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McKinney fire brings death and destruction | Los Angeles Times

Large fires tend to coincide with severe heat waves, which are taking place more frequently because of climate change, said Park Williams, a climate and wildfire scientist in the geography department at UCLA. “Because the globe is warming and because heat waves tend to be more severe when the land is dry, the dice are loaded toward severe heat waves,” he said. “And when severe heat waves do occur over dry forest areas, then they can translate into gigantic, fast-moving wildfires.”

Abortion and questions of religious liberty | Christian Science Monitor

A growing number of abortion-rights advocates are now pressing the claim in state courts that abortion bans constitute both an establishment of religion and a violation of religious liberty … “Even before Roe, there had been half a century of this kind of claim,” says Cary Franklin, professor of law at the University of California, Los Angeles. “A lot of them got dismissed, or were moot. So we haven’t had a ton of case law, even though people have been filing this kind of suit. However I think more and more people will be arguing that their religious rights are being violated.”

Why so many wildfires in the western U.S.? | New York Times

There’s not necessarily an increase in the number of fires in the West, “but the fires are bigger, more severe, and last longer so the total area burned per year is rapidly increasing,” said Morgan Tingley, an ecologist at the University of California, Los Angeles, who studies the effects of wildfire on Western ecosystems.

California needs laws to curb wage theft | San Diego Union-Tribune

Victor Narro, project director of the UCLA Labor Center, said in a recent phone interview that “it’s not fair to fully blame the labor commissioner for all the issues relating to law enforcement.” He said the Legislature needs to provide the Division of Labor Standards and Enforcement with more tools to expand its capacity for effective enforcement and added, “The problem is that many moderate Democrats tend to be more business-friendly, which can make it harder to move forward innovative labor enforcement bills.”

Sex workers on front lines of monkeypox battle | Rolling Stone

While monkeypox can be transmitted in a variety of ways, sex is an extremely “efficient” mode of transmission, says Dr. Anne Rimoin, an epidemiologist at UCLA, who has been studying monkeypox outbreaks in central Africa for more than 20 years. “Sex by definition is close contact,” she says. “And so of course the more close contact you have, the more likely you are to become infected.”

Do local election officials meddle with outcomes? | The Conversation

(Commentary by UCLA’s Joshua Ferrer) Have these officials, as some charge now, used their authority to interfere with America’s democratic process? Do local election officials abuse their power? The short answer, according to research I conducted with my UCLA colleagues, political scientists Igor Geyn and Daniel Thompson, is that they haven’t so far. Both Democratic and Republican election officials oversee elections with similar partisan outcomes, turnout rates and administrative policies.

Senate Dems hope procedural change can help pass bill | Reuters

The JCT report said the bill’s tax provisions would indirectly raise the effective tax burden on Americans with incomes of $200,000 or less by $16.7 billion in 2023. The tax burden effect in the JCT analysis is due to small estimated reductions of incomes from potential wage cuts that could result from companies’ higher tax bills, or lower stock values, said Kimberly Clausing, a tax law professor at the University of California–Los Angeles and a former U.S. Treasury tax official. (Clausing is also quoted by CNN.)

Congressional bill on semiautomatic weapons | Associated Press

Adam Winkler, a gun policy expert and professor of law at the University of California, Los Angeles, also confirmed that the bill says “you can continue to possess assault weapons that you currently possess, and you can sell those weapons after the date of enactment so long as a licensed dealer conducts a background check.”

Protecting yourself against foodborne illness | US News & World Report

Keeping raw meats and produce separate is not a practice that should end at the grocery store. The best way to do this is to keep raw, fresh produce on the top shelf of your refrigerator and keep your meat in the freezer or tightly wrapped in its original packaging on the bottom shelf. This way, “if they drip, they do not drip on top of produce you might eat raw,” says Dana Ellis Hunnes, a senior clinical dietitian at UCLA medical center in Los Angeles and assistant professor at UCLA Fielding School of Public Health.