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L.A. City Council votes to censure its own members

Hello, it’s Thursday, Oct. 27, and as we gear up for the November election, our colleagues who cover politics have been busy. Senior writer Jeffrey Fleishman talked with us about a profile on Kevin McCarthy that he wrote with Nolan D. McCaskill, who reports on Congress for The Times.

McCarthy, who could become the next speaker of the House if Republicans win, is “navigating a perilous landscape within his own party,” Jeff said. “He will have to balance a radical Donald Trump wing against more moderate voices.” And if he doesn’t finesse it, it could cost him the speakership. Democrats have criticized McCarthy “for what they see as his humiliating defense of the former president. Many regard McCarthy as putting his party and ambition ahead of the nation.”

For their profile, Jeff and Nolan examined McCarthy’s quick rise from California Assembly member to U.S. representative. McCarthy “is not known for eloquent speeches or landmark legislation,” Jeff noted, “but he’s a master at the machinery of electoral politics. He’s brought in more money than any other House Republican” — including $13 million raised between August and early October to fuel the campaigns of 113 GOP candidates. It’s a fascinating profile. You can read it here: “Ambition keeps him loyal to Donald Trump. But what does Kevin McCarthy stand for?”

TOP STORIES

Censured by their colleagues

The Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously to censure Councilmembers Gil Cedillo and Kevin de León and former council President Nury Martinez. The vote appeared to mark the first time the council had censured its own members.

Though it carries no legal weight, the move added to the public pressure on Cedillo and De León to resign in the wake of leaked racist recordings. Martinez has already resigned. The audio captured the three council members and a high-level labor leader in a conversation featuring divisive and derogatory remarks, and it has upended City Hall.

Her California crime spree

On paper, our colleague Jessica Roy had a wild year: bought a Tesla, went on a bad-check-writing spree, wrote a check for someone’s bail (which they skipped). In reality, she was the victim of identity theft.

“I began to realize that I was not only the victim of identity thieves,” she writes, “but also of the system that allowed them to steal my identity in the first place. And now, that system was going to make me work an unpaid part-time job fighting my way out of their logistical labyrinth.” Jessica describes how it happened. And, because it could easily happen to others, she has tips for prevention as well as for victims trying to fight back.

Voters talk distrust and democracy

In the latest of The Times’ “America Unsettled” series, voters in suburbs north of Los Angeles said they were disenchanted with inflation, cultural conflicts and assaults on the electoral process.

And they hold elected officials and political candidates responsible for sowing distrust among Americans and eroding faith in democratic institutions. “We need to figure out how to deal with each other,” said one resident.

More politics

  • Amid economic anxieties, Biden announced that his administration was cracking down on surprise fees that drive up what people pay to their banks and for everything from food deliveries to hotels and airline tickets.
  • A judge ordered former White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows to testify before a special grand jury that’s investigating whether then-President Trump and his allies illegally tried to influence Georgia’s 2020 election.
  • Antioch Mayor Lamar Thorpe said he was punched in the chest by a man during a confrontation Tuesday that had racial overtones.

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

China launched an inhalable COVID-19 vaccine, an apparent world first

Shanghai started administering the vaccine, a mist sucked in through the mouth, for free as a booster dose for previously vaccinated individuals, according to an announcement posted on an official city social media account.

The effectiveness of non-injected vaccines has not been fully explored. One expert said a vaccine administered orally could fend off the coronavirus before it reached the rest of the respiratory system, though that would depend in part on the size of the vaccine’s droplets — larger droplets would boost defenses in parts of the mouth and throat, while smaller ones would travel farther into the body.

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

Check out “The Times” podcast for essential news and more.

These days, waking up to current events can be, well, daunting. If you’re seeking a more balanced news diet, “The Times” podcast is for you. Gustavo Arellano, along with a diverse set of reporters from the award-winning L.A. Times newsroom, delivers the most interesting stories from the Los Angeles Times every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Listen and subscribe wherever you get your podcasts.

PHOTO OF THE DAY

A salt marsh with meandering channels and rust colored water

(Paul Kuroda / For The Times)

CALIFORNIA

A victim’s family demanded a state investigation of the LAPD after a pursuit-turned-carjacking. Nearly two weeks after her husband was dragged to his death after being carjacked by a suspect fleeing Los Angeles police, nothing makes sense to Gaynell Walker. She wants to know why the LAPD hadn’t apprehended the suspect before he attacked Walker in South Los Angeles.

A South Bay man accepted offers from open houses that weren’t for sale. According to prosecutors, the man and others found properties to list for sale — regardless of whether the owners intended to sell — and listed them on real estate websites, marketing them as short-sale opportunities to collect nearly $12 million.

Vaccinations and treatment have dramatically slowed the spread of MPX in California. The average number of newly reported daily MPX cases has fallen significantly in Los Angeles and San Francisco. Still, San Francisco health officials reiterated that MPX remained a public health concern as it continued to circulate. They urged higher-risk people to complete the two-dose inoculation regimen.

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NATION-WORLD

Three men were convicted of supporting a plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. The trio were convicted of all charges, a triumph for state prosecutors after months of mixed results in the main case in federal court. They were members of a paramilitary group whose anti-government leader was disgusted with Whitmer and other officials and hoped to start a civil war.

These are the surprising voters who could swing Israel’s election. The voices of Israel’s Palestinian citizens are often drowned out or de-legitimized in the country’s noisy politics. Yet in the upcoming parliament election, they could hold the key to breaking an entrenched political deadlock.

Russia targeted dozens of villages across Ukraine. More than 40 villages were hit over the last day, Ukrainian officials said; at least two people were killed. The attacks come as fears are growing that Russia, facing setbacks on the battlefield, might tap its nuclear arsenal — concerns officials there have encouraged with drills of the country’s strategic nuclear forces.

HOLLYWOOD AND THE ARTS

“City of Quartz” author Mike Davis, who chronicled the forces that shaped L.A., has died. When it was first published in 1990, Davis’ “City of Quartz” hardly seemed a candidate for bestseller status, but it was a hit nonetheless. Davis, a Marxist urban scholar whose work exposed L.A.’s social fractures and remains influential in Southern California, died Tuesday at age 76.

“Weird Al” Yankovic is the Great American Novelty. Yankovic is far and away the most successful comedy recording artist of all time. He’s sold more than 12 million albums and won five Grammys, and with the release of a new movie about his life, he’s never felt better. He spoke with The Times about his path, what’s changed in the parody song business — and what hasn’t.

It’s Picasso season in L.A. with two smashing museum shows. The reigning titan of the Paris avant-garde has never been off the institutional radar screen. But the exhibitions at Pasadena’s Norton Simon Museum and the UCLA Hammer Museum in Westwood are both firsts, which is fairly remarkable for an artist so abundantly studied, writes art critic Christopher Knight.

Why Spotify and Apple Music haven’t pulled Kanye West’s songs. Companies such as Adidas and the Gap cut ties with the rapper after his antisemitic remarks. But others, including streamers Apple Music, Spotify and Amazon Music, still feature Ye’s music. Industry analysts say the decision is complicated by several factors, including contract requirements streamers may have with record labels and publishers. Some related reading: Yeezy shoe collectors are “panic selling” following West’s rants.

BUSINESS

ESPN sold a majority stake in the X Games to a private equity firm. The Walt Disney-owned sports media company announced that MSP Sports Capital, a private equity firm, would become the majority stakeholder in the property founded in 1995. ESPN will retain a minority share.

They made good money but left L.A. because it didn’t go far enough. Much has been said about the shifts in population outside California coastal hubs, such as Los Angeles and the Bay Area, and the more affordable lives some people have found in other parts of the state and nation. But demographics experts are doubtful that these shifts in urban populations are permanent.

OPINION

Op-ed: Justice Thomas’ refusal to recuse himself is thumbing his nose at the law. It does not matter whether the Supreme Court justice imposed or denied Sen. Lindsey Graham’s desired stay of a Georgia subpoena; he wasn’t supposed to rule at all.

Editorial: Port pollution is a crisis. It’s going to take more than a $20 container fee to fix. New data have shown just how bad emissions got at the ports of L.A. and Long Beach in 2021. What’s to be done? For starters, the South Coast Air Quality Management District should adopt long-delayed regulations to hold the port complex accountable for cleaning up its pollution. And the state Air Resources Board should accelerate deadlines for zero-emission trucks and compel more ships to plug into shore-side electricity.

Free online games

Get our free daily crossword puzzle, sudoku, word search and arcade games in our new game center at latimes.com/games.

SPORTS

How USC soccer’s Croix Bethune became one of the best players in the country. Bethune entered the season as Top Drawer Soccer’s No. 1 player in the country and was one of five active college players named to the U.S. women’s national team preliminary roster for the CONCACAF championship. Facing the national spotlight and every opposing defense’s full attention, Bethune remains unfazed. “You have to love the pressure to be great,” she said.

Lovable Astros? They’ll always be the team that cheated the Dodgers out of a World Series title. Columnist Bill Plaschke writes: “Those newly embraceable Houston Astros are led by beloved manager Dusty Baker, impressive slugger Yordan Alvarez, timeless pitcher Justin Verlander, and a collection of tough players who have regained a nation’s admiration. I hope the Philadelphia Phillies destroy them.”

ONLY IN L.A.

People sit at a picnic table in front of a large colorful mural.

“Gintong Kasaysayan, Gintong Pamana,” in Unidad Park, is considered the largest and most significant Filipino American mural in the U.S.

(Jason Armond / Los Angeles Times)

Visit eight joyful places that tell the story of the Filipino American experience. Filipino Americans are the second-largest Asian American ethnic group in the nation. “But our community has a complicated history of marginalization,” writes Charisma Madarang. Throughout L.A., there are landmarks that celebrate the perennial joy of being Filipino in America, including the Historic Filipinotown arch on Beverly Boulevard and the Polynesian-themed Tiki Ti in Hollywood. These landmarks are proof that Filipinos were here — and will continue to be here.

FROM THE ARCHIVES

A man sits at a desk smoking a large cigar. Near him are two bottles of alcohol.

1920: In Los Angeles, Prohibition enforcement officer George Contreras deals with confiscated goods.

(Los Angeles Times)

One hundred and three years ago today, on Oct. 28, 1919, Congress overrode President Woodrow Wilson’s veto of the National Prohibition Act. The passage of the act, also known as the Volstead Act, set in motion the “process and procedures” for the ban of alcohol.

Congress was wrapped up in a battle between those against Prohibition — the “wets” — and those for it — the “bone-drys.” The front page headline in The Times on Oct. 29, 1919, stated: “United States Bone Dry; Brewers to Fight to the Finish,” with the subhead: “You may be Arrested Now if You Even Think About a Highball.”

The Volstead Act remained the law of the land until Prohibition was repealed in 1933.

We appreciate that you took the time to read Today’s Headlines! Comments or ideas? Feel free to drop us a note at [email protected].

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