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Robert Pattinson, Adam DeVine and More Stars Celebrating Their First Father's Day in 2024

Rachel Morin Murder Case: Suspect Arrested in Connection to Maryland Woman's Death; Kourtney Kardashian Shares Adorable New Photos of Baby Rocky With Travis Barker on Father's Day; Reese Witherspoon Does a Nicole Kidman Impression While Honoring Her Onstage; and more from E! News... June 16, 2024   View Online   NEWS VIDEOS PHOTOS SHOP NEWS VIDEOS PHOTOS SHOP   Robert Pattinson, Adam DeVine and More Stars Celebrating Their First Father's Day in 2024 VIEW   Rachel Morin Murder Case: Suspect Arrested in Connection to Maryland Woman's Death VIEW   Kourtney Kardashian Shares Adorable New Photos of Baby Rocky With Travis Barker on Father's Day VIEW   Reese Witherspoon Does a Nicole Kidman Impression While Honoring Her Onstage VIEW   Joe Alwyn Hints at Timeline of Taylor Swift Breakup VIEW SEE MORE

Zelensky to Congress: 'Your money is not charity'

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky strategized with President Biden and urged Congress to keep sending weapons and money to support his country.
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Click to view images U.S. President Biden and President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky hold a joint news conference in the East Room at the White House on Wednesday. (Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times)

By Elvia Limรณn, Laura Blasey

Hello, it's Thursday, Dec. 22, and here are the stories you shouldn't miss today:


Ukraine's Zelensky addresses Congress

Making a dramatic, risky wartime visit to Washington, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky strategized with President Biden for hours at the White House, thanked the U.S. government and "ordinary people" for their support and urged Congress to keep sending weapons and money to support his country.

"Your money is not charity," Zelensky told the unusual meeting of Congress. "It is an investment in global security and democracy that we handle in the most responsible way."

Biden praised Zelensky and the Ukrainian people for their courage and resilience in the face of Russia's invasion and pledged to stand with Ukraine for "as long as it takes."

More politics

  • In a country where children have seen the horrors of a 10-month war, there are people trying to bring some peace and happiness to them, at least for a moment during this holiday season in Ukraine.
  • Can former President Trump still legally block the release? Why did the IRS fail to audit him? What have we learned from the tax summaries already released? Here are five key takeaways from the expected release of Trump's tax returns.
  • Just hours after being sworn in, Long Beach Mayor Rex Richardson asked city officials to draft an emergency declaration on homelessness.

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Northern California towns tally earthquake damage

Thousands of residents across Humboldt County were still without power Wednesday morning, more than 24 hours after a magnitude 6.4 earthquake rocked this region of Northern California, leaving two people dead, 17 injured and countless displaced.

About 3,400 residents in Rio Dell were without water Wednesday, according to the Sheriff's Office. Authorities issued a boil water advisory for Rio Dell and the following Fortuna neighborhoods: Forest Hills Drive, Newell Drive, Valley View Drive, Boyden Lane, Scenic Drive and Cypress Loop Road. Residents are instructed not to drink the water without boiling it first for at least one minute and to use boiled or bottled water for food preparation.

The untold worker exploitation in California's weed industry

For millions of consumers, the legalization of cannabis has brought a multibillion dollar industry out of the shadows and into brightly lit neighborhood dispensaries.

But California, the birthplace of both the farm labor movement and counterculture pot, has largely ignored the immigrant workers who grow, harvest and trim America's weed. Their exploitation and misery is one of the most defining, yet overlooked narratives of the era of legal cannabis.

From the forests of Oregon to the deserts of California, a Los Angeles Times investigation found, cannabis workers are subjected to abuse, wage theft, threats of violence and squalid and hazardous conditions. They are disregarded even in death.

Why do L.A. students have high grades but low test scores?

After falling in the early semesters of the pandemic, by spring 2022 high school and middle school math and English grades in the Los Angeles Unified School District not only rebounded, but went up, according to an L.A. Times analysis. At the same time, math and English proficiency rates on the state's standardized tests fell to their lowest levels in five years.

While grades and standardized tests are distinct ways of measuring how students are doing, the growing disconnect raises questions about whether families are fully informed about the extent of their children's academic setbacks and whether they are being well positioned to push for additional help.

In L.A. Unified, district officials have struggled to get students to participate in tutoring and to convince parents to get behind its efforts to send their children for additional school days this month.

Cellphone video shows dive boat passengers trapped by flames before they died

More than three years after the horrific Conception boat fire — one of the country's deadliest maritime accidents — a sobering piece of evidence shows conclusively that the 34 victims were awake and searching for a way off the boat in the minutes after crew members had jumped into the water.

A 24-second video that FBI agents recovered from a victim's badly damaged phone captured a relatively calm, but increasingly desperate scene as smoke seeped below deck into the dive boat's bunk room, according to law enforcement officials and victims' relatives who viewed the footage and spoke to The Times.

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

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A woman crouches and takes a selfie with a Santa sitting in the driver's seat of a red car
Once a Santa, always a Santa: Stephen Paul Fackrell, 58, right, of Gardena, worked as a Nordstrom Santa for 16 years and still suits up each Christmas for various fundraisers and parties. (Gary Coronado/Los Angeles Times)


See Spot spy? A new generation of police robots faces backlash. Critics say the technology represents a dangerous new frontier in policing as law enforcement agencies in Los Angeles and elsewhere look to incorporate robots into the job in new ways.

In Anaheim, taco vendors and officials play a game of a cat-and-mouse. Documents obtained by The Times offer an inside look at the chase that is playing out across the state, as local officials field complaints from residents and brick-and-mortar businesses while the taco stands find plenty of willing customers.

L.A. students and their parents to get unique road map to improve academic weaknesses. The proposed Individual Acceleration Plans would affect all students in the nation's second-largest school district and provide parents with a clear explanation of how their children are doing in school.

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How "Gender Queer: A Memoir" became America's most banned book. Two years after its publication, the narrative, notable for its startling honesty and explicit drawings, became a target of school boards, conservative candidates, preachers and parental groups that dragged its author into a culture war.

The Taliban bars women from universities, ditching a former pledge. Taliban security forces in the Afghan capital Wednesday enforced a new ban on higher education for women by blocking their access to universities.

Israel's Netanyahu says he has formed new government. Designated Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced late Wednesday that he has successfully formed a new coalition, setting the stage for him to return to power as head of the most right-wing Israeli government ever.


Philippine Leroy-Beaulieu isn't the villain of "Emily in Paris." She's the role model. Sylvie, not Emily, is the character we wish we had the audacity to be. And she comes into focus like never before in the Netflix show's third season.

Inside the queer TV love story that's made the cast, and now fans, lose their minds. "Willow" stars Ruby Cruz and Erin Kellyman and showrunner Jonathan Kasdan break down the deeply satisfying romance at the heart of the Disney+ series.

Review: Superstar biopic "Whitney Houston: I Wanna Dance With Somebody" is decidedly off-key. Despite Houston's iconic life and career, the film is not engrossing enough on its own to prevent one's mind from wandering toward the nagging questions about who made these storytelling decisions and why.

Inside the 20-year saga of Jon Brion's lost album. Brion's prolific studio work with the likes of Aimee Mann, Fiona Apple, Rufus Wainwright and Elliott Smith made him one of L.A.'s most in-demand session musicians. Putting out his own work, however, was a challenge.


Private jet travel isn't so private after all. Some upset owners have had enough. The right of billionaires to travel in secrecy is a niche concern, but it's one that has been recently thrust into the spotlight by Elon Musk and Bernard Arnault, the world's richest man.


A panicky Federal Reserve is driving us into an unnecessary recession. The Federal Reserve is out of step with economic trends, business columnist Michael Hiltzik writes. Inflation has slowed sharply, so why is the Fed still intent on killing jobs and economic growth?

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The "Immaculate Reception" remains a defining moment for Pittsburgh 50 years later. Dec. 23 will mark the 50th anniversary of Franco Harris' famous catch in 1972 that changed the course of Steelers football.

Angels agree to a two-year, $17-million deal with Brandon Drury. The Angels already have a full 40-man roster and will need to move someone to make room for Drury. Drury was part of the San Diego Padres' playoff push last season after being acquired from the Cincinnati Reds at the trade deadline.

Galaxy will open a 2023 season on the road as they chase their elusive sixth MLS title. MLS released all league schedules Tuesday. The Galaxy will face rival LAFC at the Rose Bowl on Feb. 25, a unique setting for the first of their three El Trรกfico matchups.


Sure, life is cheaper elsewhere. But nothing compares to L.A. Four years ago, Sarah Braas and her family left from Los Angeles International Airport on one-way tickets to Madison, Wis. On a recent visit back, friends and strangers asked, "Is life better outside L.A.?" The answer is complicated, she writes: "Despite my rational side checking boxes, a part of me wants to be back there. Someday maybe we will."


Singer Elvis Presley smiles
Singer Elvis Presley smiles during a news conference inside his private railroad car at Los Angeles Union Station in 1960. (HPM / Associated Press)

Elvis Presley's career was interrupted mid-stride after being drafted into the Army 65 years ago this week. At the time, some were concerned about his ability to serve, wondering if he would be useful or if the rock star would get in the way. Despite being offered several cushy jobs, Presley ultimately decided to serve as a regular soldier.

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