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World & Nation

Newsletter: China, if you’re listening ...

President Trump
President Trump speaks on the South Lawn of the White House on Thursday.
(Andrew Harnik / Associated Press)

President Trump wants China to investigate the Bidens too.

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China, If You’re Listening ...

With an impeachment inquiry focused on President Trump’s outreach to Ukraine to help him win reelection next year, Trump has added yet another dimension: publicly urging China to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter. Trump said Chinese officials would visit Washington next week in an effort to revive the stalled trade talks that have harmed both economies, suggesting a leverage point in his push against Biden.

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Meanwhile, Kurt Volker, the former U.S. special envoy to Ukraine who resigned last week after being named repeatedly in the whistleblower complaint at the heart of Democrats’ impeachment inquiry, testified behind closed doors.

Late Thursday, three House committees released a cache of texts between Volker and other U.S. diplomats showing how they tried encouraging Ukraine’s newly elected president to conduct an investigation linked to Biden’s family in return for a potentially high-profile visit to Washington with Trump.

More Politics

— As Trump tries furiously to fend off impeachment, he has hurled caustic taunts and crude insults at one figure above all: Rep. Adam B. Schiff, the Burbank Democrat who is spearheading the House inquiry. Schiff says he isn’t deterred.

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— Most Democratic lawmakers are at home in their districts for a two-week recess. At three town hall meetings in Pennsylvania and New York districts that voted for Trump in 2016, backlash to the impeachment inquiry was rare and only from loyal Trump supporters.

— Biden collected $15.2 million in political donations over the last quarter, his campaign reported. That places him behind some Democratic rivals whom he has been leading in the polls.

Inside Brazil’s Failed Deal to Save the Amazon

A decade ago, it looked as if there was hope to save the world’s largest rainforest: Brazil’s biggest beef processors had just agreed to rigorously monitor their supply chains to avoid working with deforestation-linked ranches, lest they face government fines and closures. But today the region is in still graver danger, with ranching the top culprit. What happened? Read on.

Good Firebreaks Make Good Neighbors

As wildfires in California get more destructive, homeowners are installing sprinklers and other elaborate systems. But experts say those probably won’t do much good; far more important is how you and your neighbors work together to reduce the risk from wind-driven blazes. So what does that mean for your home? Start with some pruning, but you’ll also want to consult our interactive fireproofing guide — and share it with the people in your neighborhood.

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FROM THE ARCHIVES

In Hollywood history, Oct. 5, 1945, became known as “Bloody Friday” when members of two studio unions — one on strike, and the other not — confronted each other outside the Warner Bros. employee entrance. At least 25 people were injured in the resulting riot.

Oct. 5, 1945: Strikers and non-strikers clash outside the employee entrance to Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank.
Oct. 5, 1945: Strikers and non-strikers clash outside the employee entrance to Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank.
(Andrew H. Arnott / Los Angeles Times Archive / UCLA)

CALIFORNIA

— San Francisco Dist. Atty. George Gascon has announced his resignation, an almost certain signal that he will challenge Jackie Lacey to become Los Angeles’ top prosecutor.

— Authorities say Santa Cruz tech executive Tushar Atre was forced from his home in the middle of the night and then killed this week. There are few clues but plenty of questions in the slaying.

Already disbarred and removed from his prestigious law firm, Gordon Caplan has been sentenced to one month in prison for conspiring to rig his daughter’s college entrance exams.

— In Long Beach and other cities, school fences are going up to deter shootings. But that often means that the neighborhood loses a park.

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YOUR WEEKEND

— Frequent fliers, beware. Los Angeles International Airport will soon ban ride-hailing companies from picking up passengers outside its terminals. Drop-offs will still be allowed.

— Inside Southern California’s biggest pumpkin patch for Halloween: $5 a head.

— Eight great boba shops with a mostly indie twist in the San Gabriel Valley.

— The best chocolate chip cookie recipe ever? There’s no such thing, but here is one.

Nine things to do in L.A. including salutes to the Beatles, Bowie and “Game of Thrones.”

HOLLYWOOD AND THE ARTS

Lana Del Rey talks about the songs she wants to cover, the women and girls who inspire her and why she says she doesn’t have a persona.

— How Netflix’s acclaimed new series “Unbelievable” created its revolutionary portrayal of rape.

The Getty has acquired two Italian masterpieces it says rank among the “greatest works” in the museum’s collection.

NATION-WORLD

— Attorneys for victims of the 2017 Las Vegas massacre, the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history, say they’ve reached a settlement expected to pay between $735 million and $800 million. But they lament that the law prevents gun makers from being held to account.

Venezuela’s collapse is costing Cuba its supply of cheap fuel, and a crucial economic lifeline.

— The high school student who became the first victim of police gunfire in Hong Kong’s months of pro-democracy protests has been charged with rioting and attacking police. Also, Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam has banned protesters from wearing masks.

— A dam project on the Tigris River is about to swallow one of the oldest known human settlements, flooding a historic crossroads of empires and cultures and a cradle of civilization.

BUSINESS

— The September jobs report, due today, is expected to be weak. Wall Street economists see Trump’s trade war and a manufacturing recession as the culprits.

Greg Blatt, the onetime chief executive of Tinder, has filed a defamation suit against a former vice president who sued him, alleging he sexually harassed and assaulted her at a company Christmas party in 2016.

SPORTS

— Pitcher Walker Buehler set the tone for the Dodgers, who began the playoffs with a decisive 6-0 win over the Washington Nationals. Game 2 at Dodger Stadium is tonight.

— Olympic snowboarding champion Chloe Kim is taking the upcoming season off to start her freshman year at Princeton University, saying that she wants to be “a normal kid for once.”

UCLA’s talent-starved football team is struggling to recruit, thanks to a combination of its abysmal start, a coaching staff being out-hustled by rivals and an evaluation that may be too discriminating.

OPINION

— Columnist George Skelton has changed his mind about Sen. Kamala Harris being a shoo-in to win the California presidential primary. He now says she’s a weak candidate with a muddled message.

Meghan Markle vs. the tabloid mob.

WHAT OUR EDITORS ARE READING

— Texas’ most dangerous border is the one with New Mexico. There, the Permian Basin oil boom is driving breakneck growth with little oversight and not nearly enough housing, healthcare or infrastructure — and has gotten one key rural artery dubbed “Death Highway.” (Houston Chronicle)

— In the 11 years since the financial bailout, the federal government has realized a $116-billion profit, ProPublica’s revamped tracker shows. (ProPublica)

— More and more libraries are starting to eliminate late fees in an effort to make access more equitable. (CityLab)

ONLY IN L.A.

In a 1937 Spanish-style bungalow in Los Feliz, the writing is in the wall. When the owners were getting ready to put the house on the market, they found a time capsule hidden within a wall next to the chimney. It was from the original owners and contained photos of them, the initial home and a letter describing L.A. and California. Studios, bathing beauties, horse races and nightclubs all got a mention. “One reason people live to such a ripe old age in California is that there is so much to see that they really can’t spare the time to die.”

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