The Times: Daily news from the L.A. Times

By Los Angeles Times

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 May 19, 2021


“The Times” is a podcast from the Los Angeles Times hosted by columnist Gustavo Arellano along with reporters from our diverse newsroom. Every weekday, our podcast takes listeners beyond the headlines, with our West Coast outlook on the world. News, entertainment, the environment, immigration, politics, the criminal justice system, the social safety net, food and culture — “The Times” exists at the epicenter of it all. Through interviews and original stories, “The Times” is the audio guide you need to understand the day’s news, the world and how California shapes it. Listen everywhere podcasts are available.

Episode Date
The fight for a beach once owned by a Black family

Nearly a century ago, government officials pushed a Black family from their beachfront property in the Southern California city of Manhattan Beach. Now, in what could be a landmark in this nation’s efforts to correct past injustices to African Americans, the County of Los Angeles wants to give Bruce’s Beach back to the family that once owned it. Today, our senior producer Denise Guerra speaks with the historians, family members and grassroots organizers who championed this cause for years until it could not be ignored. We also speak with L.A. Times environmental reporter Rosanna Xia about her work, which amplified the story of Bruce’s Beach to the world.

More reading:

Manhattan Beach was once home to Black beachgoers, but the city ran them out. Now it faces a reckoning

Black descendants of Bruce’s Beach owner could get Manhattan Beach land back under plan 

Editorial: Pay back the Bruces for Bruce’s beach

Jun 18, 2021
The history behind Kamala Harris, 'Do not come' and Guatemala

Last week, Vice President Kamala Harris traveled to Central America and Mexico as part of the Biden administration’s strategy to address this country’s immigration issues. Supporters expected a kinder approach than that of the Trump administration. But with three simple words — “Do not come” — Harris ignited controversy. Today, we talk to L.A. Times immigration reporter Cindy Carcamo about the backlash over Harris’ remarks, and whether President Biden’s immigration policies are markedly different from those of his predecessor. We also hear from Giovanni Batz, a Guatemalan American scholar, about how U.S. foreign policy has long pushed Guatemalans out of their homeland and toward El Norte.

More reading:

‘Do not come’: Kamala Harris’ three words to Guatemalans stir debate and backlash 

Guatemalan lives are thrown into upheaval by failed immigration bids

Documents Reveal CIA Guatemala Assassination Plots

Jun 17, 2021
Why Hollywood's Latino representation problem persists

The greaser. The hot tamale. The gangster. The maid. The narco. These and other stereotypes are how Hollywood has traditionally portrayed Latinos for over a century. Even as they have become America’s largest minority, and as their box-office clout has increased, tired tropes continue. Today, the L.A. Times published a huge package about Hollywood's Latino culture gap, and this episode is a continuation of that coverage. We’re going to talk about this forever trend with legend Edward James Olmos and beloved star Cristela Alonzo. Host Gustavo Arellano will also weigh in on controversy surrounding the recently released film "In the Heights" and its lack of full Afro-Latino representation.

More reading:

Hollywood has failed Latinos for 100 years. Here’s how to change that

Keeping Close to the Street : When It Comes to Being a Role Model, ‘Miami Vice’ ‘s Edward James Olmos, From East Los Angeles, May Be the Hardest-Working Man in Show Business 

Cristela Alonzo’s ‘Mixtape Memoir’ Is an Ode to Her South Texas Roots 

‘We fell short’: Lin-Manuel Miranda is sorry for ‘In the Heights’ Afro-Latinx erasure

Jun 16, 2021
Our Masters of Disasters on earthquake everything

Scientists have determined a mega-earthquake happens every 100 years on average in California. The last time a Big One — like a magnitude 7.8 quake, like the stuff of nightmares — the last time one of those hit Southern California, it was about 164 years ago. Back then, L.A. had a population of just over 4,000 people. The metro area is now over 12 million. So to coach us through earthquake anxiety, we’re getting together today with L.A. Times reporters Rong-Gong Lin II, Rosanna Xia and Alex Wigglesworth, who cover wildfires, the coast and, of course, earthquakes. It’s our monthly panel of peril, our colleagues of catastrophes. In this episode, it's the second installment of our series — cue ominous voice — "Masters of Disasters."

More reading:

Read "Unshaken," the L.A. Times' guide to earthquake preparedness

Where would a major tsunami strike? Malibu, Venice and Long Beach, get ready 

From the archives: 112 years ago: Images from San Francisco’s devastating 1906 earthquake

Jun 15, 2021
Netanyahu is out as Israel's prime minister. What's next?

On Sunday, Benjamin Netanyahu lost the prime minister's post after opponents in the Knesset, Israel's parliament, approved a coalition government led, for now, by his one-time protege, Naftali Bennett. Netanyahu will now serve as leader of the opposition.  The new government is an unlikely group of politicians and parties from the left, right and center, united only by their opposition to Netanyahu. The vote to oust him may prove easier than the next part: What happens now? Today, we speak to L.A. Times global affairs correspondent Laura King about Netanyahu’s legacy and his downfall, and whether the new government can bring any peace to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. We’ll also hear from Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish, a Palestinian Canadian who lost family members to an Israeli attack, yet has emerged as a leading advocate for ... peace.

More reading:

Benjamin Netanyahu ruled Israel as a man of many faces 

He ‘won the lottery’ of Israeli politics. But Naftali Bennett remains an enigma

First priority for anti-Netanyahu coalition: Stay united long enough to get sworn in

Jun 14, 2021
The fight to change COVID-19 vaccine-hesitant hearts and minds

California has one of the lowest transmission rates in the country. More than 70% of adults have rolled up their sleeves for at least one dose of a vaccine. But many people still refuse to get the jab. Public health officials worry they will be at particular risk of infection from other unvaccinated people once the state reopens. Today, guest host Erika D. Smith takes us to the front lines, where canvassers are making a final push to get holdouts vaccinated in South L.A. before the state reopens. We’ll also hear from L.A. Times columnist Sandy Banks about her struggles to persuade her own sister to get the shot.

More reading:

Shorter lines and TikTok ads: California’s push to beat vaccine hesitancy 

Column: My dad was a COVID-19 skeptic. But he got vaccinated, and so can your ‘pandejos’ 

COVID-19 vaccines: What you need to know about hesitancy and access

Jun 11, 2021
Next U.S. ambassador to India might be L.A.'s mayor ... Huh?

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti is political royalty in the City of Angels. His father was a former district attorney. The mayor won his last election with over 80 percent of the vote. There were even rumors he would run for president in 2020. Now, amid speculation that the Biden administration will tap Garcetti as the U.S. Ambassador to India, people from Kolkata to Calexico are saying ... huh? Him? Today, we speak to L.A. Times columnist Steve Lopez — who says Garcetti's ambition might actually make him good for the position — and to former Los Angeles City Council candidate Dinesh Lakhanpal, who's welcoming of the idea, if a bit skeptical.

More reading:

Garcetti likely to be named ambassador to India, source says 

Column: If Garcetti leaves early for India ambassador post, how will he be remembered? 

Letters to the Editor: Eric Garcetti as ambassador to India? Talk about failing up

Jun 10, 2021
A Black LGBTQ publishing and political pioneer speaks

When it comes to serving California's Black, LGBTQ (and Black LGBTQ) communities, Charles Stewart's resume is impeccable. The native of South L.A. worked for Rep. Diane Watson and former state Sen. Holly Mitchell, who's now an L.A. County supervisor. He has previously served as secretary of the city of L.A.'s LGBT Police Task Force, and he was editor at large for BLK, a national magazine for the black LGBTQ community, the first of its kind. Stewart is now retired, but we recently caught up with him to talk about his life, the state of Pride Month today, and much more.

More reading:

Queering the Black Press: Remembering BLK Magazine 

An issue of BLK Magazine at the National Museum of African American History & Culture

BLK Publications papers at the ONE Archives at the USC Libraries

Jun 09, 2021
How the Los Angeles Public Library made libraries cool

It's been quite the year for the Los Angeles Public Library — and the COVID-19 pandemic is only part of the story. Inauguration Day saw a reading by Amanda Gorman, who got her start with poetry readings via the L.A. Public Library's youth program. And teen punk group the Linda Lindas got worldwide fame after a concert at the library system's Cypress Park branch. Today, we talk to L.A. librarian Kevin Awakuni about how the city's public library has turned into an incubator for making libraries hip worldwide. We also get L.A. Times columnist Patt Morrison to explain how a city long dismissed as an intellectual wasteland learned to treasure its libraries in the wake of a devastating fire.

More reading:

‘Whoa, this is crazy’: L.A. teen punks the Linda Lindas on going viral (just before finals)

How a 22-year-old L.A. native became Biden’s inauguration poet 

Who started the 1986 fire at the Los Angeles Library? Susan Orlean investigates in her new book

Jun 08, 2021
California's unsinkable Katie Porter

California Rep. Katie Porter (D -Irvine) has been a political rock star ever since the progressive won the 45th Congressional District seat in South Orange County — long a bastion of conservative politics — in 2018. We talk to her about her Iowa roots, the Jan. 6 U.S. Capitol invasion, her attempts at bipartisanship and the color of her favorite marker that she uses for her already-legendary whiteboard lectures during congressional hearings.

More reading:

Democrats loved Katie Porter when she bashed Trump. Now she is making them squirm

Video: Katie Porter’s “Whiteboard of Justice”

Video: Rep. Katie Porter on impeachment and the consequences of Jan. 6

Jun 07, 2021
Phone trees, Laotian immigrants and COVID-19

The Laotian community in California is not large enough to support newspapers or television news programs in Lao, leaving monolingual immigrants especially isolated. So these immigrants have created elaborate phone trees with designated leaders that can spread important information to thousands of people within an hour. In sprawling California suburbs, the phone trees are an attempt to re-create village networks from back home. And it's a crucial service — one that's especially important because there are not enough Lao speakers for government agencies to translate fliers, as is often done in Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese and Korean. For instance, some Laotians did not know a COVID-19 vaccine existed until they received a call from the phone tree. On today's episode, our host is L.A. Times entertainment reporter Tracy Brown, and our guest is Times Metro reporter Anh Do.

More reading:

Elaborate phone tree links Laotian immigrants to COVID info, one another 

Column: Laotian Americans’ stories are obscured by history. That’s why we need ethnic studies 

San Diego’s Laotian community pushes for a place in California history books

Jun 04, 2021
A revolt in Northern California with national influence

On January 5, 2021, one day before the deadly insurrection at the U.S. Capitol by Trump supporters, there was another breach of a government building — in Northern California. Dozens of people, angered by COVID-19 lockdowns, let themselves into a Shasta County government building. There, the board of supervisors was holding a meeting. Although most of the supervisors were attending remotely, angry residents — including members of a local militia — still let them have it. It was a preview of things to come: a campaign to take Shasta County's local revolt national via videos, social media, violent rhetoric — and more. Our guests are L.A. Times Northern California reporters Anita Chabria and Hailey Branson-Potts, satirist Nathan Blaze, and Cottonwood Militia member Carlos Zapata.

More reading:

Threats, videos and a recall: A California militia fuels civic revolt in a red county 

A day before Capitol attack, pro-Trump crowd stormed meeting, threatened officials in rural California

In California’s rural, conservative north, there are big dreams for cleaving the state

Jun 03, 2021
Naomi Osaka drops out of French Open, stands up for mental health

At just 23 years old, Naomi Osaka is already one of the best tennis players in the world. She was scheduled to play the French Open this month, which is one of the sport's biggest tournaments. But Osaka caused a stir when she announced before matches even began that she wouldn’t be at any news conferences. She cited the “huge waves of anxiety” she feels talking at them. French Open officials weren’t sympathetic and fined her $15,000. Then on Monday, Osaka stunned everyone. She announced she was withdrawing from the competition altogether. On today's show, we speak with L.A. Times sports columnist Helene Elliott about the importance of Osaka’s move. It's highlighted an issue long bubbling in the sports world: In a place where stress is a big part of the game, what's the best way to handle an athlete’s mental health?

More reading:

Why Naomi Osaka’s news conference boycott is a major tennis talking point 

Naomi Osaka withdraws from the French Open 

Naomi Osaka needs empathy and help, not condemnation, for showing strength

Jun 02, 2021
Las Vegas doubles down on reopening at full capacity

In 2019, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority estimated it hosted nearly 43 million tourists. Officials were expecting a record year for 2020, and the Nevada metropolis did set one … in the negative direction. Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic barely 19 million visitors came to town — the lowest total in decades. Today, restaurants and casinos will return to full capacity. If the move is successful, you'll see a flip on the city's tagline. What happened to Vegas won't stay in Vegas. Our guests are Los Angeles Times national correspondent Kurtis Lee and Culinary Union Local 226 secretary-treasurer Geoconda Argüelo-Kline. Plus, a rant about loquats!

More reading:

Las Vegas is betting on the gamblers and tourists returning. Will lost jobs come back? 

Democratic candidates court Culinary Union, the kingmaker of Nevada

COVID pushed Cirque du Soleil into bankruptcy protection. Now for a Vegas comeback

Jun 01, 2021
Sandra Oh on being 'Asian enough'

On today's episode, we turn the mic over to the hosts of our Asian Enough podcast, L.A. Times entertainment reporters Jen Yamato and Tracy Brown. They share excerpts from a recent episode featuring actor Sandra Oh, in which Oh talks about her career, the rise in anti-Asian hate crimes and whether she'd ever reprise her role of Dr. Cristina Yang on "Grey's Anatomy."

More reading:

Follow the "Asian Enough" podcast on Apple Podcasts

Sandra Oh won’t return to ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ before it ends: ‘I have moved on’

Why Sandra Oh considers ‘Killing Eve’ a ‘transitional’ role

May 31, 2021
Lowriders. Cruising. A Southern California ritual returns

Our guest host Faith E. Pinho, a Metro reporter at the L.A. Times, speaks with Times culture writer Daniel Hernandez about the cast of characters and cars that have been lining the wide boulevards of Southern California for decades. They look at who is embracing cruising culture and its uneasy relationship with law enforcement.

More reading:

The lowrider is back: The glorious return of cruising to the streets of L.A. 

Here are 8 key lowrider moments in pop films and TV, according to Estevan Oriol 

During pandemic, trash and crime increased on Whittier Boulevard. Lowrider clubs said: Enough

May 28, 2021
The fight to preserve Japanese-American concentration camps

They stand across the West in ruins, ghostly apparitions of one of the darkest moments in American history. Concentration camps, 10 in total, built during World War II to incarcerate 120,000 Japanese Americans for the crime of not being white. But only two are designated as national sites. Manzanar in California and Minidoka in Idaho. Now, a bill in Congress seeks to designate a third concentration camp as a historic site, the Granada War Relocation Center in southeast Colorado, better known as Camp Amache. At a time when hate crimes against Asian Americans continue to rise, activists say it couldn't come at a more important time. Today, we'll talk with Caitlyn Kim, a Colorado Public Radio reporter who's covering the push to turn Camp Amache into a national historical site. And we'll speak with Bruce Embry, who has been making an annual pilgrimage to Manzanar for over 50 years. Embry's mother was incarcerated there.

More reading:

Advocates For Historic Designation Of Colorado Japanese Internment Camp Say It Would ‘Help Tell A More Complete Story of America’ 

Sue Kunitomi Embrey, 83; Former Internee Pushed for Historic Status of Manzanar

The ‘No-Nos’ of Tule Lake

May 27, 2021
Why Fernandomania still matters

In 1981, Los Angeles Dodgers rookie pitcher Fernando Valenzuela uncorked a full-fledged revolution. Baseball, Los Angeles, Latinos, sports — none have been the same since Valenzuela dominated batters four decades ago. He helped to make the national pastime international, bridged racial divides in L.A. and gave Latinos a hero everyone could embrace. Even if you don’t like sports, even if you’re a Yankees fan or — heaven forbid — root for the San Francisco Giants, you gotta know about the legacy of Valenzuela’s magical year from so long ago. It influenced many levels of American society in ways that still resonate today. And you gotta call it by this name: Fernandomania. Our guest is L.A. Times sports columnist Dylan Hernandez.

More reading:

Column: Fernando Valenzuela’s lasting impact on baseball makes him worthy of Hall of Fame

Column: The Gospel of Fernandomania: Forty years later, Fernando Valenzuela still a Mexican American icon

Watch the "Fernandomania @ 40" episodes here

May 26, 2021
How to honor George Floyd on the one-year anniversary of his murder

Today, on the one-year anniversary of George Floyd’s murder, we talk to three people who participated in last year’s actions. Joseph Williams is an organizer with Black Lives Matter Los Angeles. Brianna Noble is the owner of Mulatto Meadows, a business in Northern California that seeks to diversify the horse-riding world. And Carrington Pritchett is a student in Bakersfield who is also a freelance photographer. Three radically different backgrounds, one purpose last year and today: honoring the life of George Floyd.

More reading:

They lost loved ones to police violence. George Floyd’s killing has made the pain new again

ACLU sues Bakersfield police over arrest of black passenger in car stopped for dangling air freshener

George Floyd billboard, rejected elsewhere for ‘violence,’ rises in West Hollywood

May 25, 2021
Israeli-Palestinian conflict hits California's ethnic studies curriculum

As the Israeli-Palestinian conflict keeps a cease-fire, its proxy wars continue to rage worldwide. One of the latest battlefronts has been in California classrooms. This past March, the California Department of Education approved an ethnic studies curriculum for K-12 students that schools can adopt voluntarily. It seeks to teach students a more diverse take on history. Not only does the move influence the next generation of students, but this could go on to affect school districts across the country. But it didn't come easy. One of the key points of contention? What California students should learn about the fraught history between Israel and Palestine. Our guests are Max Samarov, executive director of research and strategy for Stand With Us, and Samia Shoman, Palestine Teaching Project member and former advisory board member for California's ethnic studies curriculum program.

More reading:

California approves ethnic studies curriculum for K-12 schools after years of debate

Cease-fire holds during first day as Palestinians, Israelis take stock

Opinion: Is California’s draft ethnic studies curriculum anti-Semitic?

May 24, 2021
Meet the Germhunters

Peter Daszak is president of the EcoHealth Alliance, where he leads a team of researchers working to identify emerging diseases around the world, the so-called zoonotic viruses that leap from animals to humans. This year, he went to China with the World Health Organization to track the origins of COVID-19. Daszak says cooperation with China — which theorizes that the coronavirus originated in the wet markets of Wuhan — is important to understanding and preventing future outbreaks. But some vocal skeptics — politicians, media pundits and a few scientists — don't believe the virus jumped from animals to humans. They think Chinese scientists let the virus loose somehow. L.A. Times staff writer James Rainey takes over the mic to explain why it’s a theory that just won’t go away.

More reading:
Trump administration ended pandemic early-warning program to detect coronaviruses
Why China’s wildlife ban is not enough to stop another virus outbreak
Commentary: No, China’s fresh food markets did not cause coronavirus

May 21, 2021
LAPD's crowd-control tactics under increasing controversy

This last year, we've seen multiple rallies in Los Angeles — organized by Black Lives Matter, against the clearing of a homeless encampment in Echo Park, in celebration of the Dodgers' World Series win. Each one of these events was for a different cause but they ended in the same way: with the Los Angeles Police Department coming in, declaring an illegal gathering and clearing the crowds with tactics that many activists have deemed heavy-handed and violent. Frequently the police also fired hard foam projectiles. In some cases, the protesters and reporters covering these events were arrested and even shot with these projectiles, with police alleging various offenses. The police contend that the people assembled at these rallies failed to follow orders. Today, we talk to freelance journalist Lexis-Olivier Ray about what it's been like to cover these protests and to L.A. Times reporter Kevin Rector about a federal injunction that would temporarily restrict the LAPD's use of less-lethal weapons.

More reading:
‘The Scariest Days of My Life:’ As a Black Journalist, Covering Civil Rights Protests Has Been Harrowing
Judge grants preliminary injunction limiting LAPD projectile weapons at protests
Photojournalists sue LAPD, L.A. County sheriff over alleged abuses at protests

May 20, 2021
COVID-19 cautionary tales from India and Brazil

Together, Brazil and India now have half the COVID-19 cases in the world. We speak to L.A. Times foreign correspondents David Pierson and Kate Linthicum about what the plight of these global powerhouses suggests about the spread of coronavirus around the world.

May 19, 2021
Who really created Flamin’ Hot Cheetos?

A junk snack may not seem like a big deal, especially in this current world. But the story of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos — a gnarled, messy, crunchy, bright-red corn puff that debuted in the early 1990s — and its creation has long been told as an inspirational fable from classrooms to boardrooms because of one man: Richard Montañez. His tale was irresistible: he was a former janitor at a Frito-Lay plant who became a high-ranking executive. That is all true. But he credited his rise to his creation of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos. Now, an L.A. Times investigation has cast doubts on those claims, and the internet is, well, aflame. We get some insight into the matter from Times business reporter Sam Dean and our very own senior podcast producer Denise Guerra.

May 18, 2021
Killings of transgender people in U.S. on track to top last year's record

Just five months into the year, the U.S. is on track to break a troubling record. Last year, 44 transgender people were killed in the U.S. and its territories. So far this year, the count is close to two dozen, according to the Human Rights Campaign. Those are just the cases that we know of. More than half the victims were Black trans women, and the region with the highest rate is Puerto Rico. Today, we’ll speak with Marc Ramirez about the rise in transgender violence in Puerto Rico and across the U.S. He’s a USA Today national correspondent who covers identity and inclusion issues. We’ll also speak to Maria José, a trans woman who heads a safe space in Puerto Rico for LGBTQ folks.

May 17, 2021
Baseball, the Iranian hostage crisis and Barry Rosen

Four decades ago, Barry Rosen was one of 52 Americans held hostage for 444 brutal days in Iran. After their release in 1981, Rosen and the other hostages received a rare gift from Major League Baseball: a "golden ticket." Signed by then-Commissioner Bowie Kuhn under the words “In Gratitude And Appreciation,” the lifetime pass entitled each hostage and a guest admittance to any regular-season game. But when Rosen tried to attend a game this year, the New York Mets said they were no longer honoring his pass. What happened next showed just how much baseball continues to mean to Rosen.

May 14, 2021
Meet our Masters of Disasters

The California dream comes with more than its fair share of disasters — earthquakes, wildfires, fire tornadoes, eroding coasts, and so much more. The L.A. Times has a disasters unit to cover them, and our reporters are some of the best in the business. So we invited three of them — Rong-Gong Lin II, Rosanna Xia, and Alex Wigglesworth — to talk about how to prepare for the unpreparable. Think of this as a regular monthly series about calamities, with our Masters of Disasters as your guides.

May 13, 2021
A look at El Salvador's meme-loving, press-hating autocratic president Nayib Bukele

A populist becomes his country’s president with a historic win. He’s a brash outsider, a relative newcomer, and he promises to drain the swamp. No more politics as usual, he says, because his country is under attack — and he’s here to save it. But this new president begins to upend democracy. Ousts his opponents to consolidate power. Declares he wants to change the country’s constitution to suit him. And trolls his haters on social media all along the way. These are the hallmarks of Nayib Bukele, the president of El Salvador. If Bukele succeeds in his power grabs, it has big implications for the United States. Today, L.A. Times Latin America correspondent Kate Linthicum and El Faro reporter Jimmy Alvarado take us into the current crisis in El Salvador and explain how we got here. Author Roberto Lovato also talks about how Bukele’s actions affect the Salvadoran diaspora in the United States.

May 12, 2021
What California's high school athletes can teach us about coping with COVID-19

California's high-school athletes were bona fide ballers during the pandemic. They trained alone or over Zoom during lockdowns and are now facing off against each other on the field. How these student athletes coped with COVID-19 this past year offers lessons in resilience and ingenuity that all of us can learn. Today, we learn how the football team at Loyola High School in Los Angeles came together to help teammate Josh Morales and his family survive COVID-19. Then, we’ll chat with L.A. Times’ longtime high school sports columnist Eric Sondheimer about the bigger challenges ahead for young athletes.

May 11, 2021
The origins of California's recall fever

Over the next couple of months, media from across the world will descend on California to cover the possible recall of Gov. Gavin Newsom. There have been only two successful recalls of governors in U.S. history — including the recall of California Gov. Gray Davis in 2003. Why is this famously liberal state so prone to conservative voter uprisings? It’s part of a decades-long trend that has rocked local and state politics, a trend that’s gone on to influence the rest of the U.S. Today, we examine the roots of the upcoming recall election against California Gov. Gavin Newsom with L.A. Times politics columnist Mark Z. Barabak and Randy Economy, one of the architects of the Recall Gavin 2020 campaign.

Further reading:

How three political novices with turbulent pasts helped spark the Newsom recall 

Column: Good news for Gavin Newsom — California is no longer the place it was in 2003

From the Archives: Death Ends Career of Sen. Hiram Johnson

May 10, 2021
How one mom learned to stop worrying and love video games during the pandemic

Video games have always been a point of division between L.A. Times science reporter Deborah Netburn and her 12-year-old son. Then the pandemic hit, and the gap between them seemed to widen. In today's episode, Netburn takes over the mic to share her journey from ignorance to understanding. And she does it all by playing video games.

More reading:
Video games came between me and my son in the pandemic. Could they bring us back together?

May 07, 2021
One final reckoning for the Golden Globes

Stacy Perman and Josh Rottenberg cover the film industry for the L.A. Times. In February, just a week before the annual Golden Globes ceremony, they published a bombshell investigation about the operations of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. The findings were ugly: Self dealing. Ethical lapses. No Black members. And the HFPA continued to make a series of missteps. Now, a group of powerful publicists in Hollywood have declared that they’ll keep their clients away from the Globes -- unless the institution announces real reforms. And this week, the HFPA finally did. We’ll hear from Perman, Rottenberg, and Kjersti Flaa, the Norwegian reporter who took the HFPA to court.

More reading:

Golden Globes leaders propose major reforms after Times investigation

Golden Globes organization vowed to change. Then came turmoil. What went wrong?

Golden Globes voters in tumult: Members accuse Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. of self-dealing, ethical lapses

May 06, 2021
The forgotten, radical roots of Cinco de Mayo

Few take Cinco de Mayo seriously. For many of us, today is about restaurant specials on nachos and margaritas. Too many white people wearing sombreros and fake mustaches. But for Axios reporter Russell Contreras, May 5 takes him back to growing up in Houston, where a forgotten riot over the police death of a Mexican American in 1978 turned Cinco de Mayo from farce to reflection. He talks about the forgotten, radical roots of the holiday loved by few and celebrated mostly with drinko.

More Reading:

Op-Ed: Cinco de Mayo -- a truly Mexican American holiday

The Real Meaning of Cinco de Mayo Celebration

May 05, 2021
The Uyghur genocide hits California

California businesses are starting to reopen, and for Bughra Arkin, owner of Dolan Uyghur Restaurant in Alhambra, keeping his restaurant open is also about saving his culture. Arkin belongs to an ethnic Muslim minority in China known as the Uyghurs. Their homeland, Xinjiang, is roughly the size of Iran. The famous Silk Road ran through it. For a long time, the region operated under its own local governments, outside the eyes of the Chinese Communist party. But in 2009, things began to change in Xinjiang. Arkin remembers parties ending earlier and earlier. Then people started disappearing. He says young Uyghurs were forcibly taken to inland China to work in factories. The houses and farmland they left behind were seized by the Communist government, which began encouraging the majority Han Chinese to move in. Recently, the world has increasingly decried China’s treatment of Uyghurs. Chinese officials deny any wrongdoing, but the United States and other nations around the globe have declared their actions a “genocide.” We speak with Arkin about his family's experience with the Chinese government, which includes the detention and disappearance of his father. We also talk to L.A. Times reporter Johana Bhuiyan about a company that the Chinese government has used to track Uyghurs and its efforts to expand in the United States.

More Reading: 

Major camera company can sort people by race, alert police when it spots Uighurs

‘They want to erase us.’ California Uighurs fear for family members in China

Review: At Dolan’s Uyghur Cuisine, a taste of northwest China’s cultural crossroads

May 04, 2021
Federal judge to Los Angeles: House your homeless, or else

Among everything that COVID-19 made worse, there is nothing more dire — or more visible — than its impact on homelessness. Over 66,000 people in Los Angeles County are homeless. It’s an issue that has bedeviled L.A., the land of sunshine and dreams, for decades. Everyone seems to have an idea on how to solve it. None seem to work. Then last month, a federal judge issued an order: House everyone in skid row, the historical epicenter of homelessness in Los Angeles. House everyone by October — or else. We speak with L.A. Times housing reporter Ben Oreskes and the Rev. Andy Bales, who runs Union Rescue Mission on skid row, about a move that could test whether there’s enough political will to solve homelessness once and for all.

More reading: Judicial overreach? Some say judge went too far in ordering L.A. to clear skid row

May 03, 2021
Introducing The Times: A daily news podcast from the Los Angeles Times

Hosted by Gustavo Arellano, “The Times: Daily news from the L.A. Times” will bring you the world through the eyes of the West Coast. Expect award-winning reporting, hard-hitting investigations and random randomness from the biggest newspaper west of the Mississippi right to your ears. Whether it’s farmworkers, Silicon Valley, Hollywood or car chases, we’ll give you deep dives and snippets, rants and discourse, laughers and weepers, with a diversity of voices and a bunch of drama and desmadre. Our first episode premieres Monday May 3. Learn more at

Apr 16, 2021