Today’s Headlines: A fault zone along the L.A. and O.C. coast could unleash a 7.8 quake



By Amy Hubbard and Jason Sanchez

Hello, it’s Friday, Sept. 23, and here are the stories you shouldn’t miss today:

TOP STORIES

Scientists say a San Andreas-scale quake is possible along coastal L.A. and O.C.

A fault system running nearly 70 miles along the coast of Los Angeles and Orange counties has the potential to trigger a magnitude 7.8 earthquake, according to a new study that is the latest to highlight the seismic threats facing Southern California.

An analysis by Harvard scientists determined the fault system, which runs beneath numerous neighborhoods as well as the ports of Long Beach and L.A., has a much larger surface area that could rupture in the same seismic event, making it capable of a far more powerful quake than was previously known. The study found the fault could produce a quake of a magnitude comparable to one from the San Andreas fault.

The death of an Iranian woman has sparked a feminist outcry

Mahsa Amini, 22, died last week after she was detained by Tehran’s morality police, accused of not wearing her hijab properly. Days of street protests in numerous Iranian cities have turned deadly as protesters have burned their headscarves and cut off their hair in defiance of strict dress codes. At least nine people have been killed.

Protests have arisen elsewhere around the globe, including in Los Angeles, home to the largest population of Iranians outside Iran. Hundreds of protesters gathered Wednesday night outside the Wilshire Federal Building in Westwood.

It’s a matter of feminism,” said one woman at the protest. “Everyone should understand that women are fighting for their freedom.”

Also: The Biden administration imposed economic sanctions on Iran’s notorious morality police.

She could become Italy’s first female leader — and its first far-right one since Mussolini

Giorgia Meloni has been called a fascist, an extremist and — to an extent — a de facto heir to 20th century dictator Benito Mussolini.

She also seems well on her way to becoming Italy’s next prime minister, favored by many voters weary of the country’s fractious politics and resigned to trying someone new. New, and highly controversial. Italy, which has seen seven governments in 11 years, holds parliamentary elections Sunday.

The trend is seen across Europe. This month in Sweden, the ultraconservative Sweden Democrats party took a surprising 20% of the vote in the Scandinavian nation. In France, Marine Le Pen, a second-generation right-winger and perennial presidential candidate, has seen support increase every election. Hungary’s Viktor Orban — who advocates an “illiberal democracy” as he shuts down university programs and civil-society groups — recently decried the “mixing of races.”

More politics

  • New Mexico’s Republican nominee for secretary of state has removed an online flier that offered the chance to receive a firearm in return for $100 donations to her campaign.
  • Sen. Alex Padilla (D-Calif.) joined the bipartisan effort to prevent another Jan. 6, 2021-style attack on the U.S. Capitol, signing as a cosponsor of legislation that would update a 135-year-old law known as the Electoral Count Act. This one’s a Q&A.

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After a string of teen overdoses, L.A. schools are stocking up on naloxone

Los Angeles public schools will supply campuses with the overdose reversal drug in the aftermath of a student’s death at Bernstein High School in Hollywood, putting the nation’s second-largest school system on the leading edge of a strategy increasingly favored by public health experts.

The move, which will affect some 1,400 elementary, middle and high schools, is part of the district’s newly expanded — and quickly assembled — anti-drug strategy. Officials said nine students had overdosed across the district in recent weeks.

And so the bumblee becomes a fish

In a move that could allow a broad range of insects to be considered for endangered species status, the state Supreme Court has found that California bumblebees can be protected under the law as a type of fish.

The decision, which may carry deep consequences for the state’s agriculture industry, focuses on the arcane wording and complicated legal history of the California Endangered Species Act — a precursor to the federal law.

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.

CALIFORNIA

L.A. County is ending its mask order on public transit and in airports starting today. Travelers no longer have to mask up while aboard public transit or inside transportation hubs. For months, L.A. has been the only California county to continue to mandate widespread masking in such settings — though some individual operators also have such rules in place. With the numbers of reported coronavirus cases and hospitalizations having declined notably in recent weeks, health officials said the time had come to relax the order.

Three were arrested in connection with a Beverly Hills jewelry heist. Two Long Beach residents, one a juvenile, were arrested in the March robbery of $5 million in precious gems, designer watches and necklaces from Luxury Jewels. A third suspect was arrested by California Highway Patrol officers during a traffic stop in Barstow.

In 2014, LAPD Det. Brian McCartin used a racial slur while out with colleagues at a bar. Many defendants just found out. It is a basic rule of the U.S. justice system that prosecutors must turn over to defendants evidence that could help exonerate them, including information that calls into question the credibility of police officers involved in their cases. How this obligation is carried out, however, is less clear.

An earthquake in Mexico triggered a “desert tsunami” 1,500 miles away in a Death Valley cave. The magnitude 7.6 earthquake that hit near Mexico’s southwest coast Monday caused waves to erupt up to 4 feet high in the cave known as Devils Hole, a pool of water about 10 feet wide, 70 feet long and more than 500 feet deep, in Amargosa Valley, Nev.

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NATION-WORLD

Alex Jones testified in his defamation trial. The conspiracy theorist took the stand as he and his lawyer tried to limit damages he must pay for promoting the lie that the 2012 Sandy Hook massacre was a hoax. More than a dozen family members of some of the 20 children and six educators killed in the shooting also showed up to observe his testimony.

A burial fit for a queen, yes, but what of monarchy’s true cost? Britons say the still-undisclosed cost of Queen Elizabeth II’s sendoff was worth it. But at a time of hardship, it cast a spotlight on royal wealth.

A NASA spacecraft is about to clobber a small, harmless asteroid millions of miles away. It’s a test! The spacecraft will zero in on the asteroid Monday, intent on slamming it head-on while traveling 14,000 mph. The impact should be just enough to nudge the asteroid into a slightly tighter orbit around its companion space rock, demonstrating that if a killer asteroid ever heads our way, we’d stand a fighting chance of diverting it.

A massive volcano eruption in Tonga could wind up warming the Earth. The January eruption of the undersea volcano was huge and unusual — and scientists are still trying to understand its impacts. Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai shot millions of tons of water vapor high up into the atmosphere. Researchers estimate the eruption raised the amount of water in the stratosphere by around 5%. Now they’re trying to figure whether all that water might warm Earth’s surface over the next few years.

HOLLYWOOD AND THE ARTS

Why “All in the Family” would be all but impossible to pull off today. On that show and other Norman Lear-created sitcoms, his method was to put characters with clashing worldviews in close quarters. What distinguishes their arguments from our current flavor of polarization — in which debate is impossible because everybody knows everything — is that they led to (at least temporary) understanding, writes TV critic Robert Lloyd.

Actor Jeff Garlin has revealed he has bipolar disorder. “Sometimes it’s just too much to deal with. I’m doing the best I can. This the first time that I’ve opened up about this,” the actor wrote on Instagram. Garlin, who played family patriarch Murray Goldberg on the ABC hit “The Goldbergs,” abruptly left the sitcom in December in the middle of its ninth season amid a three-year human-resources investigation into his on-set behavior after several employees on the show filed complaints.

Joan Didion was memorialized in a New York service. Thousands gathered on Wednesday to pay tribute to the iconic author who died at 87 in December. Speakers included friends, family and fans, as did the audience, a mix of New York literati, Hollywood stars and the writers working today who owe a debt to Didion. Among those to take the stage were former Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, who knew Didion when they were children in Sacramento, and former California Gov. Jerry Brown (via a taped video).

Betty White’s belongings will be auctioned, and here are some items you could own. Among them: a sweater from a Super Bowl ad, a finale script from “The Golden Girls,” wedding rings from a happy couple.

BUSINESS

Facebook Live copied tech from war veteran’s app, a jury has found. Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, was ordered to pay nearly $175 million for violating patents held by the maker of a push-to-talk app founded by a former Green Beret who had sought to solve battlefield communications problems he encountered in Afghanistan.

The FTC said Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and CEO Andy Jassy must testify in the government investigation of Amazon Prime. Federal regulators, since March 2021, have been investigating the sign-up and cancellation practices of Amazon Prime, which has an estimated 200 million members around the globe.

OPINION

North Korea’s new law is far from the only nuclear threat the world is facing. A law passed this month puts into effect Kim Jong Un’s decision for the country to “automatically and immediately” launch a nuclear retaliation in the event he is incapacitated by foreign hands. Is this an aberration of North Korea, or is it descriptive of the other eight nuclear states? As tensions persist — Russia’s war in Ukraine, but also between India and Pakistan, the U.S. and China, the U.S. and North Korea — how strong are the nuclear nations’ guardrails?

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SPORTS

Byrd soars at USC. Solomon Byrd was frustrated with the recruiting process. He wasn’t getting the attention he expected. A few universities had shown interest, but things never materialized. The offer Byrd wanted would come years later, leading him to USC, where he has emerged over the last two games as the breakout pass rusher the USC defense so desperately needed.

UCLA’s two-of-a-kind. Twin brothers Grayson and Gabriel Murphy aren’t inseparable, they’re closer than that. The practically indistinguishable pair will go on to eat the same breakfast, complete the same football practice, attend the same classes, finish the same homework and wind down at the same bedtime. And they even made a pact that they would play together in college, no matter what it took.

Greg Lee has died at age 70. Lee was a UCLA basketball player under John Wooden, but his greatest professional success came on the sand, not the hardwood, while splitting his time between basketball and volleyball careers. Lee won a record 13 consecutive pro beach volleyball tournament titles from 1975 to 1976 alongside partner Jim Menges, another former Bruin who became a beach volleyball star.

YOUR WEEKEND

A barrel of apples next to two cider bottles and cut flowers

SLO Creek Farms is one spot for U-pick apples, U-pick flowers and hard cider.

(SLO Creek Farms)

Seek out fall vibes. Our colleague Rachel Schnalzer in her Escapes newsletter rounds up eight farms (all within driving distance of L.A.) for picking your own apples, sipping cider, and perhaps pressing candles or visiting a mini-donkey named Star. No pumpkin latte required. Check out the orchards.

Dine at San Gabriel’s WangJia. Specializing in Shanghainese traditional cooking in an area where Sichuan reigns supreme, WangJia sits in the center of a strip mall, flanked by Bubble Republic tea shop on one side and D’ange bakery on the other. Owner Lulu Luo took over the space in 2019. If you’re showing up with a group, Times restaurant critic Bill Addison says “consider settling in with a couple of cold appetizers: drunken chicken doused with nutty Huadiao wine, perhaps, or smoked fish whose network of tiny bones warrants the navigation for the meaty, campfire-sweet flavors. They come generously sized, so if you’re solo or in a pair, you may have plenty of leftovers.

WHAT OUR EDITORS ARE READING

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A key to controlling emissions: As Los Angeles turns unused offices into housing, other cities are reinvigorating their urban landscapes — and fighting climate change in the process. Infill housing, “the carefully planned creation of extra housing in underutilized parts of cities to reduce car dependence and improve the efficiency of infrastructure and energy use,” is sparking gentrification fears but also making cities greener. One London development included apartments, a supermarket, a gym, yoga studio, shops, medical facilities, and rail and Underground stations. Said one urban development expert: “The developers were primarily just trying to make a great place for people to live … but a byproduct is that they have also created real climate benefits.” New York Times

Let Puerto Rico be free: Author and Puerto Rican native Jaquira Díaz writes movingly of why “the only just future” for her home “is not statehood but full independence.” She looks at the commonwealth’s long quest for freedom; its status as a “destination for disaster capitalists — real estate developers and cryptocurrency investors looking for a tax haven”; its widespread poverty; historic episodes of powerlessness, such as the 1930s mass sterilization of Puerto Rican women as part of U.S.-imposed population-control policies; U.S. disruption of the coffee industry; and more. But it’s not simply about freedom. “A return of sovereignty to the Puerto Rican people would require a U.S. commitment to a policy of reparations designed to provide independence and security.” The Atlantic

She’s 86. She’s 28. They love their hang time as the wallpaper queens of Los Angeles. Reita Green, a one-time dancer and actress, had been the solo star of her wallpapering business since 1960 — lugging buckets, ladders and a folding table by herself into clients’ homes by herself well into her 80s. A few years ago, she met Beverly Pate and made her her protégé. But then they became best friends. Los Angeles Times

FROM THE ARCHIVES

A woman speaks at a microphone and two men sit at a table; behind them are a band and people answering phones.

June 23, 1952: Bing Crosby, Bob Hope and Dorothy Lamour host a telethon to raise money for the 1952 U.S. Olympic team.

(Los Angeles Times)

Twenty-six years ago this week, on Sept. 22, 1996, Hollywood star Dorothy Lamour died at age 81. As The Times wrote in her obituary, she was best known for her portrayals in the 1930s and ’40s of exotic South Seas heroines. A silk sarong became her trademark. (She didn’t actually see the South Seas until she was almost 70.)

Lamour also gained fame with the seven Bob Hope and Bing Crosby “road” movies, including “Road to Morocco,” to “Zanzibar” and to “Singapore.”

She said of Hope and Crosby: “Mostly they would ad lib, playing with the lines I’d worked so hard to memorize. … The night before ‘Road to Singapore’ I naively studied my script like crazy. When it came time, the ad-libs started flying every which way. I kept waiting for a cue which never came. In exasperation I said, ‘Please, guys, when can I get my line in?’ They stopped dead and laughed for 10 minutes.”

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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