Here are the stories you shouldn’t miss today:
Anti-Semitic Hate Fuels More Fears
On Saturday, the seventh night of Hanukkah, a machete-wielding man wounded five people at the Monsey, N.Y., home of a Hasidic rabbi. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo called the attack “domestic terrorism” and said it was one of 13 acts of anti-Semitism in his state since Dec. 8.
New York is far from alone. Just this month, a gunman targeted a kosher grocery store in Jersey City, N.J., and a Beverly Hills synagogue was vandalized. In April, an attack left one person dead and three others wounded at a synagogue outside San Diego.
The violence has led to growing fears in the Jewish community. “I do not recall any time I’ve been as concerned as I am now,” says Rabbi Marvin Hier of the Simon Wiesenthal Center. ”We’re in uncharted territory. Unless we do something, the results will be horrific and unprecedented in American history.”
The Latest From Washington
— Rep. John Lewis of Georgia says he has Stage 4 pancreatic cancer. He vowed to stay in office and fight the disease with the tenacity that he fought racial discrimination and other inequalities since the civil rights era.
— U.S. warplanes struck an Iraqi paramilitary faction in Iraq and Syria that Washington had accused of conducting repeated attacks on U.S.-led coalition forces, including an attack on Friday that killed an American contractor in northern Iraq.
— Former Vice President Joe Biden sought to clarify his assertion that if the Senate subpoenas him to testify in President Trump’s impeachment trial, he will defy the order. But he did not clear up what he would do.
Love in the Time of DACA
Dating is hard enough. Add in the question of one’s legal status, and it can be heartbreaking. Now, with the fate of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program in the air, many so-called Dreamers are struggling with how to start (or end) romantic relationships.
A Silent Threat
Lead-based paint was banned in 1978 after studies linked lead exposure to irreversible brain damage and stunted development in kids. Most homes in L.A. County were built before then, and roughly 2,000 children each year are still diagnosed with unsafe lead levels in their blood. The problem is especially acute in South Los Angeles. A settlement with paint companies means the county will receive $134 million to eliminate hazards, but that money won’t go far enough to pay for all the work needed.
The Year That Was
Homelessness. Natural disasters. Immigration. Impeachment. As we count down the hours to 2019 (and for that matter, the 2010s), we’re looking back at the storylines that shaped this year. In L.A., homelessness truly felt like a crisis in every corner. In California, there were two large earthquakes, power outages and fires. In Washington, it may have been Trump’s most successful year yet for restricting immigration. And in the big picture, the urgency and hysteria of the news often overshadowed rare moments of beauty.
MORE FROM THE YEAR IN REVIEW
— A year of covering Trump in the White House can leave one’s head spinning.
— The most read L.A. Times stories of the year.
— Internet obsessions, from Baby Yoda to “OK, boomer.”
— Our restaurant critics’ picks for the 15 best dishes in L.A.
Tomorrow, we’ll look at the year ahead.
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OUR MUST-READS FROM THE WEEKEND
— Los Angeles is spending billions of dollars over 10 years in a historic bid to move people from the streets into housing and to ease a worsening homeless crisis. But there are those who have tried to live in the housing and cannot make it. The reasons are complicated.
— Before the deadly Conception boat fire on Labor Day, some captains say, a Coast Guard safety rule regarding nighttime watches was ignored.
— Scientific experts warned Congress more than a decade ago that just four teaspoons of radioactive cesium-137 — if spread by a terrorist’s “dirty bomb” — could contaminate up to 10 square miles. Now, the threat has grown, a Times investigation shows.
— A former Hong Kong police officer says a rift between the force and millions of citizens could be irreparable.
— American retirees are heading to Vietnam for inexpensive housing, cheap healthcare and a rising standard of living. Some are Vietnam War veterans.
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— Authorities say an apartment fire in Hemet that killed a father and two of his children started with a Christmas tree.
— Malibu wants to ban all pesticides, but the state is arguing that such a proposal is against the law.
— Hollywood Hills residents and tour companies are at odds over tour buses and vans. The L.A. City Council is considering new restrictions.
HOLLYWOOD AND THE ARTS
— You may know of the reality show “Flirty Dancing” from a viral video. The U.S. version, on Fox, comes with a twist.
— The second season of Netflix’s soapy thriller “You” is full of L.A. stereotypes. Here’s why.
— The latest indignity to be suffered by the “Cats” movie? It’s been scratched from Universal’s awards season website.
— Police say congregants at a church near Fort Worth shot and killed a man who had opened fire inside. The attacker killed two people.
— Taliban officials say its ruling council has agreed to a temporary cease-fire in Afghanistan, providing a window in which a peace agreement with the United States can be signed.
— Libya’s civil war has long had an international flavor, with no fewer than 10 countries engaged in proxy battles. Now, as Turkey prepares to send troops, it also appears to have dispatched Syrian rebel militants too.
— Greece has lifted a ban on cremation after decades of opposition to the practice from the country’s powerful Orthodox Church.
— The California Consumer Privacy Act is rewriting the rules of the internet … and businesses are having a difficult time keeping up.
— The U.S. stock market is poised to close a banner year, but the rally hasn’t helped half of the nation’s millennials, who either lack the means to invest or are wary of doing so.
— The Rams had a bittersweet farewell at the Coliseum with festivities and a victory, while the Chargers lost and face big offseason questions. Both teams finished the season out of the playoffs and will be heading to the new SoFi Stadium in Inglewood.
— Paul George of the Clippers wants to “keep kids dreaming” in his hometown of Palmdale. He’s worked to refurbish seven courts at four Palmdale parks.
— The L.A. County Sheriff’s Department’s disciplinary system is a mess. In Sheriff Alex Villanueva’s first full year in office, he made it worse.
— It’s been three years since Californians voted to legalize marijuana, but the state is still struggling to figure out the right levels of regulation, taxation and enforcement to apply. Why can’t it find the sweet spot?
WHAT OUR EDITORS ARE READING
— The inside story of Trump’s demand to halt military assistance to Ukraine shows the lengths to which he was willing to go. (New York Times)
— How Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani inserted himself into a shadow effort to force Venezuela’s president to step down, including a 2018 phone call to the president. (Washington Post)
— Remember the Y2K panic? Twenty years ago, it seemed as if the end was nigh. Here’s the real story of what happened. (Popular Mechanics)
ONLY IN CALIFORNIA
Mark Twain once wrote here. Though the articles he put together for the Mountain Messenger newspaper were perhaps not his finest work. “They were awful,” says current editor-publisher Don Russell. “They were just local stories, as I recall, written by a guy with a hangover.” Soon, Twain’s former employer and California’s oldest newspaper — known to the locals in Sierra County as the Mountain Mess — could be closing for good. The operation is for sale, but as Russell says, “Nobody in their right mind would buy this paper.”
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