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Desert Conservation Under President Biden, Coronavirus Crisis Care, Lessons from L.A.'s History with Smallpox




President Biden plans to sign another series of executive actions on his second day in office — focused on dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.
President Biden plans to sign another series of executive actions on his second day in office — focused on dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

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DESERT CONSERVATION WHAT IT MEANS FOR CALIFORNIA

President Biden signs executive actions hours after his inauguration on Wednesday. He is expected to reverse several Trump-era policies.
President Biden signs executive actions hours after his inauguration on Wednesday. He is expected to reverse several Trump-era policies.
Evan Vucci/AP

A leftover plan from the Trump administration would remove protections from millions of acres of California desert lands and open vast areas to solar and wind farm development. We talk about one of the first difficult environmental policy decisions for President Biden, and how the plan exposes tensions between conservationists and the renewable energy industry.

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HOW ARE HOSPITALS HOLDING UP DURING SURGE

Medical staff members check on a patient at the COVID-19 ICU in United Memorial Medical Center in Houston, Texas. Cases and hospitalizations rose dramatically in the U.S. this week.
Medical staff members check on a patient at the COVID-19 ICU in United Memorial Medical Center in Houston, Texas. Cases and hospitalizations rose dramatically in the U.S. this week.
/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Here in LA County, Coronavirus case numbers and positivity rates have stabilized, but officials say it's still too early to say if the surge is over... and the virus remains widespread throughout the county. But the recent dip in hospitalizations HAS given embattled Los Angeles hospitals a little hope. 

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POLICE AND SOCIAL JUSTICE REFORM: WHAT'S NEXT?

Protesters march in downtown Brooklyn over the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis Police officer on June 5, 2020 in New York City.
Protesters march in downtown Brooklyn over the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis Police officer on June 5, 2020 in New York City.
Spencer Platt/Getty Images

After months of calls to defund the police, the city of LA has moved to cut the LAPD's budget and rethink ways to use that money differently in communities. But there is a long way to go in making meaningful reform happen that improves the livelihoods of people in neighborhoods of color. So what should be some of the first steps in getting us there? Over the next several weeks we will have a series of conversations about this with academics, city officials, community groups and police officers in and around Los Angeles.

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COVID: WHAT CAN WE LEARN FROM L.A.'S HISTORY WITH SMALLPOX

Vials of smallpox vaccine sit on a counter before a vaccination on December 16, 2002 at Mid-Florida Biologicals in Altamonte Springs, Florida.
Vials of smallpox vaccine sit on a counter before a vaccination on December 16, 2002 at Mid-Florida Biologicals in Altamonte Springs, Florida.
Chris Livingston/Getty Images

Nearly 160 years ago LA struggled to stem the spread of the Smallpox epidemic a smallpox.  From misinformation to vaccination hesitation, the city faced many of the hurdles we still face today with our COVID-19 response. We talk to a historical journalist about an article she wrote titled: "What The LA Smallpox Epidemics Of The 1800s Can Teach Us About Covid Today" for LAIST.

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CA PROP 22: FUTURE OF GROCERY DELIVERY

Going to the grocery store? Scientists share their advice about what to worry about and what not to.
Going to the grocery store? Scientists share their advice about what to worry about and what not to.
Katrina Wittkamp/Getty Images

Last fall, California voters passed Proposition 22 drafted and backed by Uber, Lyft and doordash. The Prop, which became law this month allows the companies to keep drivers as independent contractors, instead of making them employees with guaranteed pay and health insurance. As critics say they predicted would happen, Prop 22 is now having an effect on the state's wider labor market. The country's second largest grocery store chain, Albertsons is laying off its grocery delivery employees and replacing them with contractors at Doordash.

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