I'm Davan Maharaj, editor of the Los Angeles Times. Big health insurers are speed-dating for deals that might or might not be good for patients; and Donald Trump brings some unreality to the White House race. Here are some story lines I don't want you to miss today.
Healthy Deals -- or Not
Health insurers are speed-dating. Multibillion-dollar deals are in the works. The big three -- UnitedHealth, Anthem and Aetna -- will get even stronger, analysts predict. It's driven by Obamacare. More insured people mean more opportunity. Bigger insurers mean more power to cut better prices for drugs and care. Savings aren't likely to be passed to patients, analysts say.
Trump Jumps In
The GOP presidential field has a CEO, a doctor, three senators and a senator-doctor. Now it has a reality TV star. Donald Trump says he's all in. He trashed just about everyone in a zinger-filled speech. Democrats are gleeful. Republicans aren't. With his billions and famous name, Trump could make the polling cut to reach the debate stage -- and suck a lot of air out of the room.
They sit in dimly lighted spaces, toggling joysticks and staring at monitors, spying on enemies and perhaps firing missiles, sometimes for 12 hours at a stretch. These are not teenage video game addicts. They're highly trained military pilots who fly U.S. drones around the world from trailers in Nevada. They're getting tired, and the Air Force says it doesn't have enough of them.
The Brothers Bush
Jeb and George W. Bush share a political philosophy -- both are more conservative Republicans than their father, George H.W. -- but that hardly means they always get along. It's a complex brotherly relationship marked by fierce rivalry, hurt feelings and estrangement. Mark Z. Barabak takes an intriguing compare-and-contrast look into a political family dynasty.
Kirk Kerkorian, the Quiet Tycoon
He was an eighth-grade dropout who specialized in nothing -- and everything. He grabbed huge chunks of Chrysler when it seemed doomed and sold it for profit. Ditto with GM. He bought MGM three times. He knew right away that the mob was onto something in Vegas, and he dived in. He was once the richest man in L.A. Kirk Kerkorian has died at 98. Here's his remarkable story.
-- After a Times investigation, L.A. officials move to revamp a broken Fire Department regime that is months, even years, behind on inspections of large structures.
-- Six people, most of them students from Ireland, die after an apartment balcony collapses in Berkeley during a party.
-- Immigrant children in the country illegally would receive public healthcare coverage under a budget deal reached by Gov. Jerry Brown and legislative leaders.
-- Gov. Brown and top legislators strike a budget deal that hews closer to his conservative revenue and spending outlook.
-- There'll be no autopsy on a girl who died after riding a Magic Mountain roller coaster.
-- Nearly two-thirds of Americans in a poll say Congress should ensure that people in every state can get subsided insurance through Obamacare.
-- The FDA says trans fats must be out of the food supply in three years.
-- "I identify as black," Rachel Dolezal says on TV. She also casts doubt on her biological parents.
-- An Egyptian court upholds a death sentence for former President Mohamed Morsi.
-- Kurdish fighters up their game with the taking of a key Syrian border town from Islamic State militants.
-- Why Gap is struggling: unflattering clothes.
-- For the first time, E3 is letting fans into its closely watched video gaming convention.
-- James Murdoch will become the chief executive of 21st Century Fox on July 21.
--The Golden State Warriors win the NBA championship, defeating the Cleveland Cavaliers, 105-97, in Game 6.
-- Women's World Cup: The U.S. defeats Nigeria, 1-0, to reach the round of 16.
-- The Cardinal Way? Bill Plaschke dissects allegations that someone at the St. Louis Cardinals hacked into the Houston Astros' database.
-- The latest scores and stats.
-- The Broad museum, for its fall opening, is beefing up its postwar and contemporary collection with more than 50 new works.
-- An irate Neil Young says Donald Trump is "not authorized" to rock in the free world.
Passings: Blaze Starr, 83, the stripper best known for an affair with Louisiana Gov. Earl Long.
WHAT OUR EDITORS ARE READING
-- Are digital media making us selfish and isolated? Quartz examines what Pope Francis has to say.
-- Sandra Day O'Connor on how to rustle a calf, and a few other issues.
-- Washington Post: Why Jeb Bush and his family should never be underestimated when they enter a contest.
-- Smithsonian.com revisits "All Quiet on the Western Front" -- the "most loved and hated novel about World War I."
ONLY IN L.A.
One person's trash is another's treasure. Therein lies a problem as L.A. officials decide how to make it easier to remove homeless people's belongings from streets and parks. Writer Gale Holland and photographer Katie Falkenberg went out to take a look at what some of them actually have. Practical things, poignant things, just plain weird things -- and every bit of it important to its owners.
Please send comments and ideas to Davan Maharaj.Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times