I’m Davan Maharaj, editor of the Los Angeles Times. Many disgusted Mexicans think they know how “El Chapo” really got out of prison; and negotiators say they’ve come to terms on a deal to curb Iran’s nuclear ambitions. Here are some story lines I don’t want you to miss today.
Who Let ‘El Chapo’ Out?
Cynicism about the government is a national pastime in Mexico, but the prison escape of cartel kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman -- his second -- was singularly galling. How do you build a mile-long, air-conditioned tunnel, right up to your prison shower, and just slip away? Many Mexicans think they know: He got, or bought, help in high places.
A Deal With Iran
Barring more last-minute snags -- there have been plenty -- the U.S. and other world powers announced terms of a deal today to keep Iran from making a nuclear weapon, at least for a while. As usual, the devil is in the details, and the deal is sure to touch off more intense debate in the U.S. over whether it’s good enough. Here’s what we know so far.
President Obama commuted sentences of 46 nonviolent drug offenders, hoping to make a point: We spend $80 billion a year to keep people locked up, and many of them don’t need to be. He’ll lay out a justice reform plan this week. Activists praised Obama’s 46 acts of mercy but said they were a “drop in the bucket” compared with what they hope he’ll do before he leaves office.
Back From the Brink
Greece has crawled out of the fiscal frying pan, but the fire is still plenty hot. Under the latest European bailout plan, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras must get lawmakers to approve harsh austerity measures similar to, if not tougher than, the ones he noisily persuaded Greek voters to reject in a referendum. Now it boils down to trust: Can Greece really do what it says it will?
Joining the Fight
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker officially joined the crowded field of Republican presidential candidates, using the word “fight” 13 times in his speech. He’ll need plenty to stay near the head of a noisy, right-leaning pack. He’s shown his chops in Wisconsin, a Democratic state, by taking down labor unions and surviving a recall. The national stage will be more daunting.
Pluto’s Star Turn
It may be the biggest day for Pluto, or at least for Pluto fans, since it was demoted out of our family of planets in 2006. After a journey that started around the time of that indignity, NASA’s New Horizons explorer has zoomed past what is now called a “dwarf planet.” Scientists say we stand to learn plenty, and early data already are turning up some surprises.
-- The official overseeing all California prison medical care returns control to the state at Folsom Prison, a big step in ending federal intervention at state lockups.
-- Some therapists say the state’s new child-porn reporting law is hindering treatment.
-- Legislators consider a proposal to curb police ability to keep money, cars and homes seized from suspects who have not been charged.
-- A suspect is arrested in a Vallejo kidnapping that police had said was a hoax.
-- Police in Northern California shoot and kill a man suspected in the disappearance of his 6-month-old daughter.
-- A Boston police officer’s son is arrested in what the FBI alleges was a plot to attack a university.
-- The Pentagon takes a step toward lifting a ban on transgender troops.
-- The Boy Scouts of America moves closer to accepting gay troop leaders.
-- Gas prices take a 40-cent-a-gallon jump over the weekend. Relief is in sight but of course prices won’t fall that fast.
-- Hillary Clinton lays out some of her economic policies, including profit-sharing as a possible way to boost middle-class workers’ incomes.
-- David Lazarus: CVS takes the high road in a clash with the Chamber of Commerce.
-- Cincinnatti slugger Todd Frazier bests the Dodgers’ Joc Pederson for the Home Run Derby crown.
-- The latest scores, stats and schedules.
--- Comcast, dipping a toe into the world of cord cutters, will offer a limited video streaming service.
-- Nintendo loses a company legend with the death of President Satoru Iwata at 55 from cancer. The game industry lost one of its most voracious risk takers -- the force behind Wii.
-- Rapper 50 Cent files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy after a verdict in a sex tape lawsuit.
WHAT OUR EDITORS ARE READING
-- California may be watching for the Big One, but the Really Big One could hit the Northwest, the New Yorker reports.
-- “Flight Attendant Internet” -- a place for them to vent (BuzzFeed).
-- In the Atlantic, a few ardent Donald Trump supporters have their say.
ONLY IN CALIFORNIA
Street art or vandalism? The arrest of noted L.A. artist Shepard Fairey on a destruction-of-property charge in Detroit ads a new twist to that question. Fairey is famed for the Barack Obama “Hope” poster, celebrated in museums and sought for commercial projects worldwide. As such artists gain acceptance, even appreciation, how might it change the debate?
Please send comments and ideas to Davan Maharaj.