstepping in the name of protecting Brazilian democracy from the twin threats of political violence and disinformation. Others view his brash tactics as justified by extraordinary circumstances.

HOLLYWOOD AND THE ARTS

The hottest red carpet in Hollywood is the ... American Legion? The Hollywood Legion turned itself into a hot spot for premieres, writes culture columnist and critic Mary MacNamara. Where else can you find a theater, a poker room, the bar from “The Shining” and maybe even a ghost?

Netflix’s real-life ‘Squid Game’ gets off to a frigid start. Contestants vying for a hefty cash prize in Netflix’s real-life version of its 2021 hit had to do so in below-freezing temperatures as production on the unscripted series got underway Monday in the U.K.

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Love ‘Columbo’? You’ll devour the TV comfort food of ‘Poker Face.’ Television critic Robert Lloyd writes that Peacock’s new series, starring Natasha Lyonne and created by Rian Johnson, is a work of pure pleasure, a comedy-mystery with roots that reach into the heyday of broadcast television.

BUSINESS

A huge chunk of land in Bel-Air is going up for auction. The auction is a last-ditch effort to sell the massive spread known as Senderos Canyon, which is one of the largest and most valuable pieces of undeveloped land left in the L.A. area.

FBI probes Snapchat’s role in fentanyl deaths. Federal agencies are questioning Snapchat’s role in the spread and sale of fentanyl-laced pills in the United States as part of a broader probe into the deadly counterfeit drugs crisis.

OPINION

For seniors, social isolation can lead to untreated depression. “Even if they are wired, and even if they are not financially destitute, a lot of people feel disconnected, alone and scared. Since I started the Golden State column Jan. 15, readers have filled my mail bag with detailed, sometimes heartbreaking accounts of their struggles,” writes columnist Steve Lopez.

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SPORTS

Clippers turn struggles into strengths in promising win over Lakers. The Clippers stopped the Lakers’ comeback cold in a 133-115 win that marked their 10th consecutive victory against the Lakers under coach Tyronn Lue, and pushed a little closer toward realizing the top-end potential that has been inconsistent for so long.

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USC’s Vince Iwuchukwu continues to make strides in his comeback from cardiac arrest. Iwuchukwu is still working his way back to full strength six months after suffering cardiac arrest during a summer workout, but the Trojans may have finally found what they’ve sorely been lacking in the frontcourt.

ONLY IN L.A.

Sunset Cliff sea caves.
(Catherine Pearlman)

SoCal sea caves to visit during the winter low tides. Visiting sea caves isn’t just about seeing a cool grotto carved out by the ocean — it’s also about the journey to find these caverns. There are cliffs to descend, rocks to scramble, tide pools to tiptoe around. And Southern California is particularly good for sea cave hunting. Here’s a list of 8 to check out.

FROM THE ARCHIVES

Kobe Bryant shares a laugh with daughter Gianna while attending a women’s basketball game
Kobe Bryant shares a laugh with daughter Gianna while attending a women’s basketball game between Long Beach State and Oregon on Dec. 14, 2019.
(Ringo H.W. Chiu / Associated Press)

It has been three years since Kobe Bryant, 41, his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, and seven others died in a helicopter crash in Calabasas. Bryant was one of the greatest basketball players of all time — a beloved, at times frustrating star who mesmerized Los Angeles for his 20 legendary years as a Laker.

Following the news of Bryant’s death, fans gravitated to Staples Center as if by instinct, fashioning a memorial of flowers and prayer candles.

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