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A long heat wave grips the Southwest

The extreme heat wave is a worrisome indication of a climate gone haywire as the arrival of El Niño meets with human-caused climate change.
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Los Angeles Times
Today's Headlines
Click to view images Mariah Barnett, 9, and her father, Troy, recline in a pool while trying to beat the 109-degree heat at the McMurtrey Aquatic Center in Bakersfield. Asked to sum up the recent heat wave, Troy Barnett uttered just one word: "Horrible." (Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)

By Elvia Limón, Kevinisha Walker

Hello, it's Thursday, July 27, and here are the stories you shouldn't miss today:


Dangers worsen as a long heat wave grips Southwest without relent. For nearly a month, millions of people across the American Southwest have sizzled, sweated and sweltered under a heat wave that refuses to let up.

Forecasters say the heat wave is being driven by a ridge of high pressure that has parked itself over the region, creating a pressure cooker of slowly sinking warm air.

But some experts say it is a worrisome indication of a climate that has been radically altered by human behavior colliding with the onset of El Niño.

Why can't pop musicians go on strike? All the fears and complaints that Hollywood actors and writers have about low streaming-service payouts and threats of digital replacement are an ever-present reality for musicians and songwriters, too.

Yet the rockers, pop singers and hip-hop artists who create the vast majority of the music we consume are not on strike to protest their paltry royalties or AI inroads. One big reason? They're not unionized.

Crews continue to battle three brush fires that, combined, have scorched hundreds of acres in Southern California. Three large brush fires have damaged power lines and shut down roads amid triple-digit temperatures.

The latest, dubbed the Owen fire, ignited in the Santa Monica Mountains shortly before 2 p.m. Wednesday and within an hour had swelled to 50 acres, according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

Sinéad O'Connor, fierce activist and haunting singer of 'Nothing Compares 2 U,' dies at 56. Irish singer-songwriter Sinéad O'Connor, who shot to fame in 1990 with a shaved head and the Prince-written hit "Nothing Compares 2 U," then cemented her place in pop culture by shredding a picture of the pope on "Saturday Night Live," has died.

Representatives for O'Connor — who changed her name to Shuhada' Sadaqat later in life when she converted to Islam — did not immediately respond Wednesday to The Times' requests for confirmation.



A group of four men dressed as Ken in different shorts, pants and shirts.
Anthony Vaccaro, left, Wenwei Zheng, Oscar Beer and Michael Stratigakis dressed as Ken outside the AMC Century City on Friday. Vaccaro organized the group to attend the movie "Barbie" in costume. (Dania Maxwell / Los Angeles Times)

Photos: See the L.A. Barbies (and Kens) out in force at the movies this weekend. The double feature of "Barbie" and "Oppenheimer" made for the biggest movie weekend of the year. The Times was on the scene to capture fans in costume.


Police say robbery crew targeted and shot vulnerable people at scenic overlooks in RPV and Pasadena. The Pasadena Police Department arrested six suspects Wednesday connected to recent fatal shootings in Pasadena and Rancho Palos Verdes.

A gang tied to the killing of two El Monte police officers is swept up on federal charges. Federal investigators and local law enforcement arrested alleged members of the Quiet Village gang Wednesday, naming the group in a series of indictments that accuse them of conspiring to commit murder, other violent crimes and drug trafficking.

Covered California health insurance premiums will jump next year. Health insurance premiums for Covered California clients will increase an average of 9.6% next year, but for many people, government assistance programs will offset that.

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A Netflix hit, a Facebook flood and an overdue reckoning: How Taiwan's #MeToo finally took off. A growing number of women are finally speaking out about sexual harassment in Taiwan, one of the most progressive societies in Asia.

The crisis over Netanyahu's judiciary overhaul is hitting Israel's once-flourishing economy. Political turmoil that sent tens of thousands of protesters into the streets for the last six months is also pulling down Israel's economy, investors and experts said Tuesday.


If Hollywood gets worse for workers, it will get worse for disabled workers first. "If disability is on the caboose of the writing chain, we will be the first people to get pushed out of jobs," filmmaker Sheridan O'Donnell tells The Times.

The man charged in Michael K. Williams' overdose gets more than 2 years in prison. Despite "The Wire" co-creator David Simon's call for leniency, a judge sentenced Carlos Macci to 2½ years in prison for "The Wire" star's overdose.

Kevin Spacey found not guilty in sexual assault case in London and is 'humbled' by acquittal. A London jury has found Kevin Spacey not guilty in a case that saw four men accuse the actor of sexual assault during a 13-year period.


Warner Bros. Discovery names Lisa Collins to oversee internal diversity programs. Collins, who has worked in human resources for two decades, takes over some of the duties previously held by Karen Horne, who was ousted last month — part of a startling string of exits of high-profile diversity, equity and inclusion executives in Hollywood.

Spotify added millions of users. Here's why the stock is getting hammered. Revenue was $3.5 billion, up 11%, in the second quarter. Still, the quarter was not profitable. Spotify reported a net loss of about $333 million compared with $138 million a year earlier. Some of the net loss was caused by charges related to restructuring efforts.


Q&A: Why would a young, healthy athlete go into cardiac arrest? When people are being physically active and exercising, they put their body under a lot of stress. Things like electrolyte abnormalities or the blood pressure and heart rate changes that come with exercise can exacerbate an underlying condition that would otherwise go unnoticed.

When disaster struck, Bronny James got help. But LAUSD athletes often aren't as lucky. California is the only state in the country that does not regulate athletic trainers, which means some schools rely on lightly trained coaches and volunteers instead of certified medical personnel.

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Will the Olympic Games be as costly for L.A. as they are for Paris? The estimated cost of the Los Angeles 2028 Games has already risen from $5.3 billion at the time of the bid to $6.9 billion today. That figure ignores the billions that the federal government is pouring into the Games or Games-adjacent projects — security costs, public transportation dollars and communications and environmental spending.

Why older adults are so vulnerable to extreme heat from climate change. Older adults don't sweat or cool down as efficiently as younger people. Heat stress can worsen underlying conditions such as heart, lung and kidney disease, and extreme heat can trigger delirium.


A red and white frozen treat on a stick.
Oaxaquena paleta from Viva Cafe in Koreatown is a combination of leche quemada and pitaya. (Jenn Harris / Los Angeles Times)

Beat the heat with these Oaxacan paletas and sidewalk pad Thai.

Viva Cafe in Koreatown has a pristine glass cooler packed with rows of paletas and vats of ice cream, while Miya has a variety of Thai food options on the menu including pad Thai, red pumpkin curry or crab rolls.


Bugs Bunny lying down with a carrot in hand
The crowned prince of Looney Tunes, Bugs Bunny, made his debut in "A Wild Hare" on this day 83 years ago. (Cartoon Network)

On July 27, 1940, Warner Bros. released "A Wild Hare" featuring the debut of Bugs Bunny in his familiar incarnation.

An earlier version of the bunny had an oval-shaped head, jellybean nose and wide, innocent eyes. In addition to being a mere shadow of his future self, Bugs wasn't even called Bugs, but Happy Rabbit.

In 1988, The Times published an excerpt from "That's Not All Folks," a book from the man behind the voice of Bugs Bunny.

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