Today’s Headlines: Will California’s extraordinary snowpack last?

Hello, it’s Thursday, Jan. 12, and here are the stories you shouldn’t miss today:


Snowpack buoys hope for drought relief, but will it last?

The piles of snow in the Sierra Nevada are the result of a series of powerful atmospheric river storms that have pummeled California over the last two weeks. Although the storms have delivered chaos, they have also helped to make a dent in drought conditions.

But experts are cautious about celebrating too soon. The measurements are not static and could change depending on how the rest of the wet season develops. Last year, for example, a soggy December gave way to a bone-dry January, February and March. Forecasters say it’s too soon to be certain what the coming months will bring.

More about the storms

More relief for student borrowers could come

The Biden administration’s plan to wipe out billions of dollars in student-loan debt is in legal limbo, but a related proposal to lower monthly payments for millions of borrowers is taking a major step forward this week.

The U.S. Department of Education has laid out a proposed rule to simplify and expand eligibility for its income-driven repayment programs, which tie monthly payments on federal student loans to the borrower’s ability to pay.

New borrowers would benefit most from the changes; the administration estimated that future borrowers would see their total payments cut by 40{a78e43caf781a4748142ac77894e52b42fd2247cba0219deedaee5032d61bfc9} on average.

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Police never searched ‘catfish’ cop’s second home

Police never searched a Richmond-area apartment belonging to Austin Lee Edwards, the Virginia cop who killed three relatives of a 15-year-old Riverside girl whom police say he “catfished” online.

A judge approved Edwards’ eviction from that apartment Wednesday. Now that the eviction is official, any evidence that might exist within could be removed or destroyed, if it has not been already.

The Riverside Police Department, which is leading the investigation into the murders, did not see a need to search the apartment.

More travelers are looking to themed cruises

Themed cruises began about two decades ago, and have quickly regained traction as the industry navigates a comeback from two disastrous pandemic years. Although cruise ship bookings are rising, COVID remains a risk, even more so as cruise lines drop restrictions like vaccine requirements.

Through the magnetism of shared experience and often nostalgia, cruise lines have identified a fiercely loyal legion of new fans.

Although cruise passenger numbers have steadily climbed over the last three decades (apart from the pandemic), lines constantly seek new customers. Themed cruises provide such an opportunity, experts say.

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A homeless woman walks with her belongings from an encampment

(Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)


Oil companies sue L.A. over ban on drilling. An oil company with a drilling operation in Wilmington filed a lawsuit Tuesday against the city of Los Angeles over its sweeping new law.

Newsom’s budget includes naloxone for middle and high schools. Gov. Gavin Newsom pledged to provide the overdose reversal drug, a low-cost but pressing need, in a proposed education spending plan that would sustain school budgets but largely end a massive recent expansion of funding.

New LAPD policy lowers off-duty drinking limit. The department tightened its policy on off-duty officers drinking alcohol while armed, making it a violation for an officer to have a blood-alcohol level of 0.04{a78e43caf781a4748142ac77894e52b42fd2247cba0219deedaee5032d61bfc9} or higher.

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Air travel across the U.S. was thrown into chaos after a computer outage. Thousands of flights across the U.S. were canceled or delayed after a government system that offers safety and other information to pilots broke down.

Ukraine says strategic mining town is holding out, despite Russian claims of capture. The fate of a salt-mining town in eastern Ukraine hung in the balance Wednesday in one of the bloodiest battles of Russia’s invasion, as Ukraine’s resistance and other challenges prompted Moscow to shake up its military leadership again.


With scant viewing for its TV return, what’s next for the Golden Globes? With viewership on a steep decline, the show’s organizers now have the opportunity to shop the franchise to other outlets, and NBC must decide whether the show provides value.

Jeff Beck, the guitar player’s guitar player, dies at 78. The guitarist first came to prominence as a member of the Yardbirds and then went out on his own in a solo career that incorporated hard rock, jazz, funky blues and even opera.

It shouldn’t take a saint to ease homelessness. But Dr. Jim tries in “Rough Sleepers.” Jim O’Connell, the physician who founded Boston’s Health Care for the Homeless Program, is the face of Tracy Kidder’s new book “Rough Sleepers.” Kidder joins the Los Angeles Times Book Club on Jan. 26.

“I’m Japanese and I didn’t know,” Gwen Stefani says. In a bizarre Allure interview, the Orange County-bred No Doubt frontwoman insisted repeatedly that she is Japanese, reigniting the conversation about cultural appropriation and her long track record of misappropriation.


Antisemitism is seeping into the workplace. A 2022 study published in the academic journal Socius surveying 11,356 workers of all faiths found that more than half of the Jewish respondents experienced discrimination at work.

Move over, hot chicken sandwiches. In-N-Out Burger is coming to Tennessee. The California chain announced plans this week for its most eastward expansion to date, with plans to open restaurants and a corporate hub in Tennessee.


George Santos is trying to pull a De León. Will either of them get away with it? It’s the latest trend among politicians accused of wrongdoing: Brazen it out. Stand firm in the face of accusations that in any previous era would probably have ended your career. And see what happens, writes columnist Nicholas Goldberg.

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“You won too fast too soon”: NFL coaches on Sean McVay, burnout and the pressure of winning. What will McVay do? Will he continue to coach the team. Whatever McVay decides, there’s a community of former NFL coaches, some of them in the Hall of Fame, who are all too familiar with the pressures of the job.

Dodgers acquire shortstop Miguel Rojas from the Marlins. The 6-foot, 188-pound Rojas, who made his big league debut with the Dodgers in 2014, was acquired more for his glove and strong and accurate throwing arm than his bat.


A woman stands by three illuminated cylinders with mushrooms growing out of them

Art enthusiasts sample mushrooms from an installation titled Edible Mushroom Lamp, 2022, by Elena Petrossian and Veronica Gonzalez, an artist duo known as Ananas Ananas.

(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

The food is the art. Illuminated mushrooms, sculptural sausage and hanging fruit mobiles: These food designers are pushing boundaries at parties and openings in L.A. Ananas Ananas food-design studio, based in Los Angeles and Baja California’s Ensenada, is exploring new sensory experiences with edible food sculptures and installations.


a woman stands among debris from a collapsed building

Haiti was rocked by a 7.0 earthquake 13 years ago.

(Los Angeles Times)

A mighty earthquake rocked the island nation of Haiti 13 years ago. The 7.0 quake collapsed a hospital, the presidential palace and other buildings, triggering a massive panic and claiming the lives of about 220,000 people.

The quake was centered about 10 miles west of Port-au-Prince and was shallow, just five miles deep. It struck about 4:53 p.m., hitting one of the city’s most densely populated areas.

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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