The following stories are under consideration:
TANKERS-ATTACK-OPTIONS:LA_President Donald Trump and Iranian leaders traded accusations Friday over who was responsible for fiery explosions that crippled two oil tankers off Iran's coast, but both sides appeared cautious not to go beyond a war of words, at least for now, to avoid a direct military confrontation. After blaming Iran hours after what appeared to be coordinated attacks on a Japanese and a Norwegian tanker on Thursday, the Trump administration considered options Friday but showed no immediate sign of responding. Options include providing armed escorts to vessels navigating vulnerable shipping lanes of the Strait of Hormuz, reflagging tankers of friendly nations with the U.S. flag to entitle them to U.S. naval protection, and adding more sanctions to what is already a long blacklist. By Tracy Wilkinson and David S. Cloud in Washington and Nabih Bulos in Beirut.
BIEL-VACCINES-CELEBRITIES:LA_Jessica Biel may have thought she could quietly slip into California's Capitol this week to lobby against a bill to tighten vaccine requirements, without damage to her brand or reputation. But the massive online response to her visit demonstrated how public opinion has shifted since celebrities last waded into the vaccination debate. Biel, who is married to Justin Timberlake, posed for selfies with lawmakers in their offices Tuesday and greeted others on the red-carpeted Senate floor, where an electronic message board welcomed her. But the moment her Capitol companion _ anti-vaccine advocate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. _ posted pictures online of the actress' lobbying efforts, a public that overwhelmingly supports mandatory vaccinations unleashed an avalanche of criticism. That kind of lashing may be one reason that celebrities active in opposing state immunization legislation in 2015 _ Jenny McCarthy, Jim Carrey, Alicia Silverstone and Jenna Elfman among them _ have hesitated to join Biel in publicly lobbying against this year's legislation. By Melody Gutierrez and Soumya Karlamangla in Sacramento, Calif. (Moved.)
LAPD-ROBERTS-CONNELLY:LA_Mitzi Roberts always wanted to talk to serial killers. A Los Angeles bartender and diner manager, Roberts was used to seeing cops stagger into her establishments, seeking a bite or a beer after their shift. Conversation between the investigators and Roberts, a self-described true-crime "fanatic," came easily. She told them of her desire to chase predators. At some point, one of them suggested a career change. The move from diner manager to detective set Roberts on a career path that saw her climb the ranks of the Los Angeles Police Department _ from a graveyard shift that is sometimes home to cops who have "screwed up" to a treasured spot in the elite Robbery-Homicide Division. After years spent fighting an uphill battle as a woman traversing a department long regarded as a boys' club, Roberts found herself zipping around the southeastern United States on a collision course with one of America's most prolific killers. The veteran detective's career history may read like it borrows a bit from the jacket copy of a popular crime novel, but it's actually the other way around. In her 24-year career, Roberts has not only found herself involved in some of L.A.'s most infamous cases, but she's also served as a muse to the city's modern master of detective fiction. By James Queally in Los Angeles. (Moving at a later date)
CMP-UCLA-GYNECOLOGIST:LA_In June 2017, a married mother of four experiencing severe pelvic pain went to see a University of California, Los Angeles gynecologist. Dr. James Mason Heaps, she alleged, improperly touched her genitals, fondled her breast and buttock and made sexual remarks during the exam. She reported the conduct to UCLA in December. Once notified, UCLA officials could have immediately removed Heaps from campus or restricted his practice to protect the public while investigating the allegations, as allowed under University of California guidelines. They could have warned the campus community _ which federal law requires if university officials decide someone accused of sexual assault is a safety threat. They could have encouraged other potential victims to step forward. UCLA officials did none of these things before announcing Heaps' retirement last June without telling the public they found he had committed sexual misconduct. The failure to do so exposed the public to further harm and undermined what the University of California touts as national leadership in overhauling its sexual misconduct policies to become more sensitive to victims and responsive to complaints. By Teresa Watanabe and Jaclyn Cosgrove in Los Angeles.
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