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It’s Tuesday, Feb. 4 And Here Are The Stories We’re Following Today

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One down, 49 to go. Surprising no one, President Trump was quickly projected the Republican winner of the Iowa caucuses. And then... well, chaos ensued as Democratic party leaders in the state said they needed to do additional "quality checks" before releasing results.

Back here in California -- where primary night is less than a month away -- the weather forecast isn't exactly 72 and sunny. The National Weather Service page for L.A. tells the tale: Hazardous Seas, Freezing Nights, Santa Ana Winds.

What We’re Covering:

  • The novel coronavirus death toll has continued to rise, and though the Centers for Disease Control has deemed the risk to the American public to be low, the subsequent travel bans from countries around the world are certain to have economic repercussions. Reporter Robert Garrova is talking to local travel agents who are worried about the future of their businesses.
  • We’ll also be releasing a voter guide to help you navigate the L.A. County District Attorney’s race, which, if you weren’t paying attention, has turned out to be pretty heated.
  • Can math tell you who’s going to win the Oscars? Not really, but it can come pretty close. Pop culture reporter Mike Roe talks to data scientist Ben Zauzmer, whose new book, Oscarmetrics, details how he uses modeling to predict who’s going to win an Academy Award — and even to figure out who “should” have won.
  • Roe will also be looking at the upcoming season for Pantages Theater, which is announcing its lineup this morning.
  • And LAist food contributor Tannaz Sassooni explains why almost all hummus in L.A. pales compared to the stuff you get in the Middle East — and where you can actually find good hummus around here.

In Case You Missed It:

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  • Pershing Square is ready for its moment. The downtown park, mostly concrete, has been awaiting a complete makeover based on a redesign that was approved years ago. Now, at least, there’s a timeline.
  • University of California faculty leaders say the SAT and ACT tests should continue to be required for admission. That’s despite criticism that the tests are a better measure of whether you can afford preparation than they are of academic aptitude. A yearlong review concluded that less-advantaged students are actually admitted at a higher rate than other students with similar test scores.
  • The 10 Freeway will be undergoing a major multi-year repaving project roughly between Banning and Palm Springs. Prepare yourself.

Help Us Cover Your Community:

  • Got something you’ve always wanted to know about Southern California and the people who call it home? Is there an issue you want us to cover? Ask us anything >>
  • Have a tip about news on which we should dig deeper? Let us know >>

The news cycle moves fast. Some stories don't pan out. Others get added. Consider this today's first draft.