The presidents of the U.S. and Turkey have put more pressure on Saudi Arabia over the killing of a journalist, but both have carefully limited their statements.
‘The Worst Cover-Up Ever,’ but …
Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo says that the U.S. will revoke the visas of the men implicated in the killing of the dissident Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, and President Trump called the aftermath “the worst cover-up ever” by the Saudis. At the same time, Trump has continued to praise Saudi Arabia as a “good ally.” He has limited his criticism of Riyadh, just as Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan stopped short of implicating Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. The bottom line: U.S., Saudi and Turkish officials are still looking for a way out of a crisis that threatens to damage their long-standing relationships. Meanwhile, the crown prince and Saudi King Salman received two members of Khashoggi’s family and expressed condolences.
Russia, China and a Cold War Treaty
Trump says he is withdrawing from the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty with Russia because Moscow has been violating the agreement for years. But after his visit with Vladimir Putin this week, Trump’s national security advisor, John Bolton, said he had not given formal notification of a withdrawal and hinted at another key goal: putting greater military pressure on China. Beijing isn’t party to the treaty and has been free to build an extensive arsenal of medium-range ballistic missiles armed with conventional warheads. Critics fear all this will only lead to a new arms race.
-- Riots in California. “Middle Easterners” in a migrant caravan. Tax cuts in the next two weeks. Trump is now at his most Trumpy, with false claims and dystopian warnings in an effort to mobilize GOP voters.
-- The National Space Council, led by Vice President Mike Pence, has created a blueprint for the “space force” that Trump has espoused. But congressional support for creating a new military branch is uncertain.
Orange County’s Former Republican Club
Can two former Republicans, now running for Congress as Democrats in Orange County, help flip the House? Real estate investor Harley Rouda left the GOP two decades ago, while Navy veteran and lottery winner Gil Cisneros soured on the party over “birtherism.” Both say they have not changed their views so much as the Republican Party left them; their opponents cast them as opportunists. Now they’re locked in races, in traditionally conservative areas, that are too close to call.
To hear Mayor Eric Garcetti tell it, a recent crackdown on downtown L.A. street encampments went off smoothly. But as with so many things involving the homelessness crisis, it’s not that simple. An array of legal issues, such as a federal injunction against the city summarily seizing and destroying homeless people’s property on skid row, is complicating matters. It’s also putting Garcetti, who continues to weigh a presidential run, in a difficult spot between property owners and advocates for the homeless.
Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw has made a career of stellar postseason outings followed by clunkers. To open the World Series at Boston’s Fenway Park, home of the Green Monster wall, it was a bona fide clunker — resulting in an 8-to-4 loss to the Red Sox. As the teams head into Game 2 tonight, the Dodgers now know the juggernaut they’re facing.
As Elon Musk touts his would-be tunnels these days, let’s look at a ghost of L.A.’s transportation past: On this date in 1927, The Times wrote about the new Pico Street viaduct for the Pacific Electric Railway, a privately owned transit system connecting Southern California via its famous Red Cars. Back then, the viaduct cost $290,000 to build.
-- University of California investigators say James Sandoval, a former UC Riverside vice chancellor, sexually harassed two women he supervised. He has denied the allegations.
-- A National Park Service plan to set fire to an ancient sequoia grove has been canceled for the second time this year, delaying an operation aimed at triggering new growth near General Sherman, the world’s largest tree.
-- A vintage small plane crashed onto the 101 Freeway in Agoura Hills on Tuesday afternoon. No injuries were reported.
HOLLYWOOD AND THE ARTS
-- Jim Carrey’s show of political cartoons is open in downtown L.A., and the actor-comedian isn’t mincing words: “There is only one true enemy of the state and that’s the president.”
-- Ed Catmull, the Pixar Animation Studios co-founder who helped pioneer computer animation, is retiring. Along with co-founder John Lasseter having stepped down amid allegations of inappropriate behavior, it’s the end of an era.
-- Kenya Barris, creator of the sitcom “black-ish,” has moved on to write and produce exclusively for Netflix. The new showrunners told us how they plan to continue Barris’ legacy and go forward.
-- Retired Justice Sandra Day O’Connor revealed in an open letter that she has dementia. The letter from the first woman to serve on the Supreme Court echoed one sent in 1994 by former President Reagan, who had nominated her to the bench in 1981.
-- Still 1,000 miles from the U.S. border, a migrant caravan paused in Mexico to regroup.
-- Ken Moelis, an L.A. investment banker, traveled to Saudi Arabia to extol the virtues of friendship and make money at the kingdom’s signature investment conference, as other figures stayed away amid an international uproar over Khashoggi’s killing.
-- The missing images of Chinese immigrants in America and the sense of self. (Paris Review)
-- “The Other Side of the Wind,” touted as Orson Welles’ final film, took a long, strange trip before it was screened. (Vulture)
ONLY IN CALIFORNIA
Have you seen this … sea lion? A 175-pound female sea lion ended up walking along the streets of San Diego this week, as a group of bystanders protected her. Before being scooped up by rescuers, the animal stopped for a rest, closed her eyes and was serenaded with “Kiss From a Rose,” written and originally performed by the artist with a name that sounds like another pinniped: Seal.