I'm Davan Maharaj, editor-in-chief of the Los Angeles Times. Here are some story lines I don't want you to miss today.
Trump Makes a Run for the Border
Donald Trump’s aides say they are wasting no time on an issue that helped propel him to the White House: transforming the immigration system. Within hours of taking office Friday, Trump could clear the way for workplace raids targeting those in the country illegally, step up deportations and reduce the number of refugees allowed into the U.S. Other changes could unfold more slowly.
-- Trump’s inauguration speech: “He wants to talk about his vision.”
A Tempestuous Climate Ahead
California is bracing for another series of storms over several days, but that’s nothing compared with the tempest brewing over climate change. Just as Trump’s nominee to lead the Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt, was being grilled on Capitol Hill, NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said 2016 was the hottest year since scientists began tracking Earth’s temperature more than 100 years ago. Pruitt expressed doubt over the mainstream scientific consensus that the warming is happening at a catastrophic pace. Furthermore, Pruitt said he could not commit on whether California should continue to have the power to impose its own emission rules for cars and trucks.
What Was Sprayed on an Apache Reservation?
The San Carlos Apache Reservation in Arizona has had a litany of pollution problems stemming to when it opened in the late 1800s and got the name “Hell’s 40 Acres.” Half a century ago, the land was used for tests involving a chemical cocktail with components similar to Agent Orange. People who lived there say they had no idea what was raining down on them. This month, the EPA is sending investigators to look into what exactly was sprayed and what lingering effects it may have.
Move-in Ready for Just $250,000,000
It has 12 bedrooms, 21 bathrooms, three kitchens, a 40-seat movie theater, an infinity pool with a swim-up bar, and a host of amenities, including a helicopter, exotic car collection and seven full-time employees. This newly built Bel-Air house was just listed for a quarter-billion dollars. Get a look inside and meet the developer with a larger-than-life personality who is behind the most expensive home for sale in the U.S. Not ready to buy? There’s a house nearby under construction with a target asking price of $500 million.
Hustle and Snow at Sundance
In the indie movie world, the Sundance Film Festival is the place to see and be seen. Deals are made and buzz is built for the films that could be Oscar contenders in the next year. That’s why The Times has sent a team to Park City, Utah, to cover all the action. Film critic Kenneth Turan previews the best English-language films, including one called “L.A. Times,” which is “not an examination of this newspaper but a romantic comedy with a decidedly acerbic tone.”
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-- As L.A. expects protests on Inauguration Day, police will face a familiar challenge: how to balance protesters’ constitutional rights with public safety.
-- Rick Caruso, the developer of a residential tower planned near the Beverly Center, said he will reduce the height of his project from 20 stories to 16.
-- The Playa Vista business manager for singer Alanis Morissette has admitted that he embezzled millions of dollars from the musician, according to a federal court document.
-- A hiker was rescued by helicopter this week as she clung to her ice ax after sliding 50 feet down a snow-covered peak near the Mt. Baldy Summit.
HOLLYWOOD AND THE ARTS
-- The Asian American band the Slants took its trademark battle to the Supreme Court: Is it free speech or a racial slur?
-- Get to know some of the musicians performing for Trump and remember those who appeared for Obama.
-- Meanwhile in L.A., the protest rap group Prophets of Rage has announced an “Anti-Inaugural Ball.”
-- The fab four of “Will & Grace” are back for a 10-episode limited run of the show.
-- At 80, composer Steve Reich has his finger on the pulse of a bewildered country.
-- The U.S. abortion rate has hit its lowest point since the procedure became legal nationwide in 1973, according to a new study.
-- The collapse of a high-rise building in Tehran engulfed by a fire has killed dozens of firefighters and injured many others.
-- A 15-year-old student opened fire at a private school in the northern Mexican city of Monterrey, shooting a teacher and two other students in the head before killing himself.
-- A South Korean court ruled that prosecutors lacked sufficient grounds to arrest the de facto head of Samsung Electronics in a bribery case.
-- A police operation to demolish about a dozen buildings in an Israeli Bedouin village turned deadly and inflamed tensions in the region. See our video from the scene.
-- Wildfires, sea level rise, coral bleaching: Climate change is already here.
-- The federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau sued the nation’s largest servicer of student loans, alleging that Navient Corp. cheated borrowers.
-- The Chargers’ decision to join the Rams at a splashy new stadium in Inglewood has at least one builder even more pumped up about the city’s prospects.
-- Speaking of the Chargers … they held a rally to embrace their new L.A. home, but a heckler still had San Diego on his mind.
-- Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines and Ivan Rodriguez were elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.
-- Words of encouragement for Trump from James Buchanan, 15th and worst president of the United States.
-- Will Trump be a “transformative” president? Here’s how he could succeed.
WHAT OUR EDITORS ARE READING
-- A lot of House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s constituents in the Central Valley rely on insurance via the Obamacare expansion of Medicaid. (Sacramento Bee)
-- What technology issues should you know about? The editors at the MIT Press have narrowed it down to 10. (WBUR)
ONLY IN CALIFORNIA
How does one library book rack up $3,650 in late fees? When it’s 100 years overdue. Fortunately for the man whose great-grandmother checked out the book in 1917, the San Francisco Public Library has an amnesty program, so he won’t have to pay the fines on the collection of short stories with an apropos title: “Forty Minutes Late.”
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