Newsletter: Today: And the Democratic Platform Will Be …

Democratic presidential hopefuls Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar, Cory Booker and Kamala Harris have b
Democratic presidential hopefuls Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar, Cory Booker and Kamala Harris have been part of the campaign debate over reparations for slavery.
(Associated Press and Getty Images)

Among the large field of Democratic presidential contenders, once-niche political topics are getting the spotlight, and that’s making some in the party nervous.


And the Democratic Platform Will Be …

For all the complexity that being president of the United States entails, winning the job often comes down to a simple, singular idea: “Are you better off than you were four years ago?” “It’s the economy, stupid.” “Make America great again.” Though it’s still early, the many Democrats in the race have focused on a lot of things so far: Abolishing the electoral college. Ending the Senate filibuster. Refashioning the Supreme Court. Paying reparations for slavery. One issue that almost every Democratic candidate has been asked about is universal basic income — an idea being tested out in Stockton, where, for the next year and a half, 130 residents of the struggling Central Valley city will get $500 every month, with no strings attached. But by taking up issues that have gotten little if any attention in past campaigns, some worry the candidates may alienate voters.


More Politics

-- President Trump still “likes” the idea of transferring immigrants in the U.S. illegally to so-called sanctuary cities like San Francisco, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said. But she portrayed the notion as a burden-sharing strategy that Democrats should welcome rather than a plan designed to punish political adversaries.

-- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says she has taken steps to ensure the safety of Rep. Ilhan Omar after Trump’s retweet of a video that purports to show the Minnesota Democrat being dismissive of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

-- Trump’s reelection campaign is set to report that it raised more than $30 million in the first quarter of 2019, edging out his top two Democratic rivals combined, according to figures it provided to the Associated Press. Sen. Kamala Harris, who’s released 15 years of her tax returns, is the early favorite among Hollywood donors in the 2020 race.


Religion and Politics

In India, religious violence is on the rise, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi looks for a second term in office with five weeks of voting ahead. Critics say Modi and leaders of his Bharatiya Janata Party have emboldened vigilante Hindu groups committing violent acts in the name of protecting cows, which Hindus revere. According to the data journalism initiative India Spend, 98% of India’s 125 cow-related hate attacks this decade have occurred during the tenure of Modi and his Hindu nationalist government.

The Thin Red-White-and-Blue Line

Back in February, the Laguna Beach City Council agreed to repaint its all-white squad cars in black and white with the image of an American flag running through the word “police” on the doors. Now that the vehicles are on the streets, the graphic is dividing residents, who are either praising the image as patriotic or panning it as too aggressive. On Tuesday, the council will decide whether to continue with the logo or choose an alternative.

A Roaring Revival

It had been 11 years since Tiger Woods had won a major golf tournament. It was a decade filled with a string of personal scandals and four back surgeries that, as recently as two years ago, left him unable to get out of bed, let alone play golf. On Sunday, he returned to win the Masters for a fifth time at Augusta National, putting him once again in the hunt to tie Jack Nicklaus’ record for major titles. But the most poignant moment came when Woods hugged his children on the same course where, 22 years earlier, he embraced his father upon winning the Masters for the first time.

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-- A confidential report reviewed by The Times shows that years before the current college admissions scandal, UCLA knew of allegations that parents were pledging donations to its athletics program in exchange for their children being admitted to the university.

-- When Trump wanted to boot immigrants with temporary protected status, one Van Nuys firm fought back. Columnist Steve Lopez paid a visit.

-- A look behind the Hollister Ranch gates. Will the public ever access these exclusive beaches?

-- Yasiel Puig will be back in L.A. today as a member of the Cincinnati Reds. As for his six years with the Dodgers? It’s complicated.


On this date in 1912, after striking an iceberg that left a 300-foot gash in the hull of a passenger ship said to be “unsinkable,” the Titanic split apart and fell to the ocean floor. In all, more than 1,500 of the estimated 2,200 people aboard perished. Seven years ago, on the 100th anniversary of the tragedy, The Times explored why we’re still fascinated by it.

The front page of the Los Angeles Times the day after the Titanic sank.
(Los Angeles Times)



-- As actress Lori Loughlin’s legal problems mount, she faces a fateful choice in the college admissions scandal.

-- Gov. Gavin Newsom has pledged to help build up El Salvador to reduce migration by inviting a delegation to meet with California’s business leaders and discuss investment opportunities.

-- A historic downtown L.A. mural has been painted over, and the art organization that oversees it is pointing a finger at the California Department of Transportation.

-- Columnist Frank Shyong on the loss of rapper Nipsey Hussle in South L.A. and the neighborhood’s alternative histories.


-- Did you see the opening to the final season of “Game of Thrones”? TV critic Lorraine Ali breaks it down.

-- The 20th-anniversary edition of Coachella hit Indio over the weekend. Could it top Beyoncé’s instant-classic performance of last year?

-- At the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, author Bret Easton Ellis addressed a controversy spurred by a New Yorker article last week: “I got punked.”

-- An effort by writers and their agents to resolve a dispute over industry practices collapsed Friday night as the Writers Guild of America said it had not reached a settlement.


-- Powerful storms swept across the South on Sunday after unleashing flooding and suspected tornadoes that killed at least eight people — including three children — injured dozens and flattened much of a Texas town.

-- A bipartisan group of House members has questioned the Trump administration’s new system for detecting anthrax or other airborne biological weapons — warning it could be “even less reliable” than the nation’s existing, problem-plagued BioWatch program.

-- A year after joking about the Philippines becoming a province of China and professing “love” for Chinese President Xi Jinping, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is heeding pressure at home to confront Beijing.

-- Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI has released an incendiary essay blaming the sexual abuse crisis plaguing the Catholic Church on the sexual revolution of the 1960s.

-- A 500-pound bomb dropped by a U.S. warplane during World War II finally exploded in the Main River in the heart of Frankfurt when a police crew tried to blow up its decaying detonator but instead set off the device.


-- Thousands of Amazon workers are listening to what people tell Alexa. The idea is to make the technology better. But sometimes, they overhear things they’d prefer not to.

-- After a second recall, the Toyota Prius electrical system is still overheating.


-- Meet Ray Lamb, the last Dodger to wear Jackie Robinson’s No. 42 — by mistake.

-- Alexander Rossi won the Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach for the second consecutive year and in the same dominating fashion as a year ago.


-- The secretary of Homeland Security has a thankless task under the best of circumstances. With Trump as president, it’s the worst job in Washington, columnist Doyle McManus writes.

-- George Skelton explains how the political tug of war over releasing tax returns has roots in California.


-- Islamic State kidnapped this aid worker five years ago. The Red Cross thinks she may still be alive. (New York Times)

-- The Boston Marathon takes place today, and the course is designed to slow runners down. (Wired)

-- In honor of National Poetry Month, here are 15 cat poems. No, they weren’t written by cats. (Literary Hub)


It’s game, set, match for tennis star Serena Williams in Bel-Air, who has sold her home of more than a decade for $8.1 million. The house was built in 1935, has 6,100 square feet of living space and even includes its own full-service hair salon. Williams, who now resides in another Westside neighborhood, first put it up for sale in late 2017 for $11.995 million. But you can take a look inside, no racket required.

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