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SAG Awards 2024 Red Carpet Fashion: See Every Look As the Stars Arrive

Amy Schumer Shares Cushing Syndrome Diagnosis After Drawing Speculation Over Her "Puffier" Face; Spotted: Leighton Meester and Adam Brody Enjoying Rare Date Night at 2024 SAG Awards; Malia Obama Isn't the Only One With a Stage Name—Check Out These Stars' Real Names; and more from E! News... February 24, 2024   View Online   NEWS VIDEOS PHOTOS SHOP NEWS VIDEOS PHOTOS SHOP   SAG Awards 2024 Red Carpet Fashion: See Every Look As the Stars Arrive VIEW   Amy Schumer Shares Cushing Syndrome Diagnosis After Drawing Speculation Over Her "Puffier" Face VIEW   Spotted: Leighton Meester and Adam Brody Enjoying Rare Date Night at 2024 SAG Awards VIEW   Malia Obama Isn't the Only One With a Stage Name—Check Out These Stars' Real Names VIEW   Bow Down to Anne Hathaway's Princess Diaries -Inspired Look at the 2024 SAG Awards VIEW

Poll finds widespread concern about AI

Plus: A coronavirus mystery, and California's pork regulations are squeezing barbecue restaurants.
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Los Angeles Times
Today's Headlines
Click to view images Concern that studios will downgrade screenwriters to reworking AI-produced scripts is one of the issues animating the strike declared on May 2 by the Writers Guild of America. (Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)

By Laura Blasey

Hello, it's Monday, Aug. 7, and here are the stories you shouldn't miss today:

TOP STORIES

Actors and writers aren't the only ones worried about AI, new polling shows. Nearly half of Americans — 45% of them — are concerned about the effect artificial intelligence will have on their own line of work, compared with 29% who are not concerned, according to a new poll for The Times conducted by Leger, a Canadian-based polling firm with experience in U.S. surveys.

The level of concern is consistent across partisan lines and rises to 57% among 18- to 34-year-olds. Americans older than 55 were less likely to express concern about AI affecting their work.

Almost two-thirds of American adults said they thought entertainment unions were justified in making AI a centerpiece of their negotiating demands.

A coronavirus mystery: Why New York was hit so much harder than Los Angeles County. Health officials and scientists will spend years studying COVID's spread to figure out what fueled the worst global disease outbreak in a century, as well as determine what policies — if any — may have reduced the worst health outcomes.

But as the experiences of New York City and Los Angeles County show, the path of the pandemic was not etched in stone. Numerous factors, and even a bit of luck, ultimately shaped the scale of the COVID crisis.

As Proposition 12 takes effect, L.A. pitmasters face a 'once-in-a-generation' pork price crisis. In the 2018 California general election, 62.66% of voters gave Proposition 12 the green light to make meat production more humane. Now, five years later, pork is moving staggeringly slowly through the supply chain.

In the face of constricted supply and increasing pork prices, Los Angeles pitmasters who are defining the city's barbecue style with oak-smoked pork ribs and thick pulled pork sandwiches now are squirreling away the last bit of pork they can find on the shelves to be able to open for the day.

What's in the mysterious waters of Tulare Lake? Contaminants, egrets and many unknowns. This ghost lake roared to life last spring after epic winter storms and runoff from the snow-laden Sierra Nevada overwhelmed the human-made systems that long ago drained the Tulare Lake basin. The reborn Tulare Lake submerged thousands of acres of farmland used to grow pistachios, almonds, cotton and safflower in one of the nation's most productive agricultural regions and revived long-forgotten ecosystems.

The Times took a tour with the Kings County Sheriff's Office, which purchased an airboat this summer for the purpose of patrolling the reborn lake.

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CALIFORNIA

Thousands of L.A. city workers to strike Tuesday. Los Angeles' hot labor summer will get a little more heated Tuesday morning, when thousands of Los Angeles city workers plan to walk off the job for a 24-hour strike. Tuesday's action would be the first major city worker strike in at least 15 years.

San Francisco Archdiocese says bankruptcy 'very likely' given child sex abuse lawsuits. In an open letter Friday, Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone said the option was the result of "much contemplation and prayer" and arose from discussions with lawyers and financial advisors.

Orange County judge arrested after his wife is shot to death in their home. The quiet that normally fills East Canyon Vista Drive in Anaheim Hills was punctured Thursday night by the thudding of helicopter blades and the barking of police orders.

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NATION-WORLD

A judge has ruled Texas' abortion ban is too restrictive for women with pregnancy complications. The ruling was the first to undercut Texas' law since it took effect in 2022 and delivers a major victory to abortion rights supporters, who see the case as a potential blueprint to weaken restrictions elsewhere.

U.S. turns up pressure in critical ally Niger as region faces threat from Russia-loyal Wagner Group. When Niger was rattled by a coup in late July, it was just the latest West African nation to be challenged by mutinous militaries in a part of the world where Russia-loyalist mercenaries are in ascendance.

Amid femicide epidemic, Mexico prosecutor is charged with cover-up in a single mom's death. Mexico City prosecutors and federal troops have arrested the chief law enforcement officer of the neighboring state of Morelos on charges that he covered up the killing.

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HOLLYWOOD AND THE ARTS

Taylor Swift fan Emma Sadeghi shows her many friendship bracelets on both arms.
Taylor Swift fan Emma Sadeghi, of Glendale, shows her friendship bracelets on Thursday. (Allen J. Schaben/Los Angeles Times)

Taylor Swift delivers emotional catharsis and anthems galore in epic, three-hour-plus show. Nearly five months after she launched her first road show since 2018, Taylor Swift is wrapping up the initial U.S. leg of her blockbuster Eras tour in Southern California.

Vogue as resistance: L.A. ballroom scene protests O'Shae Sibley death with dance at a gas station. The protest in L.A. was one of several nationwide that began with a viral Facebook post from Malik Miyake Mugler, a New York ballroom leader known for his appearance in the HBO series "Legendary."

Critics say omitting the Japanese toll makes 'Oppenheimer' 'morally half-formed.' The film, told through the lens of American theoretical physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer, has earned rave reviews and box-office success. But for some observers, the movie centers Oppenheimer's perspective without acknowledging the human toll of his technology.

Stereotypes. Taboos. Critics. This Navajo cultural advisor is no stranger to stress. "My role on 'Dark Winds' brought great stress because of the tremendous responsibility of getting it right — at times, I felt the weight of my people on my back. But there will always be critics. All I can do is be grateful to my parents for raising me as a Navajo who can confidently walk in both worlds."

BUSINESS

'Barbie' reaches $1 billion and defeats another box-office challenger. Four Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and a giant, prehistoric shark were no match for Barbie at the box office this weekend.

WGA and studio reps meet, but no signs of strike ending. Representatives of the Writers Guild of America and the major studios met Friday afternoon for the first time in three months, but there were no signs of a breakthrough in the months-long labor standoff that has upended Hollywood.

SPORTS

U.S. falls to Sweden in penalty kicks and is eliminated from the World Cup. The end, like so much of this World Cup for the women's national team, came cloaked in doubt and confusion. By the narrowest of margins, Sweden was going on to the quarterfinals, and the U.S. was going home.

Column: Shohei Ohtani is human, but the Angels need him to keep playing despite exhaustion. The Angels have to gamble on Ohtani again. They have to bet that he learned from the injury-ravaged seasons he endured in his first three years with them. They have to count on him to push his body to its limit but not to its breaking point.

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OPINION

Three words you won't hear from today's Supreme Court justices. If today's justices were truly humble, they would freely admit that sometimes, especially in the difficult cases that divide our society, they cannot find a clear answer. History and precedent are often ambiguous and conflicting, and recognizing this nuance is not a sign of weakness.

Stop worrying, NIMBYS — affordable housing shouldn't squash your property values. "My family's neighborhood may be an outlier — or moving inexorably toward full gentrification — but at least for the last three decades, it has also served as vibrant proof that the notion that affordable housing lowers property values is overblown, if not flat-out wrong."

ONLY IN L.A.

Silhouettes of star-gazers outdoors during a previous Perseids meteor shower.
Star-gazers at Anza-Borrego Desert State Park during a previous Perseids meteor shower. (Los Angeles Times)

12 SoCal spots to see the Perseids meteor shower — which will be spectacular this year. When the sun goes down over the next several days, you'll want to look up. Summer's celestial blockbuster, the Perseids meteor shower, is back. Based on the American Meteor Society's forecast, our planet will see the densest display on Aug. 12 and 13.

So where to watch? Here are a few Southern California spots, from deserts to mountains to the coast. Grab a spot early for a stellar evening escapade or, if you'd prefer to catch the event from the comfort of your sofa, you can also view it virtually.

FROM THE ARCHIVES

A black and white photo of people laughing in a movie theater
In this photo taken by UCLA researchers with infra-red light, an audience watches a comedy film. This photo was published in the Aug. 7, 1949, Los Angeles Times. (UCLA)

This month in 1949, UCLA researchers revealed the findings of a study on humor. According to a story that ran in The Times on Aug. 7, 1949, they selected a group of people to watch a comedy film. The participants, who included "125 business and professional persons, housewives, laborers and teen-agers," filled out a questionnaire and researchers observed their reactions during the film.

Among the findings? Morticians apparently laugh more than teens.

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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