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Morning Briefing: Back To The Beach

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SoCal’s beaches have, in recent weeks, become something of a battleground in the case for re-opening. There were the crowds that descended on beaches in OC, followed by Gov. Gavin Newsom’s official shutdown of said beaches, followed by protests, followed by another re-opening.

But this weekend, our sandy coasts appeared to be heading back to their natural state of relative calm. In Venice and Santa Monica, which reopened last week, crowds were spread out enough to allow for social distancing -- although some folks broke the “no sunbathing” rule. And In Manhattan Beach, the mayor was optimistic about officials’ “education-first” strategy with regards to visitors.

Maybe we’re ready for baby steps after all. Good job, L.A.

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Keep reading for more on what’s happening today, and stay safe out there.

Jessica P. Ogilvie

Coming Up Today, May 18

It's the holy month of Ramadan and this year, reports Elina Shatkin, everything is different — especially iftar, the meal Muslims use to break their daily fast.

The gang from Community reunites for a good cause, the Hola Mexico Film Festival screens new flicks, OCMA holds a 24-hour video art festival, and more. Christine N. Ziemba has this week’s quarantine-approved events.

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The Past 48 Hours In LA

L.A., California, The World: There are now 38,001 coronavirus cases and 1,821 deaths in L.A. County, plus at least 78,818 cases and 3,208 deaths in California. Worldwide, there are more than 4.7 million cases and over 315,000 deaths.

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Life’s A (Confusing) Beach: L.A.’s beaches are open again, but officials are giving mixed messages about biking near the sand. Photos showed minimal crowding in Venice and Santa Monica, and Manhattan Beach’s mayor said that rule-breaking weekend beachgoers seemed to at least be practicing social distancing.

Open, Close: Descanso Gardens is reopening. The L.A. County fair, scheduled for September, is canceled for the first time since WWII. Meanwhile, you won't have to move your car for alternate street parking until at least June 1.

California Kids: The College Board fixed a glitch that left some students unable to submit their AP exams.

Fire In DTLA: A massive fire, followed by an explosion, took place at a downtown L.A. smoke accessories warehouse. Local officials said they may call on federal help for their probe into the incident.

COVID-19 In The Courts: Arguing that many inmates held at the Terminal Island and Lompoc federal prisons are low-risk offenders at high risk from COVID-19, the ACLU of Southern California is suing to seek a significant increase in prisoner releases. Both facilities have had massive coronavirus outbreaks.

Final Goodbyes: Independent film and TV director Lynn Shelton (Little Fires Everywhere, Humpday, Glow) died on Friday from a blood disorder at the age of 54. Her partner, comedian and actor Marc Maron, said the condition was previously unknown.

Your Moment Of Zen

Surfing is movement, surfing is freedom, I've never surfed but it sure looks like the opposite of being stuck at home.

(Mark J. Terrill/AP)

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