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The Brief

The most important stories for you to know today
  • The L.A. Report
    Here's your daily audio briefing (updated weekdays):
    L.A. County reports nearly 16,000 new COVID cases in past four days. Plus: Monkeypox in Sacramento, UC abuser settlement, and more – The P.M. Edition
  • A large brick building at UCLA. A student with a backpack walks nearby, as does another young woman in a dress.
    A student walks toward Royce Hall on the campus of University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) in Los Angeles on March 11, 2020.
    (Robyn Beck)

    The University of California has agreed to pay out another $374 million to alleged victims of former UCLA gynecologist and oncologist James Heaps. That brings the total for the thousands of plaintiffs to nearly $700 million.

    Heaps is accused of sexual misconduct with former patients that took place for nearly 35 years. He’s facing felony charges for allegedly sexually assaulting seven women. Heaps has pleaded not guilty and denied any wrongdoing.

    Plaintiffs allege UCLA ignored complaints against Heaps for years. The university ended his contract and notified law enforcement about the allegations against him in 2018.

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  • A green lawn in open space is surrounded by tract homes and hills.
    An aerial view of homes and a park in Agoura Hills. The new restrictions target businesses.
    (Mario Tama)

    The State Water Resources Control Board has voted to ban the watering of decorative lawns at commercial, industrial and institutional sites.

    It's the first statewide water-use restriction in response to the ongoing severe drought.

    The move is expected to save as much water as 780,000 homes might use in a year.

  • Updated May. 24, 2022 4:17 PM
    Published May. 24, 2022 2:59 PM

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    Police in heavy gear stand outside a chainlink fence near a sign that reads: School buses only
    Law enforcement personnel stand outside Robb Elementary School following a shooting, Tuesday, May 24, 2022, in Uvalde, Texas.
    (Dario Lopez-Mills)

    A shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas that killed at least 14 children and a teacher marks the 27th school shooting this year. Local police said the shooter behind Tuesday's incident is dead.

  • Updated May. 24, 2022 3:21 PM
    Published May. 24, 2022 2:42 PM

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    Art showing a squatting baby underneath a breaking news banner and helicopters flying overhead.

    We spoke with a handful of child development experts about what parents, teachers and other caregivers can do to help prepare and protect kids from all the scary news out there, whether it's fighting overseas, a school shooting, devastating wildfire or a global pandemic. Here's what they had to say:

    "We can control the amount of information. We can control the amount of exposure," says Rosemarie Truglio, senior vice president of curriculum and content at Sesame Workshop.

    Truglio says that for starters, try not to let your children experience the news without you. That includes letting the TV or audio play in the background. In 2017, 42 percent of parents of young children told Common Sense Media that the TV is on "always" or "most" of the time.

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  • Updated May. 24, 2022 3:56 PM
    Published May. 24, 2022 2:29 PM

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    At Civilian Oversight Commission May 24, 2022 hearing on deputy gangs, Lt. Larry Waldie, in uniform, sits in the witness box. To his left are three men and a woman, and in the foreground two men sit writing at a table.
    Sheriff's Lt. Larry Waldie, in uniform, testifies at Tuesday's hearing.
    (Frank Stoltze/LAist)

    A Los Angeles County Sheriff’s lieutenant testified Tuesday that a deputy gang known as the Executioners celebrated a shooting by colleagues and engaged in a 2019 work slowdown that resulted in a drop in arrests and a spike in crime.

    The testimony came during the first public hearing by the Sheriff Civilian Oversight Commission in its investigation into deputy gangs inside the department.

    Also at the hearing, county Inspector General Max Huntsman accused a senior Sheriff’s Department official of “obstruction of justice” for allegedly blocking a 2018 investigation into the Banditos, a gang based at the East L.A. Station.

  • Updated May. 24, 2022 11:52 AM
    Published May. 24, 2022 10:15 AM

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    An A-shaped red sign reads: "Angel Stadium Anaheim"
    A deal to sell Angel Stadium is now under federal scrutiny.
    (Ronald Martinez)

    Anaheim Mayor Harry Sidhu resigned Tuesday amid an FBI probe and allegations that he shared privileged information with the Los Angeles Angels during ongoing negotiations to sell the stadium and adjoining property to the baseball team.

    The investigation came to light through an FBI affidavit filed May 16 in Orange County Superior Court. Sidhu has not been charged with a crime.

    Here’s what we know so far:

  • Updated May. 24, 2022 11:37 AM
    Published May. 24, 2022 9:37 AM

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    Round and spherical shapes appear in gray on a white background.
    A microscopic view of monkeypox virions.
    (Courtesy CDC)

    A suspected case of monkeypox was reported in Sacramento County Tuesday, as a rare outbreak of the disease continues to move around the globe.

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  • Updated May. 24, 2022 10:29 AM
    Published May. 24, 2022 9:26 AM

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    An illustrated image shows $100 bills falling from the sky above California's State Capitol.
    Illustration by Miguel Gutierrez Jr.
    (CalMatters; iStock)

    If you haven’t noticed, your mail carrier certainly has: Election season has arrived in California and with it, the regular flood of political ads from unions, corporations and other special interest groups hoping to influence your vote.

    Though contributions made directly to political candidates are capped by state law, no such limits apply to “independent expenditure” committees — so long as those outside influences are, in fact, independent and don’t coordinate with the campaigns they’re trying to help.

    With early voting already underway and just two weeks to go before the June 7 primary, millions of dollars of help is now inundating California, showing up in races up and down the ballot. Perhaps you’ve driven past a curious bobble-headed billboard, had your mailbox stuffed with mailers sponsored by innocuous-sounding neighborhood groups or been puzzled by campaign ads that seem to be promoting the wrong candidate.

    That’s all the handwork of what California election watchers refer to simply as “I.E.”

  • Updated May. 24, 2022 9:03 AM
    Published May. 24, 2022 8:39 AM

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    A mechanic wearing gloves looks up as he uses a tool on the underside of a raised car.
    Walter Preza works on a car at J & R Auto Repair shop mechanic in San Francisco.
    (Nina Riggio for CalMatters)

    Who loses and who gains as California cleans up its cars?

    Nearly 32,000 mechanics would lose jobs by 2040 under the proposed phaseout of new gas-powered cars. Electric companies would be the big winners.

  • Updated May. 24, 2022 6:30 AM
    Published May. 24, 2022 6:30 AM

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    A ballot is being dropped in the slot at an official County of Los Angeles ballot drop box. Only the voter's hands are visible.
    A voter drops their ballot at an official L.A. County ballot drop box for the November 3, 2020 election.
    (Libby Denkmann/KPCC and LAist)

    Good morning, L.A. It’s May 24.

    If you’re a registered voter in L.A. County, you should have received your ballot by now – and it’s probably a monstrous seven- to nine-page packet.

    But don’t let its heft keep you from the polls. We’ve created the Voter Game Plan to help you hack through the heaps of details; it’s a one-stop-shop for everything you need to know about the June 7 primary election. Plus, our team is on hand to answer any and all of your election-related questions.