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Chicano Batman's evolution, Melissa Barrera and more ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌ ͏‌  Support Latino journalism. Chicano Batman, religious rifts and a fearless scream queen. Chicano Batman, religious rifts and a fearless scream queen. This month, we're talking Melissa Barerra, SoCal street gang culture and generational religious divides. Plus, don't miss our look at Chicano Batman's musical evolution ahead of their Kia Forum show in late June. This month, we're talking Melissa Barerra, SoCal street gang culture and generational religious divides. Plus, don't miss our look

Pressure mounts on Cedillo and De Le贸n

Councilmembers Kevin de Le贸n and Gil Cedillo have been removed from several council committee assignments following a leaked racist audio recording.
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Los Angeles Times
Today's Headlines
Click to view images Hundreds from the Oaxacan community participate in a protest Saturday at City Hall in downtown Los Angeles. (Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)

By Elvia Lim贸n and Laura Blasey

Hello, it's Tuesday, Oct. 18, and here are the stories you shouldn't miss today.

TOP STORIES

The latest fallout from the leaked audio recording

Acting Los Angeles City Council President Mitch O'Farrell removed Councilmembers Kevin de Le贸n and Gil Cedillo from an array of council committee assignments. With the two councilmen refusing to step down, O'Farrell said they had been removed from committees that deal with real estate development, housing, homelessness and other issues.

The announcement was only the latest example of the fallout surrounding the racist comments heard in a conversation that was secretly recorded among Cedillo, De Le贸n, then-Council President Nury Martinez and Ron Herrera, president of the L.A. County Federation of Labor. Martinez and Herrera resigned in the wake of the furor over the audio.

More politics:

  • Democrats used to avoid talking about abortion with Latino voters — until Roe was overturned.
  • The Justice Department said Stephen K. Bannon should serve six months in prison for defying a congressional subpoena from the House committee investigating Jan. 6.
  • Heather Hutt, an interim member of the L.A. City Council, has become collateral damage in the widening scandal tied to four Latino leaders and redistricting, writes Times columnist Erika D. Smith.
  • In the wake of the City Council scandal, we need to recognize the existence of anti-Blackness in communities that aren't white, one expert told The Times.
  • Latino journalists are reporting on Martinez's racist comments in nuanced and candid ways. In addition to denouncing the politicians and demanding their resignations, it's been a time for them to look inward and elevate the voices of Black Latino and Indigenous voices long ignored by mainstream Latino media.

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

Newsom will call off the COVID state of emergency next year

Gov. Gavin Newsom said he plans to take action in February to end the COVID-19 state of emergency in California that he declared in 2020.

The governor declared the state of emergency in the early days of the pandemic to waive state regulations and statutes and to redirect funds to rapidly respond to the public health crisis. Republicans have criticized Newsom's decision to keep the declaration in place for so long, calling it an abuse of his executive powers.

Newsom's office said the dramatic decline in COVID deaths and hospitalizations has given him the confidence to call off the state of emergency on Feb. 28, three years after he made the declaration. The timeline should give the healthcare system flexibility to respond to any winter surges of the virus as a result of more indoor gatherings over the holidays, his office said.

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

Applications for student loan forgiveness are open online

The U.S. Department of Education officially opened the window to applications for student loan debt relief, following a weekend test of the online application form.

President Biden announced the launch of the applications, saying, "We're going to make sure the system works as smoothly as possible." During the beta test of the online form, Biden said, more than 8 million people successfully submitted applications in less than three days.

The Ebola outbreak in Uganda has put California doctors on alert

State officials are urging doctors to be on alert for any signs of Ebola symptoms among people who have recently traveled to Uganda, which is undergoing a significant outbreak.

So far, the outbreak has been limited to rural areas of that country. Ebola cases have not been reported in the capital, Kampala, nor in Entebbe, home to the international airport, according to a recent bulletin by the California Department of Public Health.

There are 54 confirmed and 20 probable Ebola cases in the outbreak, which was declared Sept. 20, as well as 39 deaths, according to the World Health Organization. he Ebola strain behind this outbreak is known as the Sudan species; past outbreaks of the Sudan species have resulted in a mortality rate of 50%.

Parents want more school security, but student activists are pushing back

Some parents say they want more security in schools, even having police bring in dogs to conduct random drug searches. But their demands run counter to those of student activists and labor, legal and community organizations.

Those groups are pushing to eliminate school police and redirect the resources to drug awareness, mental health support and Black achievement programs — a goal they fear is being overtaken by concerns over crime. They saw partial success in 2020 when the Board of Education cut the school police budget by a third and took away the police officer stationed at every high school.

Though there's broad agreement among parents and students on the need for strong mental health services — and district officials say they are responding to this imperative — impassioned opinions on the role of law enforcement have surged to the forefront as Supt. Alberto Carvalho is preparing to bring forward a school safety plan.

Check out "The Times" podcast for essential news and more.

These days, waking up to current events can be, well, daunting. If you're seeking a more balanced news diet, "The Times" podcast is for you. Gustavo Arellano, along with a diverse set of reporters from the award-winning L.A. Times newsroom, delivers the most interesting stories from the Los Angeles Times every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Listen and subscribe wherever you get your podcasts.

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PHOTO OF THE DAY

A woman wears a mask and feeds a giraffe from her hand.
Learning across species: UCLA cardiologist Barbara Natterson-Horowitz feeds a giraffe at L.A. Zoo. Giraffes have the highest known blood pressure in the animal kingdom. Read the story: "Why this UCLA professor is studying female animals to gain insights into women's health." (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

CALIFORNIA

California will mandate insurance discounts for wildfire mitigation efforts. New rules mandate that insurance companies reward consumers who take wildfire safety and mitigation actions under the state's Safer From Wildfires framework. The framework includes a list of recommended actions home and business owners can take to protect themselves from fires.

Scientology isn't on trial, but it looms large over a rape case. When prosecutors and actor Danny Masterson's defense team met in a downtown Los Angeles courtroom for a final meeting before Masterson's rape trial, much of the legal wrangling was over the role the controversial religion would play in the proceedings.

Warmer weather is ahead for Southern California after the weekend's storms. Forecasts show temperatures peaking in the low 90s by Wednesday, part of a "gradual warm-up" that will span the region. Conditions will be quieter after weekend rains that forced evacuation orders in parts of San Bernardino County.

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NATION-WORLD

A landmark trial has begun over Arkansas' ban on gender-confirming treatment for trans youth. The nation's first trial over a state's ban on gender-confirming care for children began in a test of restrictions that are championed by Republican leaders and widely condemned by medical experts. The law would prohibit doctors from providing gender-confirming hormone treatment, puberty blockers or surgery to anyone under 18 years old.

The U.K.'s new Treasury chief scrapped nearly all of the government's tax cut plans. Jeremy Hunt announced that he was reversing most of an economic package announced just weeks ago. A Sept. 23 announcement of unfunded tax cuts by new Prime Minister Liz Truss and Hunt's predecessor spooked financial markets, sent the pound to record lows and forced the Bank of England to take emergency action.

Digital activists challenged Uganda's harsh new internet law. Activists launched a petition to the constitutional court arguing that the description of computer-related crimes in a bill enacted last week violates the right to freedom of expression and criminalizes some digital work, including investigative journalism.

HOLLYWOOD AND THE ARTS

CBS tried to reform the cop show. Advocates aren't impressed. "East New York" is a procedural about a new top cop looking to usher in serious change, whether it's sending an officer to live in housing projects or cracking down on those who deny suspects lawyers and lie on the stand. But critics say it doesn't do enough to challenge long-standing ideas about policing.

This is how Paul Newman's posthumous memoir came together. The desire to be seen as his true self is at the heart of the actor's memoir, "Paul Newman: The Extraordinary Life of an Ordinary Man." During his lifetime, Newman created a cache of interviews that he later abandoned, until his children and a family friend rediscovered them.

BTS has pressed pause to join the South Korean military. The pop singers' label announced that they are "looking forward to reconvening as a group again around 2025." In South Korea, eligible men ages 18 to 35 are required to complete at least 18 months of military service.

After his removal from Instagram and Twitter, Kanye West has bought Parler. As his business partners back away, the right-wing social media platform Parler announced that it had entered into an agreement to sell the company to the rapper. Parler, whose chief executive, George Farmer, is married to West's friend and conservative commentator Candace Owens, was de-platformed from Google and Apple's app stores in January 2021, following the siege of the U.S. Capitol.

BUSINESS

This is the factory that helped put pickled jalape帽os on the map. Jalape帽o, or Xalape帽o, literally means "from Xalapa," where the chile was largely cultivated because of this mountain-ringed region of southeastern Mexico's fertile land. In the early 1900s, a man named Narciso Jimenez Guerra tried canning the local pepper and invented a new condiment in the process.

OPINION

The pandemic, Hurricane Ian and me — a doctor whose friends say I have PTSD. When we're in the eye of the storm, the ability to muffle panic is a survival skill, one I've employed as a doctor during COVID and while fleeing Hurricane Ian, writes Los Angeles physician and professor Mark Morocco.

Are Californians fleeing en masse to Texas? The reality is complicated. On the busy, buzzing lanes of Interstate 10 in the westernmost reaches of Texas, sure enough there come cars headed east bearing plates with the red word across the top: California. But there are plenty of cars bearing black-and-white Texas plates bound the other way — for California.

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SPORTS

The Clippers have unveiled their vision of future game broadcasts. With the streaming service ClipperVision, customers can pay to watch games directly, without a cable subscription. The app offers six livestreams per game, including the Bally Sports+ feed, as well as live commentary in Korean and Spanish, an augmented-reality mode and so-called "BallerVision."

As LeBron James nears a scoring record, even he can't recall the exact number he has to beat. When the Lakers open play at Golden State, James will enter the season — his 20th in the NBA — with 37,062 points, 1,325 fewer than the record. If he matches his scoring average with the Lakers (27 points), he'll pass Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's milestone 49 games into the season.

The LAFC's transformation into MLS Cup title contenders comes with a $10-million price tag. The team spent about $10 million to sign five players this summer, lifting the overall team payroll above $19 million for the first time, according to figures released by the MLS Players Assn. And those investments paid off when the team won its second Supporters' Shield in four years.

ONLY IN CALIFORNIA

Brendan Fraser is sorry about that Bay Bridge stunt in "George of the Jungle." Fraser joked last week while attending a screening in Mill Valley for his new film "The Whale" that he had "almost an apology to make" to the city of San Francisco for a scene from 1997's "George of the Jungle." George rescued a distressed parachutist in a stunt sequence that involved Disney hanging a deflated parachute and a mannequin from the bridge.

But some San Francisco residents and at least one news station weren't aware that filming was in progress.

"I'm looking at the helicopters and TV — somebody didn't pull a permit, somebody's going to get in trouble with the mayor's office. So I can only apologize for that," Fraser told SFGATE.

FROM THE ARCHIVES

Two people ride a greenery-covered float that says "Los Angeles" on the front. The crowd of spectators is mostly in hats.
Jan. 1, 1930: A "California Admission Day" float, with a floral grizzly bear, California flag and riders, is seen in the Rose Parade in Pasadena. The theme of the parade was "Festival Days in Flowers." (Los Angeles Times)

One hundred and seventy-two years ago today, on Oct. 18, 1850, news arrived in California that statehood had been granted. Admission Day was actually Sept. 9, but the news arrived in San Francisco more than a month later via John Tidwell, who had helped lobby Congress for statehood, according to the Sacramento History Museum.

An early mention of Admission Day, in the Sept. 10, 1887, Times, said: "Yesterday … marked the thirty-seventh anniversary of the entrance of California into the circle of States of the National Union. In that short period … what magnificent advances have been made by this noble Pacific commonwealth! And the progress that will be made by the State in the next thirty-seven years … who can estimate it? The human mind, unable to penetrate the mysteries of the future, can have no conception of what California will be in civilization, achievement, population and wealth in the year 1924."

Admission Day "used to be a gala-palooza in California," wrote columnist Patt Morrison in 2021. "In some years, schools and state offices closed, and parades and pageants celebrated the state's marriage with the United States." Early depictions of California's founding focused on white colonizers rather than immigrants of equally long standing or Native Americans, she wrote.

Times staff writer Amy Hubbard contributed to this report.

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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