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Today: The Threat of Contempt

William Barr is a no show at the House hearing.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi accuses Atty. Gen. William Barr of a crime as a constitutional fight grows.

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The Threat of Contempt

House Democrats are accusing Atty. Gen. William Barr of lying to Congress and are threatening to hold him in contempt — the latest salvo in a building constitutional clash between Democratic lawmakers and the Trump administration over access to witnesses and documents. “The attorney general of the United States of America was not telling the truth to the Congress of the United States,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. “That's a crime.” Meanwhile, Republicans are rallying around Barr and rejecting Democrats’ accusations of perjury. The Justice Department has also ignored a House Judiciary Committee subpoena to provide special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s unredacted report and underlying evidence, and Democrats say the committee could vote to hold Barr in contempt next week. But what does that mean exactly? Read on.

More Politics

-- The White House is struggling to salvage its public and covert campaign to oust the leftist president of Venezuela after the U.S.-backed opposition in Caracas sought to overthrow him this week, but failed and appeared to be losing support.

-- President Trump has been dealt another setback in his bid to put a political ally on the Federal Reserve board as plans to appoint Stephen Moore, a conservative commentator and economist, collapsed.

Facebook’s Big Dislike

In the latest sign that social media giants are feeling pressure for allowing their platforms to amplify the voices of extremists, Facebook has banned a number of accounts: conspiracy theorist and InfoWars founder Alex Jones; religious leader Louis Farrakhan, who is known for sharing anti-Semitic views; white nationalist Paul Nehlen; far-right figures Milo Yiannopoulos and Laura Loomer; and conspiracy theorist Paul Joseph Watson. Facebook says its decision has nothing to do with politics, but given that most of those who were “deplatformed” are on the right, the move is sure to provoke more debate.

They Say They Were Duped

Yusi Zhao’s mother says she thought she was helping needy students at Stanford — not buying her daughter’s admission — when she paid $6.5 million into a foundation controlled by college admissions consultant William “Rick” Singer. Her statement echoes one made earlier this week by another family from China who paid Singer $1.2 million after their daughter, Sherry Guo, was admitted to Yale with Singer’s help. Lawyers for the families, neither of which has been charged in the college admissions scandal, say they were preyed upon.

A Final Battle

From the day they met in the fifth grade, Raul Guerra and Ruben Valencia were inseparable. They both went to Vietnam, but only Ruben came home alive. For the last 10 years, he has been fighting to give Raul's remains a final resting place. “The journey would rattle him,” as reporter Esmeralda Bermudez writes. “It would teach him things about Raul that likely no one knew, and in the end, it would bring the two friends closer than ever.”

The Forgotten Jockeys

This Saturday will mark the 145th running of the Kentucky Derby, and while racing fans will once again be flocking to Churchill Downs in Louisville, there’s a destination down the road in Lexington that’s worth learning about. It’s African Cemetery No. 2, the burial site of many of Kentucky’s first — yet often least remembered — jockeys and horse trainers. In the latest Column One feature, reporter Kurtis Lee takes you to this neglected cemetery. And as he tells you in this companion piece, he stumbled on this story while working on another.

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FROM THE ARCHIVES

Ice skating stars Donna Atwood and Bobby Specht headlined the 1951 Ice Capades touring company. To promote their Los Angeles stop, the pair posed for staff photographer Art Rogers for this image, which appeared on May 3, 1951, on the front page of The Times’ sports section.

May 1951: Donna Atwood and Bobby Specht, stars of the 1951 edition of the Ice Capades, perform a "stag leap."
May 1951: Donna Atwood and Bobby Specht, stars of the 1951 edition of the Ice Capades, perform a "stag leap." (Art Rogers / Los Angeles Times)

CALIFORNIA

-- There’s good news for the state’s water supply: The spring snowpack is still deep and will melt slowly.

-- Residents of downtown L.A. want more police foot patrols in their neighborhoods, saying they are frustrated by the number of assaults, open-air drug sales and incidents of harassment outside their homes.

-- Union Station’s Traxx restaurant has quietly closed after more than 20 years.

-- Columnist Robin Abcarian reports from Harbor City, where a high school English teacher holds an essay contest, and the prizes are prom dresses.

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YOUR WEEKEND

-- Restaurant reviews: Carnitas El Momo in Boyle Heights serves pork in its most perfect form, while Otoño in Highland Park features modern Spanish cooking with an L.A. twist.

-- Feasting and fasting: The meaning of the rituals of Ramadan, which begins Sunday. Plus: recipes for Iftar and Eid al-Fitr.

-- Female travelers share their tips and secrets for staying safe.

-- How to help fireproof your home before the next big wildfire.

HOLLYWOOD AND THE ARTS

-- Peter Mayhew, who brought the Wookiee warrior Chewbacca to life in the original “Star Wars” trilogy, has died at age 74.

-- Film critic Justin Chang says Charlize Theron and Seth Rogen are ideally mismatched in “Long Shot,” one of the most likable Hollywood romantic comedies to come along in ages.

-- Kelly Clarkson hated the film “From Justin to Kelly,” but she’s ready to act again in “UglyDolls.”

-- The Philip Glass opera “In the Penal Colony” is getting an unusual adaptation: the addition of stories from Cal State Long Beach students rebuilding their lives after incarceration.

NATION-WORLD

-- Baltimore's mayor has resigned under pressure amid investigations into whether she arranged bulk sales of her self-published children's books to disguise hundreds of thousands of dollars in kickbacks.

-- Cyclone Fani tore through India’s eastern coast Friday as a grade 5 storm, lashing beaches with rain and wind gusting up to 127 mph. About 1.2 million people were evacuated.

-- King Maha Vajiralongkorn of Thailand has married his bodyguard, who is now known as Queen Suthida.

-- Mai Han is a single mother, ineligible for working rights and forced to live off her daughter’s welfare. Her story highlights the plight of many mainland Chinese mothers living in Hong Kong.

BUSINESS

-- The billionaires, hedge fund managers and other financial industry professionals who attended this week’s Milken Institute Global Conference in Beverly Hills heard an interesting message: Reform capitalism or face revolution.

-- The FDA is now requiring that the most commonly prescribed sleeping pills carry a notice that they may be a lot more dangerous than people realize. Consumer columnist David Lazarus explores.

SPORTS

-- Columnist Bill Plaschke says it’s time the Dodgers retire Fernando Valenzuela’s number, and others as well.

-- For boxer Canelo Alvarez, fighting Daniel Jacobs on Saturday in Las Vegas is the latest in a string of tough tests.

Heading to Vegas for the fight this weekend? The Times invites you to a live recording of our podcast “Arrive Early, Leave Late” from Losers Bar at the MGM Grand Casino from 5 to 6:30 p.m. today.

OPINION

-- The only “cure” for star runner Caster Semenya is to let her compete.

-- Rage over Disney CEO Bob Iger’s payday masks how little we know about income gaps in America.

WHAT OUR EDITORS ARE READING

-- China has joined the United States, Russia, the United Kingdom and France in the nuclear ballistic missile submarine club. (Reuters)

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-- Some art students are trying to get social critic Camille Paglia fired for sharing opinions on matters of sex, gender identity and sexual assault. (The Atlantic)

-- What is the No. 1 grammar rule everyone should know? The New Yorker’s “comma queen” and the famed copy chief of Random House discuss editing. (Literary Hub)

ONLY IN CALIFORNIA

They called him “Malibu Mike.” He was a tall kid from the wrong side of Interstate 5 who rode the waves with a muscular aggression many on the Southern California surf scene had never seen. But by the time surfing had become an international craze, Mike Doyle had retreated to Mexico, where he lived along the shore, teaching surfing and painting. He died this week at 78 at his home in San Jose del Cabo. “It’s a beautiful day here in San Jose, the waves are perfect,” his wife Annie wrote, “and we know Mike is in heaven with a smile, surfing an endless wave.”

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