Today’s Headlines: Driverless trucks in California could hit a roadblock in Legislature

A member of the media test-drives a Tesla Model S car equipped with Autopilot.
A driver tests Autopilot mode in a Tesla Model S. State legislators argue that the California Department of Motor Vehicles’ track record in regulating driverless passenger cars indicates it’s not up to the task of overseeing the driverless truck industry.
(Bloomberg )

Hello, it’s Friday, June 2, and here are the stories you shouldn’t miss today:


Driverless trucks on California highways?

California legislators argue that the state Department of Motor Vehicles has so badly mishandled the driverless car industry that it can’t be trusted to oversee big rigs barreling down the highways autonomously.

AB 316 — which would wrest control of driverless truck testing and deployment from the DMV and require human drivers in the cab for at least five years while a safety record is collected — passed in the Assembly on Wednesday. The bill now goes to the state Senate and if passed will head to Gov. Gavin Newsom for his signature.


Central Valley flooding may threaten migrating birds

After struggling through years of punishing drought, California waterfowl and flocks of migrating birds are now enjoying a rare bounty of water as winter storms and spring snowmelt submerge vast tracts of Central Valley landscape.

But even as birders celebrate the return of wet conditions along portions of the Pacific Flyway, experts worry that this liquid bonanza could ultimately poison tens of thousands of the avians as temperatures rise and newly formed lakes and ponds begin to evaporate.

The concern: botulism.

Celebrities dodged L.A.’s ‘mansion tax’ for homelessness, affordable housing

Before Measure ULA took effect in April, some wealthy residents scrambled to avoid paying the new “mansion tax” that would fund affordable housing and homelessness prevention.


For insiders — those familiar with the fortunes amassed in this otherworldly housing market and the lengths people go to protect those fortunes — there was a clear answer for why they did this: “the wealth defense industry.”

Where there is wealth, there are workers tasked with protecting it. Like moths to a flame, these accountants, consultants and attorneys have made careers out of helping the rich keep their riches.

Debt ceiling vote splits Democratic candidates for Feinstein’s Senate seat

In the race to replace Dianne Feinstein in the Senate, the three major Democratic candidates call themselves progressives. But Wednesday evening’s 314-117 vote on President Biden and Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s deal to raise the debt ceiling created a wedge issue that split the trio.

Rep. Adam B. Schiff of Burbank was the sole Democratic Senate candidate who joined 164 Democrats and 149 Republicans in voting to approve the package. Rep. Katie Porter of Irvine and Rep. Barbara Lee of Oakland, meanwhile, joined 44 other Democrats in voting against the proposal.

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The question of reparations raises skepticism, hope in Black L.A.

As California readies to finalize a discussion on reparations that could shape the lives of millions in the Golden State, Black Angelenos are skeptical they will ever see the restitution they feel is deserved.

After almost two years of meetings, California’s Reparations Task Force decided last month to recommend that the state issue a formal apology for the pervasive harms of slavery and discrimination and potentially provide billions of dollars in cash payments in a historic effort to make amends.

The group’s final report, due to the state Legislature by July 1, will act as a guide for lawmakers and Gov. Gavin Newsom, who will determine if the harms of slavery and lasting discrimination are worthy of reparations.


Three women with flowers sitting near a headstone
Rose Morales, left, Cheryl Sanchez Simmons and Tina McKillip at the gravesite of Janansull “Jan” Marsh, who was killed in their hometown of Lynwood when she was 14. Read more:50 years after a classmate’s slaying, three amateur sleuths set out to find her killer
(Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)


Pride flag flies at the Hall of Administration — a first for an L.A. County building. A Pride flag will fly at the Kenneth Hahn Hall of Administration building in downtown Los Angeles each day during LGBTQ+ Pride Month in June.


What the latest police numbers show about crime in L.A., San Francisco and West Hollywood. Violent crime decreased 10% year over year, with property crime down as well after both rose in 2022.

Grazing goats prevent California wildfires. New salary rules may jeopardize the industry. California wildfire prevention is at risk after new labor requirements separated goat herders from sheep. Goats are an economical and sustainable method of clearing underbrush.

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In Jordan, a lavish royal wedding doubles as a princely coming-out party. Jordan is celebrating the wedding of Crown Prince Hussein to an L.A.-educated Saudi architect with events designed to showcase the heir to the throne.

Mexican authorities find 45 bags of body parts outside Guadalajara. Authorities discovered the sealed, black plastic bags during a search for seven young employees of a local call center who went missing in late May.

$10,000 could land you that lighthouse you’ve always wanted. If you’ve ever dreamed of moving into your own lighthouse, then the government might just help that dream come true.


Supreme Court warns unions against strikes that damage an employer’s property. The Supreme Court warned unions on Thursday that they may face suits for damages if striking workers destroy their employer’s property.


Is this the end of ‘Ted Lasso’? If it was, it didn’t disappoint.Ted Lasso,” which appears to have concluded its three-season run on Apple TV+ on Wednesday, went out with tears, hugs and a chorus of “So Long, Farewell” from “The Sound of Music.” There were no big surprises, and that was just fine for The Times’ Robert Lloyd.

Bailamos! Ricky Martin, Pitbull and Enrique Iglesias join forces for Trilogy arena tour. The Grammy and Latin Grammy Award-winning solo artists will bring the heat to 19 cities throughout North America on their just-announced Trilogy Tour, which will feature full headlining sets from all three singers when it kicks off in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 14.

Kim Cattrall is returning as Samantha Jones. Honey, let me explain why this is shocking ...
It’s unclear what persuaded Kim Cattrall to return for a one-scene cameo in the upcoming season of “And Just Like That,” but to the shock, dismay and ultimate delight of “Sex and the City” fans everywhere, Samantha Jones is back! And, honey, it’s going to be fabulous.

Tupac’s getting his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame next week — for real this time. Shakur will finally get his star on June 7, more than a week shy of what would have been his 52nd birthday on June 16.


CNN gets a new chief operating officer amid a ratings decline. David Leavy moves to CNN as it faces a steep decline in the ratings, including a viewer exodus that followed its poorly-received May 10 town hall with former President Trump, who is pursuing the 2024 Republican presidential nomination.


Meta threatens to pull news from Facebook and Instagram if a California bill forcing tech platforms to pay publishers passes. Californians may no longer be able to read daily news from their Facebook and Instagram feeds if the state Legislature passes the bill. That’s the threat parent-company Meta issued on Wednesday via Twitter.


L.A.’s Blake Treinen and Nationals’ Trevor Williams slam Dodgers for Sisters invite. Treinen and Williams did not hold back with their criticism of the Dodgers and the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence as they issued strongly worded statements Tuesday, blasting the Dodgers for their decision to recognize the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence during their Pride Night festivities next month.

Former Clipper Reggie Jackson feels lucky to have reached NBA Finals again. Jackson, 33, reached the Finals at the end of a season that has been personally difficult but also professionally fortuitous: While injuries stalled the Clippers’ championship hopes in the first round, Jackson still is playing in June.

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Opinion: Leslie Van Houten could finally go free. Why does California leave that decision to the governor? “Allowing the governor to veto parole recommendations at all risks reducing such weighty decisions to one person’s hunch or political agenda. California is one of only two states that allow gubernatorial veto of parole,” writes Hadar Aviram.

Opinion: Losing your job shouldn’t mean losing your identity. “I’ve spent the past three years speaking to over 100 workers — from kayak guides in Alaska to Wall Street bankers — about the relationship between work and identity. I’ve come to a simple conclusion: Tethering our self-worth to our work is a perilous game,” Simone Stolzoff writes.



The best places to eat and drink in L.A. right now, according to our food writers. If you need some ideas for dining out this weekend, here are some of the best new restaurant and bar openings, including oceanfront tapas in Santa Monica, a splashy new Hollywood haunt, mariscos in Frogtown and a globally influenced market in Mar Vista.

8 L.A. trees to love that aren’t jacarandas. Before you go gaga for jacarandas, consider expanding your knowledge of other phenomenal trees, both native and transplanted, that flourish in Los Angeles.

This Venice Beach pod hotel wants to make sleeping in a box chic. Opened in October 2021 in one of the old Snapchat offices, Stay Open is like a more grown-up version of a hostel, blending elements of Japan’s capsule hotels and more recent co-living experiments. The sleeping quarters at the Venice beachfront pod hotel are refrigerator-sized “pods” stacked atop one another, like giant Lego bricks.


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‘Ted Lasso’ put this town on the map — And it lives up to the hype. Just a 30-minute train ride from central London, the town of Richmond wasn’t on most Americans’ radar until “Ted Lasso” ascended to pop culture prominence. The hit Apple TV+ series is set and partly filmed there, providing viewers plenty of shots of cobblestone paths, cozy lanes filled with colorful shops and beautiful green spaces. HuffPost

The Kia Challenge, explained. Teens’ desire to go viral is just one of the factors that has led to an exponential increase in Kia and Hyundai thefts across the country. Starting with model year 2011, Hyundai Motors, which makes Kias and Hyundais, decided not to install a theft prevention mechanism called an immobilizer in certain makes and models. Vox


Disaster capitalism, climate change, and the campaign to sell Black New Orleans. For most of the city’s history, Black culture, arguably the culture of New Orleans, had been ignored, sidelined, or tokenized by the local government. After Hurricane Katrina, things changed. Scalawag

After historic flooding, a California migrant farming community is trying to recover—even if help from FEMA is scarce. Even after a Federal Major Disaster declaration by President Biden, Pajaro residents were largely left on their own to clean up the town. When FEMA did arrive, assistance was complicated by the fact that the inspector didn’t speak Spanish — in a town where 96% of the population identify as Latino and many don’t speak English. Mother Jones


Babe Ruth of the New York Yankees clouts a towering home run
Babe Ruth of the New York Yankees clouts a towering home run.
(Associated Press)

On June 2, 1935, Babe Ruth — baseball’s first great slugger and the most celebrated athlete of his time — retired from Major League Baseball after 22 seasons, 10 World Series and 714 home runs.

He wasn’t just a great pitcher, or just a great hitter: Ruth was both. No one in major league history has approached his dual mastery.

In 2014, The Times wrote about Ruth’s legacy 100 years after his big league debut.


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