Hello, it's Tuesday, March 7, and here are the stories you shouldn't miss today:
California forecasters warn of an approaching atmospheric river
Another atmospheric river system has set its sights on California, raising considerable concern about flooding and structural damage as warm rain is expected to fall atop the state's near-record snowpack this week, forecasters say.
The forecast comes as California is mired in a remarkably deep snowpack amid one of its wettest winters on record.
Officials said the bounty made a dent in the state's extreme drought conditions. But heavy snowpack can also become a hazard if it meets with warm rain that melts it too quickly.
More on the California storms
As Biden's student debt plan stalls, billions forgiven already
President Biden's plan to forgive up to $20,000 in student loans is held up in the courts. But the administration has already canceled billions in debt.
For decades, a lesser-known program for federal student loan recipients has allowed borrowers to assert a defense to repayment if a school misled them or broke state law. Since the Education Department introduced a formal application in 2015, more than 770,000 people have applied. Nearly half a million applications were still pending at the end of January.
- Gov. Gavin Newsom said California will cut ties with Walgreens over the company's decision to stop selling abortion medication in 20 Republican states.
- Florida, Missouri and West Virginia join other GOP-led states withdrawing from a bipartisan effort aimed at ensuring the accuracy of voter rolls.
- Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and other Black studies critics have it all wrong, says this California archaeologist.
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How drag queen story hours became a target of right-wing attacks
Over the last two years, drag story hours — featuring men who dress as caricatures of women — have expanded into libraries, bars and schools in almost every state. Some of the story times feature drag kings, or women performing as men. The books range from run-of-the-mill children's titles to those with LGBTQ themes.
But the story hours are increasingly attracting the attention and ire of right-wing extremists and conservative parents and politicians, some of whom insist that the events appeal to pedophiles. According to the advocacy group GLAAD, there were 141 protests and attacks on drag events last year nationwide — most of them against story hours or brunches.
The backlash comes at a time of positive developments for LGBTQ communities.
USC oncologist David Agus' new book is rife with plagiarism
A Times investigation found at least 95 separate passages in a forthcoming book by Dr. David Agus that resemble — sometimes word for word — text that originally appeared in other published sources available on the internet. The passages are not credited or acknowledged in the book or its endnotes.
The Times contacted Agus and the book's publisher, Simon & Schuster, with its findings late last week. On Monday, both announced that sales of the book will be suspended immediately pending a rewrite that includes appropriate credit for the passages in question.
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PHOTO OF THE DAY
Famed mountain lion P-22 was laid to rest in a private tribal ceremony. Members of four local tribes led the ceremony to honor the beloved puma, a symbol of the wilderness still present in Southern California.
City Council to vote on an LAPD robot dog donation amid growing criticism. The vote will determine whether the department gets the controversial device, which would be paid for with a nearly $280,000 donation from the Los Angeles Police Foundation. The Police Commission and the council's public safety committee have approved the move.
A chunk of Rancho Palos Verdes is sliding into the sea. Can the city stop it? A decades-long landslide has reshaped a 240-acre part of the Palos Verdes Peninsula known as Portuguese Bend. Rancho Palos Verdes is mounting a plan to slow it.
SoCalGas' proposed $4.9-billion revenue hike plan sparks outrage amid soaring bills. At a public hearing of the California Public Utilities Commission, SoCalGas made the case for a massive increase in revenue over the next four years. Callers and community advocates expressed frustration.
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Those who poisoned schoolgirls deserve death. It was the first time Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has the final say on all matters of state, has spoken publicly about the suspected poisonings, which began late last year and have sickened hundreds of children.
Ukraine is unyielding in Bakhmut as Russian troops close in. Ukrainian authorities have vowed to hold Bakhmut even as Russian forces encroach on the devastated city they have sought to capture for six months.
- Ukrainian military's surrender hotline, dubbed "I Want to Live," is enticing some Russian soldiers to quit the battlefield.
South Korean plan aims to heal forced labor feud with Japan but draws backlash at home. South Korea took a step toward improving ties with its traditional rival Japan, announcing a plan to compensate Koreans who performed forced labor during Tokyo's colonial rule that doesn't require Japanese companies to contribute to the reparations.
HOLLYWOOD AND THE ARTS
Chris Rock revisits the Smiths' 'entanglement' scandal. Chris Rock pulled no punches while roasting Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith in his live Netflix special, "Selective Outrage," which included the comedian's most direct response yet to that infamous Oscars slap.
Photographer Delaney George turns the lens on femininity. As she prepares for a solo show with Gallery 90220, Delaney George reflects on her inspiration: powerful Black women.
Gary Rossington, founding Lynyrd Skynyrd guitarist, dies at 71. Gary Rossington, slide guitarist and last surviving founding member of the rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd, has died. He was 71.
Warner Bros. Discovery boosts David Zaslav pay incentives after company cuts costs. After thousands of layoffs, stock woes and program cancellations, Warner Bros. Discovery has created a $27-million bonus pool for top executives and also increased incentive awards for its chief executive, David Zaslav.
Tesla slashes Model S and X prices for the second time this year. Tesla reduced prices of its more expensive models again, days after Elon Musk said cuts earlier this year had piqued interest in the company's electric vehicles.
Working more on the weekends? It's not just you. Job cuts are partly to blame for the increased weekend workload, but some prefer the ability to get stuff done without the usual weekday distractions.
Troy Brown Jr. fulfilling valuable Lakers role with LeBron James injured. Troy Brown Jr. is getting more minutes and a chance to prove himself in the wake of LeBron James' injury. He stood out for the Lakers vs. the Warriors.
Even without that swing, Dodgers' Miguel Vargas finding ways to nurture his talent. The Dodgers don't want Miguel Vargas to take swings during games because of a broken pinkie. He's still found a benefit to the strategy.
Former Dodger Justin Turner taken to hospital after being hit in face with pitch. Former Dodgers star Justin Turner was hit in the face by a pitch while playing in a spring training game for his new team, the Boston Red Sox.
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House Republicans now have a way to shut down programs they don't like. Normally, cuts to staff or programs go through a review process, but under the Holman rule, House members can fire government employees they don't like. Will the House GOP use it?
Abortion opponents are trying to revoke FDA approval of a drug. Abortion opponents' lawsuit to revoke the FDA's authorization of one drug used in medication abortion is just an effort to thwart access to abortion.
ONLY IN L.A.
Temporary waterfalls like this one are now flowing alongside Highway 39 after recent heavy rains in Angeles National Forest. There are additional waterfalls of varying sizes, some cascading onto Highway 39. They appear only during heavy continuing rains. (Raul Roa / Los Angeles Times)
Los Angeles is suddenly awash in waterfalls. Recent storms have transformed Southern California's usually bone-dry wildlands into brilliant green landscapes, snow-capped mountains and something even more breathtaking: seldom-seen waterfalls.
After heavy storm systems brought rain and snow to Angeles National Forest, drivers along Highway 39, north of Azusa, were gifted with the rare sight of temporary waterfalls cascading down the rocky cliffs.
FROM THE ARCHIVES
Magic Johnson celebrates in the locker room in 1987 after the Lakers defeated the Boston Celtics to win another NBA championship. (Los Angeles Times)
On this day in 1996, Magic Johnson became the second NBA player to reach 10,000 career assists. Johnson reached that threshold with a short toss in the fourth quarter of the Lakers' 102-89 victory over the Sacramento Kings, a pass that Elden Campbell converted into a jumper with 4:48 remaining.
It made Johnson one of only two players to reach that peak, following Utah's John Stockton, at 11,045 and counting.
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