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Here's your daily audio briefing (updated weekdays):


Winter Storms Delay Vaccine Transport, Causing LA Appointments To Be Postponed

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A woman receives the COVID-19 vaccine. (Chava Sanchez/LAist)

Thousands of COVID-19 vaccination appointments were postponed in L.A. as winter storms elsewhere in the country delayed shipments of doses.

But on Sunday afternoon, Mayor Eric Garcetti tweeted that L.A.'s delayed vaccines have been shipped and that all six city-run sites will resume operations on Tuesday, Feb. 23. Appointments that were postponed last week will be rescheduled immediately.

This news comes as the number of new COVID-19 cases in Southern California continues to decrease. On Friday, L.A. County reported 2,459 new cases of coronavirus. That’s nearly half the number reported two Fridays ago.

On Sunday, local officials reported 1,465 new COVID-19 cases and 93 deaths, bringing the total since the start of the pandemic to 1,180,485 cases and 19,885 deaths.

Two more cases of the COVID-19 variant first found in the U.K. have been confirmed in L.A., bringing the total to 14. British health officials have said that the variant is more easily transmitted than the original virus, and evidence suggests the variant may be deadlier, although more study is needed.

Working Mothers Are Being Forced Out Of Their Jobs, Report Confirms

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Economist Gema Zamarro works alongside her child. (Courtesy Gema Zamarro)

Since the pandemic began, women have been leaving the workforce at unprecedented rates; two million have been forced out of their jobs, or have quit over the past year.

“More than 40% of the job losses in the L.A. area are in the leisure and hospitality sector alone,” said sociologist Sarah Jane Glynn, who recently co-authored a report on this phenomenon. “And that's a sector that employs a lot of women.”

On top of job losses, Glynn said that working mothers are doing most of the stepping-up at home in the absence of schools and childcare centers.

“We live in a world where women do the majority of caregiving,” she said. “Women do the majority of household labor, regardless if they have another job or not.”

The fact that women generally earn less than men compounds the problem if families give up the lower salary when deciding who will stay home.

One local mom told us in January that she saw her entire life turned upside down.

“Overnight, I went from a VP at a marketing agency to full-time teacher, chef, maid, mom and housewife,” said Alison Gerali, a mother of three. “It wasn't a conscious decision; it was a necessity.”

Newsom Recall Leaders Claim To Have Enough Signatures For Special Election

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California Gov. Gavin Newsom. (Courtesy Gov. Newsom's office)

Leaders of the effort to recall Gov. Gavin Newsom say they've collected 1.7 million signatures, roughly 200,000 more than needed to trigger a special election.

The Secretary of State must certify roughly 1.5 million valid signatures by mid-March to get on the ballot.

The recall grew out of opposition to Newsom's handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. It's been fueled largely by Republican activists and donors.

“Generally, recalls fail because you don't get enough signatures,” said Joshua Spivak, a senior fellow at Wagner College’s Institute for Government Reform. “In U.S. history, only four times has a governor received enough signatures to get on the ballot.”

A Newsom spokesman said Californians need to stay focused on ending the pandemic without, what he called, "the distraction of a hundred-million-dollar, hyperpartisan Republican recall circus."

As recently as December, Newsom’s ratings were good. The Public Policy Institute of California reported that he had a 58% approval rating in October and December, measuring him on jobs and economic performance.

Republicans Meet To Discuss Breaking Away From Pro-Trump Members Of Their Party

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Protesters gather at the U.S. Capitol Building on January 06, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

The Senate vote to acquit former President Trump in his impeachment trial has some Republicans talking about how to strengthen the GOP's anti-Trump faction, or possibly breaking away to form a new center-right party.

A number of current and former Republican officials held a Zoom call last week to discuss these issues.

Present on the call was California Assemblyman Chad Mayes, who switched his party affiliation from Republican to Independent more than a year ago.

“What I got out of that call is that there is a deep hunger in this country, and a deep hunger within leadership, saying, ‘Enough is enough — we've got to start putting our country before the party,’” Mayes said.

Other participants in the call reportedly included former officials from the Reagan, George H. W. Bush, George W. Bush, and Trump administrations.