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RHOBH Reunion Rocked By Terrifying Medical Emergency in Dramatic Trailer

The Office Actor Ewen MacIntosh Dead at 50; Amanda Bynes Reveals Her Favorite Role—and the Answer Will Surprise You; Olympian Scott Hamilton Shares He's Not Undergoing Treatment for 3rd Brain Tumor; and more from E! News... February 21, 2024   View Online   NEWS VIDEOS PHOTOS SHOP NEWS VIDEOS PHOTOS SHOP   RHOBH Reunion Rocked By Terrifying Medical Emergency in Dramatic Trailer VIEW   The Office Actor Ewen MacIntosh Dead at 50 VIEW   Amanda Bynes Reveals Her Favorite Role—and the Answer Will Surprise You VIEW   Olympian Scott Hamilton Shares He's Not Undergoing Treatment for 3rd Brain Tumor VIEW   Wendy Williams' Family Speaks Out Amid Her Health and Addiction Struggles VIEW SEE MORE   Follow @enews     You are receiving this email because you signed up for our newsletter.

Karen Bass' first major proposal gets approved

Mayor could have seen her first major policy proposal delayed by a month if the council did not vote Tuesday.
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Los Angeles Times
Today's Headlines
Click to view images The Los Angeles City Council has approved Mayor Karen Bass' declaration of a homelessness emergency, allowing her first major policy proposal to move forward. (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

By Elvia Limón, Laura Blasey

Hello, it's Wednesday, Dec. 14, and here are the stories you shouldn't miss today.

TOP STORIES

Bass' emergency homelessness declaration is approved

After several hours of turmoil, the Los Angeles City Council approved Mayor Karen Bass' declaration of a homelessness emergency, allowing her first major policy proposal to move forward.

With broad support from the council, the vote should have been a simple procedural step. But it was thrown into jeopardy by the tumult at City Hall, where the reappearance of embattled Councilmember Kevin de León midway through the meeting led to a long break and uncertainty about whether the proceedings would continue.

Bass could have seen her first major policy proposal delayed by a month if the council hadn't voted Tuesday.

More politics:

  • As President Biden weighs a 2024 bid, his early strategy hinges on "the former guy," as Democrats aim to make Donald Trump the face of the GOP.
  • Just hours after his Los Angeles City Council term ended Monday, Gil Cedillo released a three-page letter titled "Why I Did Not Resign," in which he shares his thoughts about the racist conversation and leak scandal and refers to the criticism he received as "cancel culture."

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

Exams show P-22's health seriously deteriorating

P-22, Los Angeles' legendary mountain lion, is suffering from serious health issues and will not be released back into Griffith Park, according to officials, who said euthanasia is one option if his health deteriorates.

When the big cat was hauled out of a Los Feliz backyard Monday, wildlife officials planned to give him a thorough examination in order to assess what may have led him to wander into residential areas recently and attack small pets.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife said no options are off the table when it comes to determining what might come next for the cat.

COVID-19 cases are starting to drop in L.A. Will it last?

The number of newly reported COVID-19 cases has ticked down in Los Angeles County, a reprieve following weeks of increases. Whatever the wider prognosis for the winter, this dip will almost assuredly delay the return of a public indoor mask mandate in the nation's most populous county.

Many experts caution that official case figures, while a useful metric, are likely a significant undercount due to the proliferation of at-home tests. The drop in case numbers is more meaningful when accompanied by a slowdown of coronavirus-positive hospitalizations.

It's not a given that the declines will continue. With holiday travel and festivities still on tap, conditions could be ripe for an uptick in transmission.

More top coronavirus headlines:

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

Do recent California storms herald a drought-busting winter?

Storms that doused California with much-needed rain and snow over the last week have managed to ease dire drought conditions, but experts warn that the state has a long way to go to truly reverse its historic dry streak.

As the climate grows warmer and drier, sustained periods of rain and snow are becoming increasingly sporadic, experts say. Many fear a repeat of last year, when a similarly soggy December gave way to California's driest January through March on record.

A milestone toward a clean energy future

U.S. scientists have for the first time created "net energy" through a nuclear fusion reaction, the U.S. Department of Energy announced.

The historic experiment, which took place Dec. 5 at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, is the most significant step yet taken in the decades-long quest to produce cheap, clean, carbon-free energy through nuclear fusion. A controllable fusion-based energy technology could, in theory, create endlessly renewable amounts of clean, carbon-free energy.

While the announcement is a major step toward that ideal, there's still a long road ahead.

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

President Joe Biden stands at a microphone in front of the white house, surrounded by people and rainbow lights
President Biden delivers remarks before signing the Respect for Marriage Act into law during a ceremony Tuesday on the South Lawn of the White House. (Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times)

CALIFORNIA

Megan Thee Stallion takes the stand in the Tory Lanez trial with support from demonstrators. Peterson, 30, has been charged with assault with a firearm, illegal possession of a firearm and negligent discharge of a gun in a July 2020 incident. If convicted, he faces more than 22 years in prison.

California could receive more than $500 million from Walgreens opioid settlement. In November, Walgreens and CVS Health agreed to pay about $5 billion each to settle thousands of lawsuits in which state and local governments alleged that they filled prescriptions that should have been marked as inappropriate. The funds were to be split among the participating states.

How DNA from spitting on the sidewalk helped solve a murder. A 38-year-old Torrance man who was convicted of raping and murdering two women and dumping their bodies near Los Angeles freeways more than 10 years ago has been sentenced to life without parole.

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NATION-WORLD

Venezuela to fully open its border with Colombia beginning Jan. 1. Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro on Monday announced his intention to fully open border crossings with Colombia, a measure repeatedly postponed despite the restoration of diplomatic and commercial ties between the countries.

Bolsonaro supporters clash with police in Brazil as he refuses to concede defeat. Supporters of outgoing Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro clashed with law enforcement officers Monday, setting fire to vehicles and allegedly attempting to invade the federal police's headquarters in Brasília.

HOLLYWOOD AND THE ARTS

A multimillion-dollar mystery: Who really wrote "Jingle Bell Rock?" Bobby Helms' holiday hit is a Christmas standard, but the singer and the song's famed guitarist may have lost out on a publishing windfall by not claiming credit for the songwriting.

"Avatar: The Way of Water" will cure your moviegoing blues. Director James Cameron pulls you down so deep, and sets you so gently adrift, that at times you don't feel like you're watching a movie so much as floating in one, writes critic Justin Chang.

IMDb changes policies, ending age discrimination fight with SAG-AFTRA and others. Hollywood's version of LinkedIn will now give those who have a profile on the website the option to decide whether to disclose demographic data such as age or alternate names, the Amazon-owned company said Tuesday.

BUSINESS

California gig worker law Prop. 22 debated in appeals court. For more than a year, the voter-approved gig-economy law has hung in the balance after a judge invalidated the ballot initiative allowing ride-hailing and delivery companies to classify their workers as independent contractors. Now a California appeals court will have its say.

Inflation slowed to 7.1% over the last 12 months. Inflation in the U.S. slowed again last month, in the latest sign that price increases are gradually cooling.

OPINION

UCLA's Big Ten move would be a boon for supporting student athletes. If UCLA joins the Big Ten, the athletics department will have more funding to support students with academic and mental health resources.

Wild inflation? Not anymore. A closer look shows we're already approaching normal. It's true that prices in November were 7.1% higher than a year earlier. But if we look at the five months we have just experienced (July through November), the bigger news is really how much the rate of inflation has been coming down.

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SPORTS

Argentina defeats Croatia 3-0 to advance to the World Cup final. Lionel Messi scored one goal and set up two others Tuesday, leading Argentina to a 3-0 victory over Croatia in a semifinal and keeping alive Messi's quest to win the one trophy that has eluded him during a stellar career.

"You changed my life": Lincoln Riley, others honor the late football coach Mike Leach. The Mississippi State coach, 61, died Monday night following complications from a heart condition. A head coach for 21 years, Leach is survived by his wife, Sharon, and four children. Tributes flowed from inside and outside the college football world.

ONLY IN CALIFORNIA

Want a big blue bird statue? A bike that charges your phone? Head to Twitter's auction. After being purchased by Elon Musk, who slashed its workforce and made a flurry of other changes, the platform is selling off a long list of equipment from its San Francisco headquarters. The catalog ranges from the classic (standing desks, chairs and other office furniture) to the surrealist (a 6-foot @-shaped planter filled with fake plants).

Other items include coffee grinders, ovens, fryers, projectors, computers and TV displays. You might get a good deal too — many items start at $25.

FROM THE ARCHIVES

Funeral services for singer Sam Cooke in 1964.
It took pallbearers 40 minutes to make their way with the casket to the hearse after the funeral services for singer Sam Cooke in 1964. (Los Angeles Times)

Musician Sam Cooke died in Los Angeles 58 years ago in one of the more bizarre episodes in show business history. Cook was shot in the chest by a clerk at the seedy $3-a-night Hacienda Motel at 3 a.m.

Police arrived to find Cooke dead from a gunshot wound, with bruises and a bloody head from an apparent scuffle. He was naked except for an overcoat. Cooke was 33 and had recently finished final edits on "A Change Is Gonna Come," a powerful anthem about the civil rights struggle that critics would call his masterpiece.

The son of a Baptist minister, Cooke began his career with the group the Soul Stirrers in 1951, recording for Specialty Records.

After six years, he made the leap to secular music with a sound that melded blues and gospel. He co-founded a label, SAR Records, in 1961, signing Bobby Womack, Johnnie Taylor and Billy Preston, among others.

Cooke was among the first black performers to own the rights to his music and to form his own recording and publishing company.

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