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Ranking all the Oscar best picture years

Los Angeles Times Newsletter Is 2024 the best group of best picture nominees we've had since the category was expanded? There's only one way to find out.  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌  Entertainment February 21, 2024 Ranking all the Oscar best picture years, worst to first, since the category expanded Is 2024 the best group of best picture nominees we've had since the category was expanded? There's only one way to find out. SHARE       READ MORE ADVERTISEMENT Review: History haunts the characters of 'Black Cypress Bayou' at the Geffen Playhouse Kristen Adele Calhoun's haunting "Black Cypress Bayou" wrestles with h

High lead levels in drinking water at child-care centers

Recently released test results show that nearly 1,700 child-care centers across the state have high lead levels in drinking water.
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Los Angeles Times
Today's Headlines
Click to view images All drinking fountains are closed at Lupin Hill Elementary School in Calabasas. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

By Karim Doumar, Kevinisha Walker

Hello, it's Thursday, May 18, and here are the stories you shouldn't miss today:

TOP STORIES

1 in 4 California child-care centers have high lead levels in drinking water

Nearly 1,700 licensed child-care facilities across the state were found to have levels of lead that exceeded the amount allowable for babies, toddlers and young children, according to lead test results recently released by the Department of Social Services.

One facility in San Diego had 11,300 parts per billion (ppb) at the time of testing, well above the state's limit of 5 ppb in child-care centers. One ppb is the equivalent of one drop of contaminant in 500 barrels of water.

Threat of U.S. debt default upends Biden's trip to the Pacific

Political dysfunction at home was undermining President Biden's foreign policy agenda even before Air Force One took off from the U.S. on Wednesday morning. The president scrapped plans to visit Papua New Guinea and Australia next week and will instead return to Washington this weekend for ongoing debt limit negotiations with congressional Republicans.

Biden scrubbed the last leg of the trip after talks with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and other congressional leaders failed to yield a deal to raise the government's debt ceiling and avert a default that could roil markets, choke off capital flow and trigger a global financial crisis. The Treasury Department has warned the government could run out of cash for the first time as early as June 1.

Evictions, homelessness, debt: Skid Row Housing Trust receiver has checkered history

The city of Los Angeles has put Mark Adams in charge of his biggest job to date: overseeing 29 buildings in Skid Row with more than 1,500 formerly homeless tenants, many elderly and disabled.

A Times review of court records and dozens of interviews with parties involved in Adams' past receiverships, however, raise concerns about his ability to manage the trust's beleaguered portfolio and care for the vulnerable tenants now under his control.

Ex-NFL player thought 'Shark Tank' would launch his barbecue empire. It became a nightmare, he says

Restaurateur Al "Bubba" Baker, who was a contestant on the long-running ABC series, claims that he was misled by mogul Daymond John, one of the show's "sharks."

A shop owner said he killed two robbers. A detective believed him. Then it all fell apart

Jorge Valencia said three men had come to his shop to rob him. He drew first and shot two of them dead. The third man, who took a bullet in the chest, ran off.

But his story soon began to unravel.

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PHOTO OF THE DAY

Orange restaurant booths.
IMAGE Magazine | May 2023 Restaurant Booths: Pann (Jacob Ogden / For The Times)

Booths have the power to prescribe a restaurant a second personality, or at least somewhat of an introverted alter ego. Even the worst of overpriced rooftops and nouveau riche aesthetics can feel comforting when you're tucked in with close company talking about all the things you collectively hate.

CALIFORNIA

Newsom touts $60-million plan for 'fishway' along Yuba River; critics say it falls short. Officials announced plans to build a channel around DaGuerre Point Dam, so that salmon, steelhead, sturgeon and lamprey can access spawning habitat upstream.

Dozens of LASD deputies ordered to show suspected gang tattoos, reveal others who have them. Inspector General Max Huntsman sent a letter Friday ordering 35 deputies to come in for interviews and show their tattoos.

Chevron scrambles to batten down oil fields amid threat of Kern River flooding. In areas where pumpjacks bob along the banks of the Kern River, Chevron has been shutting down oil wells, pipelines and electrical power.

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NATION-WORLD

CDC warns of an mpox rebound outbreak this summer. A new cluster of mpox cases in the United States — after nearly seven months of steady decline — is leading health officials to warn of a possible rebound outbreak this summer.

A Black woman and a white woman went viral fighting racism. Then they stopped speaking to each other. As the demand for talk and training on race slowly started to subside, so did the business relationship between Adjoa Michelle Saahene and Melissa DePino. They became a potent illustration of the racial animosity and misunderstanding they had set out to combat.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle say they were in a two-hour car chase with paparazzi in N.Y. The chase resulted in multiple near-collisions involving other drivers on the road, pedestrians and two New York Police Department officers.

HOLLYWOOD AND THE ARTS

The women of 'Fast & Furious' on their 'frustrating' 22-year fight not to be sidelined. "What I've been fighting the most for is to not be in the babysitting seat, because that's what's frustrating," Jordana Brewster said ahead of the worldwide release of "Fast X" on Friday.

Column: On social media, Johnny Depp's return was an outrage. At Cannes, it was a comeback. In the days leading up to the festival, the idea that Depp would be headlining Cannes caused a considerable amount of shock and outrage. As it turns out, festivalgoers reacted with nothing but cheers and applause.

CNN's Kaitlan Collins is headed to prime time after Trump town hall. She will be the youngest prime-time host in cable news, where the median age of the audience is over 64.

How a hometown director made 'White Men Can't Jump' a 'love letter' to 'the real L.A.' Charles "Calmatic" Kidd II's adoration for L.A., specifically Black L.A., is apparent in all of his work, and his approach to directing both "House Party," now streaming on HBO Max, and "White Men Can't Jump," premiering Friday on Hulu, was no different. "I wanted to make sure that this was a love letter to LA."

BUSINESS

ChatGPT's creator warns Congress the technology could cause 'significant harm.' OpenAI Chief Executive Sam Altman praised the potential of the new technology, but also warned that artificial intelligence is powerful enough to change society in unpredictable ways, and "regulatory intervention by governments will be critical to mitigate the risks."

Egg prices have fallen after record highs left consumers scrambling. After a bird flu outbreak last year caused egg prices to skyrocket across the country, consumers are getting some relief.

Disney asks Florida court to dismiss suit from DeSantis-picked board. Disney's motion to dismiss the case, filed in Florida's 9th Judicial Circuit Court for Orange County, is the latest salvo in a long dispute between DeSantis and the Mouse House over control of the 27,000-acre area that is home to Walt Disney World.

SPORTS

Column: LeBron James fumbles away Lakers' fierce comeback in Game 1 loss. After nearly overcoming a 21-point deficit in a comeback that had the crowd cursing and gasping, the Lakers climbed on the back of their greatest player in the final minutes of Tuesday night … and he collapsed, leading to a 132-126 defeat that digs the Lakers a hole for the first time this postseason.

Can the A's really draw 2.5 million people in Las Vegas? The ballpark would hold "approximately 30,000 fans" and is expected to attract "more than 2.5 million fans and visitors annually." In other words, the A's are projecting sellouts for just about every game. Good luck with that.

He made history as a college football player with Down syndrome. Now, he's suing his school. Staff used the R-word and other derogatory language around the player and yelled at and berated him in front of other employees, the suit alleges.

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OPINION

Opinion: The best way to deal with the debt ceiling: Ignore it. "We wish there were a magic spell to neutralize the debt ceiling. Even without one, however, the president has options. He should choose the least unconstitutional one and continue to meet our national obligations," Neil H. Buchanan and Michael C. Dorf write.

Column: It's a weird cultural moment. Taking Ozempic to lose weight is all the rage, but so is the fight for fat acceptance. "We live in a contradictory culture that increasingly tells us to value and appreciate people of all sizes, while valorizing thinness in innumerable, harmful ways. And so, like many women, I have a dysfunctional relationship with my weight," writes Robin Abcarian.

Editorial: Why does California allow cannabis edibles that look like kids' snacks? When California voters passed Proposition 64 in 2016 to legalize marijuana use, they were told cannabis would have strict labeling and would not be packaged or marketed in ways that would appeal to children. But the market is now flooded with pot products that are designed to look like candies and snacks popular with kids.

ONLY IN L.A.

A variety of foods on display, including hot dogs, sandwiches and fish and chips
The sprawling new Canoga Park food hall features first-time bricks-and-mortar locations for some of L.A.'s most notable pop-ups, as well as expansions for beloved restaurants, including L.A. Times 101 List awardee Mini Kabob. (Wonho Frank Lee / Topanga Social)

More than 25 L.A. restaurants, bars and gourmet retailers are now open under one roof, bringing together sushi, barbecue, Hawaiian shrimp, truffles, iconic hot dogs, Detroit-style pizza, boba, cocktails and dumplings at a new food hall, Topanga Social, in Canoga Park.

FROM THE ARCHIVES

a view of snowcapped peaks, with pine trees in the foreground
Mt. St. Helens' eruption on May 18, 1980, was one of the greatest volcanic explosions recorded in North America.

On May 18, 1980, an earthquake shook Mt. St. Helens — a volcanic peak in Washington state— and the mountain's north face collapsed in one of the largest debris avalanches ever recorded.

Forty years later, The Times revisited the famed eruption that killed 57 people and thousands of animals, took out 250 homes, 47 bridges and 185 miles of highway, clogged rivers with sediment, flooded valleys and blocked the Columbia River shipping channel.

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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