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Today’s Headlines: Hurricane Hilary could bring heavy rain, wind, surf to SoCal

A man rows his boat amid waves under an overcast sky.
A man rows his boat in Acapulco, Guerrero state, Mexico, on Thursday following the passage of Tropical Storm Hilary.
(Francisco Robles / AFP via Getty Images)
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Hello, it’s Friday, Aug. 18, and here are the stories you shouldn’t miss today:

TOP STORIES

Hurricane Hilary could bring ‘very heavy’ rains, winds and surf to California. ‘Really an unusual event. ’ A storm brewing off Mexico’s Pacific coast and threatening Southern California and the southwestern U.S. was upgraded Thursday morning to hurricane strength.

Forecasters warn that it’s still too soon to confirm when — or if — Hurricane Hilary might make landfall, and how strong the system could become. But current projections show it could reach the Baja California peninsula by late Sunday, potentially bringing significant rain, rough surf and dangerous winds.

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Maui fires take a toll on survivors’ mental health.
As recovery efforts stretch into a ninth day following the devastating and deadly wildfire in Maui, concern is also turning to the mental health of those picking up the pieces.

The death toll from the fire has risen to 111, with 38% of the burn zone searched, authorities said Thursday. Family and friends have held out hope for missing loved ones, as more than 1,000 people remain unaccounted for.

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The WGA and AMPTP are talking again. Why the studios were motivated to return to the table. When film and television writers went on strike 108 days ago, most assumed the studios and streamers would hunker down for a long fight.

As the negotiations resume, it’s still uncertain how much the Writers Guild of America and the studios are willing to bend to reach a compromise, or what precise shape a deal would take. Sources close to the negotiations say the sides remain far apart on key issues.

How Rep. Adam Schiff celebrated the fourth indictment of former President Trump. Rep. Adam Schiff is using the prominence of being a top antagonist of former President Trump to great effect in his bid for election to the Senate.

The repeated exposure — with Trump’s cases unfolding in multiple legal jurisdictions over the coming months — could give Schiff an advantage in what’s begun as a tight race by putting him in the living rooms of millions of California voters at no expense to his campaign.

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Finding clean air in Los Angeles? It’s an almost unsolvable puzzle. If there’s anything I’ve learned after covering air quality in California for the last year, it’s that there is no fundamental right to clean air.

The harsh reality is, there are few havens from air pollution in Southern California, and very few people even know where to begin as they search for a place to live. That included staff writer Tony Briscoe, before his cross-country move from Chicago.

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  • At the current rate of loss, Joshua Tree National Park, part of a crucial desert ecosystem, might need a new name one day, columnist Steve Lopez writes.

Sign up for Boiling Point to get the latest on climate change, energy and extreme weather from the L.A. Times.

PHOTO OF THE DAY

Sparks fly as Reva, in a welding mask, melds and transforms war debris into artworks.
Mikhail Reva welds war debris into art that channels his outrage over Russia’s attacks on his country and hometown. Read more here.
(Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)

CALIFORNIA

‘I’ve got to find out who I am’: How the Garifuna Museum is reclaiming culture and identity. Latinidad is an ever-expanding concept, but it has not often made space for the Garifuna people who come from various regions of Central America.

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30 beers, a cockfight, a gun: The untold story of the man who tried to kill Chalino Sanchez. After three decades behind bars for shooting the Mexican singer during a concert, Edward Alvarado Gallegos, 64, was paroled in May.

Cops with lassos? New crime-fighting techniques are suggested for Metro trains and buses. The LAPD wants to arm officers on the Metro system with the BolaWrap, a nonlethal lasso-like weapon. The plan awaits approval by the Metro Board of Directors.

Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass announces task force targeting smash-and-grab robberies. Bass’ announcement came hours after Glendale detectives carried out an early morning arrest in the Aug. 8 robbery of a Yves Saint Laurent store at the Americana at Brand mall in Glendale.

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NATION-WORLD

The Biden administration warns Guatemala against rejecting democracy in its presidential election. With persistent phone calls, in-person visits, public denouncements and sanctions on key people including Guatemala’s attorney general, U.S. officials are warning the country’s powerful military, political and business forces of the danger of subverting democracy.

The White House told Russians to flee here instead of fighting Ukraine. Then the U.S. tried to deport them. Three Russians the U.S. detained and sought to deport told The Times that certain abuse awaited them at home, where draft dodgers are subject to imprisonment or swift dispatch to front lines. The three Russians said they felt bewildered — betrayed, even — by the U.S. asylum system.

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HOLLYWOOD AND THE ARTS

The back-and-forth over ‘The Blind Side’ misses the big picture. So did Michael Lewis. What the legal tangle among the subjects of “The Blind Side” leaves out is what author Michael Lewis omitted: how football exploits Black players from the start.

At 35, HaHa comedy club is the epitome of the (funny) immigrant success story. The North Hollywood comedy club run by an immigrant couple and their comedian son went from a Mexican restaurant to a legendary laugh den where Kevin Hart, Chris Tucker and Damon Wayans got their start.

‘Blue Beetle’ director talks representation, music and the film’s working class roots. Despite the critical praise, “Blue Beetle” finds itself in the unfortunate situation of being released during an ongoing writers’ and actors’ strike, which raises questions about how it will perform at the box office.

Oprah, Stevie Nicks, Paris Hilton: Celebs are shellacked for responses to Maui disaster. Paris Hilton was photographed smiling on a Maui beach just 30 miles from where 111 people have been found dead and over 1,000 more are still unaccounted for in Lahaina.

BUSINESS

Column: These apps and websites use your data to train AI. You’re probably using one right now. Whenever we Zoom — or FaceTime or Google Meet — we are transmitting detailed information about our faces, homes and voices to our friends, family and colleagues; the notion that data would be mined to train an AI that could be used for any purpose a tech company saw fit is disconcerting, to say the least.

Banging drums. Wedding scuffle. What it’s like inside a hotel during L.A.’s summer of strikes. Forty days since the rolling strikes began, this had become the defining tableau of L.A.’s summer of labor — workers chanting in red T-shirts as guests, some appearing perplexed, others a bit sheepish, lug their suitcases past them and into the lobby.

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SPORTS

‘We don’t have time to wait for help’: Hawaiian athletes are aiding Maui fire victims. Pro surfer and Maui resident Kai Lenny told CBS News he started delivering supplies to people in need after realizing “nothing was sorta happening” as far as a government response.

Inside the Pac-12 collapse: Four surprising moments that crushed the conference. Today, the Pac-12 is now the Pac-4. Stanford, Cal, Washington State and Oregon State are left to the whims of an industry that has become comfortable making momentous long-term decisions while under immense short-term pressure.

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OPINION

Race matters when it comes to staying cool in Los Angeles. While it’s true that heat hits us all hard, it’s becoming clear that it’s Latinos and Black people, and those with lower incomes, who live closest to the boiling point.

Ban cars from streets near schools. Children shouldn’t have to risk their lives every morning. “Yes, that may mean parents who drive their kids to school would need to take more time because they’ll have to drop off farther from school or park somewhere and walk their kids the rest of the way, but the safety benefits are worth it,” Michael Schneider writes.

YOUR WEEKEND

Two women look out over Lechuza Beach in Malibu
With a natural coastline that stretches for 21 miles, Malibu is one of Los Angeles’ most prized beach towns.
(Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)
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11 stunning Malibu beaches you can definitely visit — even if they look private. Many of Malibu’s most breathtaking beaches are hiding in plain sight, tucked below luxurious homes often dotted with security cameras and caution signs that indicate private property. But the general rule is that if you’re on wet sand at a beach in California, you can absolutely be there.

Is L.A. walkable? They walked 41 miles in a day and have thoughts. Ultimately, L.A. isn’t as walkable as cities such as New York or Chicago. But if you have some (well, a lot) of free time this weekend, you could test how walkable L.A. is for you.

Where to find the only real Nashville hot chicken in Los Angeles. “Nashville-style” hot chicken restaurants in Los Angeles seem to be as prevalent as Starbucks coffee shops. But Kim Prince, who hails from the Nashville family that invented the dish, remains the only person arguably making real Nashville hot chicken in L.A.

WHAT OUR EDITORS ARE READING

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Why “LOL” is officially over — and what Gen Z is saying instead. Goodbye, LOL. Hello, IJBOL? It stands for “I just burst out laughing,” and this week the New York Times threw the word a coming-out party in the form of a Style section article. Slate

Left or right arm: Choosing where to get vaccinated matters, study suggests. Here’s why. Researchers in Germany found people who got all their shots in one arm had a stronger immune response than those who distributed shots between both arms. USA TODAY

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The U.S. Could Be Getting a New, ‘World Class’ High-Speed Train in the South. Linking together Dallas and Houston by high-speed rail has long been in discussion. Now, it could finally come to fruition. The railway would transport passengers along the 240-mile route in less than 90 minutes. Condé Nast Traveler

FROM THE ARCHIVES

A woman looks down as she sews.
In this 1920s photo, Alice Paul sews a suffrage flag in Washington. One hundred and three years ago, American women gained the guaranteed right to vote, with ratification of the 19th Amendment.
(AP)

On this day in 1920, Tennessee became the 36th and final state needed to ratify the 19th Amendment, which guaranteed women the right to vote across the United States.

In California, that right was already enshrined in law in large part thanks to the efforts of women in Los Angeles.

In a 2020 op-ed published by The Times, UCLA professor Ellen DuBois wrote about how L.A. suffragists won the vote for California women years before the 19th Amendment.

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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