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Alex Villanueva was elected as Los Angeles County sheriff in 2018 with support from progressives riding an anti-Trump wave. But since he took office, he has shifted to the right. His opponent in the November election, retired Long Beach Police Chief Robert Luna, leads in the polls.But at a time when issues surrounding law enforcement are part of a national conversation, how much do they differ? We talk about it, as we hear from both candidates at a debate this month. Read the full transcript here.Host: Gustavo ArellanoGuests: L.A. Times law enforcement reporter Alene TchekmedyianMore reading:Luna, Villanueva trade charges in antagonistic L.A. sheriff debateAlex Villanueva thought his ‘Quien es más Latino?’ strategy would sink his opponent. NopeSheriff Villanueva in tight race as challenger Robert Luna has edge in new poll
Record heat. Record drought. Record floods. Record hail. Record bad air. In a world where climate disasters seem to break records every year, do records even mean anything anymore? And if not, then what’s next when it comes to measuring climate misery?Today, we reconvene our Masters of Disasters to examine this existential question. Read the full transcript here.Host: Gustavo ArellanoGuests: L.A. Times wildfire reporter Alex Wigglesworth, L.A. Times energy reporter Sammy Roth, and L.A. Times air quality reporter Tony Briscoe.More reading:Destructive rain in Death Valley, flooded Vegas casinos mark a summer of extreme weatherAs forests go up in smoke, so will California’s climate planCalifornia’s epic heat wave is over. Here’s what we learned
Crimes for rhymes?

Crimes for rhymes?


There are dozens if not hundreds of cases involving prosecutors using rap lyrics that are about crimes as evidence of actual crimes, even when there was no other credible evidence. But finally, the recording industry and California lawmakers are pushing to put an end to the practice.Today, we talk about groundbreaking legislation that could limit how music is used as evidence in criminal court. Read the full transcript here.Host: Gustavo ArellanoGuests: L.A. Times columnist Erika D. SmithMore reading:Column: America loves rap, not Black people. Don’t be fooled because this bill protects lyricsRapper ‘Tiny Doo’ and college student arrested under controversial gang law get day in court against policeSan Diego council approves $1.5M payout to two men jailed under controversial gang law
Ever since California legalized cannabis in 2016, the state’s weed market has become a multi-billion dollar industry. It’s estimated to be the largest legal market of its kind in the world. But whenever you get that much money anywhere; well, you’re gonna get political corruption.Today, our investigation into how illegal moves around marijuana are plaguing city halls across the state. Read the full transcript here.Host: Gustavo ArellanoGuests: L.A. Times investigative reporter Adam ElmahrekMore reading:$250,000 cash in a brown paper bag.’ How legal weed unleashed corruption in CaliforniaLegal Weed, Broken Promises: A Times series on the fallout of legal pot in CaliforniaWould this California town have become so pro-cannabis if not for a councilwoman’s pot industry ties?
Housing L.A.’s homeless population has unsurprisingly proved to be a herculean task. With tens of thousands of people on the streets, it’s become a top issue for this year’s mayoral election in November. But until now, neither candidate — Congresswoman Karen Bass and real estate developer Rick Caruso — had offered specifics on the type of housing they would create, where it would be or how much it would cost.So we asked. Read the full transcript here.Host: Gustavo ArellanoGuests: L.A. Times reporters Ben Oreskes and Doug SmithMore reading:Bass and Caruso have talked big on homelessness. Now they’re offering some detailsCan Bass or Caruso solve the L.A. homeless housing crisis? Here are their divergent plansBass, Caruso sling mud over USC scholarship, alleged hacks and homelessness fixes
Sometime soon, NASA plans to launch a powerful new rocket. The launch is part of an ambitious quest to get people back to the moon for the first time in half a century — and just maybe, even further.Today, why the U.S. and its partners are determined to go back to the moon and the role politics plays when we reach for the stars. Read the full transcript here.Host: Gustavo ArellanoGuests: L.A. Times business reporter Samantha MasunagaMore reading:NASA’s return to the moon is delayed again after scrub because of fuel leakColumn One: 50 years after Apollo 11, the moon’s allure still resonatesReaders remember the Apollo 11 moon landing, 50 years later
California voters legalized cannabis in 2016, and one of the issues that was supposed to be solved was the violence and environmental wreckage associated with the drug’s illegal trade. But that hasn’t happened.Inside California’s famed “Emerald Triangle,” a region north of San Francisco known for its weed, there’s an estimated 5,000 to 10,000 illegal cannabis farms alone. The under-the-radar cultivation is messing with once-peaceful communities. Today, we get into this issue. Read the full transcript here.Host: Gustavo ArellanoGuests: L.A. Times investigative reporter Paige St. JohnMore reading:Legal Weed, Broken Promises: A Times series on the fallout of legal pot in CaliforniaNobody knows how widespread illegal cannabis grows are in California. So we mapped themThe reality of legal weed in California: Huge illegal grows, violence, worker exploitation and deaths
A Los Angeles Times analysis found that thousands of short-term Airbnb rentals are in California’s most hazardous fire zones. But the company does not provide warnings or evacuation information to guests when they make a reservations, and some customers say the company’s refund policy adds to the potential dangers.Today, as climate change threatens so many aspects of our lives, are even our vacations not safe anymore? Read the full transcript here.Host: Gustavo ArellanoGuests: L.A. Times reporters Ben Poston and Alex WigglesworthMore reading:In California’s high-risk fire country, Airbnb offers guests no warning or escape planIs your vacation rental in a risky wildfire zone? What you need to knowCalifornia fires are burning faster, hotter, more intensely — and getting harder to fight
Street takeovers. Street races. Burnouts. They’re the latest manifestations of car culture in the region — cousins to the drag races, lowrider cruises, V-dub love-ins and other gear-head gatherings that’ve gone on here for decades. But what you’re seeing right now — a lot of people say the scene feels different. And some people say the film franchise “Fast & Furious” is to blame.In a region where car culture is king and stunts are all over social media, residents, politicians and law enforcement have had enough. Read the full transcript here.Host: Gustavo ArellanoGuests: L.A. Times reporter Nathan SolisMore reading:Inside L.A.’s deadly street takeover scene: ‘A scene of lawlessness’19 cars seized, 27 arrested in illegal street takeover in PomonaLA Times Today: Dangerous street takeovers take a deadly toll on L.A.
There’s a Gold Rush right now happening in Wyoming — for wind. Billionaire developers are putting up wind turbines to help power California and turn the American West, long a place where fossil fuels ruled, into a green energy powerhouse.But not everyone is happy. Today, we get into the challenges around what’s planned to be the largest wind farm in the country. Read the full transcript here.Host: Gustavo ArellanoGuests: L.A. Times energy reporter Sammy RothMore reading:Read our “Repowering the West” series hereThis power line could save California — and forever change the American WestSign up for our Boiling Point newsletter
Mexico president Andrés Manuel López Obrador came into office promising to get the military off the streets. Instead, he’s more than doubled their numbers. He claims there’s just no other way to handle Mexico’s narco-violence.Today, we look at Mexico’s delicate dance with its military. It’s an institution that’s among the most trusted in the nation, and potentially its most dangerous. Read the full transcript here.Host: Gustavo ArellanoGuests: L.A. Times Latin America correspondent Kate LinthicumMore reading:Mexico’s president vowed to end the drug war. Instead he’s doubled the number of troops in the streetsMexico’s military gains power as president turns from critic to partnerMexico sent in the army to fight the drug war. Many question the toll on society and the army itself
For her role as Shauna in “Yellowjackets,” Melanie Lynskey has an Emmy nomination for lead actress in a drama series. Today, we've got another episode from our sister podcast "The Envelope." Lynskey joins host Yvonne Villarreal to dish on how this year has helped her feel more empowered and less underestimated, arriving at a place of self-love after struggling with an eating disorder, and why now is the time for ferocious female characters. She also busts out her Drew Barrymore impression and gets a brief, adorable visit from a special guest. Read the full transcript here. Host: Yvonne Villarreal Guest: Melanie LynskeyMore reading: ‘Yellowjackets’ star Melanie Lynskey is celebrating her Emmy nod by ... buying a fridge‘Yellowjackets’ creators break down ‘heartbreaking’ finale — and your fan theoriesSebastian Stan, Melanie Lynskey and more discuss teaching directors about acting
Millions of Americans who attended college could have their debt completely canceled or reduced under a plan announced by President Joe Biden last week. But the move is unsurprisingly stirring debate among the right and left, but for completely different reasons.Today, we talk about how this announcement might impact the midterms. Read the full transcript here.Host: Gustavo ArellanoGuests: L.A. Times national reporter Arit JohnMore reading:For many with student loans, the interest hurts the most. This congressman would knowStudent loan forgiveness: Everything you need to knowWhy Californians with student loans will gain massively from forgiveness plan
After displacement from Haiti, an exodus from South America and an epic journey through the Americas, what became of Haitians’ American dream? Today, in the final episode of the “Line in the Land” podcast produced by Texas Public Radio and the Houston Chronicle, we hear from Haitian migrants about where they ended up. Read the full transcript here.Hosts: Joey Palacios of Texas Public Radio, and Elizabeth Trovall with the Houston ChronicleMore reading:Listen to all “Line in the Land” episodesThe Times podcast: Our nation’s Haitian double standardHaitians in L.A. Spread Out and Blend InThis podcast is made possible by the Catana Foundation, supporting the asylum seeker advocacy project, providing more than 100,000 asylum seekers in the U.S. with community and legal support. Learn more at For the Spanish version of this episode, listen here.
One year ago this month, U.S. forces left Afghanistan after 20 years of war. Some 94,000 Afghan nationals, American citizens and lawful permanent residents have arrived in the U.S. as part of Operation Allies Welcome, according to the Department of Homeland Security. Today, we hear some of their stories. Read the full transcript here.Host: Gustavo ArellanoGuests: L.A. Times diaspora reporter Sarah Parvini and photojournalist Marcus YamMore reading:They escaped Afghanistan for California and beyond. But war’s struggles followed themThe things they carried when they fled AfghanistanThe cadence of war and its human toll: A photojournalist’s perspectiveA Times journalist’s diary inside the fall of Afghanistan 
In 1999 in New York, Serena Williams won her first major tennis title at the U.S. Open. Everyone knew she was gonna be a star in the sport and a transformational one too, but few thought she would become the greatest of all time.Today, we talk about the legacy of Serena Williams, not just as an athlete, but as a woman — a Black woman. And what’s next for the tennis icon. Read the full transcript here.Host: Gustavo ArellanoGuests: Broadcast journalist Cari ChampionMore reading:Column: Serena Williams makes a conscious choice to give up tennis and focus on her familyColumn: The mind of Serena WilliamsLA Times Today: Serena Williams’ legacy on and off the court
For his role as Ali in “Euphoria,” Colman Domingo has an Emmy nomination for outstanding guest actor in a drama series. Today, we've got another episode from our sister podcast, "The Envelope." Domingo joins "The Envelope" host Mark Olsen to discuss how his character — who is the sponsors to a struggling teenage drug addict played by Zendaya — is a symbol of redemption and forgiveness, which he feels our culture desperately needs. He also dishes on why he calls himself a nerd, how he almost walked away from his career, and why being “a shapeshifter” means his real-life looks take people by surprise. Read the full transcript here.More reading:Colman Domingo creates a theater award for Black menThe lives of Colman Domingo: acting in ‘Fear the Walking Dead,’ writing ‘Dot,’ directing ‘Barbecue’ at the GeffenZendaya hopes ‘Euphoria’ fans ‘still see the good’ in Rue after she ‘hits rock bottom’
Surprise, surprise: California cities are banning new gas stations and other cities across the world are watching. The bans are part of an ongoing quest to combat climate change, this time on a local municipal level. The movement is small so far, but now even the car capital of the world, Los Angeles, is thinking about it.Today, what would happen if L.A. hops on this no-new-gas-station brigade. And what we can learn from the cities that’ve already done it. Read the full transcript here.Host: Gustavo ArellanoGuests: L.A. Times Fast Break Desk reporter Grace TooheyMore reading:California cities ban new gas stations in battle to combat climate changeEditorial: Ban new gas stations? There are better ways for L.A. to ditch fossil fuelsLA Times Today: California cities ban new gas stations to combat climate change
How Haiti got here

How Haiti got here


When an earthquake devastated Haiti in 2010, the international community pledged billions of dollars toward recovery. Much of that aid never went to rebuilding Haiti – or even to the Haitian people. But Haiti’s instability goes back even farther. In fact, it has a lot to do with outside political forces dating back to the country’s origin story as the world’s first Black republic.Today, episode 4 of “Line in the Land,” a podcast from Texas Public Radio and the Houston Chronicle. We’ll be back with episode 5 next Tuesday. We’re airing an episode from “A Line in the Land” every Tuesday through the end of August.Read the full transcript here.Host: Joey Palacios with Texas Public Radio and Elizabeth Trovall with the Houston Chronicle.More reading:Haiti’s struggle has worsened in the year since the slaying of its presidentAs Haiti reels from crises, U.S. policy decisions are called into questionOp-Ed: The West owes a centuries-old debt to HaitiBinge all the episodes of "Line in the Land" here. Episodes are in both English and Spanish. "Line in the Land" was made possible, in part, by the Catena Foundation, providing more than 100,000 asylum seekers in the U.S. with community and legal support. Learn more at
Two of the largest race discrimination cases investigated by the federal government in the past decade allege widespread abuse of hundreds of Black employees by supervisors and coworkers at warehouses in Southern California’s Inland Empire. Anti-black bias on the job is sadly nothing new. But as the Latino population across the US, and especially California continues to grow, anti-Black bias by Latinos in the workplace is drawing renewed scrutiny.Read the full transcript here.Host: Gustavo ArellanoGuests: L.A. Times labor reporter Margot RooseveltMore reading:In California’s largest race bias cases, Latino workers are accused of abusing Black colleaguesHorrific allegations of racism prompt California lawsuit against TeslaFight over jobs divides interests of Blacks, Latinos
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