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Newsletter: Today: Assange Under Arrest

Julian Assange faces U.S. computer-hacking charge after arrest in London.

The saga of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange takes a new turn with his arrest in London and the possibilities of what happens next.

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Assange Under Arrest

For more than a decade, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange cultivated an image as a hacker-hipster out to expose official wrongdoing. For nearly seven years, he lived in Ecuador’s embassy in London, hoping to avoid authorities. On Thursday, that came to an end, as Ecuador said it had had enough and British police arrested a disheveled Assange at the request of the United States. The Justice Department says Assange has been indicted in connection with a computer hacking conspiracy with former U.S. Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning. It is not clear whether Assange would face additional U.S. charges; the seven-page indictment does not cite WikiLeaks’ role in the release of hacked Democratic Party emails during the 2016 election. As for the reaction of President Trump, who repeatedly praised Wikileaks during his campaign stops: “I know nothing about WikiLeaks,” he said on Thursday. “It’s not my thing.”

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More Politics

-- Former Obama administration White House counsel Greg Craig has been indicted on charges of making false statements and concealing information in a Justice Department foreign lobbying investigation that intersected with the Russia probe.

-- Trump said that “a third summit could happen” with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un as he worked with South Korea to jump-start stalled nuclear diplomacy on the peninsula.

--- Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says he’s open to considering immigration legislation, calling it one of two areas of potential compromise. Other Senate Republicans expressed much more skepticism

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-- David Bernhardt, Trump’s pick to the lead the Interior Department, was confirmed by the Senate amid persistent ethical concerns and doubts about his independence from energy and water industry groups.

-- South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg is the hottest thing in politics. Can it last and lead to the Democratic nomination for president?

Saying Farewell to Nipsey

In life, Grammy-nominated rapper Nipsey Hussle brought people together. In death, he did so too. At “a star-studded event that was bathed in blackness,” as The Times’ Angel Jennings writes, tens of thousands of mourning fans gathered Thursday to mourn and celebrate his life — first at Staples Center and then during a 25.5-mile procession through streets lined with people on foot, on rooftops, on motorcycles and doing wheelies on ATVs. But the day ended with a tragic return to the violence that has plagued South L.A. recently: Police say four people were shot in Watts after the procession passed through.

Entombed in the Mud, She Sang

Lauren Cantin is a 15-year-old singer with hopes of making it big. Fifteen months ago, she was buried under four feet of muck when mudslides tore through her Montecito home, killing her father and brother. As the latest Column One feature recounts: “She tried screaming but the blackness swallowed the noise. So Lauren, who’d played the lead female role in a recent production of ‘Les Miserables,’ tried something that had always brought her comfort. She began to sing. Her selection? ‘I Dreamed a Dream,’ one of the musical’s signature numbers.”

In the College Scam, a Sport for Stowaways

The children of William “Rick” Singer’s wealthy clients such as designer J. Mossimo Giannulli and actress Lori Loughlin played water polo, tennis, volleyball, football, basketball, soccer — at least on paper — according to court documents. But one sport was particularly suited to Singer’s college admissions scheme: crew. After all, rowing is a sport with large rosters, little fan or media scrutiny, and wide latitude in recruiting female athletes, as well as one position that requires little physicality.

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FROM THE ARCHIVES

Rainouts at Dodger Stadium are extremely rare. Since 1962, there have been only 17. But on this date in 1976, the Dodgers could not play their home opener against the San Diego Padres while rain forced a 75-minute delay.

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April 12, 1976: Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman Steve Garvey shields his head with an umbrella while watching rain fall at Dodger Stadium.
(Joe Kennedy / Los Angeles Times Archive/UCLA)

CALIFORNIA

-- In an expansion of the criminal charges against Michael Avenatti, a federal grand jury has indicted the Los Angeles lawyer on 36 counts of fraud, perjury, failure to pay taxes, embezzlement and other financial crimes.

-- The public agency that manages Orange County’s network of toll roads is ending its multimillion-dollar public outreach campaign with consultants who billed up to $185 an hour to read news stories.

-- The court-appointed monitor of jail reforms in the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department says he’s concerned that years of progress could be undermined by recent decisions by Sheriff Alex Villanueva.

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-- Columnist Robin Abcarian looks in on Pacific Grove, where a conservative Christian legal firm has declared victory after a middle school postponed its sex ed curriculum, taught by Planned Parenthood.

YOUR WEEKEND

-- The L.A. Times Festival of Books is this weekend. Here’s everything you need to know before you go.

-- Going to Coachella instead? This is your ultimate guide to the music festival in Indio.

-- Restaurant review: Good luck scoring reservations at Hayato, a tiny tasting-menu wonder in L.A.

-- As the super bloom winds down, this guide shows you where to find the last wildflowers.

HOLLYWOOD AND THE ARTS

-- Can a computer write a script? Machine learning is going Hollywood.

-- Columnist Mary McNamara makes the case that “Game of Thrones” is TV’s greatest show of all time.

-- Walt Disney Co. has pulled back the curtain on its streaming service Disney+, revealing key details about what content will be available, including Disney classics and original shows and movies.

NATION-WORLD

-- Trump’s new special envoy for combating anti-Semitism has issued a broad definition for the prejudice that targets Jews. On his first day, Elan Carr suggested that any organized boycott of Israel is anti-Semitic.

-- Authorities say the suspect in a string of fires that destroyed three black churches in rural Louisiana is the white son of a sheriff’s deputy and his father helped arrange for his arrest.

-- Sudan’s military has ousted and arrested President Omar Hassan Ahmed Bashir, delivering the deathblow to the authoritarian’s nearly 30-year rule after months of intense protests.

BUSINESS

-- Panasonic is freezing plans to expand its role as Tesla’s electric car battery supplier, a move that raises new questions about demand for Tesla’s Model 3 — and the company’s future.

-- Uber’s fast-charging, take-no-prisoners past may cloud its future as the ride-hailing company prepares for its initial public offering.

SPORTS

-- The turning point for the Clippers, who begin the NBA Playoffs on Saturday: It started when coach Doc Rivers had a problem with Patrick Beverley’s play.

-- Augusta National presents some unique challenges for photographers of the Masters golf tournament.

OPINION

-- You don’t have to like Julian Assange to worry about whether his federal indictment portends a crackdown on freedom of the press. That concern is eased to some degree by the fact that the indictment doesn’t charge Assange with a crime for publishing classified information.

-- Why let mining companies rip up public land like it’s 1872?

WHAT OUR EDITORS ARE READING

-- The Trump administration reportedly pressured the Department of Homeland Security to release immigrants detained at the southern border into so-called sanctuary cities in part to retaliate against Democrats. (CNN)

-- How a math professor mentored thousands of high school students, including some who became among the best mathematicians and scientists in the country. (NPR)

-- The FBI’s art crime team is seeking help to return thousands of objects, works of art and Native American human remains that it seized from the property of the late ethnographic collector Don Mill. (Art Newspaper)

ONLY IN L.A.

55,272 is a number that rolls off the tongue. It also happens to be the number of martinis made for customers last year at Musso & Frank Grill. That translates to 88,224 olives, 7,380 bottles of gin, an average of 14,000 martinis made per bartender and 829,080 total stirs of the spoon. One more number: In September, the Hollywood institution will turn 100.

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