What’s in “Fire and Fury,” the new book that prompted President Trump to disown his former chief strategist, Stephen K. Bannon?
A Dirty Dozen Takeaways From That Trump Book
President Trump came out swinging after the first excerpts were published. “Steve Bannon has nothing to do with me or my Presidency,” Trump said in four fiery and furious paragraphs. “When he was fired, he not only lost his job, he lost his mind.” The book, by Michael Wolff and said to be based on more than 200 interviews, paints a picture of Trump as a man who never expected to be president. It quotes Bannon as saying a June 2016 meeting between Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner and Kremlin-linked Russians was “treasonous.” It even purports to explain the president’s predilection for McDonald’s — and that hairdo. Here are a dozen of the juiciest passages.
-- Trump announced he is ending the voter fraud commission he launched last year as the panel faces a flurry of lawsuits and criticism from Democrats and Republicans alike.
-- Paul Manafort is suing the Department of Justice, claiming that special counsel Robert S. Mueller III overstepped his authority by filing criminal charges unrelated to the 2016 presidential campaign.
-- The acting director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement says he’s preparing to significantly increase its presence in California because of its “sanctuary state” law.
Bracing for the ‘Bomb Cyclone’
While the weather in Southern California has been unseasonably warm for the most part, large swaths of the United States have endured more than a week of cold weather; at least 12 people have reportedly died in the frigid temperatures. Now an intensifying storm, known as a bomb cyclone, or bombogenesis, is expected in the Northeast, while snow fell in Tallahassee, Fla. Even sharks were found frozen around Cape Cod, Mass.
L.A.’s Race to Beat the Big One
Will you — and the building you live or work in — be ready when the next major earthquake strikes Los Angeles? Though there are plenty of things you can do now to prepare, shoring up brittle concrete structures is a more daunting task. The city has roughly 1,500 of them, and it’s begun sending out orders to owners to either retrofit of demolish them within 25 years. Experts worry that a magnitude 6.7 earthquake (the size of the 1994 Northridge temblor) or bigger is likely to hit before then.
A Pang in the Heart, From 7,500 Miles Away
For a week, the images of unrest sparked by economic grievances against Iran’s government — followed by video of pro-government demonstrations — have stirred emotions. No more so than in Southern California’s large Iranian expatriate community, where many have been anxiously watching their phones and TVs for updates.
Who Will Work California’s Fields?
For decades, agriculture in California has relied on immigrant workers, many of them here without legal status, for its most backbreaking tasks. Now, farms are facing a shrinking supply of labor from Mexico, driven by growth in better jobs south of the border and worries of an immigration crackdown in the U.S. Nor are they finding enough American-born workers to replace them, even with improved pay and the rise of benefits like health insurance and 401(k) plans. Still, there are a few who have given it a try.
-- White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders talks about Trump’s response to Bannon’s comments about Donald Trump Jr. and his Russia meeting.
-- A stolen truck chase ends in Montebello, with an odd embrace.
-- Progress is being made on the $2.6-billion Inglewood stadium project, which will eventually be the home of the Rams and Chargers.
-- Southern California is seeing the fourth-driest start to a water year since record keeping began in 1877, according to the National Weather Service.
-- Faced with the threat of a vote to suspend him, state Sen. Tony Mendoza agreed to take a one-month paid leave of absence while harassment allegations against him are investigated.
-- Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León has an idea to circumvent the new federal tax law’s cuts to state and local deductions: Count part of your state tax bill as a donation.
-- Authorities say a felon suspected of fatally assaulting a San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputy after a minor off-duty crash on New Year’s Eve has been charged with murder.
HOLLYWOOD AND THE ARTS
-- Director Christopher Nolan on the real-life story in “Dunkirk,” his contender at this weekend’s Golden Globes: “In today’s world where it feels like awful things are happening with great frequency, you feel very much a need to try to find hope.”
-- Did you see the return of “The X-Files” last night? Our TV critic says it was again “surprisingly awkward” but came off less as an exercise in brand revival.
-- After 15 years, the quirky Echo Park arts space Machine Project is closing its doors. Here are five highlights from its run.
-- Mark your calendar: Jan. 28 is the day dozens of Southern California museums will offer free admission.
Les Brown and his Band of Renown made the hit parade in the 1940s with tunes like “Joltin’ Joe DiMaggio,” “Sentimental Journey” and “I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm.” But before he became famous, getting into music was a way to get out of the drudgery of his father’s Pennsylvania bakery. Brown died on this date in 2001 at age 88.
-- The death toll from a bus that tumbled over a cliff in Peru has risen to 51, making it one of the deadliest vehicle accidents in the nation’s history.
-- In Western Europe, a violent storm packed winds up to 100 mph. Authorities say one person was killed and at least 23 others were injured in France and Switzerland.
-- Ethiopia has announced it will free all political prisoners and turn a notorious torture prison into a museum, but rights observers question how far the change will go.
-- The discovery of an infant’s remains from 11,500 years ago has both complicated the story of how humans spread throughout the Americas and brought it into clearer focus.
-- Washington’s state attorney general sued Motel 6, accusing the hotel chain of illegally giving information on guests to immigration enforcement officials looking for Latino-sounding names.
-- Tesla says it’s making progress on producing its Model 3 car, but it pushed its goal of making 5,000 a week back yet again, this time to the end of June.
-- Spotify has filed to go public in an unusual manner, even as it faces a $1.6-billion lawsuit from a Calabasas music publisher alleging copyright infringement.
-- UCLA’s Josh Rosen and USC’s Sam Darnold are headed to the NFL draft as the two most hyped college quarterbacks in L.A.’s recent history, but columnist Bill Plaschke argues they never quite lived up to the hype.
-- Oklahoma City Thunder forward Paul George denied any tampering occurred between him and the Lakers, then saw the L.A. team suffer its worst loss of the season.
-- “Swatting” is unconscionable. That doesn’t mean we need a federal law against it.
-- The emails confirm it: Beauty pageants put lipstick on the big, ugly pig of misogyny.
WHAT OUR EDITORS ARE READING
-- A former New York Times reporter writes about life on the CIA beat. (The Intercept)
-- That perplexing star in the sky? Scientists say it’s dust, not aliens. (National Geographic)
-- “Buy a cat, stay up late, don’t drink: top 10 writers’ tips on writing.” (The Guardian)
ONLY IN CALIFORNIA
If you were to put together a bucket list of places to go in California, what would you include? That was the daunting task for The Times’ Travel section, which published a new tip every day in 2017. Curator and chief writer Christopher Reynolds offers his top 10, mentions a few places that didn’t make the cut (sorry, Winchester Mystery House) and shares a back story or two (like that crash near Charo’s house).