By Elvia Limón, Laura Blasey and Amy Hubbard
Hello, it’s Wednesday, June 29, and here are the stories you shouldn’t miss today:
Trump knew supporters were armed and urged them to march on the Capitol, according to testimony
Former President Trump and his chief of staff, Mark Meadows, were aware the Capitol was a target of violence and that Trump supporters were armed with weapons when the president urged them to march to the building on Jan. 6, 2021, a former aide testified in a bombshell hearing that also revealed Trump repeatedly pushed to pardon those involved in the attack.
In a hearing abruptly called by the House panel investigating the Capitol insurrection, Meadows’ former aide Cassidy Hutchinson gave a detailed accounting that the Secret Service informed Meadows in advance that violence was possible Jan. 6, and that Trump expected to lead the crowd to the Capitol to pressure lawmakers to keep him in office — an act the White House counsel warned could be a crime.
Hutchinson said she learned that Trump went so far as to grab the steering wheel of the presidential SUV and attack a Secret Service agent when he was told his security detail would not take him to the Capitol on Jan. 6.
More about the hearing
What would California’s constitutional amendment on abortion do?
California voters in November will consider a constitutional amendment enshrining abortion rights. Senate Constitutional Amendment 10 would, if approved by a majority of voters, further codify the state’s already progressive reproductive rights, which grant anyone of reproductive age “the fundamental right to choose to bear a child or to choose and to obtain an abortion.”
Currently, those rights in California are upheld by case law and statutory laws, but Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins (D-San Diego), who proposed the amendment, said hostile attacks on abortion access convinced her those aren’t enough.
More on the Roe decision
- Facebook and Instagram have begun promptly removing posts that offer abortion pills.
- A federal court allowed Tennessee to ban abortions as early as six weeks into pregnancy, while a Texas judge temporarily blocked enforcement of that state’s ban on virtually all abortions.
- The midterm primary season enters a new, more volatile phase as voters participate in the first elections since the Supreme Court’s decision revoking a woman’s constitutional right to an abortion jolted the nation’s politics.
“We are in mourning”: 51 died in a stifling tractor-trailer
The number of people who died after apparently being abandoned in a sweltering tractor-trailer in Texas rose to 51 in a suspected human-trafficking operation now under investigation by the Department of Homeland Security.
Among them were 22 Mexican nationals, seven Guatemalans and two Hondurans, Mexican Foreign Affairs Secretary Marcelo Ebrard said on Twitter. Federal prosecutors arrested at least two men in connection with the deaths.
FDA advisors recommended updating the COVID booster shot formula for fall
Some U.S. adults are a step closer to getting updated boosters this fall, as government advisors voted that it was time to tweak the shots to better match the most recent virus variants. The Food and Drug Administration will have to decide the exact recipe but expect a combination shot that adds protection against a version of the super-contagious Omicron variant to the original vaccine.
More top coronavirus headlines
Stay up to date on variant developments, case counts and vaccine news with Coronavirus Today.
A reprieve is coming on a deadline to rezone SoCal communities
State lawmakers are aiming to give the city of Los Angeles and other cities in Southern California a reprieve on a deadline to rezone their communities to accommodate more homebuilding.
In legislation expected to be approved this week, L.A. would likely have until fall 2024 to set aside land for a quarter of a million new homes as required by its long-term plan for growth. The current deadline is this October. If the city did not meet that target, it could lose access to billions of dollars in state affordable housing grants.
- More than a year after President Biden nominated him, a Houston-area sheriff has withdrawn from consideration to be director of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency.
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A plan to return Bruce’s Beach has won unanimous approval
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved an unprecedented plan to return Bruce’s Beach to a Black family who had been run out of Manhattan Beach almost a century ago — paving the way for more efforts by the government to rectify historic injustices that were racially motivated.
The property will now enter escrow before officially transferring to the Bruce family. Once transferred, the county has agreed to rent the property from the Bruces for $413,000 per year and will maintain its lifeguard facility there. The lease agreement also includes a right for the county to purchase the land at a later date for $20 million, plus any associated transaction costs.
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PHOTO OF THE DAY
“An epidemic of hate”: Anti-Asian hate crimes in California jumped 177% in 2021. The number of hate crimes in the state rose for the third year in a row in 2021 and included a sizable uptick in the number of anti-Asian crimes, according to a report from the state attorney general.
California is set to become the first state to offer food benefits to some immigrants who live in the U.S. illegally. The unique policy fills in safety net gaps, as immigrants living in the U.S. without legal status are not eligible for federal benefits such as food stamps. But the new program only benefits Californians over 55 years old.
The LAPD’s chief denied a mother’s claim that an officer who died in training had been beaten. Police described Officer Houston Tipping’s injury and death as the result of a tragic accident that occurred while Tipping was in a “grappling” exercise with another officer.
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Ghislaine Maxwell was sentenced to 20 years in the Jeffrey Epstein sex-abuse case. The sentencing in New York was the culmination of a prosecution that detailed how the power couple of financier Epstein and Maxwell, the jet-setting socialite who once consorted with royals, presidents and billionaires, flaunted their riches and prominent connections to lure and exploit vulnerable girls.
Turkey lifted its objections to Sweden and Finland joining NATO. The move represented a breakthrough in an impasse clouding a leaders summit in Madrid and paved the way for Finland and Sweden to join the alliance of nations.
A railway crossing is at the center of a federal investigation into the deadly Amtrak crash in Missouri. The crossing had been slated for improvements and become a safety concern for local farmers. National Transportation Safety Board officials said the deadly collision was not likely related to mechanical or track issues.
The Supreme Court school prayer ruling has stirred debate over how far religion will seep into campuses. Conservatives and some Christian leaders praised the court’s action, saying it allowed for personal religious expression. But civil libertarians and many educators say school authority figures leading a prayer amounts to the kind of establishment of religion that the Constitution forbids.
HOLLYWOOD AND THE ARTS
“Only Murders in the Building” delivers more of the same, but different. The show on Hulu offers what is in many ways a model second season, giving you more of the same — only different — and making use of all the resources established in the excellent first to create something even richer in character and emotion, writes television critic Robert Lloyd.
Neon outfits. Bleach-blond hair. Margot and Ryan. Here’s what we know about “Barbie.” The “Barbie” movie doesn’t come out until next summer, but people are already freaking out while the Warner Bros. feature is filming at Venice Beach.
Cristela Alonzo is ready for a comeback. Is Hollywood ready for her? Her trailblazing feat of becoming the first Latina to create and star in her own network sitcom, “Cristela,” was short-lived and often frustrating. The comedian returns to Netflix this week with a new special titled “Middle Classy.”
Mary Mara has died in an apparent drowning at age 61. The TV veteran and film star died in upstate New York near the Canadian border, according to New York State Police. Mara, who appeared in “ER,” “Ray Donovan” and “Mr. Saturday Night,” was 61.
CAA finalized the takeover of rival ICM in a landmark talent agency deal. Century City-based Creative Artists Agency completed its acquisition of neighboring ICM Partners in a deal likely to transform Hollywood’s talent agency business. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Daily Harvest has been hit with a lawsuit by a woman who blames the company for her gallbladder removal. An Oklahoma woman filed a product liability and personal injury lawsuit against Daily Harvest after nearly 500 people were allegedly sickened by the company’s French lentil and leek crumbles.
Tesla laid off hundreds of Autopilot workers in its latest cuts. About 200 workers were let go, according to one of the people. Many of the staff were data annotation specialists. The San Mateo office had about 350 employees, some of whom were transferred to a nearby facility.
Congress must protect our rights to contraception and same-sex relationships. Our elected leaders must anticipate that this right-wing court could, in the coming years, issue more unthinkable decisions — and take action now to protect Americans’ rights.
The unending deaths of migrants, driven by desperation and U.S. border policies. At least 50 people believed to be migrants were found dead in a tractor-trailer in Texas. It’s unfathomable that people continue to die in this way — and that administration after administration has done nothing to change strategies, writes columnist Jean Guerrero.
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Serena Williams’ Wimbledon comeback ended in a first-round loss to Harmony Tan. Williams began — and ended — her comeback after 364 days out of singles competition looking very much like someone who hadn’t competed in just that long. She missed shots, shook her head, rolled her eyes.
Freddie Freeman, seemingly upset with the free-agency process, reportedly terminated his relationship with his agents. The move served as the latest sign that Freeman was seemingly unhappy after the longtime Atlanta Braves star failed to strike a new contract with his old team despite his publicly stated desire to remain in Atlanta.
The Clippers’ Ivica Zubac agreed to a three-year, $33-million deal. Zubac, who is 25 and entering his seventh NBA season, has career-best averages of 10.3 points, 8.5 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 1.0 blocks in 76 games.
Russell Westbrook will exercise his option and remain a Laker for another season. Westbrook needed to make a decision whether to opt in or become an unrestricted free agent by today. The move was widely expected.
ONLY IN L.A.
Lautner’s famous Wolff House has sold for $11 million. Nicolas Ghesquière, the creative director for French fashion house Louis Vuitton, just bought one of the most stylish estates in L.A. in an off-market deal from Amanda Hearst, great-granddaughter of publishing magnate William Randolph Hearst, and her husband, director Joachim Rønning.
The Midcentury gem was built in 1961 by John Lautner, an iconic architect whose bold, dramatic creations regularly star in the silver screen. The Wolff House is a striking Modernist marvel that hovers above the city on an ultra-steep lot in Hollywood Hills. A confluence of natural materials and sleek modern features, the house wraps around a mammoth eucalyptus tree that cuts through the center of the space.
FROM THE ARCHIVES
Thirty-two years ago today, on June 29, 1990, Nelson Mandela visited Los Angeles. Then deputy president of the African National Congress, Mandela had been out of prison only a few months at that point. The Times’ Patt Morrison wrote in 2013 of his “rock star” reception:
“Times staffers could stand at the newsroom windows and look across the street to the crowds at City Hall, where the future first black president of South Africa met privately with the first black mayor of Los Angeles [Tom Bradley]. Men standing on the roof of a bus shelter unrolled a banner reading ‘Greetings Mandela From the Homeless.’ At the Biltmore Hotel, he met with former Soviet dissident Natan Sharansky. Mandela filled the Coliseum, filled the streets, filled the Exposition Park armory, with glamorous guests paying as much as $50,000.”
Staffer Thomas Curwen also wrote about the visit in 2013, after Mandela’s death at age 95: “His life gave him reason to be embittered. Changed circumstance gave him the opportunity to be vindictive, and power provided the opportunity to be punitive. But Mandela chose none of these options. In a world weary of conflicts without end, he proved himself an anomaly, setting the wounds of the past with optimism and hope.”
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