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Newsletter: ‘No choice but to act’

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‘No Choice but to Act’

Speaker Nancy Pelosi has announced that she is asking House committees to move to impeach President Trump, taking a major step toward making him just the third president in American history to face that sanction.

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“His wrongdoing strikes at the very heart of our Constitution,” Pelosi said of Trump. “Our democracy is what is at stake. The president leaves us no choice but to act.”

In a news conference, Pelosi would not discuss the potential contents of the articles of impeachment, saying that was a decision left to the chairmen of the relevant committees. But her statement has set off a whirlwind of activity that is expected to culminate in a full House vote on impeaching the president shortly before Christmas.

Meanwhile, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy repeated his party’s charge that Democrats had entered the impeachment process with their minds already made up.

More From Washington

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— The Supreme Court will meet today to consider for the first time whether the Constitution gives homeless people a right to sleep on the sidewalk. The justices will consider whether to take up an appeal of a 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling, and they’re unlikely to announce a decision for at least another week.

— Trump’s lawyers argued at the Supreme Court that the Constitution shields his tax returns from congressional subpoena.

— Former secretary of state and 2004 Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry has endorsed Joe Biden for president, boosting the former vice president’s argument that his international experience makes him the best candidate.

‘It’s a War Zone’

It’s too early to tell how this week will be remembered in the annals of Marshall Islands history, but it is likely not to be forgotten — even for a place where the United States detonated 67 nuclear bombs during the Cold War. As votes were being counted in a historic election that will affect the nation’s relationships with the United States and China, its capital city was flooded, its two hospitals were packed with patients suffering from dengue fever or flu, and its president was pleading with the international community to act decisively on climate change.

Meet the Beetle Lovers

In September, the last Beetle rolled off the assembly line at a Volkswagen plant in Puebla, Mexico. But about 65 miles to the northwest, in Mexico City, one family of Beetle lovers, or vocheros, has taken on a special role in keeping the Bug’s legacy alive. It organizes a monthly drag race at a track, and the stars of the show are VW Beetles modified with huge engines and custom paint jobs.

Very Taxing

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Here’s a friendly reminder: Homeowners in L.A. County have until Tuesday to pay their property taxes without a penalty. Whether you’re paying a lot or, thanks to Proposition 13, relatively little, chances are you aren’t paying as much as the bills on these 12 properties. Each of them is expected to top $1 million a year.

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FROM THE ARCHIVES

On this date in 1964, the Music Center’s Memorial Pavilion held its first concert, with Zubin Mehta conducting the L.A. Philharmonic. The evening marked a high point for Dorothy Buffum Chandler, wife of L.A. Times publisher Norman Chandler, who had spent a decade raising money and rallying support for the creation of the Music Center in downtown L.A.

“My speech was after the opening piece,” Mehta would recall decades later. “I said: ‘Gentlemen, we love the acoustics! Egypt has its pharaohs, Florence has its princesses. Los Angeles has one simple lady, called Dorothy Chandler.’ ” The Memorial Pavilion would later be renamed as the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.

Cary Grant and Dorothy Buffum Chandler
Cary Grant and Dorothy Buffum Chandler in 1963.
(John Malmin / Los Angeles Times)

CALIFORNIA

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— A pistachio feud between two major industry players is embroiling the county of Fresno. At its heart is a struggle for the future of the state’s $2.6-billion business.

— L.A. County officials will study whether solo drivers who pay a toll should get to use the 405’s carpool lane through the Sepulveda Pass.

— Amid an exodus of some insurers from communities hit hard by wildfires, regulators have imposed a one-year moratorium banning insurers from dropping policies for homeowners in such areas.

— The Broad Center, which has drawn praise and suspicion for its training of school district leaders, will move from L.A. to Yale University, along with a $100-million gift from its founder.

— The behavior of a prominent UCLA Health gynecologist during an exam with a married mother of four amounted to sexual assault and harassment, an investigative report found.

YOUR WEEKEND

— Spiked eggnog spritz cookies. Rosy olive oil and date rugelach. Golden oat milk creme pies. These are our 12 Days of Holiday Cookies and the recipes for how to make them.

— At Pasadena’s Máquina Taco, our critic considers tacos made with rib-eye, lobster and “triparrón.”

Tamales, train rides and tree lighting events are among this weekend’s events close to L.A.

— Your guide to Monterey: tide pools, tacos and more.

HOLLYWOOD AND THE ARTS

— Here’s our hand-curated playlist of some of the year’s most notable original songs from movies, some of which seem destined for Oscar consideration.

— The soundscape of “Joker” came to life with the help of music, sirens and Gotham itself.

Robin Thicke wanted a comeback. So naturally he turned to a weird TV singing competition involving elaborate, near-psychedelic masks.

Justin Bieber wants his fans to help him fight racism. He was once accused of it.

NATION-WORLD

— Authorities in India say four men suspected of raping and killing a woman in the southern city of Hyderabad were fatally shot by police.

Paris police fired tear gas at demonstrators as the Eiffel Tower shut down, high-speed trains stopped and tens of thousands marched nationwide in a strike over a pension overhaul.

Police killings of unarmed black people may affect the health of black babies before they’re even born, a study of nearly 1,900 fatal police encounters and millions of birth records in California suggests.

— Democrats say a deal on a stalled NAFTA reboot is in reach and want Mexico to accept a compromise on labor-rights enforcement.

— But as the U.S. attorney general visited Mexico’s president, there was no public indication the nations had bridged their divide over Trump’s plans to classify drug cartels as terrorist organizations.

BUSINESS

Uber has found more than 3,000 allegations of sexual assaults involving drivers or passengers in the U.S. last year.

— Rich Battista is out as CEO of Imagine Entertainment, the production company founded by Ron Howard and Brian Grazer. It’s a surprise move that caps an unusually short stint in the top job.

Bill Nye, better known on TV as the Science Guy, got the green light to go to an L.A. jury trial with his $28-million case accusing Disney of improperly holding onto millions in profits from his popular syndicated show.

SPORTS

— Columnist Arash Markazi says USC athletic director Mike Bohn has doubled down on his predecessors’ mistakes by keeping Clay Helton as football coach, and the issues with Helton go beyond wins and losses.

— If it doesn’t pursue football excellence, USC just isn’t USC, columnist Dylan Hernandez writes.

Jessie Fleming’s talent and leadership are helping fuel UCLA’s title aspirations in women’s soccer.

OPINION

— For more proof the death penalty is irredeemably flawed, consider that a serial jailhouse informant helped send a likely innocent man to death row, Scott Martelle writes.

— A new U.S. visa requirement is silencing foreign filmmakers, writes Simon Kilmurry, who heads the International Documentary Assn.

WHAT OUR EDITORS ARE READING

— How some women with power wield it to silence women with less. (Longreads)

Distracted drivers refuse to put down their cellphones, as these graphics show. People keep dying as a result. (Bloomberg)

—The “Peloton husband” wonders “what repercussions will come back to me” for being in an ad that has received criticism. (Psychology Today)

ONLY IN L.A.

“Nothing stops a bullet like a job” has long been the mantra of Father Gregory Boyle, whose L.A. nonprofit Homeboy Industries serves ex-gang members and formerly incarcerated people, providing jobs through enterprises such as Homeboy Bakery, Homegirl Café, a silkscreen shop and a grocery division selling salsa and guacamole. It also offers education, counseling, access to temporary housing and more.

Now it’s moving forward on plans to offer transitional housing, with its own facility for about 100 program participants. “The number of homies who are living in their car or couch surfing is astounding,” Boyle told The Times during an interview about his book, “Barking to the Choir.” “Sixty percent of all gang members are essentially, effectively homeless.” (Boyle will discuss the book Dec. 16 with the Los Angeles Times Book Club. It’s sold out, but subscribe to the Book Club newsletter for the latest events and updates.)

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