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Today: 'An Attack On Our Democracy'

Explosive devices were sent to several high-profile political figures in the U.S. But why?

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‘An Attack On Our Democracy’

The packages contained makeshift pipe bombs. The targets: President Obama, Hillary Clinton, former Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr., George Soros, former CIA chief John Brennan (care of CNN) and Rep. Maxine Waters (including one package found in South L.A.). The motive: not immediately clear. President Trump said the explosive devices were “an attack on our democracy itself” and vowed to bring “those responsible for these despicable acts to justice.” But critics noted that, in his calls for unity, Trump didn’t mention his own frequent vilification of those targeted — and tried to shift blame to the media, saying it “also has a responsibility to set a civil tone.”

More Politics

-- Trying to stem global condemnation, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman spoke for the first time about the killing three weeks ago of a U.S.-based Saudi journalist, calling it a “heinous” and “unjustified” crime.

-- Who’s behind the migrant caravan? The Honduran activist who organized it says, “There are no institutions — religious, charity or political — that are financing this.”

-- The recent stock market volatility has erased the Dow’s and S&P 500’s gains for the year. But if there’s an economic slowdown ahead, is Trump setting up the Federal Reserve to take the fall when he runs for reelection in 2020?

Inside a White Power Group

As the nation’s attention was focused on the bombs sent to political targets, federal authorities in Southern California were taking on an organization linked to racist violence. They arrested key members of a white power group known as the Rise Above Movement. Officials say the group used social media to coordinate combat training before political events and bragged about the violence to recruit members. Moreover, their goal was to reimagine what it means to be a white nationalist.

Which Way Is Time’s Up?

It has a catchy name, celebrity members and has raised $22 million for a legal defense fund. But what exactly is the goal of Time’s Up, the loose-knit coalition of women that banded together a year ago amid the Harvey Weinstein sexual harassment scandal? Confusion about its mission persists. But recently, the organization that’s prided itself on not having a single leader hired a president and CEO.

Blanked in Boston

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh says he didn’t make a World Series bet with his L.A. counterpart, Eric Garcetti, because he’s too superstitious. So far, it seems to have been the right move. The Dodgers are heading back to Los Angeles down two games to none against a Red Sox team that, at least right now, seems unstoppable.

MUST-WATCH VIDEO

-- Meet Viktoria Modesta, the “bionic” woman who is changing the conversation about art, science and disabilities.

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CALIFORNIA

-- Officials say massive summer wildfires have left many communities vulnerable to an increased risk of flooding. Last year’s Montecito mudslides serve as a warning.

-- Animal welfare activists have split over Proposition 12, which would require more space for egg-laying hens, breeding pigs and calves raised for veal.

-- The pilot of a small vintage plane that crash-landed on the 101 Freeway in Agoura Hills says the plane’s engine had begun to fail.

-- Authorities say a Fresno man set his parents’ home ablaze while trying to kill black widow spiders with a blowtorch.

HOLLYWOOD AND THE ARTS

-- Megyn Kelly, who touched off a furor over comments on blackface, has been in discussions about exiting her morning show and taking a new role within NBC News.

-- The new “Halloween” sequel gives actress Jamie Lee Curits and her female costars all the power.

-- The long goodbye: Donny and Marie Osmond will end their long-running show at the Flamingo Las Vegas hotel-casino in November 2019.

CLASSIC HOLLYWOOD

It’s been 40 years since “The Wiz” eased on down the road. Though it tanked upon its release in theaters, the film adaptation of the Broadway musical has become a kind of rite of passage for the black community.

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NATION-WORLD

-- A year after Trump called for a public health emergency to control the opioid crisis, the administration is working to roll back health insurance coverage that public health experts say is critical.

-- On the border in El Paso, the migrants arrive so regularly there’s a housing crunch. “We’re in effect receiving a caravan a month,” says one shelter director.

-- The Boris Yeltsin Museum in Russia isn’t the most popular place, given that Vladimir Putin and most Russians have rejected Yeltsin’s legacy.

-- A tree inspector in Brooklyn? It’s no scam, as a team of federal officials hunt down the Asian long-horned beetle.

BUSINESS

-- Realtors say Proposition 5 would “unlock the housing market,” freeing up more inventory. Multiple outside housing experts say that won’t happen.

-- Tesla’s good news: Shares surged on a report of a profit and improved cash flow in the third quarter. Tesla’s bad news: It dropped to third-worst in Consumer Reports reliability rankings.

SPORTS

-- The last time quarterback Aaron Rodgers played at the Coliseum, he matched an NCAA record against USC. He’ll return on Sunday to take on the Rams.

-- What is wrong with the L.A. Kings? General Manager Rob Blake is giving the team a bit more time before making a move.

OPINION

-- If Trump is worried about political violence, he should start by toning down his own rhetoric.

-- If Latinos vote, California’s blue wave could inundate the GOP.

WHAT OUR EDITORS ARE READING

-- Trump loves to talk on his iPhone, even though he’s been told Chinese and Russian spies are listening. (New York Times)

-- Mike Pence, the “president-in-waiting”? (Los Angeles Review of Books)

-- What is former NBA commissioner David Stern up to these days? Quite a bit, it turns out. (Sports Illustrated)

ONLY IN L.A.

On TV, this Bel-Air estate was seen in the opening credits of “The Beverly Hillbillies” as the place where the Clampetts took up residence. In real life, the 25,000-square-foot mansion from the 1930s was home to the late Univision billionaire A. Jerrold Perenchio. Now you can buy it for a reduced asking price: $245 million. Yes, it’s the most expensive listing in the U.S. No word if it includes Granny’s moonshine still.

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

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