Newsletter: Today: Trump backs down on tariffs, ‘just in case’

U.S. President Donald Trump, left, shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping during a meeting on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Osaka, western Japan in June 2019.
(Susan Walsh/Associated Press)

President Trump delayed planned tariffs that had worried investors and economists, following a familiar pattern in his trade war with China.


Trump Backs Down on Tariffs, ‘Just in Case’
Trump pulled back from the brink of a dangerous escalation of his China trade war, postponing his plans for Sept. 1 tariffs on tens of billions of dollars worth of cellphones, laptops, toys, shoes and clothes. “We’re doing this for Christmas season, just in case some of the tariffs would have an impact on U.S. customers,” he told reporters. Investors have worried that there’s no end in sight for the trade war, and economists have raised their odds that economic growth could grind to a halt next year. It was a familiar move by the president: Threaten new levies, pull back when the markets tank, then tighten the screws when talks don’t work.


More on tariffs:
— Still, the move helped stocks make up much of the previous two days’ losses, snapping a two-day losing streak for the S&P 500.
— Americans’ opinion of China has turned sharply negative amid Trump’s trade war, a new poll finds.

Shari Redstone’s ViacomCBS Triumph
“Your grandfather says I will be chair over his dead body,” Shari Redstone told her son in 2015. She seemed on the outs of her family’s media empire, dismissed publicly by her father, Sumner Redstone, as a lightweight. But now that CBS and Viacom are officially getting back together, she’ll become chairwoman and join the small coterie of women overseeing major American companies. After years of merger talks, the two Redstone-controlled companies finally agreed Tuesday to reunite in a $12-billion deal. It’s a triumph for Shari Redstone, who has overseen the family’s controlling stakes since her father’s declining health forced him to relinquish control, and who had pushed for the union, believing the two would be stronger together during a turbulent time for the industry.

A ‘Desperate Man’ With a Rifle Leaves a CHP Officer Dead
No motive has been named in the Riverside shootout that left a gunman and an officer dead, but a portrait of the gunman is emerging. Aaron Luther, 49, may have had ties to the Vagos motorcycle gang, and he had a lengthy criminal record. He was convicted in 1994 of second-degree murder, sentenced to 12 years and paroled in 2004. His father told KTLA-TV Channel 5 his son was a “desperate man” and had been depressed. “This might just have been suicide by the police. It’s just unfortunate that he happened to hurt anybody but himself.” Indeed, he left dead Andre Moye, a 34-year-old California Highway Patrol officer — and former electrician — who had pulled over his truck on the 215 Freeway in what began as a routine traffic stop.

27,000 Square Miles, 200 Cops
The Navajo Nation is about the size of West Virginia, only spread across largely rural areas of Arizona, Utah and New Mexico. But just 200 police officers patrol it — a skeleton staffing rate, and half of what commanders say is needed. They can travel two hours to reach a crime scene, and most of the territory they patrol lacks the two-way radio coverage they use to keep in contact with their home base. It’s one of the toughest policing jobs in America, and key to the department’s approach to it are women like Lojann Dennison. She struggles with deeply rooted customs that can call for an officer to choose between allegiance to clan ties and upholding the law. She wears a bulletproof vest but also a protective amulet, and when necessary, she hasn’t hesitated to arrest her own brother.

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On this day in 1943, Frank Sinatra performed at the Hollywood Bowl before a sold-out crowd of 10,000. “Frankie was sending, but solid, for 10,000 slick chicks who almost mobbed his automobile after the performance,” Los Angeles Times writer Marvin Miles wrote at the time. His fans, he wrote, had one thing in common: “their feverish devotion to the little juke box johnnie, best expressed in the screams and cries and whistles that welled up from the amphitheater when Frankie finished each number.” Our photo gallery includes images of Sinatra onstage that weren’t published the next day. What’s missing are images of the bobby-socks crowd.


— California and 21 other states sued to block the Trump administration’s attempt to gut restrictions on coal-burning power plants. Separately, two California counties sued to block its new rules that would deny green cards to immigrants who use public assistance.

— Culver City approved a temporary rent control measure early Tuesday, a stopgap measure meant to protect tenants as the state struggles with an affordability crisis. The City Council voted to cap annual rent hikes at 3% in buildings built before Feb. 1, 1995.


Facial recognition software mistakenly matched one in five California lawmakers to somebody else’s mug shot in a recent test, the American Civil Liberties Union says.

— The long-struggling Wildlife Waystation in the Angeles National Forest is shutting down for good — which means it’ll need to find a new home for hundreds of exotic animals, among them lions, tigers and 42 chimpanzees.


— Julia Louis-Dreyfus talked with us about how likability is overrated, about the fear that never quite vanishes after surviving cancer, and about how “Veep” was “the hardest job I’ve ever had and the best job I’ve ever had.”

The Los Angeles Opera will hire outside counsel to investigate sexual harassment accusations against director Plácido Domingo, it said Tuesday. Eight singers and a dancer told the Associated Press the Spanish superstar harassed them over several decades, often pressuring them into sexual relationships and occasionally punishing them professionally when they refused.

— Quentin Tarantino is pushing back against criticism of how “Once Upon a Time ... in Hollywood” portrays Bruce Lee. “Bruce Lee was kind of an arrogant guy,” the director said in Moscow.


For an upcoming Edward Hopper exhibit, a Virginia art museum is re-creating a motel he painted, and you can book a room.


— Two guards assigned to watch Jeffrey Epstein the night he apparently killed himself in jail have been placed on leave and the jail’s warden removed as federal authorities investigate.

— It’s not just Orange County. Republicans have a problem even in deep red areas like the affluent suburbs of Dallas and Fort Worth too. Just ask alienated conservatives like Vanessa Steinkamp: “It feels like there’s no place for lifelong Republicans like me.”

— Chaos consumed Hong Kong’s international airport Tuesday as pro-democracy protesters blocked passengers and occupied terminals, forcing the airport to suspend all check-ins for the second day in a row.

— A panel of public health experts recommends doctors routinely screen all American adults for drug abuse.



Mattel wanted only to postpone its $250-million bond sale for a few days, not scrap it, as it looked into an anonymous whistleblower letter. The El Segundo toymaker is playing down the situation as a case of being overly cautious, sources told Bloomberg.

— Transit agencies across California face privacy lawsuits accusing them of illegally selling driver data for marketing. A new bill to shield them amounts to a get-out-of-jail-free card, and your personal information is at stake, columnist David Lazarus writes.

Facebook has been paying contractors to transcribe audio from its users, people familiar with the work say. The contractors aren’t told where the audio of conversations was recorded, how it was obtained or why Facebook needs it transcribed.


Jay-Z‘s entertainment and sports company Roc Nation has signed a deal with the NFL that could bring more high-profile performers to league events. His company will also contribute to the NFL’s activism campaign.

Curt Schilling says he’s “absolutely considering” running for Congress in Arizona. Trump called the idea “terrific.”


— Now permanently inked on Lonzo Ball‘s left arm: stunning portraits of civil rights icons from Harriet Tubman to Malcolm X.


— California is right to sue the Trump administration over its new coal-favoring rollback of greenhouse gas rules — but to keep to our goals for curbing emissions, we’ve got to rethink our driving habits, Scott Martelle writes.

— L.A.’s homelessness crisis risks overshadowing the 2028 Olympics just as the Fukushima nuclear disaster threatens to overshadow Tokyo’s. We have nine years to do something about it, columnist Dylan Hernandez writes, lest we become an international symbol of the gulf between the haves and have-nots.


Extreme climate change has come to America. Exhibit A: New Jersey. It’s one of the fastest-warming places in the U.S., according to a Washington Post analysis of more than a century of temperature data. (Washington Post)


— Is Rusal‘s big investment in Kentucky a new kind of Russian meddling? Time’s investigation found the Kremlin-linked aluminum giant used a wide arsenal of tools to fight sanctions against it, and in so doing got a foothold in American politics. (Time)

— The Brexit storm could reshape British politics beyond the usual red-blue dominance, Guardian columnist Rafael Behr suggests. He says it helps that the Labor and Tory leaders are both so polarizing. (Guardian)


Call it Cactus Con. The parking lot was already near capacity at the L.A. Arboretum when the country’s biggest succulents show opened Saturday morning. “Succulents are just really hot right now,” one attendee said. (Organizers credit Instagram.) Some people stocked up on bulbous varieties, others on woolly tubes and still others on spiny cupcakes or geometric pincushions that look like something you might find at the bottom of the ocean. One particularly hot seller: the rare species aptly known as the “Boobie Cactus.”

Succulent show
People browse at the 34th Inter-City Cactus and Succulent Show and Sale at the Los Angeles County Arboretum in Arcadia.
(Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

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