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The Los Angeles Times in a newspaper vending machine. Photo: Robyn Beck / AFP via Getty Images

Newspaper owner Tronc sold the Los Angeles Times to Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong for $500 million, according to the AP. Soon-Shiong is also buying the publication's sister newspaper, the San Diego Union-Tribune.

The backdrop: The deal comes on the heels of ongoing tensions between the paper’s top ranks and journalists that has spilled into public view in recent weeks.

Who is Patrick Soon-Shiong:

  • Per Axios' Bob Herman, Soon-Shiong is the world's richest doctor and chief executive of NantHealth, and he's reportedly known to hype his own products and steer business back to his own companies.
  • An investigation by the health news website STAT, last year found that Soon-Shiong’s plan to eradicate cancer under his “Cancer MoonShot 2020” has made “very little scientific progress.” The publication said it appears to be a marketing ploy for the doctor to promote his expensive new cancer diagnostic tool.
  • STAT reported Soon-Shiong declined repeated requests for comment, but spokeswoman Jen Hodson sent in statements attributed to him said there has been “remarkable progress.”

Go deeper

DOJ pressed to enforce Al Jazeera foreign agent ruling

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The Justice Department is being pressed to enforce its own demand that the U.S. arm of Qatari broadcaster Al Jazeera register as a foreign agent.

Why it matters: The launch of Al Jazeera's new right-of-center U.S. media venture, Rightly, has refocused attention on the media company's alleged links to Doha, and DOJ's efforts to crack down on media outlets viewed as foreign interest mouthpieces.

Poll: Immigration is America's most-polarizing issue

Data: The American Aspirations Index/Populace; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

Immigration was found to be the most polarizing issue in America based on new polling from Populace.

Why it matters: Americans have surprisingly similar priorities for the U.S., but immigration stands out as one of the few issues with clear partisan differences. It underscores the challenge for advocates and lawmakers hoping to pass immigration reform in the coming weeks amid narrow margins in Congress.

Lawmakers hide behind AG's investigation as Cuomo lingers

A billboard outside Albany, N.Y. Photo: Matthew Cavanaugh/Getty Images

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is politically wounded but not yet dead, several state lawmakers tell Axios.

The state of play: Most are holding their fire and punting to state Attorney General Letitia James' investigation into sexual harassment allegations. They expect the inquiry to be credible and thorough — and buy Cuomo badly needed breathing room.

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