The Times: Daily news from the L.A. Times

The Times: Daily news from the L.A. Times

“The Times” is a podcast from the Los Angeles Times hosted by columnist Gustavo Arellano along with reporters from our diverse newsroom. Every weekday, our podcast takes listeners beyond the headlines, with our West Coast outlook on the world. News, entertainment, the environment, immigration, politics, the criminal justice system, the social safety net, food and culture — “The Times” exists at the epicenter of it all. Through interviews and original stories, “The Times” is the audio guide you need to understand the day’s news, the world and how California shapes it. Listen everywhere podcasts are available.

Episodes

January 24, 2022 16 min

Native American culture and history have long been ignored or romanticized as vestiges of a lost people — or both.

The Serrano people of Southern California have seen their Indigenous language nearly vanish. But tribe member Ernest Siva has been working to save it. Among his efforts: The octogenarian contributes to Cal State San Bernardino’s language program.

Then, 25-year-old Mark Araujo-Levinson found the classes through a Google s...

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Felicia Rangel-Samponaro used to live a fairly normal life as a suburban stay-at-home mom in the border city of Brownsville, Texas. But now the half Black, half Mexican-American mom crosses the border to help Black and Latino migrants, many of them asylum seekers stuck in camps in the border town of Reynosa, Mexico. 

Today, we hear her story.

More reading: 

The woman defending Black lives on the border, including her own 

Podcast: Our ...

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January 20, 2022 23 min

For over 140 years, street vendors hawking Mexican food have been a staple of life in Southern California. Horse-drawn tamale wagons turned into taco trucks, turned into hot dog carts, turned into pop-up tents — …and, eventually, hipsters caught on and these trends went national.

But even as SoCal has become famous worldwide for its street food scene, government officials have amped up their war on it.

Today, we examine one city’s cr...

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January 19, 2022 20 min

This past December brought record-high amounts of snow to the Sierra Nevada, California’s main mountain range. The state, of course, has suffered for years from bad, bad drought, so we should all be happy that the dry days are over with all this snow, right? In fact, those who monitor such things are saying we should be saving water more than ever. Because there’s a real possibility that one day, blizzards in the West might be gone...

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January 18, 2022 24 min

The COVID-19 era is rough, to say the least. But let’s put it in perspective. Every pandemic ends eventually, and this one will too.

Today, assistant editor Jessica Roy with the L.A. Times’ utility journalism team walks us through a century of past pandemics — from the 1918 flu to SARS — and the different ways they resolved, and she describes what’s likely to happen in our future.

Then medical historian Frank Snowden, a professor eme...

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Two years ago, Nikole Hannah-Jones launched “The 1619 Project,” a collection of New York Times Magazine articles, photography and podcasts. That project became a launching point to talk about Black people’s roles in shaping the United States. Hannah-Jones has been praised and vilified for her work ever since.

Today, we share highlights from a L.A. Times Book Club chat between Hannah-Jones and L.A. Times executive editor Kevin Merida...

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January 14, 2022 30 min

COVID-19 has been devastating for everyone, but in the United States, there’s one demographic hit particularly hard: Latinos. According to the California Department of Public Health, Latinos make up about 39 percent of the state’s population but nearly half of all cases and 45 percent of all deaths. A perfect storm of factors made Latinos especially vulnerable to the coronavirus: Multigenerational households. Crowded neighborhoods....

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January 13, 2022 17 min

How the hell does a chain based on an orphaned mouse who plays in a band survive and thrive? Very carefully. Today, we’ll talk to L.A. Times business reporter Samantha Masunaga about the company, and we’ll hear from its new chief executive about everything Chuck E. Cheese, including its infamous animatronic band.

More reading:

How do you make a 44-year-old animatronic rodent appeal to today’s kids? 

Chuck E. Cheese unveils a new look ...

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A Gallup poll last fall found that 45% of full-time U.S. employees were still working from home at least some of their hours. A full quarter of them exclusively work from home. Because of this, companies are increasingly using technology to monitor the activities of their workers while they’re on the clock, wherever they are. 

Today, we examine how and why companies are spying on their workers at home… and whether there’s a backlash...

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January 11, 2022 39 min

Issa Rae is the brilliant, hilarious mind behind the recently concluded HBO show “Insecure.” In this crossover episode with The Envelope, Rae talks about the incredible trajectory of her career, from a YouTuber turned Hollywood powerhouse, and how she repped South Los Angeles in a way that wasn’t just real but uplifting.

More reading:

 Issa Rae almost ended ‘Insecure’ differently. But she couldn’t ‘deny Issa her soulmate’ 

Issa Rae on...

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January 10, 2022 18 min

To fight climate change, municipalities across the United States are banning natural gas lines from being installed in new buildings. That means no gas stoves. Politicians and policymakers in those places — Berkeley being one of the first — want people to use electric appliances, such as electric stovetops or the more advanced induction stovetop. (There’s a health factor too. Open flames put out some gases you might not want to bre...

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It’s been a season of crime in California. Smash-and-grab thefts, follow-home robberies, high-profile murders — national, even international news accounts have painted a Golden State of chaos.

The numbers tell a different story: Some major crime indicators are up, but others are down, and they’re nowhere near historical highs. But that reality isn’t placating anyone. And when Californians get mad about crime — watch out, America.

Tod...

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January 6, 2022 23 min

Across Latin America, the political left is making a comeback not seen since the 2000s. Izquierdista presidential candidates won recent elections in Peru and Honduras. Activists are mounting protests against the conservative presidents of Brazil and Colombia.

The left’s biggest win so far is in Chile, where Gabriel Boric was elected president last month. He’ll take office in a country that’s about to rewrite its constitution, which ...

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January 5, 2022 21 min

Hopefully the COVID-19 nightmare will soon wane, but it’s unlikely to be the last pandemic of our lifetimes. Because the virus that will cause the next pandemic is probably already out there.

Animals carry hundreds of thousands of viruses that have the potential to infect humans. Buffer zones between where people live and where wild animals live lower the risk of viruses jumping from another species to our own. But now human behavio...

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January 4, 2022 22 min

Los Angeles Times congressional correspondent Sarah D. Wire knew she was in for a historic day when she walked into the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021. She was there to cover the counting of the electoral college votes for the 2020 presidential election.

Because of then-President Trump’s allegations of election fraud, she was expecting controversy. But she didn’t expect to be caught in the middle of an insurrection.

Today, Sarah tells ...

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Kevin Merida became the Los Angeles Times’ executive editor last summer at a tumultuous time. Newsroom morale was down, the publication had lost $50 million in 2020, and several of his recent predecessors hadn’t endeared themselves to staffers. So what drew him to the job?

Today, Merida reflects on the first six months of his tenure, talks about his vision for the L.A. Times and answers the eternal Southern California question: What...

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Skateboarding is a mainstay of California street culture, from San Diego to San Francisco and beyond. It’s so popular that L.A. County filled outdoor skateparks with sand earlier in the pandemic so no one could grind on them.

But during the pandemic, skateboard sales surged — and communities long marginalized from the sport are now making their own spaces.

Today we talk to reporter Cerise Castle, who’s covering and participating in t...

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Video games had always been a point of division between L.A. Times science reporter Deborah Netburn and her 12-year-old son. Then the pandemic hit, and the gap between them seemed to widen. 

Today, Netburn shares her journey from ignorance to understanding. She did it by playing the games.

An earlier version of this episode was published May 7, 2021. 

More reading: Video games came between me and my son in the pandemic. Could they bri...

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December 28, 2021 29 min

This year, the Chinese Communist Party kicked off its 100th anniversary by celebrating China’s economic success and ambitions to create a new world order. The festivities, of course, are carefully choreographed. For decades, the Communist Party has crushed any counter-narratives to promote a whitewashed version of Chinese history. Those who deviate from the party’s official narrative suffer retribution — and in recent days, records...

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December 27, 2021 29 min

Two years ago, the world watched as millions of people in Hong Kong marched in the streets to call for autonomy from China. Beijing responded by passing a national security law last summer that broadly defined acts of subversion, foreign collusion and terrorism. Critics say the law crushed civil liberties. Since it was enacted, many people have fled Hong Kong — some to neighboring Taiwan. Yet Taiwan, a self-governing island that Ch...

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