Newsletter: Chaos, sanctions and ... Napoleon?

An elderly man is evacuated from a building in Akcakale, a town near the Turkish border with Syria, on Oct. 13 after it was hit by a rocket reported to be fired from within Syria.
(Bulent Kilic / AFP/Getty Images)

Here are the stories you shouldn’t miss today:


Chaos, Sanctions and ... Napoleon?

Facing blowback over his abrupt troop withdrawal from Syria amid reports that Islamic State detainees have escaped in the ensuing chaos from a Turkish invasion, President Trump has called for an immediate cease-fire and imposed sanctions against Turkish officials and agencies.


Yet he also suggested in a tweet that the Kurds, the onetime allies of the U.S. now being attacked by Turkey, could seek protection from “Russia, China, or Napoleon Bonaparte. I hope they all do great, we are 7,000 miles away!”

In Washington, Republican and Democratic lawmakers alike are working to condemn Trump’s decision and impose their own, stronger sanctions on Turkey.

More From Washington

Fiona Hill, a former White House advisor on Russia, told House impeachment investigators in 10 hours of closed-door testimony that she had strongly and repeatedly objected to the ouster earlier this year of former Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, according to a person familiar with the testimony.

— When the White House finally released $400 million in defense assistance it had withheld from Ukraine while pressuring its government to investigate Trump’s political opponents, Republican and Democratic lawmakers had mere days to ensure millions of dollars for military equipment would not expire. Some of it still has not been sent.

Something Old, Something New


Have you ever wanted to see 12 politicians on a debate stage at the same time? Tonight’s your chance, as a dozen Democratic presidential hopefuls take the stage in Ohio at 5 p.m. Pacific for what is believed to be the largest crowd ever in one primary debate.

Most of the familiar faces will be there, including front-runners Joe Biden, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, all of whom may face questions related to their age. (The three are all in their 70s, as is Trump, though only Warren is referred to as an energizer bunny.) Tom Steyer will be the newest face on the debate stage. Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, who failed to qualify for the September debate, will make a return.

As Boise Goes, So Goes ...

Homelessness in Boise, Idaho, and in Los Angeles is vastly different. Anywhere from 1,000 to 2,000 homeless people live in Boise; more than 36,000 live just in the city of L.A. Yet because of a ruling by the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, this midsize city in Idaho sets the enforcement standards for its much bigger counterparts in the West. Now, L.A. and other local governments have joined Boise’s mayor in challenging that decision, which prohibits cities from ticketing or arresting homeless people for sleeping or camping on public property if there are no shelter beds available as an alternative.

Not Feeling Empowered

Less than a week after utilities shut off power to hundreds of thousands of customers up and down California, the big question is: What will happen the next time the Santa Ana winds create fire danger? Among the lessons that need to be learned, experts say, is better communication. Residents complained they did not receive adequate notice of the shutdown or no notice at all and could not get on the utilities’ websites.

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On this day in 1988, in Game 1 of the World Series, the Dodgers were trailing the A’s 4-3 in the bottom of the ninth — but then Kirk Gibson hit a historic two-run pinch-hit homer to give the Dodgers a stunning 5-4 victory. The homer didn’t just win that game, recalled former manager Tommy Lasorda 20 years later, “it paralyzed the A’s, and we went on to beat them in five games and win the World Series.”

Times photographer Joe Kennedy shot the iconic image of Gibson’s exultation from a position near the left field bullpen. “The next day, the one picture was on A-1 and another on Sports cover. That’s when I knew it was something special,” Kennedy said. “The paper had so many requests for the image, a poster was made and thousands of copies sold.”

Oct. 15, 1988: Kirk Gibson raises his arms in celebration after hitting a game-winning two-run homer.
Oct. 15, 1988: Kirk Gibson raises his arms in celebration after hitting a game-winning two-run homer.
(Joe Kennedy / Los Angeles Times)


— Nearly 300 drinking water wells and other water sources in California have traces of toxic chemicals linked to cancer, new state testing has found. With our online tool, you can check for these chemicals in water sources near you.

— State lawmakers continued the expansion of rights and protections this year for immigrants who enter the country illegally, with laws signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom allowing them to serve on government boards and commissions.

— A magnitude 4.5 earthquake was felt widely in the San Francisco Bay Area on Monday, with the epicenter in the Walnut Creek and Pleasant Hill areas. As of Monday evening, there were no reports of injuries or property damage related to the earthquake.

— Uber has warned Los Angeles International Airport officials that travelers could face traffic jams and long waits for rides when a new pickup system for Uber and Lyft begins later this month.

— Will later school start times mean more sleep or more hassles?


Ronan Farrow talked with Times culture critic Mary McNamara about his new book “Catch and Kill,” out today, and the pressure he faced after he began investigating Harvey Weinstein — from his own then-employer NBC as well as from private Israeli spies hired by Weinstein.

— The head of NBC’s news division, Noah Oppenheim, slammed the book for suggesting it quashed the Weinstein story to protect its anchor Matt Lauer, who faced sexual assault accusations of his own. But now Oppenheim’s own past writings about women are drawing scrutiny.

— Vietnam has reportedly pulled the DreamWorks cartoon “Abominable” from theaters over its map of China.

— Canadian writer Margaret Atwood and British author Bernardine Evaristo split the Booker Prize after the judging panel refused to name one winner for the prestigious fiction trophy.


— Any settlement in the sprawling prescription opioid litigation would be massive, but what might happen with all that money? Big Tobacco’s payouts offer a clue, and a warning.

— A white former Fort Worth police officer who fatally shot Atatiana Jefferson, a black woman, through a window in her home has been charged with murder.

— Fourteen Mexican police officers were killed in an ambush in Michoacan, the latest in a series of high-casualty attacks by armed criminal groups nationwide.

— South Korean pop star Sulli, an alum of the girl-group f(x), was found dead at home. She was 25.


Riot Games had a message for pro gamers and broadcasters for the tournament over the weekend: Don’t get political. The developer is owned by Chinese tech giant Tencent, and its rival Blizzard is embroiled in a Hong Kong controversy.

— A recent government report and appeals-court oral argument bode ill for Trump’s planned Medicaid work requirement. That’s unsurprising, because his real motivation is punitive, columnist Michael Hiltzik writes.


LeBron James has stepped into the fray over a tweet about Hong Kong by the Houston Rockets’ general manager. Plus, here’s a behind-the-scenes look at how the Lakers navigated their time in China.

— When it comes to Stanford, UCLA’s players know something Chip Kelly doesn’t.

— The NFL robbed L.A. of a team for an entire generation and neglected the market in the meantime, so it would be foolish to think it could make up for that lost loyalty in just a few years, columnist Arash Markazi writes.

Andrew Friedman expects to finalize his new Dodgers contract to remain president of baseball operations in the next few days.


— Did last week’s power outages accomplish anything, The Times’ editorial board asks?

— California’s clear-cutting project in the Rim fire area near Yosemite is setting up the region for another tragedy, write Chad Hanson and James Hansen, two of the plaintiffs suing to halt the project.

— Delaying Los Angeles’ overdue new rules for Airbnb would be a huge mistake, the editorial board says.


— Is Amazon unstoppable? As one recently retired executive said, “we’re suddenly on the firing line.” (The New Yorker)

— In trucking, the future is female. (Wall Street Journal)


She loved L.A. She loathed L.A. “Everything I write is about Los Angeles,” she told The Times in 1989. “The dark side of the tropics, the manic nature of the city, its mutant beauty, its power, the wildness of these self-created people.” Kate Braverman, the poet, novelist and short-story writer whose work was fueled by a sprawling Los Angeles, has died at 70. Though she had moved on to other cities, L.A. “was always her spiritual home and North Star,” said Gabrielle Goldstein, her daughter and only survivor.

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