February 1, 2023

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Fascinating Talks of the Planet

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- Meg James
Will 'Rust' assistant director testimony help prosecutors, or Alec Baldwin?

'Rust' assistant director David Halls has agreed to testify in criminal cases brought by the prosecution. "Maybe his testimony will be more helpful to Mr. Baldwin," Halls' attorney said.

- Alexandra E. Petri
Skeptical family orders independent autopsy of O.C. public defender who died in Mexico

The body of Elliot Blair has been returned to Southern California, where his family has ordered an independent autopsy, according to their attorney.

- Tracy Wilkinson
Blinken visits the Palestinian West Bank, where residents are disillusioned and leaders are angry

Visiting the Mideast, Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken reiterates support for the two-state solution, even as its prospects seem to be vanishing.

- Ian James
The river's end: Amid Colorado water cuts, Mexico seeks to restore its lost oasis

In Mexico, where the shrinking Colorado River no longer flows to the sea, some are calling for a "water revolution."

- Christie D'Zurilla
Charges against R. Kelly to be dropped due to 'extensive sentences' in federal cases

R. Kelly won't face state charges in Illinois due to 'extensive sentences' after federal convictions for child porn, sex trafficking and more.

- Tracy Wilkinson
Blinken urges calm, supports Palestinian state in meeting with Israel's Netanyahu

Blinken held several hours of consultations in one-on-one meetings with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Isaac Herzog and Foreign Minister Eli Cohen, who has been on the job just under a month as part of Netanyahu's new far-right government.

- Terry Castleman
Former UCLA lecturer accused of making violent threats ruled mentally unfit to stand trial

Matthew Harris, who was arrested after allegedly threatening UCLA students and staff, was found mentally unfit to stand trial by a U.S. District Court judge.

- Andrea Castillo
California fines detention center operator $100,000 over immigrants' working conditions

A CAL/OSHA investigation found six violations of state code at an immigrant detention center in McFarland, Calif., leading to $104,510 in fines.

- Libor Jany
Memphis officials: 7 police officers suspended in connection with Tyre Nichols beating

Officials announced the suspension of a sixth and seventh Memphis police officer in connection with the brutal beating of Tyre Nichols.

- Ian James
'A living spirit': Native people push for changes to protect the Colorado River

As climate change and overuse threaten the Colorado River, Native American tribes seek a larger role in the river's stewardship.

- Stephanie Yang
Burned out by COVID, Chinese professionals take up nomadic life: 'I wasted so much time'

As China's economy slows, more young people are exploring nomadic lifestyles in a rebuke of societal pressure to work hard, buy a home, start a family.

- Libor Jany
In the city where Tyre Nichols was killed, some refuse to watch beating video that 'exploits' Black grief

While the video of Nichols' beating by five since-fired Memphis police officers racked up nearly 2 million views in less than 24 hours, some people say they're refusing to watch the footage because it feels exploitive of Black grief.

- Tracy Wilkinson
Is Israel's new government destroying democracy? Blinken surveys situation on Middle East trip

Tens of thousands of Israelis have poured into the streets each weekend to protest changes Netanyahu and his coalition are planning that opponents believe will curtail civil liberties.

- Molly Hennessy-Fiske, Ian James
How Las Vegas declared war on thirsty grass and set an example for the desert Southwest

Las Vegas has dramatically cut water use by targeting grass. Its water czars are pushing for bigger changes to fix the Colorado River's water deficit.

- Doyle McManus
Biden's documents misstep helps Trump politically — and legally too

The discovery of classified documents in Biden's garage will make it harder for special prosecutor Jack Smith to indict former President Trump for keeping documents at Mar-a-Lago.

- Libor Jany, Matthew Ormseth, Christopher Goffard
Memphis disbands police unit linked to beating death of Tyre Nichols, as protests continue

Memphis police chief scuttles the "Scorpion" anti-crime unit in response to "heinous actions" by five of its members involved in Tyre Nichols' death.

- Erika D. Smith
Column: In comparing Tyre Nichols to Rodney King, we're missing this point about policing

With five Black ex-cops charged with murder in Memphis, Tenn., Lora King reflects on what has changed since her father was beaten by the LAPD in 1991.

- Tracy Wilkinson
High-level U.S. diplomatic mission to Middle East overshadowed by violence

Antony J. Blinken had hoped to broach a wide agenda in the Middle East. But after deadly attacks in the region, security again tops the list.

- Jaweed Kaleem
What Tyre Nichols' death at the hands of Black officers says about race in policing

With five Black officers charged with murder in the beating death of Black motorist Tyre Nichols, what do we know about the role race plays in policing?

- Richard Winton, Noah Goldberg
'Far worse than Rodney King': Videos of Tyre Nichols police beating show 'sadistic' rage, experts say

The brutality shown in graphic videos of Memphis police officers beating Tyre Nichols was roundly condemned by law enforcement use-of-force experts as indefensible and "sadistic."

- Melissa Healy
FDA revokes authorization for key anti-COVID drug, a blow for vulnerable Americans

Evusheld was designed to protect immunocompromised people from serious cases of COVID-19, but the latest Omicron variants have rendered the drug useless.

- Times Photography Staff
Photos: Communities around the country react to the release of Tyre Nichols police video

The city of Memphis, Tenn., has released the video footage of police officers beating Tyre Nichols after a traffic stop.

- Noah Goldberg, James Queally, Libor Jany
After Tyre Nichols' beating death, Memphis police 'SCORPION' unit under fire

All five of the Memphis police officers charged with murder in the beating of Tyre Nichols are members of the department's "SCORPION" unit.

- Seema Mehta
Ronna McDaniel beats California challenger to remain Republican National Committee chair

RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel beats back an insurgent challenge from conservative California lawyer Harmeet Dhillon in the race to lead the national GOP.

- Noah Goldberg
What you need to know about the Tyre Nichols killing and police videos

The city of Memphis released video Friday showing Tyre Nichols being shot with a Taser, pepper-sprayed, beaten and restrained for three minutes by police.