Morning Brief: A NASA Rover Is Set to Land on Mars Today

Also a UCLA student was arrested in connection with the Capitol riot, and more

» The Perseverance Rover, developed at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, is set to land on Mars today. Considered the most advanced rover ever assembled, the project has been nearly a decade in the making.   [CNN]

» State authorities have fined a McDonald’s franchise found to have fired for workers who spoke out about COVID-19 safety conditions. The operator of a Boyle Heights location was also ordered to offer the employees their jobs back.   [Los Angeles Times]

» Police have arrested a woman who offered to administer fake Botox and Juvaderm injections to undercover officers in a downtown L.A. hotel room. Counterfeit injections or injections conducted by an unlicensed practitioner can cause serious adverse reactions. [KTLA]

» UCLA student Christian Secor, captured on video sitting in the Vice President’s chair during the Capitol insurrection, has been charged with several federal crimes in connection with the day’s events. Orange County-raised Secor has been linked to white supremacist, anti-Semitic, and incel postings online, and may be affiliated with an alt-right group. [Los Angeles Times]

» A stunning new collection of murals has gone up in Compton. The outdoor art project wraps the Del Amo Indoor Shopping Center in colorful works by local street artists.  [L.A. Taco]


» Tweets Mocking California’s Energy Woes Resurface Amid Texas’s Winter Blackouts As Texans grapple with power grid failures in the face of freezing weather, Lone Star State lawmakers once again default to blaming—you guessed it—green energy

» Larry King’s Widow Is Challenging the Deceased Host’s Handwritten Will Shawn King is going to court over the document, which divides her husband’s estate between his children

» 10 of the Best Soups L.A. Has to Offer From chili to chowders, these SoCal restaurants are serving up soul-warming bowls of goodness



ralph bunche
Photo via United Nations

Black History Month Spotlight: Ralph Bunche, the UN’s ‘Incurable Optimist’

Originally from Detroit, Ralph Bunche (1904-1971) moved to Los Angeles with his grandmother in 1918. A gifted intellectual, he graduated summa cum laude from UCLA and began a storied career as a diplomat, academic, and political scientist. After a highly successful stint at the State Department during WWII, he became the “incurable optimist” of the United Nations, drafting the Universal Declaration of Human Rights with Eleanor Roosevelt.

In 1950, he became the first person of color to win the Nobel Peace Prize, which he was awarded for his work in the Middle East as a UN mediator. In 1963 he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom and celebrated for his humanistic view of diplomacy. “The objective of any who sincerely believe in peace,” he stated, “clearly must be to exhaust every honorable recourse in the effort to save the peace.”


Want the Daily Brief in your inbox? Sign up for our newsletters today.