Newsletter: Two impeachment articles, one trade deal
House Democrats will charge President Trump with at least two articles of impeachment.
Here are the stories you shouldn’t miss today:
Two Impeachment Articles, One Trade Deal
What a difference one hour makes. In that span on Tuesday, House Democrats moved to impeach President Trump, then hand him his biggest legislative win of the year by agreeing to a long-stalled trade deal.
Tonight, the House Judiciary Committee will begin a session to approve at least two articles of impeachment — abuse of power and obstruction of Congress — and possibly add more. The session could last until Friday, and assuming the articles are approved, the full House would then vote on whether to impeach the president before leaving for the holiday next week.
After asserting in the nine-page impeachment document that Trump “ignored and injured the interests of the nation,” House Democrats then announced they and the White House had reached a deal that clears the way for passage of a revised North American free-trade pact. The House is expected to vote on the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement next week, with the Senate taking it up after the impeachment trial, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said.
— Atty. Gen. William Barr, continuing his attack on an inspector general’s report released this week, leveled blistering criticism at how the FBI’s Russia investigation was conducted, claiming that it was based on a “bogus narrative” that the Trump campaign might have conspired with Russia during the 2016 presidential election.
— The White House says Trump warned Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov about election interference during an Oval Office meeting Tuesday, but there’s plenty of reason to question whether Trump did so.
— A federal judge has barred Trump from using $3.6 billion in military construction funds to pay for a border wall. The decision could hinder the ability of lawmakers to agree on a fiscal 2020 spending bill package this week.
More Hard Times for Asylum Seekers
In July, the Trump administration announced a new rule to effectively end asylum at the southern U.S. border by requiring asylum seekers to claim protection elsewhere. Now, it’s starting to send some families to Guatemala, even if they are not from the Central American country and had sought protection in the U.S. And for those who are staying in Mexico as they await court hearings in the U.S.,. migrant rights activists say, the federal government is using medical screenings as a tactic to discourage asylum seekers.
‘It’s My Truth’
The 2013 killing of Gabriel Fernandez was one of the most infamous and chilling child abuse cases in California history. For prosecutor Jon Hatami, it had extra meaning. Shortly after winning a conviction in the case, he told a stunned news conference gathering that he too had been the victim of childhood abuse. Today’s Column One shows how the trial reawakened some of Hatami’s demons, pushing him to grapple with old memories and study his own psyche.
From H to Ohm
Is renewable hydrogen, created by splitting water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen, the way to power L.A.’s future? As the city weans itself off coal-generated electricity, it’s opting for a natural gas-fueled plant in Utah that the L.A. Department of Water and Power wants to transition into one that burns renewable hydrogen. One potential hitch: It’s never been done before. But if it succeeds, the plant could become a model around the world.
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FROM THE ARCHIVES
Prospecting for gold… in the Los Angeles River? That’s what some enterprising Angelenos did, at least before the river was clad in concrete.
“Yes, sir, plenty of gold — also silver, copper, brass, lead and iron — within two miles of City Hall by airline,” Don Ashbaugh reported in the Dec. 12, 1938, edition. He spoke with one man, Guy Ritter, who grew up on a ranch in Oregon and discovered the riverbed gold claims.
“My old man told me when I left home that I was on my own — that if I ever took charity I’d be a disgrace to the family and he’d disown me. I came down to Hollywood to show some of those movie cowboys how a real cowboy should act. I didn’t get anywhere. When I was broke I remembered dad’s words. I saw all this sand and decided there must be something in it,” Ritter told The Times. “I have my own apartment. I can always pay the rent. I wear good clothes and Mister, I’ve always got money in my pocket.”
— A state panel says officials and lawmakers need to move faster to fight sea-level rise in one of the most comprehensive assessments of the crisis.
— Polluted stormwater is fouling Southern California beaches, but little has been done about it, according to an environmental nonprofit’s new report — the first comprehensive look at the growing problem. It blames a lack of transparent requirements for monitoring the runoff.
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— Two new lawsuits argue that the University of California is violating state civil rights laws by requiring applicants to take the SAT or ACT, which they say unlawfully discriminate against low-income and underrepresented minority students.
— The attorney general’s office plans to subpoena half of the state’s Catholic dioceses as part of a growing investigation into how the church handled sex abuse cases, several of them say.
— The group that sued the LAPD over its controversial data policing programs claimed victory after the agency released key details, including the names of hundreds targeted.
HOLLYWOOD AND THE ARTS
— Did a canceled sci-fi drama come to Amazon because it’s Jeff Bezos’ favorite TV show?
— Netflix says 26.4 million households watched “The Irishman” in its first week on the streaming platform.
—There’s a storm brewing over Clint Eastwood’s new movie “Richard Jewell” and its plot point insinuating that a reporter — a real person, now deceased — slept with a source. Her newspaper says there’s zero evidence that ever happened.
— Vanna White is hosting “Wheel of Fortune” while Pat Sajak recovers from surgery, upending a long history of dudes in suits as game-show hosts.
— In Jersey City, authorities say six people, including a police officer and three bystanders, were killed in a furious gun battle that filled the streets with the sound of heavy fire for hours.
— Bill Cosby has lost the appeal of his sexual assault conviction.
— A former top Mexican security official has been arrested in the U.S. for allegedly taking millions of dollars in bribes from the Sinaloa drug cartel once headed by “El Chapo.”
— Decades after she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, Myanmar’s civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi is now in The Hague rebuffing charges that her country carried out genocide against Rohingya Muslims. That’s prompted soul-searching among some in the human rights community.
—How the viral protest “A Rapist in Your Path” became a defiant anthem for 2019.
— Even as other Chinese developers pull back from L.A., one just bought prime land downtown for a $1-billion housing and retail complex.
— Want to test out your delivery technology and transportation apps on San Francisco streets? Better get a permit first.
— The retirement crisis is real and frightening, as these six charts show, columnist Michael Hiltzik writes.
— The Anaheim City Council is expected to approve a sale of the Angel Stadium property next week. But it could be years before Anaheim gets paid.
— The Toronto Raptors have built a mentality for winning without Kawhi Leonard.
— During his stint with the team, Leonard didn’t spark Canada’s love of basketball, he completed it. Today, Canadian players — once on the fringes of the game’s attention, outsiders in a hockey-mad country — play in one of the world’s hoops hotbeds.
— Maybe the Republicans directing their ire at Democrats should instead get mad at Trump for imperiling their party by acting like a mobster, Robin Abcarian writes.
— The FBI owes Carter Page an apology … and has another black eye, Doyle McManus writes.
WHAT OUR EDITORS ARE READING
— The ripple effects of taking away food stamps from one person. (The Atlantic)
— Megafarms and deeper wells are creating a water crisis in rural Arizona. (Arizona Republic)
— American farms in need of labor are recruiting Mexican veterinarians, ostensibly for jobs as animal scientists — then putting them to work milking cows and cleaning pens for low pay. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)
ONLY IN L.A.
If you’re looking for almost every kind of regional Chinese cooking, you can spare yourself the 13-hour flight and head directly to the San Gabriel Valley, a 20-mile-wide swath that is the biggest and best Chinatown on this continent. In this week’s episode of the show “Off Menu,” host Lucas Kwan Peterson heads east of Los Angeles for hot pot, Taiwanese breakfast and northern Chinese dumplings — and a discussion of growing up Asian American.
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