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Today: A Hard Line From the White House

Today: A Hard Line From the White House
President Trump speaks before signing a presidential memorandum imposing tariffs and investment restrictions on China. (Evan Vucci / Associated Press)

President Trump orders tariffs on Chinese goods and names an aggressive new national security advisor.

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The Winds of Trade War

President Trump's decision to order some $50 billion in tariffs on a wide range of Chinese imports brought bipartisan cheers on Capitol Hill, jeers on Wall Street and fears of a trade war. The tariffs could raise prices on clothing, laptop computers, toys and more. The Dow Jones industrial average dropped more than 700 points Thursday, and several industries warned that the tariffs could ultimately hurt American consumers and businesses. In turn, China announced plans for reciprocal tariffs on $3 billion of U.S. imports, including some California specialties. But Trump also said, “We’re in the midst of a very large negotiation” with China, suggesting there may be another shoe to drop. It all came just as the White House significantly scaled back its new steel and aluminum tariffs on many countries.

A Hawk Lands at the White House

John Bolton has called for a military attack on nuclear-armed North Korea, vigorously opposed the Iran nuclear deal and taken up a long list of hard-line positions that many in the Republican foreign policy establishment view as extreme. Per presidential tweet, Bolton will be taking over as Trump’s third new national security advisor, replacing Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster next month. McMaster’s departure isn’t a surprise — we reported he was on the way out a week ago — but it had been suggested he might stay until after Trump’s planned meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

More Politics

-- Trump’s legal team and strategy for the sprawling Russia investigation appeared in disarray after John Dowd, the lawyer negotiating a possible presidential interview with special counsel Robert S. Mueller III, abruptly resigned.

-- Congress approved a $1.3-trillion spending bill after a flurry of unsuccessful Democratic efforts to force legislators to take up a measure to protect the “Dreamer” immigrants. Trump has promised to sign the bill to avert another government shutdown.

-- The Democratic Party appears to have an unconventional new strategy for dealing with anti-Nancy Pelosi campaign ads this year: Disavow her.

-- Former Playboy model Karen McDougal went on TV to talk about what she described as a 10-month love affair with Trump near the start of his marriage to Melania Trump.

Reading, Writing and Rallying in the Streets

A huge march on Washington, D.C., on Saturday — and hundreds of rallies elsewhere, including in Los Angeles — have one goal: to demand that Congress pass a comprehensive bill to address gun violence. Will it get the politicians to act? So far, it’s been about as frustrating as instructing adults on how to use smartphones, says David Hogg, one of the teenagers from Parkland, Fla., leading the charge. And then there’s all that usual high school homework to do.

The O.C. Hits the NIMBY Wall

A few days ago, Orange County looked as if it had a plan to deal with its growing homeless population by moving hundreds into temporary shelters in Huntington Beach, Irvine and Laguna Niguel. Now, that idea is in serious jeopardy after the three communities have vowed to do whatever it takes to keep the shelters out.

FLASHBACK FRIDAY

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Claude K. Bell, a Knott's Berry Farm sculptor and portrait artist, was a self-described “nut on dinosaurs.” After opening the Wheel Inn cafe in Cabazon, he set about designing and building “Dinney,” a 150-ton mock Brontosaurus, and a 100-ton Tyrannosaurus he dubbed “Rex.” Bell planned more, but he died in 1988. Today, they remain a roadside attraction.

March 23, 1970: Sculptor Claude K. Bell with his 45-foot-tall, 150-foot-long brontosaurus in Cabazon.
March 23, 1970: Sculptor Claude K. Bell with his 45-foot-tall, 150-foot-long brontosaurus in Cabazon. (John Malmin / Los Angeles Times)

MUST-WATCH VIDEO

-- The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is getting greater. Twice the size of Texas, the floating mass is up to 16 times larger than previously thought, according to scientists who performed an aerial survey.

-- Film critic Kenneth Turan says “Final Portrait” features a dazzling Geoffrey Rush as an artist wrestling with self-doubt.

CALIFORNIA

-- Sacramento authorities released video footage of officers shooting and killing an unarmed black man in his backyard after a chaotic pursuit at night. The shooting sparked a day of protests Thursday in which hundreds blocked Interstate 5 and blocked access to a Sacramento Kings game.

-- More heavy rains pummeled Southern California, but the region appeared to have largely avoided much-feared flooding and mudslides.

-- The state Supreme Court, reviving a lawsuit against UCLA, decided that the state’s colleges may be held liable for failing to protect students from violence in classrooms and during “curricular” activities.

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-- Former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Assemblyman Chad Mayes unveiled a new group trying to reform the California Republican Party.

YOUR WEEKEND

-- Planning to see a game at Dodger Stadium this season? This graphic shows how to find the shade and avoid sunburn.

-- It’s spring gardening season: Here are 12 plant sales to get you digging.

-- At this restaurant in Little Saigon, your egg rolls are made by Vietnamese Buddhist nuns and monks.

-- Start your day with one of our favorite coffeecake recipes, including this apple bacon creation.

HOLLYWOOD AND THE ARTS

-- Film critic Justin Chang finds “Pacific Rim Uprising” to be a big, noisy, cheerfully dumb monsters-and-robots sequel. (Is that necessarily a bad thing?)

-- Should you see the new “Frozen” musical on Broadway or let it go? Theater critic Charles McNulty says it’s no “Lion King,” but it sings with sisterly appeal.

-- Stephen Colbert learned the hard way that Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg takes her fitness very seriously.

NATION-WORLD

-- The serial bomber who terrorized Austin, Texas, is dead, but many on the city’s predominantly minority east side, where the bombings began, say they have lingering fears about the attacker’s motives.

-- Israel’s disclosure that it struck a Syrian nuclear reactor in 2007 has stirred a debate over censorship and security.

-- Britain’s new, blue post-“Brexit” passport may be made by a European company, and that is making some people see red.

-- Mystery solved: A tiny skeleton found in Chile 14 years ago belonged to a human girl with a combination of rare genetic defects. (But some people will still believe those alien conspiracy theories.)

BUSINESS

-- Charles P. Lazarus, who founded Toys R Us, has died at age 94. Meanwhile, the CEO of the company that makes Bratz dolls is leading an attempt to salvage hundreds of American Toys R Us stores.

-- The biggest U.S. antitrust case of this century kicked into high gear as a government lawyer accused AT&T of wanting to buy media giant Time Warner Inc. to “weaponize” its must-have content.

SPORTS

-- Matt Kemp is getting closer to an opening day assignment with the Dodgers.

OPINION

-- Trump has upped the ante in his doomed trade war with China; the right steps to deal with China’s trade abuses are the ones that Trump has disdained since the day he took office.

-- California eviction law is pushing working families out of their neighborhoods, or worse, onto the streets.

WHAT OUR EDITORS ARE READING

-- Videos show how the Las Vegas gunman spent his final days before the attack. (New York Times)

-- Goodbye, Facebook; hello, Facebook-owned Instagram? (USA Today)

-- How writer-actress Lena Waithe is changing the game in Hollywood. (Vanity Fair)

ONLY IN L.A.

Do you really want to go down a rabbit hole? Altadena’s Bunny Museum is home to the world’s “largest collection of rabbit-related items,” according to Guinness World Records. That’s roughly 35,400 plush toys, matchbooks, costumes, etc. Appropriately enough, the collection is constantly multiplying.

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