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Newsletter: Today: Trip-for-Tat

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In December, President Trump had an Oval Office squabble with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer.
(Washington Post)

President Trump and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi have a Washington rivalry like no other.

TOP STORIES

Trip-for-Tat

If there was any doubt how the two most powerful elected officials in the country would get along, the last couple of days appear to have cleared it up. After Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi effectively postponed President Trump’s State of the Union address before Congress, Trump canceled her planned trip with a congressional delegation to visit NATO officials in Brussels and American troops in Afghanistan. Both wrote letters (read Trump’s here) citing the partial government shutdown for their actions, but … well, you be the judge. Still, in dealing with Pelosi, Trump has not used all the moves in his usual playbook — at least for now.

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The Untold Toll of Family Separations

How many children were separated from their families at the border as part of the Trump administration’s “zero-tolerance” approach to immigration? We still don’t have an exact number. The government has previously acknowledged it took roughly 2,700 children from their parents, but the Department of Health and Human Services’ inspector general says the real number is probably thousands more. Department of Homeland Security officials dispute the inspector general’s estimate. Democrats in Congress are vowing to get to the bottom of it.

More Politics

-- Newly empowered Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee are preparing to reopen the panel’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election, seeking new interviews and financial records. Republicans appear ready to boycott the inquiry.

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-- In a rebuke to the Trump administration, more than 130 Republicans joined House Democrats in opposing a Treasury Department plan to lift sanctions against companies controlled by Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska, a Vladimir Putin ally.

-- At the Pentagon, Trump called for dramatically broadening defenses against missile attacks, outlining a costly and scientifically unproven plan for developing lasers and space sensors to defend all of U.S. territory from ballistic missile threats.

-- Michael Cohen, Trump’s former lawyer, did not dispute a report that he hired a technology company to help rig online polls in Trump’s favor ahead of the 2016 presidential campaign. Cohen said he did so at Trump’s direction.

-- The General Services Administration’s inspector general says the agency “ignored” concerns that Trump’s lease on a government-owned building that houses the Trump International Hotel in Washington might violate the Constitution.

Will the Strike Have a Winner?

As the L.A. teachers’ strike enters its fifth day and negotiations continue, two realities are emerging: a tremendous enthusiasm among teachers and the public over the walkout — and the toll it’s taking on the school system. At one elementary school in Echo Park, that means parents have banded together to make sure each student has access to free childcare and food — and that only 19 of 300 pupils showed up on the strike’s first day. But harsh rhetoric between the union and district has become more conciliatory, and the pressure to reach a deal is growing as the political careers of L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti and, to a lesser extent, Gov. Gavin Newsom get wrapped up in the outcome.

Anything but Routine

By now, you’ve probably seen the video of UCLA gymnast Katelyn Ohashi nailing a perfect 10 on her floor routine at the Collegiate Challenge at the Anaheim Convention Center. Or her being interviewed on TV. Or Stephen Colbert trying to imitate her performance. But behind the routine that’s been hailed as pure, unadulterated joy is a story of pain, hard work and a journey to find happiness.

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FROM THE ARCHIVES

News came this week that the US Bank Tower in downtown Los Angeles is up for sale. For decades, it was the tallest skyscraper in the West. On April 18, 1989, when the final girder was raised to the top, about 200 people gathered to watch. “Many of them signed the beam,” a Times story reported. “Some were moved to write more than their names. ‘Hail Library Tower. Stand tall and forever,’ said one. Another wrote, ‘We love LA. But we hate this building.’

April 14, 1989: The Library Tower, under construction, center, surpasses the First Interstate Buildi
April 14, 1989: The Library Tower, under construction, center, surpasses the First Interstate Building, left, as the tallest building in downtown Los Angeles.
(Robert Durrell / Los Angeles Times)

CALIFORNIA

-- The latest in a series of winter storms that hammered Southern California for days sent soil sliding from beneath a house in the Hollywood Hills and a boulder tumbling down a hillside in Malibu, leaving a hiker critically injured. Things should start drying out today.

-- A landmark attempt to open up records of police use of force and misconduct has turned into a broad legal battle. Law enforcement unions across the state have gone to court to stop the release of some of the documents.

-- Gov. Gavin Newsom is making the case for why paying for the healthcare of immigrants in the country illegally makes sense.

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-- Authorities say an Orange County sheriff’s deputy was taken to a hospital after opening a suspicious package at a Santa Ana courthouse.

YOUR WEEKEND

-- This week’s restaurant reviews from our new critics: NoMad L.A. in downtown L.A. and Ma’am Sir in the Sunset Junction area of Silver Lake.

-- Now that it’s finally stopped raining, gardeners have plenty to do. Here are 26 ideas for the rest of this month.

-- Consider a weekend escape to Seattle and the recently renovated Space Needle.

HOLLYWOOD AND THE ARTS

-- Roger Daltrey discusses swagger and sensitivity, the new Who tour, plus the Beatles question.

-- Lorna Doom, an unsung hero and founding member of L.A. punk band Germs, has died at 61.

-- Stephen Colbert took aim at the Gillette toxic masculinity ad and one of its right-leaning critics on “The Late Show.”

NATION-WORLD

-- A judge has acquitted three Chicago police officers of trying to cover up the 2014 police shooting of black teenager Laquan McDonald to protect another officer who pulled the trigger.

-- An explosion at a police academy in Bogota, the capital of Colombia, left 21 people dead. President Ivan Duque called it a terrorist attack.

--Hundreds of U.S.-bound migrants in the latest caravan of Central Americans have arrived in southern Mexico, where authorities were processing them in an orderly fashion for temporary immigration status.

-- European Union nations are preparing for a no-deal Brexit by spending millions, hiring thousands of workers and issuing emergency decrees to cope with that increasingly likely possibility.

BUSINESS

-- Tesla is ending a customer referral program that offers free Supercharging to new buyers. It’s an effort to preserve the company’s cash.

-- Former CBS Corp. Chief Executive Leslie Moonves is fighting the company’s decision to strip him of his $120-million severance package after he was forced out last year amid a sexual harassment scandal.

SPORTS

-- The Rams will face the New Orleans Saints in Sunday’s NFC championship game. The winner will advance to the Super Bowl, and Bill Plaschke is certain that will be the Rams. (Jinx?!)

-- Canelo Alvarez has agreed to fight fellow middleweight champion Daniel Jacobs in a unification bout on May 4.

OPINION

-- Trump’s Syria policy is dangerously incompetent.

-- The clampdown on opioid prescriptions is hurting pain patients.

WHAT OUR EDITORS ARE READING

-- Democrats want an investigation after a new report says Trump directed longtime attorney Michael Cohen to lie to Congress about negotiations to build a Trump Tower in Moscow. It cites two federal law enforcement officials as sources. (BuzzFeed News)

-- The bus to nowhere: Top lawmakers learned of Trump’s sudden decision to ground their military jet to Afghanistan while sitting in a bus on the Capitol grounds. (Politico)

-- In Germany, a commuter knitted a “rail delay scarf” documenting the wait time on the train. It sold for nearly $9,000 online. (New York Times)

ONLY IN L.A.

The Thrilla in Manila. The Rumble in the Jungle. The Home in Hancock Park? Yes, Muhammad Ali once lived in an Italian Renaissance-style mansion that was built in 1916 and designed by John C. Austin, the architect responsible for the Griffith Observatory, the Shrine Auditorium, the Hollywood Masonic Temple and Los Angeles City Hall. Take a look at where the Greatest called home in the early 1980s.

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