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Newsletter: Today: Who’s Behind Huawei?

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Ren Zhengfei, founder and CEO of Huawei, is regarded within the company as more of a spiritual leader than a hands-on executive.
(Theodore Kaye / For The Times)

An in-depth look at the rise of Huawei, one of the world’s biggest telecommunications companies.

TOP STORIES

Who’s Behind Huawei?

Ren Zhengfei, the founder and chief executive of Huawei, turned a company with no intellectual property into the world’s largest telecom and made China a global leader in 5G technology. Washington says it couldn’t have happened without quite a bit of help from Beijing — and that poses national security problems. Huawei denies this. So where does the truth lie? A team of L.A. Times journalists, including Executive Editor Norman Pearlstine, tried to find out.

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Interesting Word Choice

Atty. Gen. William Barr told a Senate committee that he is reviewing whether the Justice Department and the FBI acted inappropriately in their investigation of Russian election interference in 2016, saying he thought “spying did occur” on President Trump’s campaign. In echoing the provocative charge leveled by Trump to denounce the court-approved surveillance of a former member of his campaign, Barr thrust himself directly into a partisan battle. Barr said he wanted to know whether law enforcement had gathered adequate evidence to begin surveillance. Democrats’ reaction: outrage.

More Politics

-- The Mueller report is still secret. What are we waiting to learn?

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-- Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin says his department was unable to provide President Trump’s tax returns to Congress by Wednesday’s deadline. Mnuchin said his department respects congressional oversight but needs more time to review the “unprecedented” request.

-- Sen. Kamala Harris and other Democratic presidential candidates are making maternal health a campaign issue. A visit to South Carolina, a key early primary state, shows the depth of the crisis facing black women.

Seeing the Unseeable

In the swirling heart of a distant galaxy, 55 million light-years from Earth, lies a supermassive black hole with a mass 6.5 billion times greater than that of our sun. Its powerful gravity bends the fabric of space and time around it. Matter around it moves so fast that it gets superheated to hundreds of millions of degrees. And now, scientists have captured an image of the very edge of this object. It is the first picture ever taken of a black hole. So, how did they do it?

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Researchers unveiled the first direct visual evidence of a supermassive black hole and its shadow.
(National Science Foundation)

A City on the Upswing, but for Whom?

Inglewood. Dr. Dre proclaimed in the ’90s that it was “always up to no good.” Since then, the city has come a long way. A surge of economic development including a new $2.6-billion NFL stadium complex is wiping away its reputation as a battle zone for rival gangs. But rents and home prices are soaring, and that could displace many longtime residents in one of L.A.’s last remaining African American enclaves.

Eat It Up

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A new wave of Chinese cuisine. A Burmese cafe in Inglewood. A recipe for a low-stress weeknight dinner of braised chicken thighs. “Game of Thrones” wines. Today marks the return of the L.A. Times’ standalone Food section in print, and in its pages and online there’s a taste of something for everyone.

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CALIFORNIA

-- Los Angeles schools Supt. Austin Beutner says he has settled on a significantly less radical shift than many expected to “reimagine” the nation’s second-largest school system.

-- Los Angeles police suspect that a gunman tried to kill another person at a Nipsey Hussle vigil outside his store the day after the rapper was killed. Meanwhile, at today’s memorial and procession, the LAPD and the Nation of Islam will provide security.

-- Prosecutors say they will seek the death penalty for the man accused of being the Golden State Killer. Joseph James DeAngelo Jr. is suspected of raping some 50 women and holding entire families hostage.

-- The price of gasoline in Southern California has climbed rapidly over the last few weeks as oil refineries across the state experience maintenance problems.

HOLLYWOOD AND THE ARTS

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-- Walt Disney Co. is expected to finally give a preview today of its long-awaited Disney+ subscription video service, designed to compete with Netflix.

-- Idris Elba is DJing at Coachella. Wait, what? Yes, he’s been spinning records since he was a kid and got in a royal wedding session.

-- The TCM Film Festival in Hollywood is turning 10 with a 30th anniversary salute to “When Harry Met Sally….”

-- Poet Yesika Salgado blew up on Instagram. Now her books are breaking literary boundaries.

NATION-WORLD

-- Wedding cakes and same-sex marriages are back before the Supreme Court, and this time the justices are being asked to rule broadly that the 1st Amendment’s protection of the “free exercise” of religion shields conservative Christians from state civil rights laws.

-- European Union leaders and Britain have agreed to a Brexit extension that will allow the U.K. to delay its departure from the bloc until Halloween.

-- Police in London say they’ve arrested WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange at the Ecuadorian embassy on a court warrant dating back to 2012.

-- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s election victory suggests the government he forms in a record fifth term is likely to espouse more nationalistic views and show little inclination to negotiate peace.

-- In India’s election, male politicians have a new mantra: women first.

BUSINESS

-- American Media Inc. is looking to sell the National Enquirer as well as other tabloid publications, including the Globe and National Examiner.

-- JetBlue Airways has given up nearly a third of its gate slots at Long Beach Airport only days after being warned it was in danger of violating new city regulations.

-- Consumer columnist David Lazarus looks at the Toxic-Free Cosmetics Act, a bill in California that would ban potentially toxic ingredients from makeup, hair products and other personal-care goods. Under industry pressure, it’s been set aside.

SPORTS

-- What to do about the Lakers’ mess? Columnist Bill Plaschke says owner Jeanie Buss must look outside the Lakers family for solutions.

-- Quiet in the gallery: At the Masters tournament at Augusta National Golf Course, cellphones are banned.

OPINION

-- The U.S. attorney general is giving aid and comfort to Trump’s conspiracy theories.

-- The DMV needs to stop censoring your vanity license plates.

WHAT OUR EDITORS ARE READING

-- President Trump’s older sister, Maryanne Trump Barry, has retired as a federal appellate judge. The move ends an investigation into whether she violated judicial conduct rules by participating in fraudulent tax schemes with her siblings. (New York Times)

-- A free electronic tax filing system? Congress is looking at barring the IRS from creating one. (ProPublica)

-- Nicolaus Copernicus really was a Renaissance man. (National Geographic)

ONLY IN CALIFORNIA

Kim Kardashian West is studying to become a lawyer, just like her dad was. Yes, the same Kim Kardashian West who has a beauty empire and shapely selfies and a hit reality TV show. C’mon, there’s only the one. “I had to think long and hard about this,” she told Vogue, referring to her decision to do a four-year apprenticeship with a law firm in San Francisco ahead of taking the bar. Or is that breaking the bar?

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