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How the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders' Kelli Finglass Changed the Conversation on Body Image

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GOP candidates downplay antiabortion stance

In California and nationally, Republican candidates in tight races have appeared on the defensive, releasing ads downplaying their antiabortion stances.
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Los Angeles Times
Today's Headlines
Click to view images From left: Republican U.S. Reps. Mike Garcia, Michelle Steel and David Valadao. (Associated Press)

By Elvia Limรณn

Hello, it's Monday, Aug. 29, and here are the stories you shouldn't miss today:

TOP STORIES

California Republicans recalibrate on abortion

In the two months since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe vs. Wade, stripping away constitutional protections for abortion, some California Republicans facing highly competitive races in November have been noticeably quiet on the issue.

They include Reps. Michelle Steel of Seal Beach, Mike Garcia of Santa Clarita and David Valadao of Hanford. In the past, each has quietly backed an array of antiabortion efforts.

Nationally, Republicans in tight races have appeared on the defensive, releasing ads downplaying their antiabortion stances. Instead of celebrating the monumental reversal of Roe vs. Wade, the GOP is trying to turn the focus elsewhere, even as Democrats aim to keep the spotlight fixed on it. Polling has consistently found that most Americans support some restrictions on abortion but did not want Roe to be overturned.

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Omicron COVID-19 booster shots are coming

The next generation of COVID-19 booster shots — tailored to combat the super-infectious family of Omicron subvariants — could roll out early next month.

The Omicron booster represents a potentially substantial upgrade in its "ability to prevent infection, to prevent transmission, certainly to prevent serious illness and death," said White House COVID-19 response coordinator Dr. Ashish Jha.

While the final call on eligibility for the boosters is still pending, the expectation is that it will be broad. Here's what else we know.

More top coronavirus headlines

  • Health experts are noting that more people who are experiencing very mild illness are working anyway — exacerbating the coronavirus transmission risk.
  • Have your COVID-19 rapid tests expired? Don't toss them yet. Federal regulators have extended some expiration dates, meaning certain tests are now usable for months longer.

Stay up to date on variant developments, case counts and vaccine news with Coronavirus Today.

California's climate plan goes up in smoke

Recent fires have killed more than 13% of all giant sequoias in California, and scientists and officials are growing increasingly concerned that the state is nearing a tipping point in which its forests emit more climate-warming carbon dioxide than they absorb.

Citing an ambitious plan to reach carbon neutrality by 2045, the California Air Resources Board is urging state and federal authorities to drastically increase the thinning of dangerously overgrown forests.

While California's forests and grasslands absorb carbon dioxide during photosynthesis — helping to offset greenhouse gas emissions from human activity — burned forests reduce that storage capacity, or carbon stock. At the same time, a burning tree will release carbon dioxide.

More California cities enact rent control

Rent control has long been a tool to protect people from being priced out of their homes. With California's rents rising amid a hot real estate market, more cities are turning to the protections. This has won praise from tenant groups and opposition from apartment owners' organizations.

Some California landlords were allowed to bump rents starting Aug. 1 by as much as 10%, the maximum annual increase under state law. The 10% cap applies only to complexes built before 2007 and those not subject to rent control restrictions, meaning that other landlords can raise their rents even higher.

Cities and counties across California have also passed local ordinances protecting against no-fault evictions.

Turning a sacred mountain into a national monument

For centuries, Native Americans have made pilgrimages to a 5,600-foot-high mountain in southwestern Nevada they call Avi Kwa Ame, or Spirit Mountain, to seek religious visions and give thanks for the bounty of the Earth.

In recent years, U.S. Route 95, which passes through Las Vegas about 50 miles to the north, has made it a relatively easy excursion for others — tourists, outdoor adventurers, off-roaders, New Agers and alternative energy developers.

Now, an eclectic coalition of Native Americans, artists, biologists and environmentalists has stepped in with a proposal to have the mountain and more than 443,000 acres that surround it designated Avi Kwa Ame National Monument.

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OUR MUST-READS FROM THE WEEKEND

A couple holding hands on the beach
Meena Mosazai, her husband, Matan Atal, and their child, Moska, visit a park near their home in Seattle on Aug. 12. (Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)

They escaped Afghanistan for California and beyond. But the war's struggles followed them. About 94,000 Afghan nationals, U.S. citizens and permanent residents were evacuated from Afghanistan during Operation Allies Welcome — the Biden administration's ongoing effort to resettle vulnerable Afghans. The journey from their home country is one marked by hardship and the need for swift adjustment — as well as hope for their futures.

This college Latinx Lab won't X-out Chicanos. It plans to preserve Chicano history and embrace inclusion. Funded by a $1.2-million grant from the Mellon Foundation, the lab launches at Cal State Fullerton this fall. Its goal is to create projects that center on narratives as crucial to creating knowledge, transforming communities and addressing structural racism.

Gen Z didn't coin 'quiet quitting' — Gen X did. The new social media meme about "quiet quitting" — not actually quitting, but doing the bare minimum at your job — is the latest workplace trend to make CEOs' hearts skip a few beats. But coasting counterculture reached its true boom days in the 1990s, which were punctuated by underachiever fare like "Slacker," "Clerks," "The Big Lebowski" and "Wayne's World."

CALIFORNIA

A heat wave is forecast to hit Southern California just in time for Labor Day weekend. Temperatures are forecast to be an oppressive 10 to 15 degrees above average starting Wednesday and lasting through Sept. 5.

L.A. police and firefighters gave up raises during COVID. Now they're getting paid back. L.A.'s elected officials have been quietly striking deals to restore the raises that city unions gave up during COVID, providing the funds in the form of big bonuses.

Rents fell in some California metro areas. Is a wider cooling trend ahead? In the Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim metropolitan region, the fourth-most-expensive in the U.S., the average rent fell by $4 to $3,047. The decline shows a market that is cooling off, and the rest of the country could soon see similar relief, according to George Ratiu, senior economist and manager of economic research for Realtor.com.

Many U.S. Guatemalans waiting for passports are 'doubly undocumented' — and angry. Los Angeles' Guatemalan immigrant community is asking President Alejandro Giammattei to implement permanent solutions to an ongoing problem, worsened by COVID, with obtaining passports.

'Fast & Furious' has turned these L.A. streets into a hot spot for racers. Residents are fed up. Protesters in Angelino Heights rallied against the filming of "Fast X," the 10th installment in the franchise. Residents say the films glamorize street racing and illegal takeovers, fueling a dangerous trend not just in Angelino Heights but anywhere they have resonated with young drivers.

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NATION-WORLD

Broken trust is still felt in Uvalde as the school year approaches. In Uvalde, trust between residents and law enforcement is broken, more than three months after the slaying of 19 children and two teachers in one of the deadliest classroom shootings in U.S. history. The demands from residents are constant: more firings, more security, more gun restrictions. Even then, some are unconvinced that these changes would be enough.

This conservative multimillionaire could become the first nonwhite prime minister of Britain. Rishi Sunak, a 42-year-old multimillionaire of Indian heritage and former Treasury chief, is one of two finalists for the job, which will be filled early next month with a vote by rank-and-file members of the Conservative Party.

A Pennsylvania man who attacked police on Jan. 6 gets a 46-month sentence. Howard Richardson's sentence is one of the longest among those who have been prosecuted for storming the Capitol to disrupt the certification of President Biden's 2020 election victory.

HOLLYWOOD AND THE ARTS

How L.A.'s Deaf West is becoming the American theater company of the moment. Deaf actors have struggled to gain a foothold in mainstream theater. The L.A.-based nonprofit Deaf West has fought to change that. Founded in 1991 by deaf actor Ed Waterstreet, Deaf West became the first regional theater company in the country led by a deaf artistic director.

From Silly Bandz to bare-breasted warrior: How Doechii became hip-hop's most electrifying new star. A true child of the internet, Doechii turned to YouTube to express herself, convinced she could build a following before she even knew what she wanted to make. Once she settled on music, that pre-built audience was both a gift and a curse.

Britney Spears' return has celeb pals Lil Nas X and Paris Hilton cheering. The singer returned alongside legend Elton John with the single "Hold Me Closer," a duet that mashes up John's hits "Tiny Dancer" and "The One." The song marks Spears' first release since her 2016 album, "Glory," and is a celebration of sorts following a recent legal victory freeing her from a nearly 14-year conservatorship.

Arcade Fire frontman Win Butler is accused of sexual misconduct. Butler denied the sexual misconduct allegations, saying that he had had "consensual relationships outside of my marriage," according to statements he provided to Pitchfork.

BUSINESS

These tech gigs pay well even if you're not a hardcore geek. Tech skills don't have to be extraordinary to be valuable. You can make a great living designing simple websites or emails for small businesses.

NASA's return to the moon begins with a rocket launch. The Space Launch System moon rocket is scheduled to take off for the first time at 5:33 a.m. Pacific time from Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The towering rocket will propel the Orion crew capsule — without a crew aboard — 280,000 miles from Earth on a distant orbit around the moon.

OPINION

Is Biden's student debt forgiveness plan fair? Is the plan fair to those who didn't go to college? To those who paid off their loans? In short, people are asking: Is it fair to me?

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SPORTS

Mookie Betts has been on an MVP-caliber tear for the Dodgers. He had been playing well in his return from a foot injury earlier this year, with a .283 batting average and .859 on-base-plus-slugging percentage since the start of July. But he wasn't on fire either — not all the way. That's changed over the last three games against the Marlins.

NFL punter Matt Araiza is released from Buffalo Bills amid a sex assault allegation in San Diego. Araiza, 22, whose powerful and precise kicking in college earned him the moniker "Punt God," was accused of bringing a teen into a room during a party, where she was then repeatedly raped.

Serena Williams embarks on her final Grand Slam with a peerless legacy. The U.S. Open begins with all eyes on Williams, who recently said she's "evolving away from tennis" as she nears her 41st birthday. A six-time champion in New York, she will face 80th-ranked Danka Kovinic of Montenegro at Arthur Ashe Stadium.

Seventy-five things to know about the Lakers as the franchise celebrates 75 years. Kareem, Magic, Shaq, Kobe and LeBron have taken turns commanding the spotlight. They have won championships, shattered records, captivated fans and fueled rivalries. As we prepare to enter the Lakers' 75th year, The Times' award-winning writers and photographers deliver a look back at the team's colorful history.

ONLY IN L.A.

Yes, you can explore lots of Los Angeles without having a car. In a city of about 4 million, it's estimated that more than 750,000 people take a bus or train every weekday. The Times' Julia Carmel says many of their friends admit they've never used L.A.'s public transportation options. Julia created this list of 13 amazing places in L.A. that you can visit using public transit, including Frank Lloyd Wright's Hollyhock House in East Hollywood, the South Pasadena Farmers Market and Plaza Mexico in Lynnwood.

Whether you don't have a car, you're dodging high gas prices or you just like taking a bus or train, public transit can be a fantastic way to rediscover L.A. There are tons of easily accessible attractions, some well-known and others a bit more under the radar.

FROM THE ARCHIVES

1970 staff file photo of Hispanics demonstration Chicano Moratorium
On Aug. 29, 1970, more than 20,000 demonstrators marched through East Los Angeles for the National Chicano Moratorium Against the Vietnam War. (Los Angeles Times)

Fifty-two years ago, more than 20,000 demonstrators marched through East Los Angeles for the National Chicano Moratorium Against the Vietnam War. It started peacefully but devolved into conflict between demonstrators and sheriff's deputies. By the end of the day, hundreds were arrested. The chaos would lead to three deaths, including that of pioneering Times columnist Ruben Salazar.

It was a "moratorium" because it was a call to suspend the loss of brown lives half a planet away, the Times' Daniel Hernandez reported in 2020. Two times as many people with Spanish surnames were dying at the war's peak in proportion to their population in the Southwest, according to studies by Ralph C. Guzman, a future deputy assistant secretary of State.

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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