Newsletter: Today: Festivities and Fury

As the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem was celebrated, clashes in Gaza killed dozens of Palestinians.


Festivities and Fury

Fifty miles. That’s the distance between Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip, yet they could not be farther apart. In the holy city, dignitaries from the U.S. and Israel applauded the largely symbolic opening of the American Embassy in its temporary home. On the Gaza frontier, dozens of Palestinians died and more than 2,700 people were injured, according to Palestinian officials, in a confrontation with Israeli troops. Israel says protesters threw firebombs and stones as they tried to break through the border fence; its soldiers responded with tear gas and gunfire, some from tanks. With more protests expected, the White House says Israel “has the right to defend itself.” Some of America’s closest allies in western Europe, after having shunned the embassy inauguration, are calling on Israel to exercise restraint.


GAZA CITY, GAZA -- MONDAY, MAY 14, 2018: Protesters carry away the wounded shot by Israeli forces as
Palestinians carry an injured man during clashes with Israeli forces near the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel on Monday.
(Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times )

More Politics

-- A White House spokesman said he did not know how the Rev. Robert Jeffress, who has said Jews and other non-Christians will go to hell, ended up delivering the invocation at the embassy ceremony in Jerusalem.

-- Trump’s stunning change in stance toward Chinese telecom-equipment maker ZTE could be a sign that the president is looking for a potential deal to avert massive tariffs threatened by both sides


-- The White House announced that First Lady Melania Trump underwent an “embolization procedure” to treat a benign kidney condition. The chairman of urology at UCLA explains what that is.

States’ Rights … to Bet the Over/Under

In the sports world, all bets are on. The Supreme Court has opened the door to legalized wagering on pro and college games across the nation, striking down a federal ban. Now it will be up to states to decide, and gaming experts say most will embrace it, even if leaders of the pro leagues reacted with caution and suggested Congress create a new framework. In California — where a constitutional amendment may go before voters — horse tracks, Indian casinos and card clubs are expected to fight for their piece of the action. Will this decision play into other states’ rights battles on immigration and marijuana? Stay tuned.

Your Next Governor, as Seen on TV

Ballots for California’s June 5 primary elections are arriving in the mail these days. That means the political ads are in full swing. Democratic front-runner Gavin Newsom has one in which he touts his 2004 decision to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples as mayor of San Francisco. Interestingly enough, at the time, the move drew criticism even from some prominent Democrats. Meanwhile, Antonio Villaraigosa is getting some help from ads funded by wealthy charter school supporters; and Republican candidates Travis Allen and John Cox are running with the theme of who has the real conservative cred.

‘We Won’t Be Silent Anymore’

Five decades ago, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. founded the Poor People’s Campaign to spur government action to fight poverty. Five decades after King’s death, that civil disobedience movement is back. The idea is to lift poor people to the top of the nation’s agenda with 40 days of protests and other activities. It began Monday with hundreds of people arrested outside the U.S. Capitol and at statehouses across the country.

A Hidden Killer


California has so far avoided the worst of the nation’s opioid epidemic, but officials are concerned about a troublesome development: Fentanyl, a lethal substance 50 times stronger than heroin, is increasingly showing up in drugs like cocaine and methamphetamine in the state. Experts say they don’t know whether dealers are purposely or accidentally tainting drugs with the opioid, which has killed thousands nationwide.

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-- Protests at the Gaza border continue as Palestinians clash with Israeli soldiers.

-- Actor Jeffrey Wright delves into his character on “Westworld.”


-- Two Los Alamitos politicians who sparked the anti-“sanctuary state” movement will meet with Trump at the White House on Wednesday.

-- The initial deployment of California National Guard troops has arrived at the border with Mexico and will soon begin backing up federal law enforcement agents.


-- The defense attorney for the suspect in the Golden State Killer case is fighting against the release of case documents sought by the Los Angeles Times and other media organizations.

-- Authorities say they found 10 children living in squalor in Fairfield, Calif. Their mother has denied the abuse allegations.


-- “This is the most uncomfortable show that I’ve ever done. And I don’t think that’s a bad thing,” says actor Conrad Ricamora of his role in the play “Soft Power.” The actor and singer is best known for his portrayal of Oliver Hampton on ABC’s legal drama series “How to Get Away With Murder.”

-- Spike Lee’s new film, “BlacKkKlansman,” brought a Cannes Film Festival audience to its feet with its commentary on Trump’s America.

-- The women’s advocacy group UltraViolet wants Spotify to remove songs by the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Chris Brown, Nelly and others.

-- This Miró masterpiece will be sold to the highest bidder tonight. Art critic Christopher Knight says it belongs in a museum instead.


Margot Kidder found fame playing Lois Lane opposite Christopher Reeve in “Superman: The Movie.” Later, she became a public face for mental health advocacy. “After ‘Superman’ came out, I found it very difficult and hard to deal with. There is a sense of having to put on this phony face when you go out in public,” Kidder told The Times in 1997. “I wasn’t very good at it, and it filled me with anxiety and panic. I had to hide the manic depression, for one thing. I just felt inadequate for the job.” Kidder died Sunday at age 69.


-- Italy’s two leading anti-establishment parties are attempting to cobble together their far-flung agendas and form a new government. If successful, it would be the first populist government in western Europe.

-- As election results are announced in Iraq, a new role is emerging for a longtime U.S. adversary: populist Iraqi cleric Muqtada Sadr.

-- The World Health Organization is urging developing nations to follow the lead of affluent countries and eliminate synthetic trans fatty acids from their food supplies. The idea is to reduce deaths from heart disease and strokes.

-- Kensington Palace has addressed a report alleging that Meghan Markle’s father will no longer walk her down the aisle on Saturday after he was embroiled in a paparazzi scandal and suffered a heart attack.


-- CBS Corp. has essentially declared war on its controlling shareholder, Shari Redstone, setting the stage for an epic battle for control of one of America’s oldest and most popular broadcasting companies.

-- As Tesla turns: After another top executive departure amid production turmoil, Chief Executive Elon Musk says it’s time for a “thorough reorganization” at the electric-car maker.


-- The Dodgers’ season is a mess so far. Manager Dave Roberts says he is open to suggestions, while Andrew Friedman, president of baseball operations, says he’ll take the blame at this point.

-- Next month’s NBA draft could mark the return of dominant big men. Teams with the top 14 picks will find out the draft order today.


-- Don’t blow California’s $8.8-billion windfall: Focus on housing and homelessness first.

-- Pulitzer Prize-winnnig author Viet Thanh Nguyen writes that the blackface incidents at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo show why we need more education about racism.


-- Beware: Carbon monoxide poisoning has killed more than two dozen people in the U.S. since 2006 after keyless-ignition vehicles have been inadvertently left running in garages. (New York Times)

-- Trump and Sean Hannity reportedly share late-night phone calls — a lot. (New York Magazine)

-- What is it about tomato juice and airplane travel? (The Guardian)


California already has an official state dance (West Coast Swing), mineral (gold, of course) and nut (four of them, actually: almonds, pecans, walnuts and pistachios). But it doesn’t have an official state sport. Yet. The state Legislature has moved one step closer to give surfing that hallowed designation, though some have argued skateboarding would be more apropos.

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