Here are the stories you shouldn’t miss today:
A New Day of Fire Danger
In Los Angeles and Ventura counties, extremely critical fire weather with strong winds and low humidity is expected to continue today
On Wednesday, brush fires broke out across Southern California, sending thousands of people fleeing, closing major freeways and threatening the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. As the winds howled, more than a dozen other smaller fires erupted in communities including Riverside, Santa Clarita, Brea, Whittier, Lancaster, Calabasas, Long Beach, Fullerton, Nuevo and Jurupa Valley. (See our fire map.)
The outlook was brighter in Northern California, where Pacific Gas & Electric Co. started restoring power to most areas and thousands of evacuees began to return home, as firefighters started to gain the upper hand on the Kincade fire. The wine country blaze has scorched more than 76,000 acres and burned dozens of homes, but many residents question whether officials overcorrected, pulling far too many people into the evacuation zone.
More About the Fires
— As firefighters continued to tame the Getty fire in Brentwood, most mandatory evacuations have been lifted.
— Helicopter water drops are challenging in high winds, but pilots are still hitting their targets.
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Trumpworld and a Ukrainian Tycoon
Dmytri Firtash, a Ukrainian oligarch who is an alleged “upper-echelon” associate of the Russian mafia, has spent nearly six years trying to avoid prosecution in the United States on bribery charges tied to mining rights in India. In trying to fight extradition to the U.S., Firtash has aligned his defense closely with President Trump: He has hired lawyers who travel in the president’s inner circle and is pushing theories that he is being targeted for political reasons.
— The House is expected to hold its first vote related to the impeachment inquiry of Trump today, on establishing impeachment rules. Senior House Democrats appear to have all but given up on getting much Republican support for their effort and are resigned to the reality that the process will probably continue along largely partisan lines.
— Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan told colleagues he’d be leaving his post today, but as of last night, it was unclear who will be tapped to run the sprawling agency tasked with national security, disaster response and protection of the president and his family.
— Chilean President Sebastián Piñera says he is canceling two major international summits so he can focus on the nationwide protests in his country. Trump had been eyeing to sign a trade deal with Chinese President Xi Jinping at one of them.
Rattlesnake Wrangler to the Stars
Fires. Winds. Floods. Mudslides. Earthquakes. The list of calamities awaiting Californians is long. One of the dangers that shouldn’t be forgotten: rattlesnakes. Sometimes you’ll find them on a trail (as readers like you have shared with us). Other times, you’ll see them in your backyard. What to do? Our latest Column One feature follows the adventures of a rattlesnake wrangler whose clients clients have included Jamie Foxx, Dwayne Johnson, Howie Mandel, Ellen DeGeneres and Arnold Schwarzenegger.
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FROM THE ARCHIVES
For one L.A. family, the Harrells of Hollywood, Halloween in 1935 looked a lot like Halloween today: parties, pumpkins and costumes. As a caption of a Times photo from their festivities, published in the Nov. 5, 1935, edition, recounted: “When all the masks were removed, the children were entertained by a puppet show before they went into the garden to play around the scarecrow.” Here are more photos of Halloween in 1935, plus one from that year’s Halloween Festival in Anaheim.
— L.A. County supervisors have ordered coroner officials to examine the effects of body-part harvesting from the morgue, after a Times investigation found the practice had complicated some death investigations.
— L.A. could loosen one of the key restrictions in its new rules clamping down on Airbnb-type rentals, letting owners offer some rent-stabilized apartments for short stays as long as they live there. The idea has alarmed tenant advocates.
— But some L.A. tenants facing big rent hikes could get relief under a new program just approved at City Hall.
— LAX is sorry for the “unacceptable” gridlock and wait times that travelers have faced under the new ride-hail and taxi pick-up system.
— A former Solana Beach surfing executive has been sentenced to two months in prison in the college admissions scandal.
HOLLYWOOD AND THE ARTS
— “Doctor Sleep,” the new sequel to “The Shining,” shows an understanding of the deep emotional underpinnings of Stephen King’s fiction while also being faithful to Stanley Kubrick’s masterpiece, our critic Justin Chang writes.
— Executives say many current HBO subscribers can get its new Max streaming service at no extra cost. It’s not quite that simple.
— Apple TV+ is here. Can it compete with Netflix and Disney? Apple hopes some freebies will help.
— When Edward Norton persuaded New Line Cinema to buy the rights to “Motherless Brooklyn” 20 years ago, he didn’t know he’d end up directing the sweeping crime epic. “The greedy actor impulse definitely came first.”
— Meet Naomi Ackie, the new face of a more inclusive galaxy as a star of the forthcoming “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.”
— An extraordinary video offers a behind-the-scenes look at what happened when Mexican security forces briefly captured El Chapo’s son, one of the world’s most-wanted cartel leaders.
— In Lebanon, Hezbollah‘s path to power just got rougher.
— Traditional Chinese medicine doctors are secretly helping Hong Kong protesters.
— A former Juul executive fired this year says the vaping company knowingly shipped 1 million tainted nicotine pods to customers.
— Twitter is banning all political ads, in contrast with Facebook.
— The Fed cut rates again, for the third time in a row, as the trade war and lagging global growth threaten the longest economic expansion in American history.
— In Game 7, Howie Kendrick sparked the Washington Nationals’ comeback over the Houston Astros leading to the first World Series victory in Nats franchise history.
— Here’s why Arnold Schwarzenegger says Kawhi Leonard could have a future in Hollywood.
— The fastest man in the world — 100-meter dash world record-holder Usain Bolt — wouldn’t mind playing for the Patriots or the Packers.
— Despite the blackouts, California is still burning. Are we experiencing fewer fires than we would without them — or are they ineffective because they’re badly thought out or poorly implemented? The Times’ editorial board explores.
— How we treat 44 sick and elderly chimpanzees says a lot about us as a society, NYU professor Jeff Sebo writes.
— “My father despised Halloween. It was only years later that I came to understand what it was about.”
WHAT OUR EDITORS ARE READING
— House Speaker Nancy Pelosi drops some hints about the impeachment process ahead. (The Atlantic)
— How Gang Starr, one of hip-hop’s most iconic duos, died and came back to life. (New York Times)
— Why sales of “Baby Shark” products went through the roof during the World Series. (CNBC)
ONLY IN L.A.
It may sound like an “Saturday Night Live” sketch on California living: A famous musician and his actress-designer wife are so hardcore vegan that even silk doesn’t enter their home. But if 2019’s oat-milk shortages are any indication of broader American lifestyles, No Doubt bassist Tony Kanal and his wife, Erin Lokitz, may be ahead of the curve. In renovating their Spanish Revival home in Los Feliz, they kept their furniture vegan. That can mean ditching wool for hemp, goose down for foam, silk for bananas and leather for pineapples.