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LA County Reports 14,482 New COVID Cases, 166 Deaths

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(Courtesy LAC+USC Medical Center)

L.A. County health officials on Sunday confirmed 14,482 new cases of coronavirus and 166 new deaths. Currently, there are 7,964 people hospitalized with COVID-19, and 22% of those individuals are in the ICU.

Today’s update brings the total number of cases to 920,177, and total deaths to 12,250.

L.A. is currently under stay-at-home orders from the county, city and state. The state’s order overrides the local orders and is more strict; under its tenets, restaurants may provide to-go services only.

Last week, city officials announced they would keep offering a COVID-19 test that the FDA deemed faulty. The test, which is made by the company Curative, has been used widely throughout L.A. An FDA alert said that it poses a “risk of false results, particularly false negative results.”

OVERALL LOOK AT LA COUNTY NUMBERS:

Here's a look at longer-term trends in the county. To see more, visit our California COVID-19 Tracker and choose L.A. or any other California county that interests you. These numbers are current as of Saturday, Jan. 9.

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Democratic Members Of Congress Harassed On Flights Home

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Earlier this year, a Trump flag was flown over the Long Beach Public Safety Building. The police department said the flag was not authorized, and has opened a criminal investigation. (Ian Thomas Malone)

Some of Southern California’s Democratic members of Congress experienced harassment from Trump supporters on their trip home last week from the nation’s capital.

Congresswoman Linda Sanchez, whose district bridges Orange and L.A. counties, said in addition to comments from those supporters, she heard other passengers call the siege “patriotic.”

"I had to bite my tongue and sit on a five-and-a-half hour flight with folks who were gleeful about what happened on Wednesday,” Sanchez said.

The Congresswoman noted that she was “uneasy” driving towards the Capitol on Wednesday as she noticed the lack of police presence after threats of violence had already been made public.

“Intelligence had warned that there was a problem, that things could get violent, and that information was not passed along to Capitol Police because the Department of Defense has been politicized,” she said. “There should have been a very visible presence in the Capitol to deter people from even thinking that they could get out of line. There was not. That was an epic, epic failure.”

Sanchez added that Congressional representatives need increased security for protection, and that those who stormed the Capitol should be treated as terrorists.

“I've been saying that since before [Arizona Congresswoman] Gabby Giffords was shot doing a public event at a grocery store,” Sanchez said. “These folks are as dangerous as ISIS. And yet, we are not treating them the same as international terrorists. I have been calling them seditious traitors."

Sanchez said she and her staff are still processing Wednesday's events at the Capitol, describing the attack as traumatic.

"I don't feel like things are going back to normal anytime soon, and it’s difficult,” she said. “It's difficult for me, it's difficult for my family."

Democratic Congressman Lou Correa of Anaheim was waiting for a flight at a Washington-area airport and conducting a live interview with ABC7 when he was accosted by a Trump supporter.

Schwarzenegger Shares 'Painful Memory' About Post-WWII Childhood. Calls For Supporting Biden

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Arnold Schwarzenegger has released a seven-minute video on Twitter denouncing Wednesday’s events at the Capitol, and comparing the acts of the Proud Boys and others involved in that day’s violent mob to the acts of the Nazis during Kristallnacht.

He said, in part:

I grew up in Austria, I'm very aware of Kristallnacht, or the Night of Broken Glass. It was a night of rampage against the Jews carried out in 1938 by the Nazi equivalent of the Proud Boys. Wednesday was the day of broken glass right here in the United States. The broken glass was in the windows of the United States Capitol.”

The actor and former governor of California went on to describe the effects of that night in 1938 on his family and neighbors. It created, he said, a generation of “broken men, drinking away that guilt over their participation ... not all of them were rabid anti-Semites and Nazis. Many just went along, step by step, down the road.”

One of those men, he said, was his father.

Schwarzenegger went on to note that the events of Kristallnacht and the Nazis’ genocidal regime were started by “lies, and lies, and lies, and intolerance,” similar to the lies told by President Trump in an effort to overturn the results of the election.

Calling Trump a “failed leader,” Schwarzenegger added that the former host of The Apprentice “soon will be as irrelevant as an old tweet,” and appealed to both members of his own Republican party and Democrats to join forces in working with President-elect Joe Biden.

“I ask you to join me in saying to President-elect Biden, ‘We wish you great success as our president. If you succeed, our nation succeeds.”

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Local Efforts To Save The Honey Bee

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Photo by Trollinho / Unsplash

Researchers at UC Riverside are launching a multi-campus project to save the declining honey bee population.

Honey bees play a critical role in growing about one-third of the world's food, and they pollinate more than 80 types of agricultural crops. Dwindling populations mean those crops lessen, and become more expensive.

Experts at the university will work with colleagues at UC campuses in Davis, Merced and San Diego in an effort to breed bees that are more resilient to disease.

“Certain types of honeybees generate molecules that make them more tolerant of pesticides and parasites,” said UC Riverside spokesperson Jules Bernstein. “New technology is going to enable the scientists to isolate those molecules, and use them as a basis for drugs that will help treat the sick bees.”

The research network also aims to develop better monitoring tools to alert beekeepers to illness in their colonies.

Bernstein said 40% of managed beehives were lost in 2018 and that this research will help save other threatened bee populations.

“What happens to honey bees happens to native bees, happens to our plants, happens to our food,” she said. “We're all connected.”

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New Mural Depicting LA Civil Rights Leaders On 8th Street

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A new mural of local civil rights leaders outside the ACLU of Southern California's downtown L.A. office. (Courtesy of Elon Schoenholz)