Tan skin, blonde hair, and black lungs: your new mental picture of the typical Los Angeles resident.
Based on the American Lung Association's "State of the Air 2014" report, which examined ozone and particle pollution data from 2010, 2011, and 2012, the Los Angeles-Long Beach metropolitan area is home to the most polluted ozone air in the entire country. That's right, Angelenos — despite the juice cleanses and hot yoga, your health mission is being thwarted by the very air you breathe while riding in your top-down convertible in December.
Los Angeles' infamous smog line. (David Butow/Redux/CORBIS)
And it's not just Los Angeles' infamous smog line that is bringing down California's air quality — the top five most polluted cities by ozone are located in the Golden State, with a sixth placing in the top 10.
As for the cleanest ozone air in the country? That belongs to Anchorage, Alaska, though the title changes depending on whether you're measuring by year-round particle pollution or short-term particle pollution.
Now, if you'll excuse me, my native Angeleno lungs and I are off to buy an air purifier. Kimberly Alters
Late-night host and unlikely voice of the health-care debate Jimmy Kimmel was quick to tweet his support of Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine Monday evening, following her announcement that she won't vote for the the Graham-Cassidy health-care bill, the GOP's latest attempt to repeal ObamaCare.
"Thank you @SenatorCollins for putting people ahead of party," he tweeted. "We are all in your debt." Kimmel publicly entered the health-care debate earlier this year, after his son Billy was born with a heart condition and had to undergo emergency surgery when he was just three days old. Kimmel said he doesn't want anyone in the United States to worry about having to pay for life-saving care, and along with his wife, Molly McNearney, has tweeted his thanks to Republicans who have come out against the recent health-care bills — last week, after Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) announced he wouldn't vote for Graham-Cassidy, McNearney tweeted a photo of Billy in a robe with boxing gloves and thanked McCain for "fighting for kids like me." Catherine Garcia
Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine announced Monday evening she is opposed to both versions of the health-care bill sponsored by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) that aims to repeal ObamaCare.
In a statement, Collins said she has three major concerns about the proposal Graham and Cassidy authored last week and the newest version they came up with over the weekend: both make "sweeping changes and cuts in the Medicaid program," "open the door for states to weaken protections for people with pre-existing conditions," and "would lead to higher premiums and reduced coverage for tens of millions of Americans." Collins said there are "many flaws" with the Affordable Care Act that need to be fixed, and her "focus will remain on remedying these problems."
Her decision effectively kills the bill, as Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said last week he did not support it, and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said he's a "no," although he did make a list of demands that, if met, would change his mind. Catherine Garcia
The Senate Finance Committee was forced to briefly delay its hearing on the Republican health-care bill on Monday after police were called in to remove loud protesters, many of whom were representing the disability rights group ADAPT, The Hill reports. The demonstrators chanted "no cuts to Medicaid, save our liberty" and "kill the bill, don't kill me," and could still be heard in the hallways after they'd been removed from the room.
This is Colleen of ADAPT.
I have no idea what this country is supposed to be pic.twitter.com/de86rRuLiM
— Jeff Stein (@JStein_Vox) September 25, 2017
Growing frustrated with the noise, panel chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) snapped: "If you want a hearing, you better shut up."
On Monday, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders reassured Americans that President Trump did not actually declare war on North Korea via tweet.
Sanders' statement ran contrary to claims made earlier in the day by North Korea's foreign minister, Ri Yong Ho. Ri claimed Pyongyang now has the right to shoot down U.S. bombers in international airspace after Trump said Saturday that North Korea "won't be around much longer" if it keeps intimidating America.
"We've not declared war on North Korea," Sanders said. "And frankly the suggestion of that is absurd."
She went on to add: "It is never appropriate for a country to shoot down another country's aircraft when it's over international waters. Our goal is still the same. We continue to seek the peaceful denuclearization of the Korean peninsula. That's our focus." Watch below. Jeva Lange
North Korea said one of Trump's tweets was a declaration of war, but the White House says that's "absurd." pic.twitter.com/xjyljfhrHn
— BuzzFeed News (@BuzzFeedNews) September 25, 2017
After famously dubbing President Trump a "bum" over the weekend, LeBron James doubled down on his comments at the Cleveland Cavaliers' media event on Monday. "The thing that kind of frustrated me and pissed me off a little bit is that [Trump] used the sports platform to try to divide us," James said in response to Trump's comments about NFL protests as well as his decision to disinvite the Golden State Warriors' Stephen Curry from the White House. "It is so amazing what sports can do for everyone, no matter what shape or size or race or ethnicity or religion or whatever … It just brings people together like none other."
James added: "We're not going to let — I'm not going to let ... one individual, no matter the power, no matter the impact that he should have or she should have, ever use sport as a platform to divide us."
LeBron James: "The people run this country. Not one individual. And damn sure not him." pic.twitter.com/b82ojpXkZt
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) September 25, 2017
James also stressed that everyone should try every day to make a difference for others. "We know this is the greatest country in the world," James said. "It's the land of the free. But we still have problems just like everybody else, and when we have those problems we have to figure out how to come together and be as great as we can be as a people. Because the people run this country. Not one individual. And damn sure not him." Jeva Lange
The Supreme Court has removed President Trump's travel ban case from its schedule after the administration announced a new approach over the weekend. Sunday's presidential proclamation places indefinite travel restrictions on visitors from eight nations: Chad, Libya, Syria, Yemen, North Korea, Venezuela, Iran, and Somalia. Sudan was dropped from Trump's original travel bans, the latter of which expired Sunday, while Chad, North Korea, and Venezuela were added.
— Chris Geidner (@chrisgeidner) September 25, 2017
Oral arguments for the original ban had been scheduled to begin Oct. 10. The New York Times observed last week that the changes could "[complicate] the review by the justices and potentially [make] parts of the case moot even before" arguments began. Jeva Lange
Cardi B overtook Taylor Swift on Monday to become the first female rapper since 1998 to top the Billboard Hot 100 without "the assistance of any other credited artists," Billboard reports. Cardi B's "Bodak Yellow (Money Moves)" beat out Swift's "Look What You Made Me Do" and earned a distinction that has been otherwise unmatched by a solo female rapper since Lauryn Hill's "Doo-Wop (That Thing)" 19 years ago. Cardi B is also the first female soloist to top the chart in an unaccompanied debut since Meghan Trainor's "All About That Bass" crested in 2014.
Billboard adds that "Cardi B is only the fifth female rapper ever to lead the Hot 100 at all. After Hill, Lil' Kim ruled for five weeks in 2001 with Christina Aguilera, Mya, and P!nk on 'Lady Marmalade'; Shawnna reigned as featured on Ludacris' 'Stand Up,' which topped the Dec. 6, 2003, chart; and Iggy Azalea's introductory Hot 100 hit, 'Fancy,' featuring Charli XCX, led for seven weeks in 2014."
Cardi B's accomplishment is "a specific victory for women in hip-hop, but it also obliquely carries a win for hip-hop overall," BuzzFeed News writes. "This past July, according to Nielsen Music, hip-hop/R&B dethroned rock as the most popular genre when it comes to overall music consumption in the United States. Hip-hop's recent coronation comes as a result of the increasing popularity of streaming and, unsurprisingly, so does 'Bodak Yellow''s success."
Listen to the track below. Jeva Lange