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The most important stories for you to know today
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    What legal power do cities have when it comes to reproductive rights? Plus: more of today's top news – The A.M. Edition
  • Updated Aug. 8, 2022 2:00 PM
    Published Aug. 8, 2022 2:00 PM

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    A parade of people walk along a street in New York City, several of them in wheelchairs. One woman in a wheelchair holds a yellow sign that reads "Piss on pity." Next to her, a bearded man in a wheelchair with a clear plastic tube wrapped around his upper body is being pushed by another man who has a yellow sign pressed against his chest, but the words cannot be made out.
    People participate in the first annual Disability Pride Parade on July 12, 2015 in New York City. The parade calls attention to the rights of people with disabilities and coincides with the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
    (Stephanie Keith)

    Disability can be difficult to talk about sensitively because of how embedded ableism is in our language, biases and perceptions of disability.

    Conversations about disability are slowly increasing, especially when it comes to ableist language and how disabled people are represented in the media.

    Disability advocate Talila A. Lewis' working definition of ableism is a "system that places value on people's bodies and minds based on societally constructed ideas of normalcy, intelligence and excellence."

    NPR spoke to Cara Reedy, the director and founder of the Disabled Journalists Association, and Rosemary McDonnell-Horita of LaVant Consulting, a disability-focused communications firm, about common ableist tropes, the importance of avoiding them and how to talk sensitively about disability.

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  • Updated Aug. 5, 2022 5:21 PM
    Published Aug. 5, 2022 4:00 PM

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    A blonde 56-year-old Latina woman wearing a red "I'm-migrant" shirt stands in front of a mural of two outspread hands, one holding a flower, the other a monarch butterfly.
    Yanet Martínez, 56, is hoping a state ID can help her transition from street vending to office work.
    (Josie Huang/LAist)

    Nearly a decade ago, California became one of the first states to allow an undocumented immigrant to get a driver’s license, which doubles as a critical piece of ID.

    But immigrant advocates say just as many, if not more immigrants, were left out of the process because they can’t or don’t drive — including some older adults, people with disabilities and a disproportionate number of women, who are less likely to have access to a car.

    A bill before state lawmakers attempts to close the gap by proposing California issue ID cards available to any resident regardless of their legal status or whether they drive.

  • Updated Aug. 5, 2022 6:14 PM
    Published Aug. 5, 2022 1:53 PM

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    Bright objects in the night sky appear in a very starry sky over a campsite.
    The Perseids are set to peak Aug. 13, with the most visibility in the Northern Hemisphere.
    (Menahem Kahana)

    Watch out for the shooting stars coming your way in the next few weeks.

    The most popular meteor shower, known as the Perseids, is about to reach its peak — with up to 100 meteors per hour.

    The Perseids are annual and are active between July and September. The warm summer weather makes it easier to be outdoors for viewing, NASA notes.

    The Perseids will peak Aug. 13 and be most visible in the Northern Hemisphere in the hours before dawn, but might be seen as early as 10 p.m. A bright, full moon will appear during the shower, which could affect visibility.

  • Updated Aug. 5, 2022 1:46 PM
    Published Aug. 5, 2022 1:46 PM

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    A 'We Want You!' sign is posted at an Ike's Love & Sandwiches store in Los Angeles on July 26.
    A 'We Want You!' sign is posted at an Ike's Love & Sandwiches store in Los Angeles on July 26.
    (Mario Tama)

    The pace of hiring unexpectedly surged last month, as the U.S. job market showed surprising strength in the face of high inflation and softening economic activity.

    Employers added 528,000 jobs in July according to the Labor Department — a significant acceleration from the previous month.

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  • Updated Aug. 5, 2022 12:29 PM
    Published Aug. 5, 2022 12:29 PM

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    File: The California state Capitol building is shown Oct. 9, 2003 in downtown Sacramento.
    (David Paul Morris)

    Californians will decide in November whether to lock the right to abortion into the state constitution.

    If they vote “yes” on Proposition 1, they will also lock in a right that has gotten less attention: the right to birth control.

    Should the measure succeed, California would become one of the first states — if not the first — to create explicit constitutional rights to both abortion and contraception.

    The lawmakers and activists behind the constitutional amendment said they hope to score a one-two punch: protect abortion in California after the U.S. Supreme Court ended the federal constitutional right to abortion under Roe v. Wade, and get ahead of what they see as the next front in the reproductive rights fight: birth control.

    “The United States Supreme Court said that the privacy and liberty protections in the United States Constitution did not extend to abortion,” said UCLA law professor Cary Franklin, an expert in constitutional law and reproductive rights who has testified before the California legislature in support of the amendment. “If they said ‘no’ on abortion, they’re probably going to say ‘no’ on birth control because that has a similar history.”

  • Ricardo Wilkinson-Moreno, 15, of Topanga Canyon, sits in a replica of the Iron Throne at the Natural History Museum during a preview of its House of the Dragon: The Targaryen Dynasty exhibit for members in Los Angeles, Calif., on Thursday, Aug. 4, 2022. The exhibit, which runs from August 5 to September 7, showcases costumes and props from the upcoming HBO series, “House of the Dragon.” (Photo by Trevor Stamp)
    Ricardo Wilkinson-Moreno, 15, of Topanga Canyon, sits in a replica of the Iron Throne at the Natural History Museum during a preview of its House of the Dragon: The Targaryen Dynasty exhibit for members on Thursday, Aug. 4, 2022. The exhibit, which runs from Aug. 5 to Sept. 7, showcases costumes and props from the upcoming HBO series, “House of the Dragon.”
    (Trevor Stamp)

    HBO launches their new Game of Thrones TV prequel spinoff series House of the Dragon on Aug. 21. Now they’re promoting it with the help of a distinguished partner: L.A. County’s Natural History Museum.

    When people think of the museum, Hollywood’s not usually the first thing to come to mind.

    “Our interest in working on an exhibit like this is … to remind people that NHM is not just a collector of dinosaurs and insects, but really has some of the earliest Hollywood memorabilia,” the museum’s Suzi Hofrichter said.

    The institution’s massive collection of movie memorabilia includes objects dating back to the silent film era and the transition to “the talkies,” including a vast costume collection. Now NHM’s hosting an exhibition with props, set pieces, and costumes from House of the Dragon.

  • Updated Aug. 5, 2022 12:09 PM
    Published Aug. 5, 2022 11:00 AM

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    A long line of people wait in line to receive the monkeypox vaccine
    People wait in line to receive the Monkeypox vaccine before the opening of a new mass vaccination site at the Bushwick Education Campus in Brooklyn on July 17, 2022, in New York City. - New York, on the US East Coast, has already either administered or scheduled 21,500 vaccines and hopes to speed up the process, promising more than 30,000 jabs for the whole state.
    (Kena Betancur)

    More than 400 cases of monkeypox have been confirmed in Los Angeles County.

    Dr. Jerry Abraham, the director of vaccines at Kedren Health in South L.A., said he’s concerned monkeypox vaccine and treatments will not reach enough people in low-income communities and communities of color.

    “We work with hardly-reached and hard-to-reach communities and people, and with that comes … challenges for technology and having access to laptops and tablets,” he said.

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  • A flock of sheep graze in front of solar panels.
    Sheep graze near solar panels at the Kettleman City Power solar farm, built in Kings County in 2013. The sheep are allowed to graze on dry grass that could pose a fire hazard.
    (Larry Valenzuela)

    Kings County Supervisor Joe Neves guided his pickup to a stop next to a long line of chain-link fencing. On one side of a gravel road stood row after row of glinting solar panels. The automated mirrors pivot and turn, following the sun in its daily path across the Central Valley sky.

    Neves, a big man with a wispy Santa Claus beard, was showing off the county’s newest mega solar power project, still under construction on 1,600 acres. A state-of-the-art facility, it includes powerful batteries to store and deliver power after the sun sets.

    This solar plant in King County is one of the scores of new renewable energy puzzle pieces across the state considered vital to California’s transition to cleaner electricity and its pursuit of climate change solutions.

    Rural California counties like Kings — with lots of land, sunshine and wind — are the focal point for many of these projects. Now they are at the epicenter of a statewide controversy, too.

  • Updated Aug. 5, 2022 11:15 AM
    Published Aug. 5, 2022 9:39 AM

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    Two women walk in silhouette as water misters cool down diners in a restaurant in Palm Springs.
    Dangerously hot conditions hit the Coachella Valley this summer with highs of 115 to 120 degrees.
    (Mario Tama)

    After more than a week of record-breaking temperatures across much of the country, public health experts are cautioning that children are more susceptible to heat illness than adults are — even more so when they’re on the athletic field, living without air conditioning, or waiting in a parked car.

    Cases of heat-related illness are rising with average air temperatures, and experts say almost half of those getting sick are children. The reason is twofold: Children’s bodies have more trouble regulating temperature than those of adults, and they rely on adults to help protect them from overheating.

    Parents, coaches, and other caretakers, who can experience the same heat very differently than kids do, may struggle to identify a dangerous situation or catch the early symptoms of heat-related illness in children.

    “Children are not little adults,” said Dr. Aaron Bernstein, a pediatric hospitalist at Boston Children’s Hospital. 

  • Updated Aug. 5, 2022 6:30 AM
    Published Aug. 5, 2022 6:30 AM

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    A graphic reads "Meet Your Mayor" and "A political matchmaking quiz for voters" with portraits of Karen Bass and Rick Caruso.

    Good morning, L.A. It’s Aug. 5.

    It’s finally Friday. I’m thinking about the beach — if weather permits, of course — and dinner plans. Choices — ya know? And you may have to make a very important one at the end of the year.

    Who’s going to be your next mayor?

    That crowded field of candidates to replace outgoing L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti is now down to two: Karen Bass, who received 43.11% of votes in the primary, and Rick Caruso, who got 35.99%.

    You’ve probably been inundated with advertisements and news coverage. That doesn’t necessarily mean it’s any easier to make your choice.

    That’s why we brought you Meet Your Mayor for this election. It’s a quiz that asks you and the candidates the same questions so that we can "match" you with the person who's closest to you on key issues, such as housing, homelessness, policing, and the climate emergency.

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    Here’s an example: Back in June, we asked the candidates where they stood on the size of the L.A. Police Department and funding for the force. Bass said she would fill vacancies to bring the force to its fully authorized size of 9,700 officers, while Caruso said he would expand LAPD to 10,000 or more officers. Caruso also said he would increase funding for LAPD, while Bass said she would keep funding at its current size.

    We heard from many of you that the quiz helped you make your choice (yay!), so we’re doing it again for the November runoff. We’ll publish our new quiz in early October to get you ballot ready.

    What we need to know from you right now is what you want us to ask the candidates. We’ve already gotten a bunch of questions, including:

    • How Bass and Caruso plan to reduce hurdles to building new housing units
    • Where they stand on the eviction protections put in place at the beginning of the pandemic
    • How they’ll reduce the stigma around monkeypox vaccinations

    Got a question for Bass and Caruso as you prepare to vote? Share it here. 

    As always, stay happy and healthy, folks. There’s more news below the fold.

    What Else You Need To Know

    Before You Go... Practicing Digital Minimalism

    An illustration of a foot kicking through the screen of a smartphone with the word CRASH written above.
    (Valeriy Kachaev/Spruce Books)

    Have you been scrolling past TikTok after TikTok after another and you look at the clock and it's wayyy past your bedtime? I’m guilty. (This week I’ve been getting stuck on the Bad Bunny concert videos.)

    But the thing is that many of us are hooked on our phones. Social media, apps, texting — you know how it goes. A recent survey claimed Americans check their phones once every 4 minutes, according to NPR.

    Don’t trip, there are ways to scale back without going back to a flip phone.

    There’s a term for it, too: digital minimalism. It was coined by a computer science professor who wrote a book on it. Check out this NPR story that has steps on how to find a good balance in your relationship with your phone.

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