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Today’s Headlines: California has new weapons to battle summer blackouts

An aircraft takes off from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) behind electric power lines at sunset
(Patrick T. Fallon / AFP via Getty Images)
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Hello, it’s Friday, July 28, and here are the stories you shouldn’t miss today:

TOP STORIES

California has new weapons to battle summer blackouts: Battery storage and power from the record rain. As an unrelenting heat wave across the West nears the start of its second month, officials said the risks for power outages remain high. But they are hopeful they have new tools at their disposal, including substantial growth in battery storage, increased hydropower thanks to historic winter rains and storms, and backup resources available through contingency plans.

Since last summer, California ISO — the nonprofit that runs the state’s electric grid — has brought more than 2,000 megawatts of new battery storage online, an almost 75% increase in capacity, officials said. And that’s expected to continue.

Trump is accused of trying to delete surveillance video in the classified documents case. Former President Trump faces additional charges in the federal case related to his handling of classified documents, with a superseding indictment filed Thursday in a federal court in Florida alleging that he tried to destroy surveillance video at his Mar-a-Lago estate last year.

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Trump, his personal aide and co-defendant Walt Nauta, and a new defendant, Mar-a-Lago employee Carlos de Oliveira, 56, are charged with two new counts of obstruction based on allegations that they attempted to delete surveillance video at Mar-a-Lago in late June 2022 after receiving a subpoena ordering that the video be turned over to special counsel Jack Smith’s investigators.

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

A bus carrying 36 migrants arrives in Los Angeles, the sixth one from Texas. A bus carrying 36 asylum seekers arrived in Los Angeles on Thursday morning, making them the sixth group of migrants sent to California by the administration of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott in the last two months, according to officials.

There were 23 adults and 13 children on the bus, ranging in age from 2 to 54, according to the coalition. They include people seeking asylum from Honduras, Mexico, Peru and Venezuela.

Mayor Karen Bass is still a background actor in Hollywood’s labor standoff. With Hollywood’s double strike soon to enter its third full week and no hint of rapprochement on the horizon, talk is increasingly turning to what role — if any — Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass could play in resolving the disputes and getting thousands of actors, writers and others back to work.

This is the first time unions representing Hollywood writers and actors have staged simultaneous walkouts since 1960. The fallout has dealt a brutal blow to an industry still limping out of a pandemic and struggling to reset in the age of streaming.

Amid a labor shortage, Japan has made it even harder for refugees to stay. Japan, which has the world’s third-largest economy, is struggling to repair a labor force cratered by rapid aging. Fertility rates are stubbornly low, and forecasts show the already shrinking population could drop from 124 million to 104 million by midcentury, deepening crises in the labor market, pensions and healthcare.

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But Japan has been slow to open to foreign labor, stymied by a historical skittishness about foreigners and fears that significant immigration would lead to crime and instability.

PHOTO OF THE DAY

A woman relaxes in a bubble bath.
Violet Rin takes a bubble bath, which is one of the ways she deals with stress. Read more: In the war over transgender rights, Florida is ground zero. One woman’s battle to survive
(Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)

CALIFORNIA

In an L.A. suburb, Chinese ‘border crossers’ seek a new life after a harrowing journey. Many have recently survived a novel and dangerous journey — flying from China to Ecuador, braving the treacherous rainforest of the Darien Gap on foot, then traversing Mexico by car and bus before crossing the border.

Taylor Swift is about to boost Los Angeles’ economy. Striking hotel workers want her to stay away. As L.A.’s hospitality industry welcomes Taylor Swift’s Eras tour and the business it will bring, striking hotel workers called on the pop star to join their cause.

California voters will decide on a measure allowing cities to expand rent control in 2024. It’s the third time in recent years that a statewide initiative to repeal rent control restrictions will be on the California ballot.

First African American full-face transplant recipient: ‘I share what I look like’. Ten years ago, he was involved in a fiery crash in Los Angeles that left him severely burned. Now, he’s an advocate for people with disabilities.

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NATION-WORLD

A ranting former Mexican president manages to offend retirees, Jews and the French. Instead of shutting up, shunning publicity and staying out of politics like other former presidents, Vicente Fox has often been a cantankerous, right-wing scold in the news and on social media. His caustic commentary has caused a furor in the current race for president.

They ventured into the Colorado Rockies to live ‘off the grid,’ away from a scary world. It ended badly. Evidence suggests the family was trying to live off the grid and probably died because of malnutrition or exposure to the elements, said Michael Barnes, the Gunnison County coroner.

HOLLYWOOD AND THE ARTS

$11,000 to see Taylor Swift? How concert tickets got so expensive. Why are concert tickets so expensive and how can I get a cheaper ticket?

‘Depp v. Heard’: A new Netflix documentary examines the defamation case that captured the world. Showing the testimony side by side for the first time, the docuseries explores the global media event, questioning the nature of truth and the role it plays in modern society.

Meet the first Latino leader of the Academy of American Poets. The Academy of American Poets selected Ricardo Alberto Maldonado as its executive director and president, making him the first Latino to fill the position since the academy’s founding in 1934.

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BUSINESS


Taylor Swift is about to boost L.A.’s economy. Striking hotel workers want her to stay away. Housekeepers, front desk workers, cooks and other hotel employees protested in front of the Hyatt Regency LAX Thursday morning, urging the pop star to postpone her upcoming concerts in solidarity with hospitality employees

Disney reaches a classwide settlement in a lawsuit over the Magic Key annual pass program. A federal lawsuit accused the entertainment giant of deceiving people who bought top-tier yearly passes thinking they would get unlimited access to the park only to find that they were blocked in favor of daily-pass purchasers.

California attorney general is investigating Tesla over Autopilot safety and false advertising allegations. Regulatory agencies have been investigating Tesla’s automated technology for years. Several fatalities have been linked to Autopilot software.

SPORTS

In the wake of Bronny James’ cardiac arrest, young athletes express concerns over health risks. The news of James’ sudden cardiac arrest is what made University of La Verne swimmer Asher Kocalis aware of how big a risk sudden cardiac arrest was in sports.

Chargers camp questions: How will new-look offense change? Who’s filling holes on D? With Justin Herbert’s long-anticipated $262.5-million deal done, here’s a look at six story lines with camp opening and heading into the Chargers’ season opener against Miami on Sept. 10.

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OPINION

How we can create a student loan system that doesn’t crush Americans — without canceling debts. A crucial step forward would be to replace the existing loan system with a standard repayment plan that aligns payments with a borrower’s ability to pay.

Can Taylor Swift fans save public transit? Maybe. Cities across the country have seen ridership surge from “Swifties” choosing to take transit to the star’s sold-out Eras tour. In Atlanta, nearly 140,000 people took transit to see Swift perform over three nights — that’s triple the normal weekend ridership.

YOUR WEEKEND

illustration of hand holding purple donut

Here they are: the tastiest, most culturally specific doughnuts in L.A. Spend your weekend enjoying a doughnut, or 8. From Japanese-style tofu doughnuts to traditional Greek loukoumades, here are eight shops that are adding a cultural spin to the classic dessert.

The Crawl: L.A.’s hottest celebrities take you across the city to their favorite restaurants. Nothing to do this weekend? Consider exploring the personalized food crawls of some of the city’s hottest celebrities.

The untold story of California’s most iconic outdoor bookshop. If you’re up for a drive to Ojai, head to Bart’s Books for an inventory of more than 100,000 books, including rare finds such as a first American edition of Jane Austen’s “Northanger Abbey.”

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WHAT OUR EDITORS ARE READING

Note: Some of the sites we link to may limit the number of stories you can access without subscribing.

Where the Hell Is Africa in Food Coverage? People still associate food on the continent with aid, Chef Pierre Thiam explained, which is a great disservice to the resources and ingenious practices that exist on the continent today — a quarter of the globe’s biodiversity lives in Africa. “That fact alone shows you just how much we have to offer.” L.A. Taco

The Solo Trip: Explore at Your Own Pace. Solo travel has the power to transform: Think of the memoirs “Eat Pray Love” or “Wild.” But you don’t have to circumnavigate the globe or hike 1,100 miles to see why some people choose to go it alone. Here’s how to get the most out of an adventure for one. New York Times

The Value of Keeping Cultural Foods Alive on the Trail. When we bring our cultural foods to the trail with us, we not only keep our culture alive but also more fully express ourselves and amplify our experience of the outdoors. Outside

FROM THE ARCHIVES

Jackie Kennedy smiles while holding a baby
Jackie Kennedy (1929-1994), the wife of President John F. Kennedy, with her son John Kennedy Jr. (1960-1999).
(Keystone / Getty Images)

On this day 94 years ago, one of America’s most prominent first ladies, Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis, was born.

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After President Kennedy’s assassination, her image was seared into the minds of the American public who, via television, saw her return, blood-stained, to the capital.

When she died in 1994, The Times wrote about the former first lady’s life and how she was loved by people she didn’t know and who didn’t know her.

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

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