Southern California breaking news and trends

KPCC DIGEST AM (Sep. 30)—Congressional impotence enfeebles US government, and other news about hot and dangerous wind

1. If the government shuts down, what will be open? (KPCC)

Congressional impotence has enfeebled the U.S. government to the brink of shutdown — a partial closure will go into effect after midnight on Monday if lawmakers can't agree on a muddled funding measure. Under a partial shutdown, not every agency would lock its doors; those considered essential, or "exempted," would remain open. But which ones?

Federal employees were to be notified Friday if they should report to work on Tuesday in the event of a shutdown. For example, some USGS offices would close, but CIA spies would keep working. See our list.

2. California's Obamacare insurance marketplace poised to launch Tuesday (KPCC)

The head of Covered California — the health insurance marketplace created by the Affordable Care Act, or "Obamacare" — says it will be ready for business when it opens Tuesday.

Uninsured Americans will be able to shop for private health insurance with tax credits designed to make it more affordable. More than half of the estimated five million Californians without health insurance are expected to qualify. Most Americans are required to have insurance by Jan. 1, 2014 under the federal law.

3. October to open with single digit humidity (L.A. County Sheriff Department/NWS)

Pressure building in behind a storm system in the Pacific Northwest will bring single digit humidity and warm winds to Southern California this week. Critical fire warnings are possible Thursday through Saturday.

NOAA reports the Santa Ana wind event looking stronger than last weeks's event, and says it's likely to produce an extended period of very warm, dry and windy conditions. The greatest fire weather threat will likely be across Ventura and Los Angeles Counties.

4. 10 years of Disney Hall: From 'Temple of Doom' to LA icon (KPCC)

The Walt Disney Concert Hall marks its 10th anniversary in October, and the L.A. Philharmonic has planned a month of special events to celebrate the occasion, including concerts with cellist Yo-Yo Ma, jazz musician Herbie Hancock, local artists La Santa Cecilia and the orchestra's previous music director, Esa-Pekka Salonen.

With swooping curves and eye-catching metallic exterior, the Frank Gehry-designed building has become a fixture of downtown — but the bold design wasn't always so popular.

5. Accused war criminal faces immigration fraud in Riverside (KPCC)

Former Guatemalan soldier Jorge Sosa, who is accused of wartime atrocities in his native country, is on trial in Riverside County. He faces up to 15 years in a U.S. prison – but not for his alleged crimes during Guatemala's civil war in the 1980's.

Sosa stands accused of making false statements on his U.S. citizenship application. His case is an example of how U.S. authorities use immigration fraud as a tool to bring suspected foreign war criminals to justice.

6. Loyola Marymount offers first yoga masters degree in the US (KPCC)

In an unmistakable sign that yoga is part of the American mainstream, Loyola Marymount University - the L.A. region’s oldest college - has begun a two-year masters degree in yoga studies.

“There’s over 20 million Americans that are practicing yoga on a regular basis. That’s more than Methodists and Presbyterians combined,” said LMU professor Christopher Chapple, the coordinator of the program. "So I don’t think it’s really anything that’s too wild and wacky anymore."

7. USC fires coach Kiffin; Defensive coach Orgeron to take over as interim coach (KPCC)

At a hastily-arranged press conference Sunday afternoon, USC athletic director Pat Haden addressed the public about USC's decision to fire coach Lane Kiffin. "We just haven't been the consistent team that we need to be," he said.

Haden announced that defensive line coach Ed Orgeron would take over as interim head coach. Orgeron said he wouldn't be making many changes to the lineup, and said he wouldn't be calling plays. The AP reported Kiffin was fired at the airport on the team's return from Arizona.

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