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Essential California: When the Great American Eclipse came to a sky near you

Good morning, and welcome to the Essential California newsletter. It’s Tuesday, Aug. 22, and here’s what’s happening across California: TOP STORIES Sun’s out … All around California, huge crowds gathered to watch the Great American Eclipse as it moved across the sky. Hundreds of people swarmed the grassy lawn outside ...

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Evangelicals Are Bitterly Split Over Advising Trump

Last week, a few days after white supremacists rallied in Charlottesville, A.R. Bernard became the first member of President Trump’s evangelical advisory board to resign. “It became obvious that there was a deepening conflict in values between myself and the administration,” the pastor of New York City’s Christian Cultural Center ...

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Trump Backs a Surge into Afghanistan He's Unfit to Lead

Is the war in Afghanistan winnable? I fear not, under any commander in chief. I suspect withdrawal in the very near future would be the best course among a set of bad options. If the U.S. is going to surge more troops into its longest war, however, doing so under ...

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With political turmoil raging back home, L.A.'s Venezuelan community shows solidarity from abroad

Eleazar Saldivia is still bitter at the turn of events that led him from a career as a federal criminal judge in Venezuela to driving for Uber in Los Angeles. But he doesn’t regret the decision to leave his life and home behind. In 2013, Saldivia began a trial in ...

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Transplantees Find Catharsis in Holding Their Old Hearts

Kamisha Hendrix’s heart lay on the table between us. Seventy days ago, this heart had been beating inside of her, back behind the dark scar that plunged into the neckline of her blouse. “No—my heart didn’t beat,” Hendrix clarified. “It trembled.” The chemo used to treat her non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma had ...

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Growing Up in the Shadow of the Confederacy

For most of my life I didn’t know Confederate statues could come down. Throughout my childhood, those equestrian statues of victory, obelisks, and granite figures of soldiers were as immovable and immutable as the hills and the lakes. Other symbols of the South as it was before 1865 were also ...

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From the Archives: $20,000 worth of marijuana harvested, burned in 1948

The plants were believed to be just plain weeds. But they still had to be gathered up and burned. A story in the Sept. 9, 1948, L.A. Times reported: Marijuana valued at $20,000 went up in smoke yesterday — but not puff by puff. An even dozen “trees” of the ...

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Trump's Depressingly Normal Speech About Afghanistan

On Monday evening, Donald Trump gave a speech about Afghanistan that we might have heard from any mainstream politician over the past 15 years. In some realms, the idea of a “normal” presentation by Trump would be heartening. For instance, as I noted last week, among the usual expectations of ...

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L.A. County sheriff's sergeant is charged after accusations he demanded sexual favors from a subordinate

A Los Angeles County sheriff’s sergeant is accused of fondling a deputy he supervised and forcing her to provide sexual favors in their workplace in exchange for his approving her time-off requests, according to a district attorney’s memorandum. Sgt. Michael John Spina was arrested Aug. 9 and charged with two ...

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L.A. County sheriff's sergeant is charged after accusations he demanded sexual favors from a subordinate

A Los Angeles County sheriff’s sergeant is accused of fondling a deputy he supervised and forcing her to provide sexual favors in their workplace in exchange for his approving her time-off requests, according to a district attorney’s memorandum. Sgt. Michael John Spina was arrested Aug. 9 and charged with two ...

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