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Newsletter: Today: Hard Questions About a Mainstay Jet

Residents look at debris at the scene where Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 crashed in a wheat field just outside the town of Bishoftu, southeast of Addis Ababa.
(Jemal Countess / Getty Images)

It’s unclear what caused the deadly crash of a Boeing 737 Max jetliner in Ethiopia, but it appears to have some key similarities to a fatal accident involving another 737 Max in Indonesia.

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Hard Questions About a Mainstay Jet

Safety officials say it is too early to reach any conclusions about what caused the crash of a new Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 Max jetliner on Sunday that killed all 157 people aboard. But the accident’s uncanny similarities to the fatal crash of another 737 Max, operated by Lion Air, in Indonesia five months earlier are raising new questions about the aircraft. Airlines around the world have bought the 737 Max by the hundreds. While the accident is being investigated by Ethiopia’s civil aviation authorities with assistance from Boeing Co. and the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board, China has reportedly ordered local carriers to ground the 737 Max planes they operate. China is also one of Boeing’s most important markets.

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Life After Islamic State

More than a year and a half since 100,000-plus Iraqi troops and militiamen, backed by a U.S.-led coalition, routed the Islamic State fighters who had made Mosul their Iraqi capital, the city is split. The eastern side was largely spared from devastation; the western side is filled with the crushed remains of thousands of buildings, unexploded ordnance and body parts. Cleaning up is painstaking work. Mosul is a microcosm for a scene playing out across Iraq.

The Never-Ending Campaign Story

The Democratic National Convention isn’t until July 13, 2020, and the presidential election isn’t until Nov. 3 of that year. Are you sick of campaign season already? If so, you would not be alone. But there are more than a few factors that have stretched this year’s campaigning to the max, as a crowd of senators and governors vies to be the Democrats’ pick. Here’s a look at the history and a certain X-factor created by none other than President Trump.

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More Politics

-- After the collapsed summit between Trump and Kim Jong Un, North Korea may be gearing up for a rocket launch. At the same time, it’s pleading for “life-saving aid” in the face of a food shortage.

-- Trump will request at least an additional $8.6 billion in funding to build more sections of a wall along the Mexico border, setting up a fresh battle with Congress less than one month after Trump declared a national emergency. Meanwhile, a group of Arizona ranchers who voted for Trump has lost faith in the Border Patrol’s barrier plans.

-- Trump claimed that Democrats oppose Israel and Jews, reacting to the party’s controversy over recent remarks by a Muslim congresswoman, even as Republicans confronted their own divisions over hate speech.

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-- Rep. Adam B. Schiff, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, says special counsel Robert S. Mueller III is making a “mistake” by not demanding Trump testify as part of his investigation.

The Battle Over ‘GDPR Light’

The California Consumer Privacy Act has been called “GDPR light”: a law signed last year to enact the strongest privacy rules in the U.S. and regulate the online marketplace of personal data. But with the law scheduled to take effect in January, a battle over its strength is taking place between lobbyists who want to weaken it and consumer groups who say it doesn’t go far enough.

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OUR MUST-READS FROM THE WEEKEND

-- Months after California’s most devastating wildfire killed 85 people and leveled the town of Paradise, many former residents find the thought of returning unbearable. Others have come back to a life of surreal contrasts.

-- Columnist Steve Lopez delivers a charter school report card: They cause problems, but for many families they’re the solution.

-- Critics say springing forward to daylight saving time is obsolete and unhealthful — but here are the arguments to keep it.

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-- Twentieth Century Fox was once known as Hollywood’s dream factory. With the Disney-Fox merger, it will soon be gone. In this oral history, actors, executives and other veterans reminisce about Fox’s legacy.

-- A guide to the sites in San Diego that make it unlike any other city.

FROM THE ARCHIVES

At 5:54 p.m. on March 10, 1933, the Long Beach earthquake struck, killing an estimated 115 people and causing hundreds of buildings to collapse. About 230 school buildings alone around Southern California were destroyed, heavily damaged or judged unsafe to occupy. The carnage proved to be a wake-up call for the region, which had been growing rapidly in the early 20th century. It led to more stringent school construction standards and a heightened awareness of earthquake risks. See more pictures of the destruction here.

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March 11, 1933: The heavily damaged Masonic Temple in Compton, after the Long Beach earthquake.
(Los Angeles Times Archive/UCLA)

CALIFORNIA

-- A young girl found dead inside a duffel bag last week near a trail in Hacienda Heights has been identified as Trinity Love Jones, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. Authorities are still trying to determine who killed the 9-year-old and the circumstances of her death.

-- Officials say a USC student who is the son of an Oakland city councilwoman was shot and killed in an apparent robbery attempt about a mile from the campus early Sunday.

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-- Orange County beaches have been inundated with sick marine mammals, as well as dead dolphins, and the number of sick animals becoming stranded on L.A. County beaches is slightly higher than usual too.

-- Are rich people fleeing California to escape astronomical state income taxes? Research indicates more wealthy people are moving here than leaving.

HOLLYWOOD AND THE ARTS

-- Times entertainment reporter Nardine Saad took her 2-year-old daughter to see “Captain Marvel” — and she’s glad she did.

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-- “Us,” the latest film from Jordan Peele, premiered at the South by Southwest Film Festival. Critic Justin Chang doesn’t want to reveal too much but says there’s a different kind of sunken place in the movie.

-- Yalitza Aparicio, the actress who was Oscar-nominated for her performance in “Roma,” was ridiculed for her Mixtec and Triqui heritage on Mexican TV. Shows and films there have often parodied indigenous people.

-- The HBO documentary “The Case Against Adnan Syed” picks up where the “Serial” podcast left off.

NATION-WORLD

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-- The Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office, once run by Trump supporter Sheriff David Clarke, has undergone rapid changes under a new sheriff, including a policy to halt the sharing of information with ICE.

-- The New York Police Department says new software is helping analysts track crime patterns more quickly, though some civil rights activists are urging caution.

-- Britain’s Labor Party was once seen as standing up to racism and inequality, but today it’s at risk of splitting over an anti-Semitism crisis.

-- In Algeria, President Abdelaziz Bouteflika is back home after two weeks in a Swiss hospital. Greeting him were massive demonstrations demanding he withdraw his candidacy for a fifth term.

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BUSINESS

-- This bull market has hit the 10-year mark. Will it keep raging or will bears spoil the party?

-- If Lyft can’t keep its drivers as independent contractors, it may never be profitable.

SPORTS

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-- For the second time in three years, members of the world champion U.S. women’s soccer team have sued their federation, alleging systemic gender-based discrimination in wages and other terms.

-- The times they are a-changing: Disney-owned ESPN is premiering its first show devoted to sports gambling.

OPINION

-- Why do Republicans still back Trump? The answer is simple: attitude and gratitude.

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-- Author Jane Smiley: “The deaths at Santa Anita remind me why I don’t miss horse racing.”

WHAT OUR EDITORS ARE READING

-- Li Yang, the Chinese spa founder who joined the MAGA movement and was at Trump’s Super Bowl party. (Miami Herald)

-- Fox News host Tucker Carlson says he won’t apologize for derogatory comments he made about women on a radio show several years ago. (The Hill)

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-- Renee Hess created the Black Girl Hockey Club as “a safe space for black women to converse and talk about hockey.” (The Undefeated)

ONLY IN L.A.

Since 1875, four Moreton Bay figs have stood watch over El Pueblo de Los Angeles, the brick plaza where the city was founded. But now, there are only three after one toppled over this month. Dave McMenamin, who leads tours of the pueblo, says it felt “like losing an old friend.” But one man who has lived at the plaza for 25 years was less sentimental: “I mean, it took 150 years to get there, and to go like that.... But it’s like anything else around here. It’s a tree. A tree is a tree is a tree.”

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