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World & Nation

Newsletter: The EPA plan even Big Oil opposes

Methane emissions
A gas well in Erie, Colo. Emissions of methane, a potent gas for trapping heat in the atmosphere, have risen in Colorado and other states as energy production has grown.
(Stephanie Davis / McClatchy-Tribune)

Inside the Trump administration’s latest bid to undo Obama-era rules.

TOP STORIES

The EPA Plan Even Big Oil Opposes

The Trump administration plans to roll back regulations on leaks of natural gas from wells, pipelines and other equipment, a move that could significantly increase emissions that cause global warming. The proposal announced by the Environmental Protection Agency would eliminate rules on methane that even some major oil and gas companies say should be kept in place. Sound familiar? An earlier effort by former EPA chief Scott Pruitt was blocked in court. And just as the administration’s plans to roll back fuel economy rules for cars and trucks have split the automotive industry, Exxon Mobil, Shell and BP oppose the methane proposal while many smaller companies support it.

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More Politics

-- The Justice Department’s inspector general says former FBI Director James B. Comey violated FBI policies in his handling of memos documenting private conversations with President Trump. But the report also found that none of the information shared by him or his attorneys with anyone in the media was classified, and the Justice Department has declined to prosecute Comey.

-- Trump said that he was canceling his planned weekend trip to Poland, and will send Vice President Mike Pence instead, because Hurricane Dorian appears headed for a direct hit on Florida over Labor Day weekend.

-- Democratic presidential candidate Tom Steyer made nearly $1.2 billion in gross income over the course of nine years, according to personal tax returns he released. But he did not include key portions of the returns that detail his investments.

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How the U.N. Sends Migrants Back to Central America

A United Nations agency, with funding from the U.S. State Department, is transporting thousands of immigrants from the U.S.-Mexico border back to Central America in a program called Assisted Voluntary Return that has drawn the ire of migrant legal advocates. Those advocates question whether migrants fully understand their rights when they accept free plane and bus tickets home.

A Failure to Disclose

Records show that Los Angeles Police Commissioner Sandra Figueroa-Villa failed to disclose income from a nonprofit she runs that received millions of dollars from the city to work with police on gang initiatives. The Times connected the city contracts to Figueroa-Villa’s nonprofit during an examination of more than 4,000 pages of Police Commission meeting transcripts and agendas, Ethics Commission records and IRS tax forms filed by the nonprofit. Figueroa-Villa said she did not know she needed to disclose the source of her personal income. “In my mind, I had nothing to report,” she said.

Feeling Trapped

California’s rising rents are making it difficult for people of all ages to find a place to live. (Don’t believe us? Check out this calculator/map showing where can you afford to rent.) But experts say seniors are perhaps the most vulnerable to rent increases and evictions. And they make up the fastest-growing age group in the state.

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FROM THE ARCHIVES

On Aug. 31, 1986, Aeromexico Flight 498, a Douglas DC-9, flying from Mexico City to Los Angeles International Airport collided with a Piper PA-28 Archer over Cerritos. Eighty-two people died — 67 aboard the two aircraft and 15 on the ground.

Aug. 31, 1986: The smoldering ruins of homes mark the area of Cerritos where an Aeromexico jetliner fell to earth.
Aug. 31, 1986: The smoldering ruins of homes mark the area of Cerritos where an Aeromexico jetliner fell to earth.
(Joe Kennedy / Los Angeles Times)

CALIFORNIA

-- Dozens of buildings at UCLA and UC Berkeley pose a serious risk to life in a strong earthquake, with at least 68 seismically deficient structures at UC Berkeley and 18 at UCLA, according to new university studies.

Uber and Lyft want to take their fight to treat drivers as independent contractors to California voters. They’ll commit $60 million toward a 2020 ballot initiative to create an alternate classification that includes some employee protections and guaranteed minimum pay.

-- The Long Beach Police Department has launched an internal investigation into the death of one of its police dogs. Ozzy, a 6-year-old Belgian Malinois-German shepherd mix, was found dead in his handler’s patrol car from apparent overheating.

YOUR WEEKEND

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-- Spend Labor Day weekend learning about the U.S. armed forces, listening to live jazz or celebrating cultures from around the world at these close-to-home events.

-- Northgate González Markets, the Southern California supermarket chain, is famous for its prepared foods, but the tortillas are the star of the show. Watch how they’re made in 180-degree virtual reality.

-- Now appearing at a farmers market sort of near you: Lychees are here for only a few weeks, and they’re mind-blowing.

-- Gardening datebook: A symposium of succulents and a seedling exchange

-- How an elite group of men and women decide which classic cars should be crowned best in the world.

HOLLYWOOD AND THE ARTS

-- Actress Gabrielle Carteris portrays a union president on the TV show “BH90210,” and now she’ll continue to serve as one in real life after being reelected SAG-AFTRA president in a contentious election.

-- Why did Constance Wu fight for the chance to play an exotic dancer-turned-criminal in the film “Hustlers”? “In every project I choose, I want a character that gets to run the gamut of a full spectrum of an arc.”

-- Before playing Judy Garland in the film “Judy,” opening in theaters Sept. 27 after hitting the festival circuit in Telluride and Toronto, Renée Zellweger was torn about whether to contact Garland’s older daughter, Liza Minnelli. Here’s how the story played out.

-- Speaking of upcoming movies, here’s our guide to virtually every film coming out this fall.

NATION-WORLD

-- A new study that analyzed the DNA of nearly half a million people has found that, while genetic differences play a significant role in sexual behavior, there is no single gene responsible. The findings, which looked at behavior and not sexual identity, debunk the notion of a singular “gay gene.”

-- An investigation by U.S. health authorities into whether e-cigarettes can cause seizures was triggered by a handful of people who reportedly used Juul devices, according to Food and Drug Administration documents.

-- Hong Kong police have arrested two prominent activists ahead of a major protest march Saturday banned by authorities, according to the activist movement Demosisto. Meanwhile, China’s military has deployed fresh troops to Hong Kong in what it called a routine rotation amid speculation that it might intervene.

-- Political opposition to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s move to suspend Parliament has led to protests, legal action and a petition to block the move that has gathered more than 1 million signatures.

-- In a closely watched bribery case, South Korea’s top court has overturned part of a lower court’s ruling against Samsung’s third-generation heir, raising the specter of a prison term.

BUSINESS

— Southern California’s lemons are enormous this year, which is great for your salads but not for growers. Blame it on the rain.

— More layoffs just hit Disney after its 21st Century Fox deal. Nearly 60 people were let go in the company’s media distribution units, including home entertainment and TV distribution, a person familiar with the matter said Thursday.

Tesla wants to insure your Tesla.

SPORTS

— Police in Mobile, Ala., have issued an arrest warrant for DeMarcus Cousins. The Lakers center is accused of threatening to shoot his ex-girlfriend, the mother of his young son.

Barry Bonds says he could have hit .400.

OPINION

-- Trump’s silence on Kashmir sends a dangerous signal to the world’s autocratic leaders.

-- Former Gov. Jerry Brown killed redevelopment in California. His successor, Gov. Gavin Newsom, should bring it back to life.

WHAT OUR EDITORS ARE READING

-- The “granny state”: Amid fears of elder abuse in nursing homes, more and more webcams are being installed. But they have a price. (Ozy)

-- NFL veteran Ryan Russell opens up on his sexuality: “Out of love, admiration and respect, I want the next team to sign me valuing me for what I do and knowing who I truly am.” (ESPN)

ONLY IN L.A.

Dockweiler State Beach in Playa del Rey has more than three miles of shoreline and more than 60 fire pits. It’s also right underneath where the planes take off from Los Angeles International Airport. And as columnist Chris Erskine writes, it “may be SoCal’s most populist hangout, virtually free, except for the parking.” Or, as one beachgoer recently put it: “Welcome to Burning Man in the South Bay.”

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