» With gas prices soaring across the country—and reaching record highs in California—President Joe Biden on Wednesday called on the Federal Trade Commission to investigate if “illegal conduct” is the cause for the uptick. “The bottom line is this: gasoline prices at the pump remain high, even though oil and gas companies’ costs are declining. The Federal Trade Commission has authority to consider whether illegal conduct is costing families at the pump. I believe you should do so immediately,” Biden wrote in a letter to FTC Chair Lina Khan. [ABC News]
» Rapper Young Dolph, most known for his 2020 album Rich Slave, was shot and killed Wednesday while he was reportedly buying cookies at a bakery in Memphis. “The world has lost an icon, a great man and beloved artist who has been taken too soon,” a representative from APA Agency said in a statement to Variety about the 36-year-old rapper. “His dedication, drive, hard work and loyalty to all those around him always came first and he will be deeply missed. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family at this most difficult time.” [Variety]
» The Los Angeles Unified School District is planning to loosen some of its COVID restrictions when it comes to masking, quarantining, and testing students in the spring semester. LAUSD announced at its board meeting Tuesday that beginning in January, only unvaccinated students and those with approved exemptions will be required to undergo weekly testing, outdoor masking will only be mandatory for schools where fewer than 85 percent of students are fully vaccinated, and students aged 5 to 11 won’t be required to get a COVID shot. [CBS Los Angeles]
» Britney Spears has been vocal about her excitement since being freed from her nearly 14-year conservatorship last week, but a legal battle still remains for the pop singer. Spears and her attorney Mathew Rosengart have said that they are planning to investigate her father and former management company for abuse and financial mismanagement she alleges occurred during the conservatorship. [The Hollywood Reporter]
» More than 100,000 people died of drug overdoses in the United States during the 12-month period ending April 21, making a new high record, according to provisional data published Wednesday by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Data shows that synthetic opioids, mainly fentanyl, caused nearly two-thirds, or 64 percent, of all drug overdose deaths during that time period. [CNN]
TOP STORIES FROM L.A. MAG
» Sexual Assault Allegations Levied at Santa Monica’s Crossroads School (Exclusive) In a memo obtained by Los Angeles magazine, it was revealed that a female student claims she and 17 of her classmates were assaulted by a fellow student
» The Story Behind Amazon’s L.A. Centric “Fairfax” That’s Streaming Now An LAMag conversation with the creators of the new animated comedy series, which voice stars Billy Porter, Kiersey Clemons, and more
» Staples Center Is Being Renamed And Fans Are Just Not That Into It The home of the Lakers, Clippers, Kings and Sparks will officially become Crypto.com Arena on Christmas day
ONE MORE THING
What Happened to Hollywood’s Mel Gibson Boycott?
Mel Gibson found himself back in the news this week, as the Oscar-winning filmmaker is in talks to direct Lethal Weapon 5, which is being developed exclusively for HBO Max.
While it may be tempting to now call Gibson’s comeback complete, the truth is that he never really went away following his DUI arrest 15 years ago — the one that made international headlines after Gibson hurled anti-Semitic, racist and misogynistic comments at law enforcement officers. That’s what happens in a teflon town where true movie stars have become few and far between, and there’s always a new celebrity scandal to distract from the last one.
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