Today’s Headlines: Crew members struggle through Hollywood’s summer of strikes

A woman with red hair wearing a patterned dress sits down. Her dog sits on the floor.
Andi Brittan, a set decorator in Hollywood, sits in the living room with her dog, Memphis, at her home in Los Angeles on July 20.
(Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)

Hello, it’s Tuesday, July 25, and here are the stories you shouldn’t miss today:


Not just writers and actors: Crew workers struggle through Hollywood’s summer of strikes. Tens of thousands of film and TV workers caught in the crosshairs as the battle between Hollywood studios and writers and actors over streaming pay, working conditions, artificial intelligence and other issues has ground Hollywood to a halt.

For these workers, many already financially vulnerable, the historic double strike has been challenging.


Southern California will broil for the rest of the week. How hot could it get? Southern California, as well as the southwestern U.S., is expected to see warmer-than-normal temperatures for the rest of the week, as a ridge of high pressure continues to trap a “heat dome” over the region, bringing risk of heat-related illness and wildfires.

Adding to the extreme weather is a 20% chance of showers and thunderstorms Monday for the San Gabriel Mountains, portions of the Antelope Valley, as well as San Bernardino and Riverside counties.

Slavery, reparations, racism. No topics are off limits in this Black History AP class. Inside a Dorsey High School classroom, social studies teacher Donald Singleton and 18 students waded into the nation’s debate over Black history and race.

For nine months these students in South L.A. were pioneers in one of only 60 classrooms nationwide, and the only one in the L.A. Unified School District, taking on College Board’s new Advanced Placement African American Studies class.

He built a booming black market empire inside L.A. County jails. It ended with his murder. Until his murder in prison two weeks ago, Michael Torres ran one of the most intricate and lucrative black market businesses in L.A. County: the jails.

Torres did not create this economy, but interviews, testimony, records and wiretapped calls make clear that he refined it, ratcheting up the amounts of money that can be wrung from an imprisoned and largely poor customer base.



Abby Mitchell back at the homeless encampment in Blythec
Abby Mitchell, refreshed after visiting Blythe Central Seventh-day Adventist Church, returns to her homeless encampment in Blythe.
(Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

It hit 120 degrees in this California town. For the homeless, ‘it’s a miserable life out here. In a rural California town, there is little help for the unhoused, who are endangered by extreme heat.


Santa Barbara News-Press declares bankruptcy and ceases publication after more than 150 years. The Pulitzer Prize-winning Santa Barbara News-Press has declared bankruptcy and ceased publication after more than 150 years of news gathering.

Police investigating City Hall audio leak search home of two labor federation staffers. The L.A. County Federation of Labor put an employee on leave after searching his laptop and finding sound editing software, a source familiar with the inquiry said.

Mayor Bass takes over Metro as it undergoes huge expansion and copes with low ridership and crime. The mayor becomes chair of the Metro board at a time of big ambition and struggles. Low ridership and high crime continue to dog the system, as a massive infusion of tax money builds new lines and services in preparation for the 2028 Olympics.

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Congress is getting serious about UFOs. Just don’t call them that. UFO has been replaced by UAP. Scientists and government officials are using the new acronym in an attempt to get away from the stigma and assumptions of little green men that persist when people think of UFOs.

Japan has made it even tougher for asylum seekers to stay. Japan refuses to make it easier for some of the world’s millions of refugees to settle there and join the workforce. Instead, the parliament in June passed legislation that could fast-track thousands of asylum seekers to deportation.


‘House of the Dragon’ is still shooting amid strikes. Here’s why, according to George R.R. Martin. The scripts for the “Game of Thrones” prequel were completed before the Writers Guild of America began its strike on May 2. And the actors on the TV series are part of a British actors union, not the on-strike actors’ union SAG-AFTRA.

You’re not hallucinating: A massive, AI-generated glowing cube lands in Beverly Hills. Towering 12 feet high and 12 feet wide, said cube is made of screens that depict moving images of recognizable food, objects and people, from chip bags to Coca-Cola bottles.

At Comic-Con, a striking Hollywood absence leaves some with mixed feelings. If the stripped-down Comic-Con of Hollywood’s “hot labor summer” is a boon to traditionalists, however, others wonder what it means for an event buffeted by disruptions in recent years.


Southern California’s hotel worker strike rolls to new spots. Here’s what’s at stake. An ongoing strike by Southern California hotel workers enveloped the Beverly Hilton, longtime host of the annual Golden Globe Awards, and the upscale Waldorf Astoria in Beverly Hills early Monday morning.


The secret to U.S. women’s success? The ‘code’ passed down to each new generation. U.S. women’s national team players say their success is connected to the values passed on from their first generation of players at the World Cup.


A proposed bill could protect UCLA and USC from becoming another Northwestern. Legislation that passed the California Assembly last month known as the College Athlete Protection Act, or AB 252, could help prevent the kind of alleged abuses that occurred at Northwestern and other schools across the country, including UCLA under former coach Jim Mora.

Magic Johnson explains why co-owning an NFL team means so much ‘as a proud Black man.’ “...I don’t know why God blessed me with these opportunities. but I want to excel, not only for myself and my family but for all African Americans making sure we can see ourselves in these seats. And I want people to know that we can do the job,” Johnson said in an interview on NBC’s “Today” show.

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Yes, the Supreme Court has taken away rights and resources. But it’s so much worse. “More than just ‘who gets what,’ the court’s rulings affect who feels recognized as a worthy member of our society,” Michèle Lamont writes.

No, immigration and the border are not impossible problems. “Border stress and asylum backlogs are not new,” writes Christopher M. Richardson. “To form a functional legal immigration system, one place both parties may want to look is history.”


Waters run down a rocky ledge
One of the Hetch Hetchy Valley’s highlights is seasonal Tueeulala Falls, whose waters run into the reservoir created by the O’Shaughnessy Dam, built in 1923.
(Christopher Reynolds / Los Angeles Times)

Instead of Yosemite Valley, whose roads and parking lots have been choked with visitors for much of this summer, how about a hike to the Hetch Hetchy Valley?

Situated in a hidden valley of waterfalls, it is one of the best hikes in Yosemite.


A newborn baby cries
Louise Brown, the world’s first test tube baby, lets out a healthy cry after her birth, July 25, 1978, at Oldham General Hospital in Manchester, England. The baby was the first to be conceived by fertilization outside the mother’s body, a technique pioneered by the hospital’s gynecologist Patrick Steptoe and Cambridge physiologist Robert Edwards.
(Associated Press)

On this day 45 years ago, Louise Brown — the world’s first test-tube baby — was born.

When she turned 25, The Times wrote about in vitro fertilization and the fertility business it spawned.

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