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Newsletter: A new series of protests in the U.S.

Federal officers launch tear gas at a group of demonstrators in Portland, Ore., on Sunday.
Federal officers launch tear gas at a group of demonstrators during a Black Lives Matter protest Sunday in Portland, Ore.
(Marcio Jose Sanchez / Associated Press)

Protests have reignited across the U.S., with Portland, Ore., serving as a flashpoint.

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A New Series of Protests in the U.S.

As standoffs in downtown Portland, Ore., between protesters and federal agents continued over the weekend, a string of fresh demonstrations erupted in other major cities from Seattle to Baltimore, with marchers expressing fury at the specter of heavily armed, unidentified federal officers on community streets and ongoing anger at their initial targets — police brutality and racism.

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In Portland early Sunday, federal agents in camouflage waded blocks beyond the federal courthouse that the Trump administration has said they are there to protect — against the wishes of local and state officials — and pushed back demonstrators who authorities said had breached a fence.

In Seattle, after Washington’s governor said that a small group of federal agents had been dispatched there, protests broke out. They began peacefully Saturday but turned tense when unknown assailants set fire to a Starbucks and punched a hole in a Police Department building. Seattle police, after declaring a riot, deployed tear gas and flash bangs, injuring journalists, lawyers and protesters, witnesses said. Police said that 45 people were arrested and 21 officers sustained minor injuries. The protests continued Sunday.

Demonstrations also broke out in cities including downtown Los Angeles; Chicago; Louisville, Ky.; Richmond, Va.; and Austin, Texas, where an apparently armed man taking part in a Black Lives Matter protest was fatally shot from inside a vehicle that drove close to the demonstrators.

The reignited protests — and the response of authorities with tear gas and rubber bullets — are the latest strain on a country still shaken by the May death of George Floyd in the custody of Minneapolis police and by generations of police brutality. After protests slowed down considerably, they reenergized over the weekend amid President Trump’s move to send federal agents into cities.

Trump and his supporters call it the restoration of “law and order.” Critics say the strategy appears aimed at trying to shore up Trump’s flagging popularity before the November election.

‘A Matter of Health and Safety’

Gov. Gavin Newsom has announced that California will start an aggressive COVID-19 testing regime for its health employees who inspect nursing homes.

The announcement came after an L.A. Times investigation found that, since the beginning of the pandemic, the state Health Department had been sending inspectors to nursing homes without testing them.

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Newsom added that nursing home inspectors would be held to the same testing standards the state required of nursing home employees. Homes are required to test 25% of their staff every week and ensure that all employees are tested at least once a month.

Nursing homes have been ground zero for the pandemic in the U.S., suffering a staggering proportion of the deaths from COVID-19.

More Top Coronavirus Headlines

— With a $600-a-week unemployment benefit expiring this week, senior White House aides continued to suggest that a jobless benefit that was too generous would discourage people from going back to work.

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L.A. County health officials on Sunday reported 1,703 new COVID-19 cases and 10 related deaths. However, they cautioned that the information is incomplete, and the true numbers could be higher.

— Officials say an L.A. city firefighter has become the first in the department to die of complications of COVID-19. The death came a day after the first sworn LAPD officer died of the disease.

— The Sinclair Broadcast Group pulled from the air an edition of its “America This Week” program that discusses a conspiracy theory involving Dr. Anthony Fauci and the coronavirus.

For more, sign up for Coronavirus Today, a special edition of The Times’ Health and Science newsletter.

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How Bad Can It Get?

Fears are rising on both sides of the Pacific that the U.S. and China could be headed for a total breakdown of relations and even outright conflict within the next few months.

As the two powers ordered the closure of each other’s consulates in Houston and Chengdu last week amid allegations of espionage, Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo called for the end of “engagement,” a Republican establishment policy that has defined U.S.-China relations for nearly five decades.

It is a dramatic shift in relations between the U.S. and China, which had for decades overcome fundamental differences not only to coexist, but also to anchor the global economy and cooperate on critical issues including climate change and pandemic prevention.

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There is now a bipartisan consensus in the U.S. on the need for a tougher China policy. But there is little agreement on how to approach that.

Indeed, one of the presidential campaign issues that Trump is hoping to beat Joe Biden on is China. Had Trump not made so many of his own blunders in U.S.-China relations, Biden’s diplomatic missteps on China might have been a potent weapon.

A Feud Turns Personal

During a recent broadcast on Facebook, Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva spent several minutes criticizing Supervisor Hilda Solis for her comments earlier that week on systemic brutality and racism by police toward people of color.

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He questioned whether she was trying to sow more distrust between law enforcement and the community, and said she owed an apology. “I don’t know,” he said. “Are you trying to earn the title of a La Malinche? Is that what it is?”

Many were stunned by Villanueva’s use of a name used to demean a woman as a traitor or sellout — one of the latest flare-ups in the long-running feud between L.A. County’s most powerful leaders.

OUR MUST-READS FROM THE WEEKEND

San Joaquin County knew the coronavirus could ravage its farmworkers. Why didn’t officials do more to stop it?

— These people won’t wear a face mask, but they’ll be happy to sell you one.

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— A judge ordered L.A. officials to provide space in shelters or alternative housing for homeless people living near freeways. But where will they go?

— How Latino dads are using TikTok to rack up views and connect with their children.

— If you’re away from home and have to go the bathroom, what do you do in these coronavirus times? Here are some strategies.

FROM THE ARCHIVES

On this date in 1990, Zsa Zsa Gabor went to jail to serve 72 hours for slapping a Beverly Hills motorcycle policeman. Gabor’s lawyer had made arrangements for his client to serve her time under an El Segundo program that charged $85 a day for a cell and food.

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Three days later, she emerged unrepentant. “The Hungarian-born actress informed reporters that her cell had been too chilly, that her meals had been too salty, but that her jailers had proven charming and good-looking,” The Times’ Paul Feldman wrote.

” ' I was very happily surprised — everybody was more than nice and sweet,’ Gabor said. ‘I found out one thing, guys. They are much handsomer police officers in here than Paul Kramer (the Beverly Hills officer she was convicted of slapping). And they are much nicer.’

“Had she learned a lesson? reporters shouted. ‘Never,’ Gabor replied. ' . . . I never done a damn thing.’ ”

County marshals escort Zsa Zsa Gabor into Municipal Court in Beverly Hills in September 1989
County marshals escort Zsa Zsa Gabor into Municipal Court in Beverly Hills in September 1989. In what came to be known as “the slap heard ‘round the world,” she was convicted of assaulting a police officer who had pulled her over.
( Los Angeles Times)

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CALIFORNIA

Outdoor worship services are permitted, but participants must wear face coverings and keep six feet apart. Yet from Orange County to Northern California, people continue to gather for large outdoor ceremonies without following the rules.

— State labor laws are likely to change because of the coronavirus. Legislators have made a number of proposals reflecting the new reality.

— Los Angeles police have arrested a suspect in the fatal shooting of a teenage girl in Hollywood that was captured on videos posted on social media.

— Even in a pandemic, the Kobe Bryant mystique thrives with 303 tribute murals and counting.

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NATION-WORLD

— A horse-drawn hearse carried the body of Rep. John Lewis over the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala., where Lewis and other civil rights marchers were beaten 55 years ago.

— A day after roaring ashore as a hurricane, Hanna lashed the Texas Gulf Coast with high winds and drenching rains that destroyed boats, flooded streets and knocked out power across a region already reeling from a surge in coronavirus cases.

— North Korean leader Kim Jong Un placed the city of Kaesong near the border with South Korea under total lockdown after a person there was found with suspected COVID-19 symptoms, state media reported.

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— Tens of thousands of people marched across Russia’s far eastern city of Khabarovsk to protest the arrest of the regional governor on murder charges, continuing a two-week wave of protests that has challenged the Kremlin.

HOLLYWOOD AND THE ARTS

Olivia de Havilland, the last remaining star from the 1939 film “Gone With the Wind,” a two-time Academy Award winner and last of the Golden Age’s big name actors, has died at 104. As film critic Justin Chang writes, she was never to be underestimated, in life or art.

— TV host Regis Philbin, who appeared for decades as a comfortable and sometimes cantankerous guest in living rooms across the country, has died at 88. TV critic Robert Lloyd says Philbin became TV’s greatest host by being himself.

— According to Taylor Swift’s record label, her new album “Folklore” sold more than 1.3 million copies around the world in its first day of availability. Here are all 16 songs ranked.

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— The primetime Emmy nominations arrive Tuesday morning, and columnist Glenn Whipp gives us his predictions.

For more awards coverage, sign up for our revamped Envelope newsletter.

BUSINESS

— Six years after SeaWorld Entertainment was sued for allegedly deceiving stockholders about the damaging effect the “Blackfish” documentary was having on theme park attendance, a federal judge has approved a $65-million payout to aggrieved investors.

Working parents face a child-care crisis. Here’s how L.A. employers are handling it.

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SPORTS

— The NBA is ready to resume its season Thursday. A big unknown: the long-term health concerns, including heart and lung problems, if players get infected with COVID-19.

Shohei Ohtani didn’t record an out in the his long-awaited return to the mound for the Angels, allowing the first six Oakland batters to reach base before his day was done in a 6-4 loss to the Athletics.

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OPINION

— Columnist Erika D. Smith wants to know why some people can be fed up with the “tyranny” of face masks, yet not about the federal agents abducting people without giving their names.

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— How will the U.S. distribute 300 million doses of vaccine, when it stumbled so badly with coronavirus testing?

WHAT OUR EDITORS ARE READING

— The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute formally asked the Trump campaign and the Republican National Committee to stop using the 40th president’s name and image to raise money. (Washington Post)

— Have you ever wanted a different face? Jordan Kisner offers this meditation on her nose. (Paris Review)

ONLY IN L.A.

It’s time for Dodger baseball. But what about Dodger Stadium food? If you’re missing Dodger Dogs, Brooklyn Dodger Dogs, Doyer Dogs, Micheladas, garlic fries or carne asada helmet nachos, and you live in Hollywood or West Hollywood, you can get them delivered.

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Comments or ideas? Email us at headlines@latimes.com.


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