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Today: 9/11's Deadly Legacy for the FBI

Today: 9/11's Deadly Legacy for the FBI
Tresa Roth, whose husband, FBI Agent Robert Roth, died from cancer in 2008, with memorabilia from his time at the agency. He assisted rescue and investigative efforts at the Pentagon after the Sept. 11 attacks in 2001. (David Butow / For The Times)

The FBI says the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks is still killing its agents.

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9/11’s Deadly Legacy for the FBI

Seventeen years after nearly 3,000 people were killed when terrorist-piloted planes hit the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a Pennsylvania field, the attacks are still claiming victims. The FBI says 15 of its agents — three of them since March — have died from cancers linked to toxic exposure during the investigation and cleanup. “It’s like Bin Laden is still reaching out from the grave,” the president of the FBI Agents Assn. says.

Excuse Me, Do You Speak Trump?

President Trump’s supporters say he “tells it like it is,” but West Wing aides, lawmakers, foreign leaders, corporate executives and, yes, journalists often struggle to understand exactly what he’s trying to communicate. Is the morning’s tweetstorm an order to change policy, red meat for the base, or just venting? “There are definitely times you come out of meetings and say, ‘How did you take that?’ ” says Marc Short, until recently Trump’s director of legislative affairs.

More Politics

-- The Trump administration has signaled its support of a lawsuit against Harvard University over its affirmative action admissions policy. The suit was brought by a group of Asian Americans.

-- Trump told Congress he is canceling a pay raise that most civilian federal employees were due to receive in January, citing budgetary constraints.

-- Sources say the president wants to move ahead with a plan to impose tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports next week.

Double Double Trouble

To be a full-fledged member of the “Trump resistance,” do you have to boycott In-N-Out? California Democratic Party Chairman Eric Bauman tweeted in favor of such a ban while linking to a story about the burger chain’s donation of $25,000 to the state’s Republican Party. But an In-N-Out official says the company “made equal contributions to both Democratic and Republican” political action committees in California in 2018. As for Bauman’s tweet, a spokesman says it’s his “personal view” and not party policy.

A Hidden Cost of the Wildfires

For California homeowners living in areas deemed to be at high fire risk, getting insurance has become increasingly difficult and costly. With the state in the midst of its worst fire year on record, insurers will be taking an even harder look. The state Department of Insurance says lawmakers should move now to protect consumers, before their options run out.

FLASHBACK FRIDAY

A contingent of U.S. Navy vessels will be in San Pedro this weekend for L.A. Fleet Week. Back in 1919, the Pacific Battle Fleet dropped anchor there and would stay until 1940, when it was ordered to remain indefinitely off Hawaii, site of the Pearl Harbor attack the following year. These photos show some of the fleet’s history in L.A.

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Jan. 31, 1938: U.S. Navy ships are anchored behind the 26,000-foot breakwater off San Pedro.
Jan. 31, 1938: U.S. Navy ships are anchored behind the 26,000-foot breakwater off San Pedro. (Los Angeles Times Archive / UCLA)

MUST-WATCH VIDEO

-- Highlights from former Vice President Joe Biden’s eulogy of Sen. John McCain, whom he memorialized as a hero, fighter and imperfect friend.

CALIFORNIA

-- State lawmakers have advanced an ambitious net neutrality proposal to prevent broadband providers from hindering or manipulating access to the internet.

-- In Modesto, a 33-year-old woman in a homeless camp died this month after she was struck by machinery used by a Caltrans crew to bulldoze the area.

-- A 68-year-old Encino man was arrested and charged with threatening to shoot employees at the Boston Globe, calling it “the enemy of the people.”

-- Booze at Disneyland? A “Star Wars”-inspired cantina opening next year will let visitors order alcoholic drinks in a first for the theme park.

YOUR WEEKEND

-- Looking to chill on Labor Day weekend? Some great streaming opportunities await.

-- Explore Ventura’s beaches, shops and family-friendly restaurants on a weekend escape.

-- Tips for tailgating like a pro, as football season nears.

-- If you love carbs, here are six easy ways to still lose weight.

HOLLYWOOD AND THE ARTS

-- Movie critic Kenneth Turan says “John McEnroe: In the Realm of Perfection” is as unusual a sports documentary as you're likely to see.

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-- Aretha Franklin’s funeral this morning is a private ceremony, but fans of the late Queen of Soul can watch it via TV and livestream.

-- In “A Star Is Born,” Lady Gaga shows a more real version of herself. “I’m so insecure. I like to preach, but I don’t always practice what I preach.”

Lady Gaga has her first lead movie role in Bradley Cooper's upcoming take on "A Star Is Born."
Lady Gaga has her first lead movie role in Bradley Cooper's upcoming take on "A Star Is Born." (Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)

-- Plus, take a look at virtually every film coming out this fall.

NATION-WORLD

-- Picking McCain’s temporary successor won’t be easy for Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, who must balance the senator’s legacy with Trump’s popularity there.

-- Police say Sara Netanyahu is a suspect in a bribery case targeting her husband, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

-- Another journalist was killed in Mexico this week, but it’s unclear whether it was because of his profession.

-- Las Vegas’ salute to cannabis culture is a 24-foot-long, fully functional bong.

BUSINESS

-- State lawmakers sent the governor a bill that would require women to be included on the boards of directors of companies headquartered here.

-- The economy is booming, yet a study from the left-leaning Urban Institute says 40% of Americans struggle to make ends meet.

-- NBC News is denying that it tried to shut down Ronan Farrow’s Harvey Weinstein reporting.

SPORTS

-- In college football, Michigan transfer Wilton Speight has been named the starting quarterback for UCLA’s first game this weekend, while Aca'Cedric Ware hopes to be the featured back for USC.

-- For fans of Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen, his pitching shouldn’t be the biggest concern.

OPINION

-- Stripping Mexican Americans of their passports on flimsy evidence is unconscionable, even for Trump.

-- To ride L.A.’s Metro, full-body searches shouldn't be the price to pay.

WHAT OUR EDITORS ARE READING

-- Bruce Ohr. Lisa Page. Andrew Weissman. Andrew McCabe. One of the things that these Trump targets have in common: investigating money laundering and organized crime, particularly related to Russia. (The Atlantic)

-- When this woman created a website for lonely people, she started the “incel” movement. “It definitely wasn’t a bunch of guys blaming women for their problems.” (BBC)

-- Hyperpolyglots are people who can speak 11 languages or more, and they have something to teach the rest of us. (The New Yorker)

ONLY IN CALIFORNIA

Californians are used to seeing warning labels on, well, just about everything. A new car, the plastic cover of a Bible, bondage tape — they all have to have a Proposition 65 warning on them. Starting today, those labels are getting a revamp that includes a listing of the offending substance and yellow triangular hazard symbol with an exclamation point. One wonders: Does a plastic warning label have to have its own label?

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

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