Today’s Headlines: Russia intensifies attacks after growing censure over Ukraine

By Elvia Limón, Laura Blasey and Amy Hubbard

Hello, it’s Thursday, March 3, and most Angelenos know the saying “nobody walks in L.A.” is far from the truth. But would you walk 50 miles over the course of a single day?

That’s how two 30-year-olds spent part of their Presidents Day weekend — walking from Pasadena City College to south of the Redondo Beach Pier in roughly 18 hours. They told The Times they don’t “have a really good reason” for walking two marathons back to back.

But they did discover curiosities invisible to most drivers — and they learned just how walkable L.A. really is.

Here are the stories you shouldn’t miss today:


Russia intensifies attacks targeting key Ukrainian cities

Russian forces have intensified a wide-ranging offensive targeting key Ukrainian cities, menacing the capital, Kyiv, with a miles-long military convoy, launching deadly strikes on the second-largest city, Kharkiv, and seizing a strategic Black Sea port city with tanks and troops.

Moscow faced growing international denunciations. The U.N. General Assembly overwhelmingly approved a resolution condemning the invasion, and President Biden said it was “clear” that Russia was deliberately targeting civilians.

Significantly, Russia for the first time provided an accounting of its battlefield deaths, with the Ministry of Defense acknowledging that 498 soldiers had been killed and 1,597 wounded since the start of its assault. Ukraine has claimed that more than 10 times as many Russian soldiers have died.

More about Ukraine

  • For millions of Russians, the war next door and their country’s abrupt transformation into an international pariah has darkened the mood, even as some cling to the belief that Putin is doing only what is necessary to protect the motherland.
  • America’s top diplomat rallied support for Ukrainians in the U.S. and abroad while painting dire images of the escalating ground war.

Jan. 6 committee says Trump ‘may have engaged in criminal acts’ to overturn the election

The House Jan. 6 select committee says former President Trump and his campaign may have tried to illegally obstruct Congress’ counting of electoral votes and “engaged in a criminal conspiracy to defraud the United States.”

In a federal court filing, the committee alleges the emails it is trying to obtain will show that Trump violated multiple laws by attempting to prevent Congress from certifying his defeat in the 2020 election.

More politics

  • Supreme Court nominee Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s confirmation hearings will begin March 21, a top Democrat announced Wednesday.
  • President Biden, struggling to regain his political footing as the midterm elections approach, visited the crucial state of Wisconsin to promote one of his top accomplishments.
  • After more than a decade hovering near the back burner of voter concerns in California, fear over crime has risen to the fore as Republicans seize on the issue to skewer Democrats from the state Capitol to the White House.
  • A new poll shows a different shape of the Los Angeles mayoral race than previous polling, with Rep. Karen Bass holding a small lead and City Councilman Kevin de León being a close second.
  • Los Angeles City Council incumbents could be more vulnerable than they’ve been in the past.
  • Generally, Latinos are concerned about crime and racial discrimination but not on board with defunding the police, according to a new survey.

Sign up for our California Politics newsletter to get the best of The Times’ state politics reporting and the latest action in Sacramento.

White House launches a ‘test to treat’ COVID-19 initiative

Beginning this month, Americans will be able to head to their local pharmacy for a coronavirus test and, if they test positive, receive antiviral pills on the spot, at no cost to them. President Biden announced the launch of the “test to treat” initiative during his State of the Union Address as he emphasized the country’s progress in battling the pandemic.

The program is part of a broader plan to help Americans get back to their normal routines, even as the country continues to combat the virus. It comes on the heels of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s new pandemic guidance, which eases certain COVID-19 precautions. Under the new framework, indoor masking is no longer recommended for counties where 72{a78e43caf781a4748142ac77894e52b42fd2247cba0219deedaee5032d61bfc9} of Americans live.

More top coronavirus headlines

  • Two years into the pandemic, wealth, poverty and race still dramatically affect the toll the coronavirus takes on people, with Latinos and Black communities in L.A. County continuing to be significantly harder hit than wealthier white ones.
  • Pfizer’s new COVID-19 treatment came with a catch when it debuted late last year: It can take months to make the tablets.

Stay up to date on variant developments, case counts and vaccine news with Coronavirus Today.

George Gascón wouldn’t compromise, until he did. Now, no one is happy.

Since taking over as Los Angeles County’s district attorney, George Gascón had refused to compromise on sweeping changes he said were needed to remake an office he believed was prioritizing convictions and lengthy prison sentences over justice. A rough few weeks have changed that.

Last month, he quietly conceded that there could be exceptions to the bans he imposed on seeking life sentences in murder cases or trying juveniles as adults. His troubles deepened when he publicly acknowledged he had been wrong to insist that Hannah Tubbs, a 26-year-old transgender woman, be allowed to plead guilty in juvenile court to sexually assaulting a child.

Gascón’s backtracking seemed to do little or nothing to quell the furor from his detractors. And it opened him up to new critiques from allies that he is playing politics with his principles.

How pickleball noise is fueling neighborhood drama

A democratizing sport with a low barrier to entry, anyone can quickly pick up pickleball without spending much money or taking years of lessons. The rules are relatively easy to learn, and the basic strokes are simple enough to get down during a couple of friendly games.

But the rapid rise of the game — and the decibel levels, crowds and vocal advocacy it generates — has precipitated an intense backlash in communities across the country. In dozens of legal proceedings, people have successfully claimed that allowing pickleball violates local municipal codes or homeowners’ or condominium associations’ rules.

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A group of children sit outdoors near a massive fake porcupine.
A two-story porcupine. L.A.-area schoolchildren witness the unveiling of Percy the Porcupine, a new and very large puppet from Jim Henson’s Creature Shop, at Elysian Park on Tuesday. Percy has 2,000 foam quills and an articulated nose the size of a 2-ton Volkswagen. The San Diego Zoo commissioned Percy for its new 3.2-acre attraction Wildlife Explorers Basecamp.

(Christina House / Los Angeles Times)


Record-breaking heat will give way to more rain and cold weather. On Wednesday, downtown Los Angeles hit a high of 80 degrees, but it was expected to be the last day of a warm weather streak before a massive cool-down moves in today, forecasters said.

Deputies in San Diego County jails will adopt body-worn cameras after a scathing audit. A pilot program includes 72 deputies at the Las Colinas Detention and Reentry Facility, a women’s jail in Santee. The announcement follows a highly critical state audit that found the Sheriff’s Department had repeatedly failed to adequately prevent and respond to the deaths of inmates.

California attorney general announces an investigation into TikTok’s impact on children. Among what’s under scrutiny will be how the company has sought to increase the time and frequency with which young people use its app; the extent to which it is aware of any harm it may be causing those users; and whether it’s violating consumer protection laws in the process.

Filipino Americans hope for more recognition with a new arch in L.A.’s Historic Filipinotown. Historic Filipinotown is easy to miss while driving down its main thoroughfares, Beverly Boulevard and Temple Street, just west of downtown Los Angeles. The new arch will mark the eastern entrance to the neighborhood, much as the twin-dragon gate over Broadway welcomes visitors to Chinatown.

A college disability rights case could go to the U.S. Supreme Court. Disability rights advocates do not want to risk a showdown with a conservative-leaning Supreme Court. Their concerns are fueled by the opinion of one dissenting appeals court judge.

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An Alabama man affiliated with Oath Keepers is the first person convicted of seditious conspiracy in the U.S. Capitol riot. The sentencing guideline range for Joshua A. James, who also pleaded guilty to a charge of obstruction of an official proceeding, was estimated to be 7¼ to nine years in prison.

Researchers want to continue the search for the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre victims. The bodies were exhumed in 2021 after 35 coffins were found during the excavation, with 20 sent for further examination. One of the 20 coffins, believed to be an infant, contained no remains.

Autherine Lucy Foster, the first Black student at the University of Alabama, dies at 92. Foster in 1956 briefly attended classes at the then all-white university. She was expelled three days later after her presence brought protests and death threats. A graduate student studying education, Foster had faced hostile crowds hurling racially charged threats and debris.

U.S. Rep. Van Taylor drops Texas reelection bid and admits affair. The North Texas congressman said he was ending his reelection campaign and admitted having an affair following reports that he had been in a relationship with the widow of an American-born recruiter for the Islamic State group.


Alan Ladd Jr., Oscar-winning producer and studio boss who greenlit ‘Star Wars,’ dies. Known as Laddie, the shy and laconic Ladd was known as one of Hollywood’s most likable and respected movie executives and producers. He was 84.

How a pair of unknowns made themselves into Lakers legends for HBO’s next big drama. “Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty” stars newcomers Quincy Isaiah and Solomon Hughes as Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Set at the start of the “Showtime” era of the 1980s Los Angeles Lakers, the series depicts how the team realized owner Jerry Buss’ revolutionary vision.

Pirates are no stranger to pop culture. Taika Waititi’s new show adds ‘polite menace.’ HBO Max’s fine, funny, oddly sweet and surprisingly fact-based period comedy “Our Flag Means Death” takes an exotic subject and humanizes it, makes it more familiar through modern speech and attitudes. It’s not a new sort of a comedy, but it’s a reliable one, writes critic Robert Lloyd.


Netflix plans to acquire Next Games for about $72 million. The deal, which is expected to close in the second quarter, is part of the streaming service’s strategy to increase its investment in mobile gaming and increase the ways it can reach consumers


A continuing lockout, canceled games and a lot of anger. What’s next for MLB? If an agreement is not reached by the middle of next week, there is a good chance another week’s worth of games will be canceled. MLB’s preference is to retain a four-week spring training, but players don’t believe it would take that long to prepare for the season.

‘It can eat you’: The Clippers’ Robert Covington has learned to prioritize mental health. Three years after seeking professional help for “all the things I had going on in my head mentally,” he is as much a giver as a taker, a change seen not only in the energy he gives to teammates, although that has become a staple of his brief Clippers tenure.

Sean McVay will keep coaching with revamped Rams staff, but his fiancé and Ukraine are also on his mind. The joy and relief born from the Rams’ Super Bowl victory has been tinged by other emotions for McVay. His fiancé, Veronika Khomyn, is from Ukraine and has family in the war-torn country.

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In Hollywood, the ‘evil Russian’ stereotype isn’t back. It never left. For decades in Hollywood, Soviets were the perfect enemy. Inscrutable, humorless, but just enough like Americans to feel like you’re not punching down — an uncanny-valley Borg version of ourselves. The Russian invasion of Ukraine has given it new currency.


Tiffany Laster pours a cocktail

Tiffany Laster pours a cocktail at Thunderbolt, which was listed as No. 66 on the World’s 50 Best Bars list.

(Jason Armond/Los Angeles Times)

An unassuming Echo Park bar made the prestigious World’s 50 Best Bars list. The annual ranking tends to highlight establishments that pair well with a platinum credit card and a seat in first class. So Thunderbolt stood out on this year’s expanded list. But what may be most unexpected is that it managed to survive long enough to be honored at all.

The pandemic brought dark times: The bar remained perilously close to insolvency for much of 2020. Nearly all of its staff was laid off to apply for unemployment. Co-owner Mike Capoferri ran the front of house with two line cooks in the kitchen. At one point, he worked 124 days without a break: “I was like, keeping this place alive is really killing me.” The attention the bar is getting now is “a validation” for “this little neighborhood bar that was put together on a shoestring budget.”


A woman in a hat holds a radio next to a hospital bed where a girl lies covered in white bedding.

April 12, 1925: Helen Keller visits a hospital patient in Los Angeles.

(Los Angeles Times)

One hundred thirty-five years ago today, Anne Sullivan began teaching Helen Keller, age 6. “Miracle worker” Sullivan worked with the deaf-blind child, using pioneering “touch teaching” techniques. Helen’s eventual extraordinary accomplishments included graduating from Radcliffe, and becoming an author, educator, political activist and American heroine. Among the multiple mentions of Keller in The Times’ archive was a visit in 1925 to a hospital where she gifted a blind 13-year-old with a radio.

We appreciate that you took the time to read Today’s Headlines! Comments or ideas? Feel free to drop us a note at [email protected].

Eleanore Beatty

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In Symbolic Vote, Senate Rejects Vaccine Mandate for Health Workers

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WASHINGTON — The Senate voted on Wednesday to roll back President Biden’s vaccine mandate for well being care personnel at federally funded amenities, in a symbolic shift orchestrated by Republicans who are pushing to weaponize pandemic safety measures from Democrats in this year’s midterm congressional elections. In a vote pressured […]
In Symbolic Vote, Senate Rejects Vaccine Mandate for Health Workers

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