Daily Brief: Michael Bay Denounces Pigeon Murder Allegations

Also, the AI companion program “Replika” was supposedly made with good intentions, but even apps don’t want to be friend-zoned
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TODAY’S ESSENTIAL NEWS

» MLK Day: 38th Annual Kingdom Day Parade Held In South L.A. Martin Luther King Jr. Day was marked Monday by the 38th Kingdom Day Parade, service projects, a Unity Walk in Santa Clarita, a program at the California African American Museum and a Mass at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels. The three-mile parade began at 10 a.m. on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, just west of Western Avenue, and concluded near the K Line’s Leimert Park Station. The theme was “America, the Best Hope of the World.” The grand marshal was George C. Fatheree III, the leader of a team of attorneys who secured the return of Bruce’s Beach to the descendants of Willa and Charles Bruce nearly a century after it had been taken by Manhattan Beach as a result of racial animus. [CNS]

» Los Angeles County Collects 33 Billion Gallons Of Rainwater In Recent Storms Good news has surfaced in Los Angeles County’s ongoing battle with water scarcity. The Los Angeles County Public Works Department announced Monday that more than 33 billion gallons of stormwater have been captured in the early months of the California winter storm season. It is enough to supply 816,000 people with water for an entire year. [KTLA]

» Will California Budget Cuts Take Transit Off Track? California’s projected $22.5 billion deficit means budget cuts are almost inevitable. And you can expect to see pushback from the Legislature on Newsom’s proposals to cut money for public transit. State Sen. Scott Wiener, a San Francisco Democrat, said Thursday that he is analyzing the impacts on transit—and potentially forming a “big coalition” to fight the proposal, which would include transit agencies, advocates and others in the Legislature. [CalMatters]

» Kevin Spacey Honored in Italy Italy’s National Museum of Cinema in Turin paid tribute to Oscar-winning U.S. actor Kevin Spacey, presenting the American Beauty and House of Cards star with its highest honor, the Stella della Mole Award for lifetime achievement. Enzo Ghigo, president of the National Museum, and Vittorio Sgarbi, Undersecretary to the Italian Ministry of Culture, presented Spacey with the prize. “Tonight we’re witnessing Kevin Spacey’s comeback,” said Sgarbi, adding. “The one living through cinema is an immortal man, and it is precisely him that we are awarding this prize to tonight.” The public event marked Spacey’s first since facing sexual assault charges. [THR]

» Desert Wildflowers Are Starting to Sprout Several factors play a role in California’s annual desert wildflower bloom, and rain is perhaps the most important one. The recent storms have given Californians hope for a stunning springtime in the Mojave desert… maybe even a superbloom situation. That hope is being encouraged by early reports of wildflower sightings in what should be January’s chilly, flowerless midpoint. [NBC]

 

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