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Newsletter: Today: Charles Manson, a Symbol of Unrepentant Evil, Dies

Charles Manson
Charles Manson in his younger and older days.
(Los Angeles Times / California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation)

Here are the stories you shouldn’t miss today:

TOP STORIES

Charles Manson, a Symbol of Unrepentant Evil, Dies

In the summer of 1969, Charles Manson persuaded his followers to commit a string of murders in Los Angeles that terrified the city and haunted the nation. To many, they also came to symbolize an end of the idealism the ’60s represented. Now, Manson has died at age 83 after spending decades behind bars as an symbol of unrepentant evil. “To stay in the limelight, he played the madman role to epic effect. But he didn’t have preternatural brainwashing powers…. He was a scab mite who bit at the perfect time and place to be enshrined in Baby Boomer lore,” The Times’ Joe Mozingo writes. On social media, many said Manson’s death should be a time to remember and mourn his victims.

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Russell Simmons and Brett Ratner Face New Allegations

Filmmaker Brett Ratner has long surrounded himself with powerful friends, including music mogul Russell Simmons and filmmaker James Toback. Like Ratner, they’ve also been accused of engaging in sexual misconduct. One woman alleged that, when she was 17, Simmons coerced her to perform oral sex while Ratner “just sat there and watched.” Simmons disputed her account, saying “everything ... occurred with her full consent and participation,” and Ratner’s attorney said Ratner had “no recollection” of the woman asking him for help and denied witnessing her “protest.” Meanwhile, actress Olivia Munn, who had earlier accused Ratner of sexual harassment, says she doesn’t understand why anyone is still working with him.

Trump Takes, and Gets, Credit for a Strong Economy

President Trump’s poll numbers are nothing to write home about, but there’s one area where some voters are willing to give him the benefit of the doubt: the nation’s economy. Trump has often tweeted and spoken about the low unemployment figures, record high stock market values and healthy economic growth rates. In Gallup’s polls, the share of voters who approve of Trump’s handling of the economy has run about 8 points ahead of those who approve of his overall performance, much to the dismay of Democrats who say there’s little evidence to give Trump the credit.

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More Politics

-- Donald Trump Jr.’s 2016 trip to Paris for lunch with a Moscow-linked couple remains a puzzle.

-- “I should have left them in jail!” Trump is upset that the father of one of the three UCLA basketball players who were arrested in China for shoplifting had downplayed his role in winning their release.

-- Trump has expressed more doubts about a new policy allowing trophies of African elephants shot for sport to be imported into the U.S.

For Mugabe, the Party Is Over, but He Won’t Call It a Day

Zimbabwe’s ruling party has fired and threatened to impeach President Robert Mugabe, who was stripped of executive power when the military took control last week. Yet when he gave a televised speech Sunday, Africa’s oldest strongman stopped short of resigning, creating more drama in what has already been a downfall with Shakespearean overtones. As reporter Robyn Dixon writes, “For decades he chipped away at democracy and crafted the militaristic state that kept him in power, but he forgot that he was there at the military’s whim, not the other way around.”

Get Your Kicks on Route … 40?

It was once called the “longest, wickedest street in America.” It’s where the protagonist in the book “On the Road” sets out from Denver, and where Clint Eastwood walked with his orangutan in the film “Every Which Way But Loose.” Now, Colfax Avenue is getting its own museum in Denver, thanks to an Elvis impersonator. “Everyone knows Route 66 because they had a better PR guy, a better song and a TV show,” he says. “But much of American pop culture got its start on Colfax.”

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A mural on Colfax shows a quote from Jack Kerouac, who spent time in Denver.
(David Kelly / For The Times )

Time to Talk Turkey (or Brussels Sprouts)

For those who like to plan, the Thanksgiving clock is ticking down in orderly fashion. For those who wing it, the Thanksgiving panic is starting to set in: What’s this about three days of brining or salting? And trussing?! If you are among the time-pressed, Times food editor Amy Scattergood offers the perfect way to do easy T-day turkey and Times Test Kitchen director Noelle Carter has 29 recipes you still have time to pull off.

OUR MUST-READS FROM THE WEEKEND

-- Columnist Steve Lopez says a Sunnyvale house that sold for nearly $800,000 over asking price speaks to the inequity of California.

-- Two months after Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, much of the U.S. territory still lacks electricity and hundreds of thousands have fled for the mainland U.S.

-- A Saudi prince is shaking up the Middle East and may be pushing it toward war.

-- How an Atlanta power couple’s business has heightened Hollywood’s and Silicon Valley’s piracy anxieties.

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MUST-WATCH VIDEO

-- One corner. Four killings. A South L.A. neighborhood grapples with a wave of violence.

-- Director Dee Rees talks about getting her dream cast for her film “Mudbound.”

-- Ninety-three seconds of holiday travel tips.

CALIFORNIA

-- Lawmakers are upset that none of the $44 billion the White House requested of Congress for supplemental disaster aid includes funding to rebuild California after its wildfires.

-- A crash last week involving a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department sport-utility vehicle that killed two young boys in Boyle Heights has left the community in shock and anger.

-- As Orange County officials clear out homeless encampments along the Santa Ana River, they have found an underground bunker and a separate tunnel with more than 1,000 bicycles inside.

-- Did actions by an LAPD officer specializing in MS-13 help a gang killer flee?

HOLLYWOOD AND THE ARTS

-- More about Russell Simmons: Terry Crews posted a screenshot of an email he said was from the entrepreneur-producer that urged the actor to give a pass to the target of his sexual-assault allegations.

-- After being accused of sexual harassment by two women on the set of “Transparent,” Jeffrey Tambor may not return to the Amazon series.

-- Henry Cavill reveals the secrets of Superman’s return in “Justice League,” which took down “Thor: Ragnarok” from the top spot at the box office.

-- Jim Carrey talks about losing himself while playing Andy Kaufman and why he relived it for the documentary “Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond.”

CLASSIC HOLLYWOOD

Gene Tierney became known as the star of the 1944 film noir “Laura,” but it was for her portrayal of a murderer in “Leave Her to Heaven” that she got her lone Academy Award nomination. Tierney, who was born on this date in 1920, would later see her career crumble amid a tangle of personal problems. But she eventually made a comeback and devoted much of her life to charity until her death in 1991.

NATION-WORLD

-- Officials say one U.S. Customs and Border Protection agent was killed and another seriously injured while responding to suspicious activity in west Texas’ Big Bend area.

-- The top officer at U.S. Strategic Command said an order from President Trump or any of his successors to launch nuclear weapons can be refused if that order is determined to be illegal.

-- Argentina’s navy said there was no clear evidence that satellite communications initially believed to have come from a submarine with 44 crew members missing in the Atlantic were from the vessel.

-- Scientists are hoping to fight climate change, not with a bird or a plane but with super plants.

BUSINESS

-- A former Obama administration official has submitted a bid to buy the Weinstein Co. and install a majority-female board of directors.

-- Some tips on how to figure out the right time for retirement.

SPORTS

-- UCLA football is looking for a new head coach. The school fired Jim Mora a day after the team lost its big game against USC (and on his birthday, no less). Columnist Bill Plaschke goes into why.

-- The Chargers made the Buffalo Bills pay for giving rookie quarterback Nathan Peterman his first NFL start with a 54-24 walloping at StubHub Center.

OPINION

-- Along with voting rights, it’s time to restore jury duty for former inmates.

-- A tax cut for the middle class? Hardly.

WHAT OUR EDITORS ARE READING

-- Those who have escaped North Korea talk about what has changed under Kim Jong Un. (Washington Post)

-- What happens when you find out your employee is wearing white nationalist garb and marching with racists and anti-Semites. (Boston Globe)

-- Where does our numerical ability come from? (Aeon)

ONLY IN L.A.

It won’t be hot enough to fry a turkey on the sidewalk, but Angelenos can expect an unseasonably warm Thanksgiving. Forecasters expect a high of 89 in downtown Los Angeles on Wednesday, which would tie a record set in 1950, and 87 on Thursday. One meteorologist with the National Weather Service has this tip for holiday visitors: “They are going to need to have their shorts handy and maybe do a pool party,” she said. “They can Facebook those pictures to all those friends that live on the East Coast.”

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


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