What’s going on with the Iran nuclear deal? 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.
Why Trump Has Stuck With ‘the Worst Deal Ever’
As a candidate, Donald Trump vowed to “rip up” the nuclear deal with Iran as soon as he took office. “The worst deal ever negotiated,” he called it. Since taking office, administration officials have realized that dropping out abruptly could backfire. (Who knew?) After confirming that Iran is complying with the landmark arms control accord, the White House says it is conducting an internal review of it. Here’s why big changes aren’t likely any time soon.
-- A source says Exxon Mobil is seeking permission from the U.S. government to resume drilling around the Black Sea with Russia’s state-owned Rosneft.
-- The number of “Dreamers” deported after being brought illegally to the U.S. as children and losing their protected status because of criminal behavior appears to have soared in the first few months of the Trump administration.
-- Utah Republican Jason Chaffetz says he won’t run for reelection or any other office in 2018. Meanwhile, his GOP colleagues have a problem as they look to next year’s elections, and its name is Trump.
Bill O’Reilly Gets Factored Out at Fox
If Bill O’Reilly said a little prayer when he shook hands with Pope Francis at the Vatican, it didn’t help him keep his job. Hours later, Fox News fired him. Even amid a cloud of sexual harassment complaints by multiple women against him, though, it’s likely there will be a second act for the man who was Fox’s biggest ratings draw. Times columnist Michael Hiltzik says that O’Reilly’s story is all too common: the star who gets away with bad behavior for as long as possible. And Hiltzik makes what might be the first comparison ever between Fox News and UC Berkeley.
Ann Coulter’s Berkeley Bash
Speaking of Berkeley … University officials have canceled conservative columnist Ann Coulter’s appearance next week, citing safety concerns. Recent violent clashes between right- and left-wing protesters have cast a pall over the famously liberal city, and UC Berkeley officials say they feel caught between a rock and hard place in trying to let speakers on the right be heard. That didn’t stop Coulter from bashing the university on Twitter: “No school accepting public funds can ban free speech.” The Berkeley College Republicans still plan to host her off-campus.
Where Even the Minders Have Minders
Missile launch? What missile launch? In North Korea, state media don’t report on failures. So on Saturday, there was no talk of such things, as middle-class families spent the afternoon at the Pyongyang Zoo. L.A. Times foreign correspondent Jonathan Kaiman spent several days last week in the Hermit Kingdom, where even the minders have minders. Here’s what he saw in the post-truth capital of the world — and why he wondered when he’d be allowed to leave.
Drought’s Over, but SoCal’s Trees Aren’t Out of the Woods
O death, thy name is polyphagous shot hole borer beetle. At least it could be for as many as 38% of the trees in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties, according to an official with the U.S. Forest Service. The beetle is just one threat in what he and others are calling an unprecedented die-off of trees in Southern California. It could have dire consequences for the quality of life here.
-- Federal officials say they didn’t deport a “Dreamer” from Calexico, but they acknowledged that his protected immigration status was not due to expire until 2018.
-- Los Angeles lawmakers voted to strengthen city rules surrounding the demolition of rent-controlled apartments.
-- It took 16 years, but the Los Angeles State Historic Park will celebrate its grand opening on Saturday.
-- Watch your step! Rattlesnake season has begun with a vengeance in Southern California.
HOLLYWOOD AND THE ARTS
-- The nonfiction book “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” is coming to life on HBO, with some help from Oprah Winfrey.
-- You know the names Klee and Kandinsky. A new exhibition explains why you also should know Galka Scheyer.
-- New Prince music is on the way, unless his family can stop it.
Cantinflas became Latin America’s most celebrated and beloved comic actor in the 1940s. So much so that his stage name led to the Spanish noun “cantinflada” and verb “cantinflear,” which translate roughly as “babble.” He died on this date in 1993.
-- Arkansas has suffered two more legal setbacks in its bid to carry out a succession of executions this month.
-- The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that people who are freed from prison when their convictions are reversed deserve a refund of what they paid in fees, court costs and restitution.
-- Tens of thousands of Venezuelans used a national holiday to demonstrate yet again against the government of President Nicolas Maduro, and at least two people died.
-- Emirates, the Middle East’s biggest airline, says it is cutting flights to the U.S. because of lower demand caused by heightened U.S. security measures and travel ban attempts.
-- Can scientists rejuvenate an aging brain with a protein found in umbilical cord blood? A study of mice suggests yes.
-- An internal review has found the nation’s top bank regulator knew about problems with Wells Fargo & Co.’s sales practices in 2010 but did not do enough to stop them.
-- Analysts say lots of entry-level cyber security jobs are sitting empty. They make pretty good money too.
-- Is Alex Jones an extreme conspiracy theorist or a giant troll? The answer matters.
-- “Freedom of religion” collides with “freedom from religion” on a Missouri playground.
WHAT OUR EDITORS ARE READING
-- The fallout from Trump’s tweet claiming he was wiretapped could have bigger consequences for national security. (The New Yorker)
-- Are we seeing the early warning signs that Western civilization could collapse? Some academics think so. (BBC)
-- Is the Unicorn Frappuccino made for social media but not for drinking? (NPR)
ONLY IN CALIFORNIA
Rep. Duncan Hunter says he mixed up his credit cards and that’s how $60,000 of his campaign funds were used to pay for personal expenses such as tuition at his kids’ schools and $600 to bring his family’s pet rabbit on a cross-country flight. While an investigation takes place, a San Diego activist has started the Bunny PAC, complete with its own mascot — a giant rabbit. “It’s an androgynous rabbit. He’ll be making an appearance at some point in the future,” the PAC founder says. “The bunny won’t speak. I’ll probably be the bunny’s translator.”
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