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Mourning 'L.A.’s coolest cat,' P-22

The big cat of Griffith Park was 'compassionately euthanized' Saturday morning, officials said.
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Los Angeles Times
Today's Headlines
Click to view images A photo of P-22 in 2016 in Griffith Park. (Miguel Ordeñana)

By Elvia Limón

Hello, it's Monday, Dec. 19, and here are the stories you shouldn't miss today:

TOP STORIES

Remembering L.A.'s P-22

For a decade, he was perhaps L.A.'s wildest and most elusive resident. So when word spread that the mountain lion P-22 was gone, his city swelled with sadness and admiration.

In a tearful news conference, wildlife biologists described multiple chronic illnesses that may have contributed to the mountain lion's recent uncharacteristic behavior. The big cat of Griffith Park was "compassionately euthanized" Saturday morning, officials said.

A congressman called him a "beloved mascot." The biologist who helped identify him dubbed him an "iconic ambassador for wildlife." An everyday citizen tweeted that the 12-year-old bachelor with the mesmerizing eyes clearly had been "L.A.'s coolest cat."

Have thoughts and memories following P-22's death? Share them here.

Inside the explosive lawsuit against one YouTuber's empire

Piper Rockelle's ability to be at once aspirational and relatable has helped attract 10 million subscribers to her YouTube channel, where the 15-year-old social media star has earned up to $625,000 a month sharing carefully curated snippets of her neon-colored world.

That was the case, at least, until January 2022, when 11 former members of her onscreen friend group, the Squad, filed a bombshell lawsuit that offers an unsettling glimpse into a largely unregulated world of social media, where children spend long hours cranking out videos and branded content.

The plaintiffs say the allegations exemplify why child labor laws are so important to protect kid performers from exploitation by their employers or their guardians.

In Bakersfield, a lawsuit aims to turn a dry riverbed into a flowing river

Conservation groups are going to court to try to bring back a flowing river in Bakersfield, where for years so much water has been diverted in canals to supply farms that the Kern River is usually reduced to a dry, sandy riverbed.

Six environmental groups sued the city of Bakersfield, saying that continuing to allow diversions of water upstream from the city harms the environment and the community.

Plaintiffs argue that allowing water diversions to dry up the river violates California's public trust doctrine, the principle that certain natural resources must be preserved for the public.

More politics

  • The short-term bid to oust L.A. City Councilman Kevin de León is also a long-term effort to prevent a successful candidacy for any other elected office, writes Times columnist Erika D. Smith.
  • Iran's hijab protests, which show no sign of abating, are evidence that mandatory headscarves are only the beginning of the people's discontent, writes Times columnist Nicholas Goldberg.
  • The possession and personal use of "magic mushrooms" and ayahuasca could be decriminalized under a new psychedelics bill introduced Monday backed by veterans.

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

L.A. shelters turn away animals, residents complain

Los Angeles' city animal shelters have been under fire for months, and the criticism heated up again last week, when members of the commission that oversees Animal Services pressed department officials to answer complaints about shelter staff turning away people seeking to surrender animals.

At a hearing of the Board of Animal Services Commissioners, panel members asked the department to report back on city policy for taking in animals.

The concerns follow the ongoing struggles at the department, which saw a double-digit rise in the number of cats and dogs housed in Animal Services shelters through October compared with the same period last year.

Why is Mexico's Andrés Manuel López Obrador so popular?

Despite spiraling violence and a stagnating economy, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has maintained sky-high approval ratings because he speaks to the working poor.

Detractors, tens of thousands of whom marched in Mexico City last month, hate everything about the president: his moralizing tone and his ill-fitting suits, his disregard for democratic norms and his embrace of the military, his hypersensitivity to critique and his insistence that every problem can be blamed on a single enemy — the rich.

But as they pen newspaper columns and fire off tweets insisting that Mexico has never been worse off, his critics are speaking largely to themselves. López Obrador is one of the most popular leaders on Earth.

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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OUR MUST-READS FROM THE WEEKEND

A Ukrainian couple walks past a building that had been used by Russian troops
Viacheslav Slavov and Ludmila Taranov, both 31, met one month before the war began. They remained in Kherson during the Russian occupatio. (Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)

"I'm not going without you." Ukrainian lovers defy the rules of war. Amid the nightmare of war in Ukraine, a coffee date between Ludmila Taranov and Viacheslav Slavov led to love, cohabitation and a baby girl who's due in January.

Federal officials say urgent action is needed to protect the shrinking Colorado River reservoirs. Federal officials told water managers from the seven states that rely on the river that they will weigh immediate options next year to protect water levels in depleted reservoirs, and that the region must be prepared for the river to permanently yield less water because of climate change.

CALIFORNIA

Dissension brews among striking UC union members over a tentative agreement. Opponents of the tentative pact said they would launch a statewide campaign to urge their peers to reject ratification. They said the wage gains are not as significant as billed, won't fully kick in until fall 2024 and would do little to relieve the rent burden on academic workers struggling with housing costs

L.A. Unified, California showcases record graduation rates; other measures show setbacks. L.A. schools Supt. Alberto Carvalho called the graduation rate "historic" and "precedent setting," and noted that, in general, the greatest gains were among Black students, students learning English and students with disabilities — groups with lower rates historically.

Their car fell 300 feet into a canyon. A new iPhone satellite SOS system likely helped save them. Cloe Fields said she had recently switched her phone's service provider and got an upgrade to the iPhone 14, which she was thankful to learn came equipped with a new emergency SOS system that uses crash detection and satellite technology.

L.A. County wants your corruption and fraud tips as part of a contracting investigation. The move is among the first public developments in the county's long-running investigation and audit into its contracting process that was approved in October 2021 in the wake of the federal indictment of City Councilmember Mark Ridley-Thomas, who was later suspended.

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NATION-WORLD

In soccer-crazed Argentina, "Muchachos" carries the dreams of a country. In Argentina, the song "Muchachos, Ahora Nos Volvimos A Ilusionar" became the anthem of the country's run to the World Cup final.

North Korea fires two ballistic missiles capable of reaching Japan. The two missiles traveled from the country's northwest Tongchangri area about 310 miles at a maximum altitude of 340 miles before landing in the waters between the Korean peninsula and Japan, according to the South Korean and Japanese governments.

Capitol riot suspect plotted to kill federal agents investigating him, records allege.More than 880 people have been charged with crimes related to the attack on Jan. 6, 2021, the Justice Department said. Edward Kelley, 33, was one of many arrested on suspicion of illegally entering the U.S. Capitol and assaulting an officer.

HOLLYWOOD AND THE ARTS

Thirteen years ago, "Avatar 2" was impossible. Inside the groundbreaking plan to pull it off. Nearly a decade after its conception, Cameron's sequel required innovation on par with the original: the development of a new, underwater cinematic vernacular, and the technology to capture it.

A.I. is here, and it's making movies. Is Hollywood ready? Artificial intelligence will do to motion pictures what Photoshop did to still ones, said Robert Wahl, an associate computer science professor at Concordia University Wisconsin who's written about the ethics of CGI, in an email. "We can no longer fully trust what we see."

The note that Stephen "Twitch" Boss left led investigators to rule his death a suicide. Contents of the note were not revealed but led investigators to conclude that Boss' death was a suicide, according to people familiar with the investigation but who were not authorized to speak about it publicly. The "So You Think You Can Dance" star died last week at an Encino motel.

Iran authorities arrest an actress from an Oscar-winning movie. The report by IRNA said Taraneh Alidoosti, star of the Oscar-winning movie "The Salesman," was detained a week after she made a post on Instagram expressing solidarity with the first man recently executed for crimes allegedly committed during the protests.

BUSINESS

OSHA: Amazon failed to record some warehouse injuries. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration said it handed out 14 citations during inspections over the summer at six Amazon warehouses in New York, Florida, Illinois, Colorado and Idaho.

OPINION

Lenient all-civilian LAPD discipline panels let bad cops off the hook. The LAPD's Board of Rights hearings have long been the weak link in officer discipline. The City Council has another chance to fix the problem.

We have to face our COVID-19 pandemic stumbles — before we forget them. We need a 9/11-style COVID commission to take a clear-eyed, non-political look at mistakes in the first year of the pandemic.

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Get our free daily crossword puzzle, sudoku, word search and arcade games in our new game center at latimes.com/games.

SPORTS

Argentina's Lionel Messi lifts the World Cup trophy
Argentina's Lionel Messi lifts the trophy after winning the World Cup final soccer match Sunday between Argentina and France at Lusail Stadium in Lusail, Qatar. (Martin Meissner / Associated Press)

Lionel Messi and Argentina defeat France in a penalty kick shootout for the World Cup. Lionel Messi finally got the one prize that had eluded him, a World Cup title, but he and his Argentine teammates had to work for it. Four of the last five World Cups have gone to extra time with two decided on penalty kicks.

Anthony Davis is likely to miss a significant amount of time for the Lakers. Sources familiar with the situation but not authorized to speak publicly told The Times that Davis suffered a right foot injury in the first half Friday in the team's win against Denver.

ONLY IN L.A.

A red convertible drives down PCH towards a giant boombox surrounded by orange and pink roses.
(Illustration by Patrick Hruby / Los Angeles Times; photos by Getty Images)

Have you ever dedicated a love song on the radio in Los Angeles? For a story we're putting together for Valentine's Day, The Times wants to know if you've ever dedicated a song to someone. A crush? Or maybe a partner, an ex, a friend or a family member? What song was it? What did you say in your dedication? What happened afterward? Did the person hear the message? If it was for your crush, did a relationship blossom? If it was for your partner, did the relationship work out? Tell us the whole story by filling out the form here. (You can also email her directly at julia.carmel@latimes.com.)

To ensure your story is considered for publication, please send it by Friday, Jan. 13, at 5 p.m. PST.

FROM THE ARCHIVES

Walt Disney inspects "Pirates of the Caribbean" heads.
Walt Disney in 1966 inspects some plastic heads from his "Pirates of the Caribbean" attraction. (Los Angeles Times)

This month marks 56 years since Walt Disney died. Disney was 65 years old when he died of "acute circulatory collapse." A cardiologist was at his bedside when he died, St. Joseph's Hospital said. Disney had entered the hospital on Nov. 2, 1966, and underwent surgery 19 days later for the removal of a portion of his left lung. At the time, a studio official said Disney was admitted for treatment of an old neck injury received while playing polo.

Disney later was released, but was readmitted Dec. 5 — his 65th birthday — for what was described as a routine post-operative checkup. He never left the hospital again.

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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