Newsletter: Today: Noise in the Background Check


Confusion and discord over the FBI’s inquiry into allegations against Brett Kavanaugh grow, as President Trump mocks one of the judge’s accusers.


Noise in the Background Check


The FBI investigation into sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is supposed to provide clarity. But, so far, the circumstances surrounding it are creating more confusion and even some new schisms among Republicans. Some GOP senators want to see at least part of the FBI inquiry made public and would like time to go over details, while Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says only senators will see it, as is customary with background checks, and that a vote on confirming Kavanaugh will happen this week. Meanwhile, at a rally in Mississippi, President Trump mocked Christine Blasey Ford’s testimony about the assault allegations. And Ford’s lawyers say the FBI has given them the cold shoulder.

More Politics

-- The New York Times reported that Trump received at least $413 million from his father over the decades, much of that through dubious tax dodges, including outright fraud. A lawyer for Trump said there was no “fraud or tax evasion.”

-- Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo is scheduled to return to Pyongyang on Sunday for meetings with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in an attempt to revive nuclear disarmament talks.

-- Auto provisions were a major U.S. focus in revamping NAFTA, but analysts say the changes will have only a modest effect.

From California With Hate


The Rise Above Movement casts itself as an alt-right fight club in Southern California. But for more than a year, authorities say, the relatively small militant white-power group has caused trouble at political rallies across California. Now, four of its members have been accused by federal prosecutors of traveling to Virginia with the intent to incite a riot and commit violence in Charlottesville last year.

Disturbing Conditions at a Migrant Detention Facility

When federal inspectors arrived at the Adelanto ICE Processing Center in San Bernardino County for a surprise inspection in May, they found nooses made of bed sheets hanging in 15 of 20 cells. They met with a dentist who dismissed the need for fillings and suggested detainees could use string from their socks to floss. They heard of weeks- and months-long waits to see a doctor. And that’s not all nearly 2,000 detainees face as they await the outcome of their immigration cases.

Naming More Names

For two decades, Roman Catholic dioceses across California have struggled to deal with a sexual abuse scandal that has played out around the world and, more recently, damaged American Catholics’ view of Pope Francis. The dioceses have paid out massive settlements to victims and acknowledged institutional breakdowns. Now, some are moving to release more names of priests credibly accused of molestation. But is it enough? Some victims say it’s too little, too late.


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-- Shohei Ohtani’s hometown in Japan watched his rookie season with the Angels with admiration and pride.


On this date in 1933, tragedy struck in Griffith Park when a small brush fire ignited and 1,500 Depression-era workers, who were there for road widening and other projects, were sent to the top of a ridge to toss dirt on the flames. A gust of wind sent the fire roaring toward the workers, who were not trained in firefighting, and caused a panic. Twenty-nine people died in the incident.



-- State lawmakers wrote 1,016 new laws this year. Here are some of the highlights.

-- L.A. police have arrested four people accused of celebrity home break-ins targeting the Rams’ Robert Woods, the Dodgers’ Yasiel Puig and singer Rihanna.

-- An L.A. personnel official says a discrimination complaint against L.A. City Councilman Jose Huizar was “mishandled” and that it should have been addressed much sooner.

-- Test scores in the state’s schools have barely improved. But there’s little agreement on what to do about it.


-- “A Star Is Born” is “poised to become the movie of the moment — the one everyone has to see right now.” Film critic Kenneth Turan explains why in this review.


-- Linda Ronstadt is no longer singing, so her latest tour is a conversation with the audience.

-- After more than five decades, the Bob Baker Marionette Theater says it will leave its original home near downtown L.A. at the end of November.

-- An American couple have lost their bid in a French court to keep a Pissarro painting looted during World War II.


-- About 225 million electronic devices across the United States will wail and buzz today as the Federal Emergency Management Agency conducts an emergency alert test.

-- Authorities at the Pentagon found at least two packages suspected of containing ricin. The Secret Service also confirmed that a suspicious envelope was addressed to Trump.


-- The death toll from an earthquake and tsunami that hit Indonesia has risen, as the survivors grow more desperate.

-- Three physicists whose pioneering work transformed lasers from science-fiction fantasy into powerful tools were awarded the 2018 Nobel Prize in Physics.


-- Tucker Carlson’s third time as a TV host has been the charm, with “Tucker Carlson Tonight” ranking first among cable news audiences in its time slot every night since its premiere in April 2017.

-- Amazon says it’s raising its minimum wage for all U.S. workers to $15 per hour starting next month, including for Whole Foods employees.



-- In a surprise move, the Dodgers announced Hyun-Jin Ryu — not Clayton Kershaw — will start Game 1 of the National League Division Series against Atlanta on Thursday.

-- Tony Wolters hit a tiebreaking single with two outs in the 13th inning and the Colorado Rockies beat the Chicago Cubs 2-1 in an epic NL wild-card game.


-- It sure would be nice if billionaire Vinod Khosla finally gave compromise a try on public beach access.

-- If you’re ready to quit California, columnist Gustavo Arellano has some news for you.



-- “I know Brett Kavanaugh, but I wouldn’t confirm him.” Benjamin Wittes, editor of the Lawfare blog, writes an article “that I wish I could not write.” (The Atlantic)

-- A Texas doctor was sentenced to life in prison for botching surgeries. How did he slip through the medical system’s safeguards? (ProPublica)

-- America and its discontents, as viewed by a therapist. (The Baffler)


Following in the footsteps of the Museum of Ice Cream and the Museum of Broken Relationships comes Cheat Day Land, a social-media-friendly pop-up museum that is devoted to “cheat day” foods such as burgers, tacos and cake. But here you can work out more than your selfie-taking fingers: You can jump on a trampoline that looks like a pancake-flipping skillet or lift doughnut dumbbells.

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