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Newsletter: Today: The ‘Rogue Killers’ Theory

US President Donald J. Trump departs the White House to Florida Pandhandle, Washington, USA - 15 Oct 2018
President Trump speaks to reporters on the South Lawn of the White House on Monday.
(Michael Reynolds / EPA-Shutterstock)

Shifting stories and a deepening crisis over journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

TOP STORIES

The ‘Rogue Killers’ Theory

What really happened to Jamal Khashoggi, the U.S.-based dissident journalist who disappeared after entering the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul? After speaking with Saudi Arabia’s King Salman, President Trump suggested that “rogue killers,” not the royal family, may be to blame for Khashoggi’s suspected murder. Reports indicate that Saudi officials, who once denied any knowledge, are preparing to say his death resulted from an interrogation gone wrong. Meanwhile, the international furor over the case has sent shockwaves through the business world, including Hollywood, where film industry figures are reevaluating their ties.

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Testing the Waters

Elizabeth Warren, 2020? Though we’re still three weeks away from the midterm election, the Democratic senator from Massachusetts has been making a series of moves toward a presidential run. But none of them has received as much attention as Warren taking a DNA test that shows she probably has trace Native American heritage, aimed at countering Trump’s derision of her as “Pocahontas.” Will jabbing back at him pay off?

More Politics

-- Defense Secretary James N. Mattis said Trump gave him a vote of confidence after the president earlier suggested that Mattis might soon leave the Pentagon.

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-- Despite a soaring economy, Trump’s approval rating is stuck in the dumps. Could it be because of the near-constant distractions he creates?

-- A federal judge has dismissed the defamation lawsuit that Stormy Daniels filed against Trump, saying his tweet attacking the porn star’s credibility was free speech protected by the Constitution.

The Struggle to Rebuild

It’s been one year since the most destructive wildfire in California history tore through Sonoma County, killing 22 people and destroying more than 5,500 homes, including swaths of Santa Rosa. For those trying to rebuild, the struggle is the same and yet different, depending on location, money and fate. And there is the emotional trauma, which has caused some to leave the area entirely.

Remembering Microsoft’s ‘Idea Man’

Paul Allen had the programming genius; Bill Gates, the business acumen. As co-founders of Microsoft, they revolutionized the computer world. Only eight years into its run, Allen walked away with a fortune he would use to invest in “other people to do exciting, new, creative things.” He also had his indulgences, such as yachts and mansions. But Allen, who died at age 65, was always the quiet “idea man,” as Gates once said.

That Giant Sucking Sound

The wind was roaring for Game 3 of the National League Championship Series on Monday, but in the end, the air got sucked out of Dodger Stadium. Now trailing 2 to 1 in the series and coming off a 4-to-0 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers, the Dodgers will have to find a way to pick themselves up for Game 4 tonight. Columnist Bill Plaschke reports from the clubhouse.

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FROM THE ARCHIVES

Though the Dodgers didn’t play well last night, it was a different story on Oct. 15, 1988. That’s when Kirk Gibson delivered a walk-off home run in the World Series, even though he could barely walk. When Vin Scully gave the call: “In a year that has been so improbable, the impossible has happened!” And when Times photographer Joe Kennedy took the shot that would become a poster. See it in full here and get the story behind the photo.

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Oct. 15, 1988: Kirk Gibson celebrates as he rounds the bases after his two-run pinch-hit homer, giving the Dodgers a stunning 5-4 victory over the A’s in Game 1 of the 1988 World Series.
(Joe Kennedy / Los Angeles Times)

MUST-WATCH VIDEO

-- How Santa Ana winds form and can fuel wildfires in Southern California.

CALIFORNIA

-- Southern California remains under a red flag warning, after the first Santa Ana winds of the season began to roar across the state. One woman died when a tree fell on her car.

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-- Latino motorists tell of their anger at being stopped on the 5 Freeway by an L.A. County sheriff’s unit looking for drugs.

-- The day before L.A. City Councilman Mitchell Englander said he was stepping down, he held an $800-per-person fundraiser.

-- Horace Roberts has been freed two decades after being wrongfully convicted for the murder of a female co-worker he was having an affair with.

HOLLYWOOD AND THE ARTS

-- “The Conners” producers are ready to move on without Roseanne, on and off screen, as the spinoff show starts tonight. Without giving too much away, TV critic Lorraine Ali says the premiere is “sharp, funny and cuts deeper than its predecessor.”

-- The “Halloween” franchise is still going strong, with the latest sequel getting back to the scary basics.

-- Reggie Jackson, Queen Elizabeth and Leslie Nielsen: How “The Naked Gun” filmed the best baseball scene in movie history.

-- The Hammer Museum’s gala honored New York-based artist Glenn Ligon and Canadian author Margaret Atwood and raised $2.6 million.

NATION-WORLD

-- The Justice Department says it’s creating a task force to coordinate the fight against international criminal gangs such as MS-13 and drug cartels from Mexico and Colombia.

-- An Idaho Fish and Game commissioner has resigned after the governor raised concerns about photos of animals he’d hunted and killed during a recent African safari.

-- The latest sign that the Syrian civil war is winding down: Border crossings linking the country to Jordan and the Golan Heights are open again.

-- As talks with the European Union founder, Britain continues to have a big “Brexit” problem: Ireland.

-- Russia’s GRU spy agency has become the butt of jokes on Russian social media for its not-so-secret agents’ activity.

BUSINESS

-- Now that Sears has filed for bankruptcy reorganization, its chairman says, the storied retail chain still “has a future” as a smaller company.

-- The U.S. Supreme Court let stand a ruling that requires former makers of lead paint to pay $400 million or more to clean up old homes.

SPORTS

-- Tipoff for the NBA season finally arrives tonight, but the league’s biggest star, LeBron James, will just be watching, because the Lakers don’t play till Thursday.

-- Frustration has already set in for the L.A. Kings, who lost to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Monday night and have gone 0 for 21 on the power play.

OPINION

-- The Times Editorial Board says the choice is simple: Gavin Newsom should be California’s next governor.

-- Did we learn anything from Proposition 13? Proposition 5 says no, we haven’t.

WHAT OUR EDITORS ARE READING

-- An American charity said it was saving girls in Liberia from sexual exploitation. Instead, they were being raped by an insider. (ProPublica)

-- The artist who created “The Republican Club,” a painting depicting Trump and past presidents having drinks, was surprised to see it hanging in the White House. There’s a Democratic version too. (CNN)

-- Inside the world of YouTube for toddlers, which is more globalized than you might think. (The Atlantic)

ONLY IN CALIFORNIA

When San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputies got the call for a runaway pig “the size of a mini horse” in Highland, they knew exactly what to do: Lay out a trail of chips (specifically, a bag of Doritos Poppin’ Jalapeño) and let this big piggy walk all the way home.

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