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Today: A Court Tells the EPA: Ban This Insecticide

Today: A Court Tells the EPA: Ban This Insecticide
Workers pick fruit in an orchard in Arvin, Calif., in 2004. A federal appeals court on Thursday ordered the Trump administration to ban chlorpyrifos, a widely used pesticide that studies show can harm children's brains. (Damian Dovarganes / Associated Press)

An appeals court has taken the unusual step of forcing the Environmental Protection Agency to stop the use of a chemical shown to harm children’s brains.

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A Court Tells the EPA: Ban This Insecticide

The Obama administration had proposed banning the widely used pesticide chlorpyrifos on food crops after studies showed it can harm the brains of children. Former EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt didn’t see it that way and reversed that course of action. Now, a three-judge panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has ordered the Trump administration to mandate a halt to use of the pesticide within 60 days.

More Politics

-- Calling outer space the “next battlefield,” Vice President Mike Pence outlined a bellicose mission for the Trump administration’s proposed “space force,” saying it would fight adversaries and spread American values beyond Earth.

-- A federal judge in Washington stopped an apparent deportation-in-progress and threatened to hold Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions in contempt after learning that the Trump administration tried to remove a woman and her daughter while a court hearing appealing their deportations was underway.

-- Trump’s backing from his core supporters has been famously solid, but a new study says nearly 1 in 5 Trump voters from 2016 have soured on him since he took office.

When Officers Have a Secret Past

L.A. County Sheriff’s Deputy Jose Ovalle testified as a witness in dozens of criminal cases, often helping to secure convictions. But he had a secret unknown to prosecutors, judges, defendants and jurors: He once poured taco sauce on a shirt to mimic blood during an assault investigation. Ovalle is not an isolated example. Misconduct by law enforcement officers who testify in court is routinely kept hidden by California’s police privacy laws. With this interactive simulation, you can see how many days you’d spend in jail as a defendant trying to prove an officer’s history of lying.

(Los Angeles Times)

Can One Letter Change the Rx for Opioids?

Last year, San Diego County’s chief deputy medical examiner sent out letters to doctors informing them that one of their patients had died with prescription drug overdose as a cause. The “courtesy communication” was carefully worded not to assign blame. The result, according to a study: a slight decrease in the prescribing of opioid medications, compared with a group of physicians who did not receive such letters.

The Grim Toll on Firefighters

California’s fires have left a path of death and destruction made all the worse by record-setting heat in July and August. The conditions have taken a particular toll on firefighters. In just the last few weeks, more than half a dozen of those working on the fire lines in Northern California have died. Officials say they’ve been stretched thin as new fires keep breaking out across the state. Meanwhile, the Holy fire in Orange County has forced a new round of evacuations as it moved toward Lake Elsinore.

A Duet Over 2,000 Miles Apart

The tension along the Gaza-Israel border has intensified this week, with the Islamist militia Hamas launching at least 200 rockets into Israeli territory and Israel retaliating with airstrikes against more than 150 sites. With no end in sight to the conflict, an Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip has forced some performers to get creative if they seek international artistic collaboration. One 27-year-old dancer has performed on stages in London and Liverpool, England, this summer without ever setting foot outside Gaza, thanks to video technology.

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FLASHBACK FRIDAY

In the 1960s and ’70s, long hair was a statement. But for men who had to work for or otherwise interact with “the man,” it didn’t always send the right message. Enter the “establishment wig,” a hairpiece designed to cover up long locks with a more respectable, shorter ’do. “Judges just don’t dig long hair,” said Gabe Kanata, a 19-year-old aspiring drum player who worked as a stock clerk, in this Times article from Aug. 12, 1970.

Gabe Kanata is shown with his real hair, left, and with his short-hair “establishment wig."
Gabe Kanata is shown with his real hair, left, and with his short-hair “establishment wig." (Rick Browne / Los Angeles Times)

MUST-WATCH VIDEO

-- Writers from this year’s comedy and drama Emmy nominees explain what makes these scenes key to their shows.

CALIFORNIA

-- Bobby Joe Maxwell was convicted in two of the 10 homicides attributed to the “Skid Row Stabber.” His convictions have since been thrown out, and Maxwell is now comatose and near death. Prosecutors plan to drop his case today.

-- Gavin Newsom and John Cox are preparing for a general election battle to decide who will be the state’s next governor, but both men are engaged in proxy campaigns for other candidates and causes.

-- Taxpayers paid $2,768 to have the LAPD provide security at the wedding of Justin Wesson, son of City Council President Herb Wesson. A police spokesman said the officers were sent to protect the politicians there.

-- The California Coastal Commission voted unanimously to order a Laguna Beach couple to pay $1 million in fines and tear down a sea wall.

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YOUR WEEKEND

-- Before and after: A boring backyard is transformed with outdoor “rooms” for entertaining and play.

-- This hike from Mulholland Drive includes panoramic views and a Cold War missile system.

-- These fun popsicle recipes will help you beat the heat.

-- If you’ve ever wanted to make the cauliflower “steak” from the Four Seasons in New York City, here’s how you do it.

HOLLYWOOD AND THE ARTS

-- For her role in Spike Lee’s “BlacKkKlansman,” actress Laura Harrier did plenty of homework, including writing an autobiography of her character and listening to ’70s music.

-- The sudden creation of a separate Oscar for “popular” films came as a shock to Hollywood. So far, it has appeared to generate more anger than enthusiasm.

-- The film “Christopher Robin” won’t play in China amid government censorship of Winnie the Pooh.

NATION-WORLD

-- Puerto Rico is now estimating that Hurricane Maria killed more than 1,400 people, far more than the official death toll of 64.

-- Kansas Gov. Jeff Colyer has demanded that Secretary of State Kris Kobach stop advising county elections officials while their battle for the Republican gubernatorial nomination hangs in the balance.

-- An airstrike launched by the U.S.-backed and Saudi-led military coalition in Yemen hit a school bus, killing and injuring dozens of people, many of them children, according to local and international medical officials.

-- The case of the missing cat: In Moscow, someone kidnapped a museum’s very important feline.

BUSINESS

-- The Treasury Department has decided nearly 2,000 banks are not “financial services firms” under the new GOP tax law. That will allow high-income owners to claim a new tax deduction.

-- Macy’s is showing signs of reversing its long sales slump, but analysts still question whether the department store can sustain the growth.

SPORTS

-- How will Ohio State respond to a domestic violence controversy involving its coaching staff? College football doesn’t have a good track record.

-- In their NFL preseason opener, the Rams adopted the philosophy ofjust don’t get hurt, baby.” They lost.

OPINION

-- Trump’s hard-hearted immigration policies are a stain on the nation.

-- A professor of urban planning explains how L.A. can add housing (and transit ridership) without infuriating the neighbors.

WHAT OUR EDITORS ARE READING

-- The Eastern District of Virginia is famous in the legal community for being the original “rocket docket.” No wonder the Paul Manafort trial is moving quickly. (The Atlantic)

-- A Belgian baker traveled halfway around the world to collect what he describes as one of the rarest “specimens” of sourdough so he can add it to his library of sourdough starters. (Roads and Kingdoms)

-- Trump’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame multiplied, thanks to a conservative street artist. But the copies didn’t last long. (The Hollywood Reporter)

ONLY IN L.A.

For being a small town, Montrose sees a lot of big pictures come through. Clint Eastwood filmed “Jersey Boys” at the bowling alley. A scene from “Hitchcock” took place at the retro lingerie store. And for “Old School,” Will Ferrell is said to have run naked down the main drag. As Montrose’s film liaison, Steve Pierce has seen it all — and has the stories to tell.

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