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Today: Where Families Are Separated

Today: Where Families Are Separated
U.S. Border Patrol agents arrive to detain a group of Central American asylum seekers near the U.S.-Mexico border on Tuesday in McAllen, Texas. (John Moore / Getty Images)

Concrete floors. Guard towers. Chain-link fence. Inside a converted warehouse, opened in 2014, in the busiest area of the border: Texas’ Rio Grande Valley.

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Where Families Are Separated

Last month, U.S. Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions announced the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy of charging migrants in federal criminal court before their cases reach immigration court. When adults are taken to court, they are separated from their children, who are sent to shelters. The results of the new policy — which President Trump has falsely blamed on Democrats and which members of his administration have defended — have unleashed a torrent of criticism, including from former First Lady Laura Bush. What is it like inside the Border Patrol processing center in McAllen, Texas, where many separations take place? Here is our report.

A Red Scare for Green Groups?

This month, the Republican chairman of a powerful congressional committee said he suspects the Natural Resources Defense Council, one of the United States’ leading environmental groups, has become an agent of China’s Communist Party, because it has praised China’s spotty environmental record while attacking the Trump administration’s. Those in the nonprofit world see a different threat: the targeting of organizations for political purposes, using a federal law requiring the registration of foreign agents.

More Politics

-- As former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort spent a first weekend in jail pending trial on charges brought by the special counsel investigating Russia’s interference in the 2016 election, Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani floated the possibility of presidential pardons for Manafort and others.

-- After the Trump-Kim Jong Un summit, South Koreans are left wondering: Are we better off today than we were a week ago?

A New Era for The Times

After 18 turbulent years under Chicago control, the Los Angeles Times is returning to local ownership. Today, billionaire Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong will close on a $500-million deal for The Times, the San Diego Union-Tribune, Hoy and a handful of community newspapers. “I believe that fake news is the cancer of our times and social media the vehicles for metastasis,” Soon-Shiong wrote in a note to readers over the weekend. As The Times begins a new era, here’s a closer look at our new owner — and an unflinching history of how L.A. and The Times have been inextricably linked for more than 135 years.

Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong takes ownership of the Los Angeles Times today.
Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong takes ownership of the Los Angeles Times today. (Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)

The New Age-Old Question: Where?

Remember Measure HHH? That was the $1.2-billion bond measure to pay for new housing for homeless people that L.A. voters overwhelmingly approved in 2016. Since then, the city has allocated an additional $20 million for temporary shelters. But these days, a familiar story has developed: Plans to build homeless housing or shelters have run up against resistance. Protests in Koreatown have been among the loudest, but residents of Venice are speaking out too.

¡Gooooooooooooooooool!

Mexico’s 1-0 victory over defending champion Germany in the World Cup was only a first-round win, one that doesn’t clinch anything in the monthlong competition in Russia. But this match was bigger than one game. Beside improving its chances on the soccer field, the game gave fans of Mexico’s team a reason to celebrate. “Thanks to the team for giving us this moment of happiness which we lack so much in this country full of disappointments,” said one woman in Mexico City. “Today everyone in Mexico is happy.”

OUR MUST-READS FROM THE WEEKEND

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-- First person: “I am raising my daughter to speak three languages. A stranger demanded that I ‘speak English’ to her.”

-- California’s newest public beach at Hollister Ranch is glorious, but you have to paddle to get there, and as columnist Steve Lopez discovered, the trip is treacherous.

-- Kevin de León’s big challenge in the race for U.S. Senate is to oppose Sen. Dianne Feinstein but keep his future intact.

-- Basra was once a jewel of a city, earning the nickname the Venice of the East. Now it’s a symbol of what went wrong in Iraq.

-- How “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” used the DNA of a beloved franchise to build a bold new universe.

-- Ann Philbin’s two decades as director of the UCLA Hammer Museum have helped turned Los Angeles into a “red-hot center” for contemporary and conceptual art.

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MUST-WATCH VIDEO

-- In Detroit’s busiest emergency room, a man with his own dark past tries to halt a cycle of violence.

-- Film critic Kenneth Turan reviews “Incredibles 2”: It’s the superhero family saga we need right now.

CALIFORNIA

-- After unsuccessfully backing Antonio Villaraigosa and portraying Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom as a dilettante, wealthy charter school backers are extending warm wishes to Newsom and John Cox as they face off in the governor’s race.

-- A spokesman for L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti said there have been instances of “inappropriate behavior” within the mayor’s office but won’t talk about it beyond saying, “They were each handled appropriately.”

-- Activists have lashed out against a city proposal to develop skid row, saying L.A.’s “gentrification” plan threatens one of the last bastions of housing for the very poor.

-- The number of digital billboards along freeways has nearly tripled under Gov. Jerry Brown. Now, officials are proposing commercial ads on state-operated electronic message signs.

HOLLYWOOD AND THE ARTS

-- The Pixar superhero movie “Incredibles 2” smashed the record for highest animation debut of all time, according to the measurement firm ComScore.

-- Domee Shi, the director of the bite-size animated film “Bao” that is shown before “Incredibles 2,” explains how she took inspiration from her own life as a child of immigrants.

-- The HBO documentary “It Will Be Chaos” focuses on refugee stories in and around Europe, yet TV critic Lorraine Ali says the film speaks directly to our own immigration crisis.

-- On opening night at the Hollywood Bowl, Diana Ross reigned supreme with an unexpected performance of “Amazing Grace.”

CLASSIC HOLLYWOOD

Jerry Lewis was the King of Comedy, but he was inspired by the Little Tramp. “Charlie Chaplin was the icon he hoped to equal,” says Lewis’ son Chris. “Later in life, he became friends with Charlie” — a friendship that began when Lewis directed his first film, “The Bellboy,” in 1960.

NATION-WORLD

-- A strong earthquake knocked over walls and set off scattered fires around metropolitan Osaka in western Japan, killing at least three people and injuring dozens.

-- In New Jersey, gunmen opened fire at an all-night arts and music festival, authorities said. One suspect was killed, and 22 people, including two suspects, were injured.

-- In Colombia, right-wing Sen. Ivan Duque easily defeated left-wing former guerrilla Gustavo Petro in the presidential runoff election. He’ll lead a country struggling with divisions over a troubled peace deal.

-- Pope Francis denounced the use of abortion to avoid birth defects as the “white glove” equivalent of the Nazi-era eugenics program and urged families to accept the children that God gives them.

BUSINESS

-- The Pentagon is looking to build tech partnerships in Silicon Valley, but not all has gone smoothly. Employee pushback recently led Google to not renew a contract that allowed the military to use artificial intelligence tools to analyze drone video.

-- Columnist Michael Hiltzik looks at why Tesla is fighting a California rule saying that state rebates for electric cars can go only to manufacturers certified as “fair and responsible” in their treatment of workers.

SPORTS

-- Golfer Brooks Koepka repeated as U.S. Open champion with a win at Shinnecock Hills, but the most talked-about shot was more of a Happy Gilmore-style slap at a moving ball.

-- David Goeddel’s sons grew up to be Dodgers after he invented a substance now banned by major league baseball.

OPINION

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-- After nearly a century, now is the time to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment. No more waiting.

-- Why does so much city-owned land sit idle in Los Angeles?

WHAT OUR EDITORS ARE READING

-- Some parents are being deported from the United States without their children. (New York Times)

-- Meet the man who is giving the final tours of the L.A. Times’ historic downtown L.A. headquarters before the newsroom moves to El Segundo. (L.A. Taco)

-- Samuel L. Jackson ranks his top 20 favorite roles. (The Undefeated)

ONLY IN L.A.

John Brown is a former “Mr. Universe” and “Mr. World.” These days, he’s known as “the LaVar Ball of College Football.” Like Ball, he wants fame for his boys: He named his sons Equanimeous, Osiris and Amon-ra and added a “St.” to their surnames to help them stand out. He also serves as their chef, trainer and chief critic. Now, his youngest is off to USC.

If you like this newsletter, please share it with friends. Comments or ideas? Email us at headlines@latimes.com.

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