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A Big Oil Spill Off the Orange County Coast Closes Beaches and Endangers Habitats

Orange County Oil Spill October 2021
DAVID MCNEW/AFP via Getty Images
Workers in boats try to clean up floating oil near gulls in the Talbert Marshlands as a 3,000-barrel oil spill, about 126,000 gallons, from an offshore oil rig reaches the shore and sensitive wildlife habitats in Newport Beach, California.

Big Oil Spill Off the Orange County Coast Closes Beaches and Endangers Habitats

A major oil spill off the Orange County coast now spans 5.8 nautical miles, and has released 126,000 gallons of oil. The spill was first reported Saturday morning. The source is believed to be a leak in an underwater pipeline connected to an offshore oil rig platform. Booms have been deployed on the ocean surface to try and contain the oil, while crews are racing to find wildlife harmed by the oil. A press conference on the oil spill is scheduled for 10 am, and we’ll carry it live on KPCC.

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COVID-19 AMA: U.S. “Turning A Corner” On Surge, J&J To Seek Booster Authorization & More

Covid Update 10.4.21

Scientists pursuing a pan-coronavirus vaccine to protect against many coronaviruses

In our continuing series looking at the latest medical research and news on COVID-19, Larry Mantle speaks with Dean Blumberg, M.D., professor of medicine and chief of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at UC Davis Children’s Hospital

Topics today include:

  • Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor denies NYC teachers’ appeal of vaccine mandate
  • Experts say everyone is likely to get infected at some point
  • Opinion: At-home rapid tests are answer to COVID-19
  • Fauci: U.S. is turning a corner on surge
  • New Zealand abandons its strategy to completely eliminate COVID-19 from the country
  • CDC releases its recommendations for the upcoming holiday season
  • J&J seeking FDA authorization of vaccine booster
  • National Guard assists rural Northern California hospitals as fires occur and vaccination rates remain low
  • Scientists pursuing a pan-coronavirus vaccine to protect against many coronaviruses

Supreme Court Meets To Set New Docket Of Potentially Major Cases

New SCOTUS Term 10.4.21

Guns, abortion, the death penalty, and the line between church and state — all cases that may end up on the Supreme Court docket this term. The nine justices met in-person this morning for the first time since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic to decide which of these blockbuster cases will move forward. Joining us to talk about the cases and the impact they could have are Amy Howe, reporter and former editor for SCOTUSblog, and Kimberly Robinson, legal editor at Bloomberg. Email us your comment at, or call 866-893-5722.

What We Know About The Offshore Oil Platform Owner And What Caused Major Spill

Oil Spill Latest 10.4.21

Residents, business owners and environmentalists were questioning whether officials reacted quickly enough to contain one of the largest oil spills in recent California history. The spill was caused by a suspected leak in an underwater pipeline that fouled the sands of famed Huntington Beach. The pipeline is owned by Amplify Energy. CEO Martyn Willsher said Sunday that divers were still trying to determine exactly where the leak occurred. The pipeline and three oil platforms it serves have been shut down. Officials said at least 126,000 gallons of oil spilled into the waters off Orange County. Beaches could remain closed for weeks or even months.

Today on AirTalk, we get the latest from KPCC/LAist senior reporter Jill Replogle, who has been following the story for us, Orange County Supervisor Katrina Foley and Newport Beach Mayor Brad Avery.

With files from the Associated Press

Results Are In From IATSE’s Strike Authorization Vote

IATSE Strike Update 10.4.21

Crew members on film and TV shoots from across disciplines have been voting throughout the weekend on whether to authorize a strike that could grind production in Hollywood and across the country to a halt if negotiations between it and the producers' union ultimately break down. The International Association of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) and the union for producers, the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producer (AMPTP), are at odds over a number of issues, key among them the long, grueling schedules that IATSE members say they are typically required to adhere to in order to keep their jobs and want more flexible schedules with longer turnaround times. The producers union has made some concessions, but IATSE members don’t feel they’ve gone far enough.

Today on AirTalk, KPCC/LAist arts and entertainment reporter and host John Horn drops by to share what we know about the results of the vote that started on Friday.

Recapping The Latest Backlash Against Facebook And Why There’s Growing Concern About Teens And Social Media

Instagram and Teens 10.4.21

The Wall Street Journal recently broke a story revealing internal documents from Facebook Inc. that show the company is aware of how its photo-centric social media platform Instagram negatively impacts teen girls’ mental health. According to the report, Facebook has been conducting research into how Instagram affects young users, while at the same time planning to release a version of Instagram for users under the age of 13. Those plans have now been put on pause following backlash to the reports. The reports also sparked a subcommittee hearing last week on Capitol Hill, with company leaders telling lawmakers that the WSJ mischaracterized the research. A second hearing is scheduled for Tuesday with the whistle blower who shared the internal documents. Today on AirTalk, we talk with WSJ reporter Georgia Wells and Jean Twenge, author of “iGen: Why Today's Super-Connected Kids Are Growing Up Less Rebellious, More Tolerant, Less Happy and Completely Unprepared for Adulthood. How has Instagram impacted your mental health?

We reached out to Facebook, but did not receive a response to our request for an interview. 

Breaking Down The Implications & Impact Of Newsom’s Recent Vaccine Mandate For Students

Student Vaccine Requirement 10.4.21

On Friday Governor Gavin Newsom announced both public and private school students 12 and older need to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to continue in-person learning. The mandate won’t take effect immediately; the vaccines must receive final approval from the federal government for specific age groups first. However, the state's largest school district, LAUSD, has already mandated that eligible students be vaccinated by the time the next semester starts in January.

The requirement brings renewed questions about the legality of COVID-19 requirements like this - and whether parents and students can seek exemptions. Today on AirTalk, Larry speaks with Dorit Reiss, professor of law at UC Hastings and LA Times education reporter Howard Blume.

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