Today's Headlines: Newsom demands UCLA publicly explain its Pac-12 exit (2022)

By Elvia Limón, Laura Blasey and Amy Hubbard

Hello, it’s Thursday, July 21, and here are the stories you shouldn’t miss today:

TOP STORIES

Newsom demands UCLA publicly explain Pac-12 exit

Gov. Gavin Newsom demanded that UCLA explain how its Pac-12 exit for the Big Ten will benefit all of its student-athletes and honor its relationship with UC Berkeley — the only UC campus that will be left behind and will probably take a big financial hit in a conference weakened by big-name defections.

Newsom made an unusual appearance at the San Francisco meeting of the UC Board of Regents, where he serves as an ex-officio member, to join the board’s closed-door discussion on the issue.

The decision by UCLA — along with USC — to leave the Pac-12 Conference in August 2024 has left Cal and other remaining conference teams reeling over the threat of losing millions in media rights revenue, not to mention the holdovers’ viability as a major player in the rapidly shifting college sports landscape.

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In a commentary, The Times’ J. Brady McCollough writes that Newsom shouldn’t be shocked.

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More politics

  • President Biden announced new executive orders designed to bolster offshore wind energy programs and help communities adapt to extreme heat — the first in a series of actions he is expected to take to confront climate change.
  • Dan Cox, a far-right state legislator endorsed by former President Trump, won the Republican primary for Maryland governor, defeating a moderate rival backed by outgoing Gov. Larry Hogan.
  • Some Republican senators say they will cross party lines and back a bill codifying same-sex marriage, an unexpected consequence of the Supreme Court’s reversal of the Roe vs. Wade decision and a signal of how far views on the issue have shifted.
  • A judge has ordered Rudolph W. Giuliani to appear before a special grand jury in Atlanta that’s investigating whether Trump and others illegally tried to interfere in the 2020 general election in Georgia.

Sign up for our California Politics newsletter to get the best of The Times’ state politics reporting and the latest action in Sacramento.

Bruce’s Beach returns to descendants

It’s official: The Bruces own Bruce’s Beach again. In a heartfelt ceremony, dozens of people gathered on the oceanfront property known as Bruce’s Beach to mark the first time the government has ever returned land that had been wrongfully taken from a Black family — the triumphant coda to a call for justice that has captivated the country for the last two years.

Los Angeles County will now rent the property from the Bruces for $413,000 a year and maintain a lifeguard facility there, according to a detailed plan released last month. The lease agreement also includes the right for the county to purchase the land at a later date for $20 million, plus any associated transaction costs.

Many in L.A. shrug off the COVID-19 wave

Los Angeles County has averaged 6,319 new coronavirus cases over the last week — nearly double the peak rate from last summer’s Delta surge. Health officials caution that number is a dramatic undercount because many people either test at home or not at all if their symptoms are mild.

Earlier in the pandemic, this kind of surge might have elicited widespread fear and anxiety. But this time around, many are shrugging their shoulders.

So many people are getting infected that the “fear of the unknown” is fading, said Dr. Peter Chin-Hong, an infectious-diseases expert at UC San Francisco.

More top coronavirus headlines

  • A new study from researchers at USC offers some insights into the prevalence of long COVID and suggests some early clues for who might be more likely to develop long-term symptoms.

Stay up to date on variant developments, case counts and vaccine news with Coronavirus Today.

Practicing medicine while in danger

Mandatory service has long been part of the Mexican government’s effort to improve healthcare in isolated communities. But as drug cartels and other criminal groups have increased their footprint across the country, it has become an increasingly dangerous rite of passage.

The shooting death of a medical student last week inside the hospital where he worked in the mountains of Durango state sparked protests by medical students across the country.

It’s unclear exactly how many students have been killed or suffered attacks during their community service, but even university officials have started to acknowledge that the program has become unsafe.

PHOTO OF THE DAY

Today's Headlines: Newsom demands UCLA publicly explain its Pac-12 exit (1)

A warm welcome back to L.A. for the MLB All-Star Game. American League designated hitter Shohei Ohtani, of the Los Angeles Angels, watched from the dugout at Dodger Stadium on Tuesday.

(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

CALIFORNIA

Will California’s $4.1-billion bet on ‘community schools’ transform K-12 education? California is making a mega-bet on a plan that dramatically expands the traditional definition of a public school, overhauling campuses into neighborhood centers where healthcare, mental health services, tutoring, pediatric care and other social supports converge on campus.

Mountain lion P-89 was killed on the 101 Freeway in Woodland Hills. P-89, a 2-year-old male, was found dead on the shoulder of the 101 in the Santa Monica Mountains, a month after another was killed in the same area. He’s the fourth mountain lion to die this year after being struck by a vehicle.

A man with a knife was shot by police. Then an LAPD helicopter made things worse. The death of Samuel Soto was a rare but stark reminder to LAPD officials that their heavy reliance on the department’s fleet of helicopters carries with it the potential for unintended tragedy.

The highest waves of the summer at SoCal beaches draw surfers, even as officials warn of rip tides. The National Weather Service issued a high surf advisory for beaches from San Diego to Ventura counties through this morning, especially for south- and southwest-facing shorelines. Forecasters warned of high waves and dangerous rip currents.

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NATION-WORLD

The race to be Britain’s next prime minister is down to two. Britain’s Conservative Party lawmakers chose former treasury chief Rishi Sunak and current Foreign Secretary Liz Truss as the two finalists in the race to replace outgoing Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

An unpopular Sri Lankan prime minister is elected president. Lawmakers chose Ranil Wickremesinghe — a six-time prime minister whom protesters see as part of the problematic political establishment. It’s a choice that risked reigniting turmoil in a nation reeling from economic collapse.

HOLLYWOOD AND THE ARTS

Say yup to Jordan Peele’s ‘Nope.’ The film feels like something of a B-movie ouroboros, an unusually well-made and imaginative thriller that’s sometimes tripped up by its own high-mindedness — and also, perhaps, by a closing stretch that struggles to bring Peele’s grand intentions together. Still, there’s no denying the richness of his ideas or the skill with which he taps into his inner Steven Spielberg, writes film critic Justin Chang.

Inside the sex-soaked, drug-fueled, cutthroat world of HBO’s answer to ‘Wall Street.’ The drama of “Industry” may seem far-fetched, but HBO’s sophomore series — set in the City, London’s incarnation of Wall Street — reflects the real world of high-stakes international finance with an insider’s precision. Season 2 premieres Aug. 1.

Amber Heard’s treatment on Twitter during the Depp trial was ‘flagrant abuse,’ report says. Bot Sentinel, a research firm that detects and tracks bots, trolls and suspect accounts, studied how Heard was treated during the civil trial. It found that the targeting of the “Aquaman” actor was “one of the worst cases of platform manipulation and flagrant abuse from a group of Twitter accounts.”

Did departing academy chief Dawn Hudson ruin the Oscars — or save them? Hudson led the film academy through the most transformational and tumultuous period in its history, leaving insiders to fiercely debate her legacy.

May the ghost of Sun Ra return to lift the 50-year curse he cast on Los Angeles. The curse happened on June 12, 1971. Sun Ra, jazz piano prodigy from Birmingham, Ala., by way of Saturn was performing with his band, the Sun Ra Arkestra, at J.P. Widney Jr. High when someone had the misfortune of cutting the lights. It’s rumored that it was the school custodian who wanted to go home. What would it require to lift the curse and extend Ra his deserved hospitality in Los Angeles, 51 years later?

BUSINESS

Despite COVID’s endless grip, bosses are committed to the office. L.A.-area office buildings remain less than half as populated as they were before the pandemic, real estate industry observers said. Yet some businesses are making big commitments and signing long leases for large blocks of space.

Bringing down inflation might cause your rent to rise. In areas such as gas prices and food costs, the Fed appears to be gaining ground in its war on inflation as it raises interest rates. But in wielding the only weapon at its disposal, it may be exacerbating inflation on a key line of many household budgets: rent.

OPINION

LGBTQ people, keep voting against anyone who votes against you. The Republican Party is making its anti-LGBTQ agenda quite clear and presenting voters with a stark choice, writes Times columnist LZ Granderson.

There is a gap in the evidence we’ve seen against Trump. We have to rely on the DOJ to fill it. The Jan. 6 committee has done a splendid job establishing Trump’s misconduct. But so far, it’s not enough for a court of law, writes columnist Harry Litman.

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SPORTS

Baseball’s All-Star Game was a sweet treat. This refreshingly icy blast on a hot July afternoon was a nod to the game’s tradition, and it featured enough new wrinkles and fresh personalities to make it entertaining and help keep the All-Star format vibrant for years to come, writes columnist Helene Elliott. It also hinted at a Dodgers-Yankees showdown.

Do the Angels still have a shot? They started the season as one of baseball’s best teams. Then, it was as if a trap door flew open and swallowed the team whole. But recent history says there’s a sliver of hope for a playoff spot.

Jake Wightman’s stunning 1,500-meter win made for a surreal family moment. Wightman was a surprise gold medalist, a victory the British runner sealed by passing Olympic champion Jakob Ingebrigtsen with 200 meters to go. His dad, Geoff Wightman, was the in-stadium commentator: “I just didn’t want to mess it up for him by doing anything wobbly.”

ONLY IN L.A.

Today's Headlines: Newsom demands UCLA publicly explain its Pac-12 exit (2)

Tail o’ the Pup, the iconic West Hollywood hot dog stand that featured in celebrity photoshoots and album covers for decades.

(Maxim Shapovalov / Tail o’ the Pup)

Iconic hot-dog-shaped stand Tail o’ the Pup is making a comeback. The food stand, one of the city’s most iconic examples of memetic or programmatic architecture, celebrates its return this week with a grand opening, new items and a new location in West Hollywood. The 1946-founded, hot-dog-shaped food stand slinging hot dogs, burgers and soft serve cones now also serves a smash burger, vegan hot dogs and a gluten-free corndog.

The stand, built out of chicken wire and stucco in 1946 by architect Milton Black, originally sat on La Cienega Boulevard in the Beverly Grove neighborhood. In the ’80s the stand moved to a new location on San Vicente Boulevard, and in 2005 it was put into a storage unit.

FROM THE ARCHIVES

Today's Headlines: Newsom demands UCLA publicly explain its Pac-12 exit (3)

Jan. 31, 1941: Ernest Hemingway with actress Ingrid Bergman in San Francisco. Bergman was Hemingway’s first choice for the film from his novel “For Whom the Bell Tolls.” The movie was released in 1943.

(Associated Press)

One hundred and twenty-three years ago today, on July 21, 1899, Ernest Hemingway was born. An adventure seeker, Hemingway was at various times a hunter, an ambulance driver (WWI) and a foreign correspondent in Europe (WWII). As noted by the Library of Congress, during his stint reporting on the war, he “flew several missions with the Royal Air Force, crossed the English Channel with American troops on D-Day and participated in the liberation of Paris.” And his adventures found their way into his books.

A 2017 article in The Times recalled the Pulitzer Prize-winning author’s “long-lost Los Angeles visit.” Hemingway came to L.A. in July of 1937 after helping to fund a documentary on the Spanish Civil War, “The Spanish Earth.” He was raising money for the Loyalist cause. He wasn’t a big fan of Hollywood — despite his willingness to tap those in the film industry for donations. “He had once recommended the only way for a writer to deal with Hollywood: ‘You throw them your book, they throw you the money, then you jump into your car and drive like hell back the way you came.’ ”

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