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Today: A Showdown With Saudi Arabia

Today: A Showdown With Saudi Arabia
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. (Cliff Owen / Associated Press)

Saudi Arabia lashes out as leaders in the West demand to know what happened to a missing journalist.

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A Showdown With Saudi Arabia

President Trump is facing pressure from Congress and Western allies to get answers from Saudi Arabia about the fate of Jamal Khashoggi, the former palace insider-turned-critic who disappeared after entering the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul and was reportedly killed. Trump said that “severe punishment” would result if it was proved that the Saudis were involved in anything “terrible and disgusting,” but that “they deny it every way you can imagine.” The kingdom has shifted from disavowing knowledge of what happened to Khashoggi to threatening major economic retaliation against anyone who acts against it.

More Politics

-- The White House has been considering plans that could again separate parents and children at the U.S.-Mexico border, according to several administration officials with direct knowledge of the effort.

-- Trump said he is unsure whether Defense Secretary James N. Mattis will leave and described him as “sort of a Democrat” amid reports of friction between the two.

-- The president is expected to name conservative Catholic activist and longtime commercial lawyer Pat Cipollone as the next White House counsel.

Big Contracts and a Disputed Ancestry

A company owned by House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s in-laws won more than $7 million in no-bid and other federal contracts at U.S. military installations and other government properties in California based on a dubious claim of Native American identity by McCarthy’s brother-in-law, a Times investigation has found. The contracts, awarded through a federal program designed to help disadvantaged minorities, were mostly for projects in and around McCarthy’s district.

The Decline and Fall of a Retail Empire

Sears was once the most dominant retailer in America. After 125 years in business, it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, with plans to close more than 100 stores but remain open during the holiday season as it seeks to reorganize. The move has been a long time coming. Hedge fund manager Edward Lampert, who took control of the company more than a dozen years ago, has made cuts in an effort to keep Sears afloat. He has also carved out some choice assets for himself.

Sainthood, at Long Last

Over the years, the influence of the late Archbishop Oscar Romero has reached far beyond the boundaries of El Salvador, the tiny country where he was shot in the heart while celebrating Mass in 1980. He has been compared to Gandhi and the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. And now, he is a saint, after a ceremony led by Pope Francis in Vatican City and attended by faithful from around the world. For L.A.’s large Salvadoran community, it was a moment for celebration and reflection.

Bad Trip, Eh?

On Wednesday, Canada will become the second country in the world to legalize recreational marijuana nationwide. Some Canadians have already experienced a real downer when they try to visit the U.S.: being barred for life if they admit to border agents that they’ve ever used pot. For those who are denied entry, there is a waiver, but obtaining one costs time and money.

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OUR MUST-READS FROM THE WEEKEND

-- Automation could affect millions of Californians’ jobs. What happens then? The final installment of our Next California series looks at some of the options the next governor may consider.

-- Hundreds of Beverly Hills students called on Trump to move a subway line to the Westside away from their high school or else defund the project.

-- The banishment of acclaimed UC Irvine professor Francisco J. Ayala has created a debate over whether #MeToo can go too far.

-- Kevin Ellison once starred for USC football. He died while wandering through traffic on a freeway. What happened?

-- LeBron James is shrinking the generation gap as he yearns to become a patient leader for his younger Lakers teammates.

MUST-WATCH VIDEO

-- Hello, Cleveland! Take a two-minute tour of the city.

FROM THE ARCHIVES

The next time you’re stuck in traffic in the Sepulveda Boulevard tunnel at LAX, think about the time before it was built. The photo below, taken on this date in 1952, shows construction on the north portal several months before the tunnel’s dedication.

Oct. 15, 1952: Construction of the north portal of the Sepulveda Boulevard tunnel underneath Los Angeles International Airport.
Oct. 15, 1952: Construction of the north portal of the Sepulveda Boulevard tunnel underneath Los Angeles International Airport. (Art Rogers / Los Angeles Times)

CALIFORNIA

-- Parts of Southern and Northern California are bracing for powerful winds. Utilities may shut off the power in some areas in an effort to prevent wildfires.

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-- L.A. County sheriff’s detectives are awaiting ballistic testing to determine whether a man is connected to shootings in the Malibu Creek State Park area.

-- L.A. voters will decide next month whether to alter the City Charter to eliminate a barrier to creating a public bank.

-- The 405 Freeway in the San Fernando Valley was shut down Sunday after a charter bus crash triggered other collisions, injuring more than two dozen people.

HOLLYWOOD AND THE ARTS

-- In case you missed it: “Saturday Night Live” began this week with a take on Kanye West's Oval Office visit.

-- Black hairstyles haven't received much acceptance in Hollywood over the years, but that’s changing now.

-- After an initial backlash against the reboot of the series “Charmed,” can it find magic on the CW?

-- Rapper Drake keeps making up with his enemies. His latest? Chris Brown.

NATION-WORLD

-- The death toll along Hurricane Michael's destructive path from Florida to Virginia stands at 17. Florida’s Panhandle region is still reeling.

-- The Lucky Dragon casino was supposed to be a Las Vegas hot spot for Asian gamblers. Two years later, it’s going up for auction.

-- Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, are expecting a child in the spring.

-- In Bavaria, German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s allies suffered massive losses in an important regional election.

-- Isolation-wary, Chinese-speaking Taiwan may make English an official language.

BUSINESS

-- Allegations of sexism and harassment are roiling Riot Games, the developer of “League of Legends.”

SPORTS

-- The Rams remain undefeated after six games, while the Chargers have notched three wins in a row.

-- The Dodgers-Brewers series heads to Dodger Stadium this afternoon tied 1 to 1. Vin Scully was invited to call the game, but he has respectfully declined.

OPINION

-- Got your California ballot in the mail? A list of The Times' endorsements for the Nov. 6 election (so far).

-- Democrats, if you seize the House in November: Whatever you do, don’t act like Newt Gingrich.

WHAT OUR EDITORS ARE READING

-- “I’m not a baby”: The transcript of Trump’s “60 Minutes” interview touching on climate change, Kim Jong Un, Christine Blasey Ford and more. (CBS)

-- In-N-Out’s billionaire president, Lynsi Snyder, is running the company her grandparents started. Getting there wasn’t easy. (Forbes)

-- A professor argues that conservation now “needs to be designed for a mongrel world,” not a pristine concept of nature. (Aeon)

ONLY IN L.A.

Chris Toledo has dreams of owning a grand house in L.A. So he built one by hand, from the hardwood floors to the bathroom tiles to the stone fountains, all with incredible details. The cost: about $5,000. That’s because this house, called Casa California, is a miniature about one-twelfth the size of a real 1920s Spanish Mediterranean home. One day, his artistry might help him buy a full-sized place of his own.

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

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