Here are the stories you shouldn’t miss today:
How to Address Homelessness in L.A.?
As homelessness has exploded in Los Angeles, taxpayers have been willing to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on housing, shelters and services to help get people off the streets. But a new poll shows that a broad majority of voters think the city and county have been ineffective in spending that money and that new policies are needed — and they have several ideas.
For a deeper understanding of the crisis, columnist Steve Lopez spent months reporting on those who live on the streets of Hollywood (on top of his years of reporting on the subject more broadly).
In three columns, Lopez examines the story from different angles: through the eyes of residents dealing with a homeless encampment growing outside their windows, from the perspective of those who live in the camp and walking the beat with a cop trying to make a difference.
Gun Violence Claims More Victims
Fresno police say at least 10 people were shot and four were killed at a backyard party in a home where about 35 people, including children, had gathered to watch football on Sunday night. Fresno Police Deputy Chief Michael Reid said all of those shot were men who were 25 to 30 years old. The violence comes after last week’s shooting at Saugus High School, in which two students were killed by another teen who subsequently died of a self-inflicted wound, and a suspected murder-suicide that killed five family members in San Diego and left a 3-year-old boy in critical condition.
At a Critical Juncture in D.C.
Democrats this week will enter what some observers see as a do-or-die phase of the impeachment inquiry into President Trump, as they summon a flurry of witnesses they hope will convince the public that Trump should be impeached for pressing a foreign government to launch criminal investigations for his political benefit.
The hearings follow a rare weekend in which a key White House official was deposed and the transcripts were released from two additional closed-door depositions of administration officials. Earlier in the week, three veteran diplomats testified in public, soberly describing the ramifications of the president’s pressure campaign — undermining Ukraine, a stalwart U.S. ally at war with Russia, and eroding U.S. stature across the globe, they said.
Republican House members are likely to continue pounding a point that some GOP senators have raised: that even if true, the allegations don’t rise to the level of impeachable conduct.
— Trump spent more than two hours at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center on Saturday for what the White House said were medical tests as part of his annual physical, but a lack of details or public appearances has fueled speculation.
— U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said the United States and South Korea have indefinitely postponed a joint military exercise in an “act of goodwill” toward North Korea.
— The shifting Democratic presidential primary was on display in California on Saturday, with the newest candidate, Deval Patrick, making his first appearance in front of a large group of voters and Sen. Kamala Harris arguing that her campaign remains vibrant despite her plummet in the polls.
Should They Stay or Should They Go?
In Hong Kong, the weekend brought another round of clashes between police and protesters, including an all-night siege at one university campus. Months of conflict over the city’s political future have driven a growing number of Hong Kongers to consider moving abroad and rekindled memories of the 1990s, when hundreds of thousands fled out of fear of communist rule. But, as this portrait of one family shows, the decision isn’t easy.
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OUR MUST-READS FROM THE WEEKEND
— Do active-shooter drills at schools go too far? Some experts fear that increasingly aggressive drills risk becoming trauma-inducing events of their own.
— One year after the deadly Woolsey fire, homeowners share the lessons they learned.
— Former California Gov. Pete Wilson is still defending Prop. 187 and fighting for a better place in history.
— How to hail a ride at ever-changing Los Angeles International Airport during the holidays (or any other time).
FROM THE ARCHIVES
On this date in 1978, more than 900 people died in a ritual of mass suicide and murder dubbed the Jonestown Massacre at a cult compound in Guyana. The mass killing was orchestrated by the Rev. Jim Jones, who ordered members of his People’s Temple cult to consume a cyanide-laced drink.
At an airstrip in the jungle, Jones’ followers shot and killed five people, including California Rep. Leo Ryan, who had traveled to Guyana to investigate alleged human rights abuses being perpetrated by the cult.
“On a grassy slope in Oakland, more than 400 take their final rest, mostly children who were unclaimed or unidentified,” wrote reporter Tim Reiterman in 2003. He covered Jonestown for the San Francisco Examiner and was wounded in the jungle airstrip attack.
— Thousands of Santa Clarita residents gathered for a candlelight vigil Sunday night to honor the two students killed in the shooting at Saugus High School.
— Developers and transit officials are set to apply today for city permission to build a $1-billion mixed-use complex in North Hollywood that would surround the subway entrance and adjacent hub for connecting bus routes.
— After warm, dry weather today, the first winter storm of the season is expected to arrive in Southern California on Tuesday night through Thursday, the National Weather Service said. In Northern California, weather and utilities officials are warning of possible red flag conditions midweek.
— California remains the top U.S. destination for foreign students, yet enrollment has dipped slightly for the first time in at least a decade.
HOLLYWOOD AND THE ARTS
— The new Matt Damon-Christian Bale film “Ford v Ferrari” — about rebel Southern California automaker/industry giant Carroll Shelby and self-picked driver Ken Miles versus the egos and establishment at Ford in the 1960s — was No. 1 at the box office over the weekend. Perhaps not surprisingly, it takes some liberties with history.
— Two years after admitting to sexual misconduct with female comedians and associates, Louis C.K. is back on tour, landing for the time being in some pretty far-flung locales.
— “The Inheritance” on Broadway will have you sobbing. But, theater critic Charles McNulty writes, the play aims for more.
— Nickelodeon once ruled kids TV. Can it make a comeback?
— Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards stunned Republicans again, narrowly winning a second term Saturday as the Deep South’s only Democratic governor and handing Trump another gubernatorial loss this month.
— Trump has said freeing American prisoners abroad is a top priority. What about U.S. prisoners in Iran?
— The United Nations’ human rights chief has warned that postelection violence causing turmoil in Bolivia could “spin out of control” if officials resort to the use of disproportionate force.
— Prince Andrew has offered a detailed rebuttal to claims he had sex with a woman who says she was trafficked by Jeffrey Epstein, providing an alibi for one of the alleged encounters and questioning the authenticity of a well-known photograph that shows him posing with the woman.
— It’s not just farmers: U.S. exports to China may never recover from the trade war.
— Ford Motor Co. has unveiled its first new-from-the-ground-up fully electric vehicle, the Mustang Mach-E.
— The Rams took a different approach to beat the Chicago Bears and boost their playoff hopes, while the Chargers are seeking a victory over the Kansas City Chiefs tonight and still clinging to a chance at the playoffs.
— After getting walloped by Utah, UCLA football is looking to rebound with a victory over USC in their big rivalry game.
— The Ukraine scandal is a microcosm of what we already know: Trump’s presidency is a failure.
— Chelsea Becker‘s baby was born dead because she used drugs. That doesn’t make her a murderer.
WHAT OUR EDITORS ARE READING
— More than 400 pages of internal Chinese documents provide an unprecedented inside look at the crackdown on Muslim ethnic minorities in the Xinjiang region. (New York Times)
— A three-year investigation has found widespread separate and unequal treatment by real estate agents of minority potential homebuyers and minority communities on Long Island. (Newsday)
ONLY IN L.A.
The heart works in mysterious ways. After getting dumped by a man who was feeling ambivalent, a Hollywood screenwriter got a call six weeks later from the same guy. Before long, he had invited her to check out an “unadoptable” rescue dog named Chance. And as this week’s L.A. Affairs column explains, “I fell in love with the man because of the dog.”