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Today: Who Are L.A.’s Homeless? Not Who You Think

Today: Who Are L.A.’s Homeless? Not Who You Think
Nadia, 37, kisses her son Sebastian. She and her children became homeless after she left an abusive marriage. (Los Angeles Times)

A closer look at L.A.'s homelessness crisis.

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Who Are L.A.'s Homeless? Not Who You Think

At last count, there were 58,000 homeless people in Los Angeles County. Who are they and what can be done to help them? A new series of Times editorials will be examining the issue and offering solutions. As today's installment in the series explains, contrary to popular belief, most homeless here are not mentally ill or addicted to drugs. It's estimated that more than half don't have a place to live because of economics. It may start with a divorce, a short-term illness or a job loss that might be manageable elsewhere, but not in a place where the cost of housing is shockingly high. The solution: Build more affordable units. But where?

Nadia and her children head back to their room at San Fernando Valley Rescue Mission.
Nadia and her children head back to their room at San Fernando Valley Rescue Mission. (Los Angeles Times)

In Case You Didn't Get the Memo

Three weeks after the Republican memo on the decision by U.S. law enforcement to start eavesdropping on former Trump campaign advisor Carter Page, the Democratic rebuttal was released over the weekend. In 10 pages, it makes the case that the Department of Justice and the FBI "would have been remiss in their duty to protect the country" if they hadn't investigated suspicious contacts between Russians and Page. Read the whole memo (well, the unredacted parts at least) here. The document's release came the day after Richard Gates, who helped manage Donald Trump's presidential campaign after making millions of dollars advising Ukraine's pro-Kremlin government, pleaded guilty to conspiracy against the United States and lying to federal agents.

More From Washington

-- Amid an increasingly passionate nationwide debate over gun safety, the National Rifle Assn. rejected President Trump's call for a federal ban on rifle sales to those younger than 21, but a spokeswoman sought to play down the disagreement, suggesting Trump could change his mind.

-- The diplomatic thaw created on the Korean peninsula by the Winter Olympics has shown vague signs that it could extend past the Games and perhaps even include talks between the United States and North Korea.

-- Trump and the president of Mexico won't be meeting anytime soon, an official says, after the two disagreed over Trump's talk about Mexico paying for a border wall.

California's Democrats, Divided

Dianne Feinstein has represented California in the U.S. Senate for a quarter-century, but she got a big wake-up call at the weekend state Democratic Party convention in San Diego: Nearly two-thirds of the delegates voted against backing her campaign for a fifth full term, while her chief opponent, state Senate leader Kevin de León, got 54%. Though no candidate received the endorsement, it showed Feinstein's moderate, pragmatic approach isn't sitting well with the increasingly liberal state party, while De León's more audacious style is.

The Fall of the House of Weinstein

Weinstein Co. will file for bankruptcy protection after last-ditch talks to sell its assets to an investor group collapsed, according to its board of directors. A group led by Maria Contreras-Sweet, who ran the Small Business Administration under President Obama from 2014 to 2017, had been trying to buy the New York studio co-founded by Harvey Weinstein. Meanwhile, the disgraced Hollywood executive is living in expensive exile in a suburb of Phoenix.

Guilty by Association in Iraq

The war against Islamic State is officially over in Iraq, but thousands of women and children who had husbands, fathers and sons among the extremist fighters are still confined to camps. Many are afraid to go home out of fear of retribution, and even if they want to go back, they can't get the necessary paperwork. Without a process to bring them back into Iraqi society, some fear it will only create another generation of violence.

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America's Fair-to-Medaling Olympics

With the Pyeongchang Games in the record books, the leaders of the U.S. Olympic team say they will be taking a hard look at what led to its lowest medal count at a Winter Games in two decades. With 23, a total placing the U.S. behind Norway, Germany and Canada, and quite a few performances that almost but didn't quite merit a medal, it wasn't a disaster — but it was far below expectations.

More From the Olympics

-- The Russian hockey players won the gold, but they weren't finished: They sang their country's national anthem, a violation of the sanctions imposed by the International Olympic Committee.

-- Photos from the closing ceremony.

OUR MUST-READS FROM THE WEEKEND

-- When it comes to guns, the Parkland shooting survivors aren't here to play nice.

-- Russian millennials look to their future and try to find their political voice: "If we don't do anything now, we will keep living like our parents."

-- Columnist Steve Lopez says it's hard not to be hopeful about the future when you meet Miriam Antonio, who hurdles barriers and keeps dreaming.

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-- The area around L.A.'s MacArthur Park is going upscale, and while residents are happy to see the crime go, many worry they'll be pushed out.

-- How Dodgers general manager Farhan Zaidi built a dynasty … in fantasy football.

MUST-WATCH VIDEO

-- At a high school in Texas, teachers are already packing handguns.

-- In "Game Night," Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams don't have winning material to work with, film critic Justin Chang says.

CALIFORNIA

-- A developer has been charged with making illegal campaign contributions to local politicians while seeking a change to the zoning of his property in L.A.'s Harbor Gateway neighborhood.

-- The American Civil Liberties Union's "Unlock the Vote" campaign is going into Southern California jails to register eligible inmates.

-- California lawmakers are pushing to increase regulation of home schools after a dozen siblings were discovered locked in a Riverside house.

-- No distracted walking: In Montclair, it's against the law for pedestrians to text, talk on the phone, or listen to music with two earbuds while in a crosswalk.

HOLLYWOOD AND THE ARTS

-- Sex, violence and a Russian accent: Jennifer Lawrence takes another big risk with "Red Sparrow."

-- "Black Panther" annihilated the competition with a $108-million second weekend. Here are the projects ahead for its cast and director.

-- After the success of "Black Panther" and "The Last Jedi," it could be the era of the artisanal blockbuster.

-- Remember last year's epic Oscars flub when the wrong best picture was announced? The show's producers sure do and explain why they're confident it won't happen again on Sunday.

CLASSIC HOLLYWOOD

She was born Ruby Nanette Bernadette Theresa Fabares, but when TV host Ed Sullivan mispronounced her surname in a most unfortunate way, she would become Nanette Fabray. The actress, who won a Tony and three Emmys, died last week at age 97.

NATION-WORLD

-- The death toll rose to at least five after severe thunderstorms swept through the central U.S., spawning a tornado, gale-force winds and widespread flooding.

-- China's Communist Party plans to eliminate presidential term limits, paving the way for Xi Jinping to stay in office.

-- Hours after the United Nations Security Council called for a 30-day truce in Syria, the fighting continues.

-- The date of the U.S. Embassy move to Jerusalem shows how even the calendar is complicated in the Middle East.

BUSINESS

-- Trump claimed credit for rising stock prices. Now some economists say he owns their fall and a possible recession.

-- The future of electric vehicles relies on cobalt, which is often mined by children and soaring in price.

SPORTS

-- Mixed martial artist Brian Ortega has found his ticket to potential UFC glory inside a Harbor City garage.

-- Let's hope this is not the last year of pitcher Clayton Kershaw in a Dodgers uniform, writes columnist Bill Plaschke.

OPINION

-- The leaders of two organizations that track gun violence say we have all the data we need: Stronger gun laws would save lives.

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-- Columnist George Skelton argues why we need bail reform: California shouldn't be requiring a payment for freedom.

WHAT OUR EDITORS ARE READING

-- This year, New Orleans is celebrating its 300th birthday, but with sea level rise, there are concerns about whether it will see 400. (New York Times/New Orleans Times-Picayune)

-- Monica Lewinsky examines the trauma she endured and today's #MeToo movement. (Vanity Fair)

-- Actor-model Nyle DiMarco writes about how captioning systems fail deaf people in the movie theater. (Teen Vogue)

ONLY IN L.A.

Authorities say a man from Placentia was celebrating his 29th birthday Saturday by riding his white Arabian horse when he took a turn … onto the 91 Freeway. When CHP officers made the stop, the rider was reportedly recorded with a blood-alcohol level more than twice the legal limit. "We get a chuckle out of the interesting situations we encounter from time to time," the CHP tweeted, "but one thing the CHP does not do is 'horse' around with DUI."

If you like this newsletter, please share it with friends. Comments or ideas? Email us at headlines@latimes.com.

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