Newsletter: Today: For L.A. Teachers, It’s Back to School


Los Angeles teachers are headed back to work today after their first strike in three decades.


For L.A. Teachers, It’s Back to School


Teachers will be back in the classroom today after the United Teachers Los Angeles and the L.A. Unified School District reached a contract agreement to end the first L.A. teachers’ strike in 30 years. The tentative deal includes what amounts to a 6% raise for teachers, some reduction of class sizes, and increases in librarians, nurses and counselors. (Here are more of the details.) So did the union or the district win? Columnist Steve Lopez says both sides did on some things, but with a cost. “Not to rain on the parade, but I do have a question: Why the heck did it take 20 months and a six-day strike to negotiate this contract?

Into and Above the Fray

As it often does, the U.S. Supreme Court gave a little something to both sides of America’s culture wars Tuesday. It cleared the way for President Trump’s military ban on most transgender people for the time being and agreed to hear its first 2nd Amendment gun case in nearly a decade. But for now it also brushed aside requests to resolve the fight over the young immigrants known as Dreamers and to revisit the landmark abortion ruling Roe vs. Wade. The decisions reflect the instincts of Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., a conservative who has tried to steer the court around the partisan battles consuming Washington.

Spy Vs. … Um

America’s intelligence agencies are warning that adversaries of the U.S. are looking to take advantage of “the weakening of the post-WWII international order and dominance of Western democratic ideals, increasingly isolationist tendencies in the West, and shifts in the global economy.” Does that sound familiar? Though the 36-page analysis, known as the national intelligence strategy, doesn’t name Trump or directly criticize his “America First” policies and priorities, it does suggest the underlying tension between the president and the nation’s spy services.

More Politics

-- Senate leaders have agreed to vote on dueling proposals to reopen shuttered federal agencies this week, forcing a political reckoning for senators grappling with the longest shutdown in U.S. history: Side with President Trump or vote to temporarily end the shutdown and keep negotiating.

-- Trump is planning to deliver his annual State of the Union address next Tuesday as scheduled, aides say, despite House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s request that he delay because of security concerns until the shutdown is resolved. The White House is also considering a backup option for another location.

-- Senate Republicans have proposed to effectively bar Central American minors from claiming asylum in the United States unless they apply at home. Democrats denounced the proposed change in the law as unacceptable.

-- Not surprisingly, Trump slammed the media over the portrayal of a confrontation between Catholic students and a tribal elder. As in the rest of the country, the incident has stirred divisions in Kentucky, where the students are from.

At the Film Academy, Change Is in the Air

The Oscar nominations for last year’s movies contain a number of firsts: the first time Netflix has had a best picture nomination, for “Roma,” which also yielded a lead actress nomination for Yalitza Aparicio, the first Indigenous woman in that category; “Black Panther” becoming the first comic-book movie to get a best picture nod; and Spike Lee’s first directing and best picture nominations, for “BlacKkKlansman.” It was also a big year for foreign-language films and LGBTQ stories. And, as awards columnist Glenn Whipp writes, the choices contain “enough contradictory signals to confuse even the savviest awards season enthusiasts.”

More From the Oscar Nominations

-- Actor Rami Malek on how fans can resolve Bryan Singer’s involvement with “Bohemian Rhapsody.”

-- Lady Gaga on her two Oscar nods, a possible performance of the song “Shallow” and the snub of Bradley Cooper.

-- The complete list of nominations.

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On this date in 1962, former Dodgers great Jackie Robinson became the first black baseball player elected to the Hall of Fame. A decade later, he would die at age 53. As The Times’ obituary stated, he was “a man who emerged from a small house on Pepper Street in Pasadena to become one of the nation’s greatest athletes and a symbol of hope for Black America.”


-- Gov. Gavin Newsom says he intends to shift control of the state’s Juvenile Justice Division away from corrections officials to government health and human services providers.

-- At his first appearance before the Sheriff Civilian Oversight Commission, L.A. County Sheriff Alex Villanueva defended reinstating a deputy fired over abuse allegations.

-- The L.A. City Council has granted its approval for an eight-acre campus in Hollywood that will include glassy towers with more than 900 new units of housing, over 300 hotel rooms and new shops and restaurants.

-- Authorities say the suspect in several shootings inside or near Malibu Creek State Park between 2016 and 2018 has pleaded not guilty to allegations that he killed one person and shot at others.


-- In a coming-of-age moment for the movie industry’s biggest source of disruption, Netflix is joining the Motion Picture Assn. of America, the Washington lobbying arm of the traditional major Hollywood studios.

-- Kaye Ballard, the boisterous comedian and singer who appeared in Broadway musicals and nightclubs and starred with Eve Arden in the 1960s TV sitcom “The Mothers-in-Law,” has died at 93.


-- Is Tijuana prepared for a new caravan of Central American migrants making its way north? At the moment, it’s a bit unclear.

-- A court in Moscow has ruled that Paul Whelan, the former U.S. Marine accused of espionage in Russia, will remain in jail pending trial.

-- Amid growing chaos in Venezuela, the power of an emerging opposition leader will be tested today in a nationwide protest he has called to try to force President Nicolas Maduro to resign.

-- China is demanding the U.S. drop a request that Canada extradite a top executive of the tech giant Huawei. The case has already severely damaged Beijing’s relations with Ottawa.


-- The percentage of American adults without health insurance surged upward in 2018, reaching levels not recorded since before Trump took office, according to a new national survey.

-- Why are eyeglasses so expensive? Consumer columnist David Lazarus says the industry prefers to keep that blurry.


-- Beyond Tom Brady, here are the Patriots players that the Rams must plan for at the Super Bowl.

-- With LeBron James sidelined, columnist Dylan Hernandez says the Lakers need to upgrade now, before it’s too late.


-- So many female presidential candidates, so many sexist double standards.

-- Trump wants to leave Syria. That’s much easier said than done.


-- America’s teachers and a new labor movement. (The Atlantic)

-- A new book from a former Trump communications official describes the president’s televised call to the International Space Station and what happened behind the scenes. (New York Magazine)

-- Columnist and humorist Russell Baker has died at 93. Here is one of his columns from 1975: “Francs and Beans.” (New York Times)


The wave of a baton. The curly hair. The sheer exuberance. Gustavo Dudamel is celebrating his 10th anniversary as the music and artistic director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. To mark the occasion, he received the 2,654th star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, while wearing a gray suit and sneakers. In short: The Dude abides.

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