Newsletter: Inside a camp for Kurdish refugees

Smoke above Ras al-Ayn in Syria serves as the backdrop for TV journalists in Ceylanpinar, Turkey, on Sunday.
(Lefteris Pitarakis / Associated Press)

Here are the stories you shouldn’t miss today:


Inside a Camp for Kurdish Refugees

In just two weeks, the conflict in northeastern Syria — where President Trump ordered the withdrawal of U.S. forces as Turkish forces advanced into Syrian territory — has displaced more than 200,000 people, according to various official estimates.


Most have fled south into areas of Syria controlled by Kurdish-led forces or under the authority of Syria’s central government. But thousands of Syrian Kurds have been escaping into the territory of the Kurdistan regional government of northern Iraq.

Here’s our report from inside a fast-growing, United Nations-run camp on the scorched high plains of Iraqi Kurdistan.

No Doubling Down This Time

Trump rarely retreats from a fight, but his plan to host the Group of 7 summit at his Doral resort near Miami in June proved to be too much, especially at a time when he needs GOP support. Trump said Saturday that he was backing down because of criticism from Democrats and the media, but many Republicans were also openly critical of a proposal that smacked of self-dealing.

Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney said Trump was taken aback by the barrage of criticism: “At the end of the day, he still considers himself to be in the hospitality business.”

More Politics

Rudolph W. Giuliani‘s conspiracy theories cost this anti-corruption lawmaker in Ukraine his job.


— Each year in office, Trump has issued more executive orders than did President Obama during the same time span. Back in 2012, Trump tweeted: “Why Is @BarackObama constantly issuing executive orders that are major power grabs of authority?”

— Sen. Bernie Sanders leaped back onto the campaign trail with a rowdy political rally aimed at reassuring supporters unnerved by the 78-year-old’s recent heart attack.

Two Sides of the Housing Crisis

One of the biggest issues facing California, the lack of affordable housing, is playing out in ways that give hope — and despair. Some people are creating homes for others with the property they have; in Oakland, for example, a former Tesla employee is using $200,000 from his company stock options to buy a corner lot so that tiny homes can be built there.

Others are not so charitable. In South L.A., an illegally converted church had no gas, water or electricity, yet residents were paying $800 a month to live in squalid conditions.

‘Make America America Again’

“All presidential elections are uniquely consequential, but a good case can be made that the next one is the most important of our lives. The time has come to undo the great mistake of 2016 and drive Trump out of office at the ballot box.” So begins a seven-part series by The Times’ editorial board, which is separate from The Times’ newsroom. The series seeks to answer some basic questions surrounding the election, including the issues of “electability,” race and age.


— These two came to L.A. from Detroit to chase a Hollywood dream. Two weeks later, they were homeless.

— Did jailing Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman matter? In seizing a Mexican city, the Sinaloa cartel shows it’s still strong.

— Columnist Robin Abcarian looks at how Rep. Devin Nunes sued a fake cow. And has kept suing and suing and suing

Judy Garland’s life was run by men. These newly unearthed recordings reveal how.

— Before you visit the Grand Canyon, here are 100 things you’ll want to know.


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On Oct. 19, 1935, the Southern Pacific Lark passenger train, traveling at about 40 mph, crashed into a truck stuck at a railroad crossing in Glendale. The Times reported the next day:

“The southbound Southern Pacific Lark, rolling through Glendale yesterday, smashed into a seven-ton truck loaded with sand and the impact derailed both the train’s locomotives, two coaches, tore up a section of track and sent twelve passengers and trainmen to hospitals.

“Leaping from the driver’s seat of the truck when he saw the impending collision, E. J. Chaney of 213 West Windsor Road, Glendale, escaped death by inches and was only slightly hurt. He was hauling sand for the Consolidated Rock Products Company.”

More pictures of the train wreck, and the truck, are here.



— Elevated fire risk has led Southern California Edison to consider shutting off power to about 45,000 customers in three counties. Meanwhile, PG&E is warning of 10 years of power shut-offs, much to the dismay of state officials.

Gov. Gavin Newsom has angered some in the marijuana industry by refusing to allow pot in hospitals and outlawing its use on tour buses and in limousines.

— During a scuffle on the Santa Monica Pier between Trump supporters and protesters, a man wildly sprayed protesters with bear repellent, according to police and a video of the incident.



“Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” topped the weekend box office but still fell short of expectations. Star Angelina Jolie’s daughter inspired the secret backstory of the film.

— Damon Lindelof, creator of HBO’s “Watchmen,” was determined to explore the long history of — and current furor over — racial tensions in America.

— A night at the church of Lizzo, pop music’s patron saint of self-care.


— U.S. Army officials say three soldiers were killed and three others were injured at Ft. Stewart in Georgia when their armored vehicle was involved in an accident during training.

— Canada goes to the polls today, and the good news for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau may be that he has former President Obama’s support and Trump’s scorn.


Measles is having a deadly resurgence across Africa, where, as of September, about 44% of this year’s cases worldwide have been recorded.

— A crew of deep-sea explorers and historians looking for lost World War II warships has found a second Japanese aircraft carrier that went down in the historic Battle of Midway.


— Now that White Claw summer is over, will hard seltzer’s popularity go flat?

Qantas Airways has tested a 20-hour, 10,100-mile, nonstop ultra-marathon from New York to Sydney. This reporter details the trials and tribulations of being on board.


— With the NBA regular season set to start Tuesday, one of the big questions is who will win the battle of Los Angeles: Lakers or Clippers?


— Quarterback Jared Goff helped the Rams snap their losing streak in a dominating victory over the Atlanta Falcons, while running back Melvin Gordon’s late goal-line fumble doomed the Chargers in their loss to the Tennessee Titans.


— There’s a new sheriff at the California Public Utilities Commission. Columnist George Skelton says that PG&E had better shape up.

— “I recently took part in my first ‘active killer’ school drill. It was as terrifying as it was misguided.”


— Sen. Mitt Romney has become an increasingly vocal critic of Trump. Now, what about that secret Twitter account? (The Atlantic)


— Writer Jia Tolentino, whose job involves being online a lot, discusses how to unplug from it. (Slate)


It’s called the Brooklyn Hair Styler, but the salon on Cesar Chavez Avenue in Boyle Heights is quintessentially L.A. “The radio plays Spanish ballads, but in the middle of the salon are three nail stations manned by Vietnamese-speaking employees,” writes columnist Steve Lopez, who found himself there not only to get a haircut but to brush up on his español.

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