Newsletter: Today: After the Report on Mueller’s Report, So Many Questions
Atty. Gen. William Barr’s summary of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s findings will probably lead to a prolonged fight over the full report.
After the Report on Mueller’s Report, So Many Questions
In a four-page letter (read it here), Atty. Gen. William Barr told Congress that special counsel Robert S. Mueller III did not establish that President Trump or his campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government during the 2016 election. Barr also said Mueller did not determine whether Trump obstructed justice, but that the special counsel concluded the evidence “does not exonerate” the president. Trump’s response: “It was a complete and total exoneration.” End of story? Not by a long shot. For starters, Democrats are pressing for the release of Mueller’s full report, vowing to continue their own investigations and challenging Barr’s determination that Trump didn’t commit an obstruction crime. In addition, Barr’s summary leaves a number of unanswered questions, including why so many around Trump lied, nor does it wipe away the numerous crimes to which Trump’s associates have confessed. Still, Barr’s report on the findings is seen as a significant victory for Trump.
-- Even in a crowded field of Democratic presidential hopefuls, voters in states with early primaries are flocking to see the long-shot contenders.
-- Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, one of the first two Muslim women in Congress, accused Trump of inciting hatred of Islam and inspiring attacks like the killing of 50 people at mosques in New Zealand.
And South Korea Is Mostly Paying for It
Camp Humphreys in South Korea is a 3,600-acre U.S. Army base that has not only an airfield, grenade launcher range and tank driving course but also a golf course, suburban-style mall, apartment towers and, for the generals, stone-clad villas. Almost the entire $10.7-billion expansion of the camp has been paid for by South Korea. But as construction on one of the Pentagon’s biggest and most modern overseas bases continues, there’s a hint of uncertainty as Trump insists that Seoul pay more for the U.S. military presence overall.
Two Tales of College Admissions
Of the many allegations made by federal prosecutors in the college admissions scandal, one stands out: Someone is said to have paid $6.5 million to get his or her children into elite schools. But the identities of that parent and which schools were involved remain a mystery — a sign that there is still much more to come. Meanwhile, as the scandal generates headlines, regular students are finding out whether they’ve been accepted to college. Damion Lester Jr. of South L.A. is one of them. He will graduate as class valedictorian at George Washington Preparatory High School in June and has gotten into UC Davis and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas so far — even though he and his family don’t have the kind of money needed for college.
Hey Siri, Call Steven Spielberg
Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook will announce the company’s new streaming video strategy to a crowd of celebrities and studio executives today. The tech giant has spent the last two years securing deals with the likes of Steven Spielberg, Oprah Winfrey and Reese Witherspoon to create a lineup of programming designed to compete with Netflix, Amazon and Walt Disney Co. But is Apple’s entry into the streaming world a little too late?
OUR MUST-READS FROM THE WEEKEND
-- Columnist Steve Lopez checks in with Dr. Xavier Caro, whose former wife was sentenced to die for murdering their kids. Caro is angry at Gov. Gavin Newsom’s reprieve for those on death row.
-- Trump says barbed wire “can be a beautiful sight.” Many American communities on the border with Mexico disagree.
-- California was once the site of Bernie Sanders’ last stand. Now it’s pivotal to his 2020 prospects.
-- Psychologist Robert Epstein claims Google search results unfairly steer voters to the left. Conservatives love him.
-- In Mammoth, the snow is so deep, some residents must tunnel out. Before the drought, it was a rite of passage.
-- A bill in the state Legislature that would ban cosmetic surgeries on intersex children born with atypical genitals, until they’re old enough to consent, is creating intense debate.
-- L.A. City Atty. Mike Feuer’s office says a top lawyer who was helping to oversee litigation regarding the 2013 Department of Water and Power billing debacle has resigned amid questions about outside income.
-- A recent leak of more than 200,000 online chat logs from a white supremacist group reveals how members are targeting students on San Diego college campuses.
-- Henry Tseng exercised until the day before he died at age 111. His secret to longevity? Exercise regularly, smile every day, and choose not to worry.
HOLLYWOOD AND THE ARTS
-- Jordan Peele’s latest horror thriller, “Us,” came in first place at the box office with an estimated $70.3 million, nearly doubling analysts’ projections.
-- At Walt Disney Concert Hall, Yoko Ono received a musical tribute from 75 female performers.
-- Barbra Streisand has tried to clarify her remarks regarding two men who’ve accused Michael Jackson of sexually abusing them when they were boys, after she was lambasted for saying “his sexual needs were his sexual needs” and “it didn’t kill them.”
-- Director Tim Burton’s latest film is a live-action reimagining of the Disney animated classic “Dumbo.” “Whenever we talked about ‘Dumbo,’ ” he says, “there’s an elephant in the room there, you know what I’m saying?”
-- U.S.-backed Syrian and Arab militiamen have punched through Islamic State’s final sliver of territory in the eastern Syrian village of Baghouz, marking the end of the almost five-year battle to destroy the caliphate.
-- Police say a student from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School died in an apparent suicide on Saturday night, just a week after a survivor of the 2018 mass school shooting took her own life.
-- In Thailand, early election results indicate its military government will retain power.
-- The Viking Sky cruise ship has made it into a Norwegian port, more than a day after issuing a mayday call in a storm that led to helicopter rescues of half of its passengers.
-- YouTube says its platform is not intended for children, but young children still see troubling content.
-- Frustrations are mounting among some Uber and Lyft drivers about wages and treatment. They are planning to strike today.
-- In the NCAA men’s basketball tournament, UC Irvine’s historically good season reached an abrupt end in a 73-54 loss to Oregon.
-- At the L.A. Marathon, Askale Merachi of Ethiopia broke the “stadium to the sea” course record for women, while Elisha Barno of Kenya won the men’s race in dramatic fashion.
-- No, Mueller’s report is not a “total exoneration” for Trump. We deserve to see the report in full.
-- California’s ranch-house lifestyle is an endangered species that needs to adapt to solve the housing shortage, writes columnist George Skelton.
-- The MyFigueroa project is a prime example of everything that’s wrong with L.A.’s alternative transit efforts.
WHAT OUR EDITORS ARE READING
-- Islamic State still has lots of money, which means it can fund its main product: political violence. (The Atlantic)
-- One of Germany’s richest families, owners of a controlling stake in Krispy Kreme and Panera Bread, will donate $11 million to charity after a report that their ancestors were supporters of Adolf Hitler and used forced labor. (Slate)
-- Can heat travel at the speed of sound? In some materials, it apparently can, and that opens the door to some new innovations. (Scientific American)
ONLY IN L.A.
Ask someone to describe what Los Angeles style is all about, and, these days, there’s no telling what they’ll say. Fashion designer Zoe Latta, for one, seeks inspiration at gas stations. “I’ve seen some obscene looks in L.A. gas stations, like six-inch stilettos with sweat pants,” says the co-designer of Eckhaus Latta. And yes, “obscene” is a compliment.