Newsletter: Today: Why Trump Tower L.A. Doesn’t Exist. The WikiLeaks What-Ifs.

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 Tower L.A. Doesn’t Exist

On Jan. 13, 1990, Donald Trump announced a plan to build the world’s tallest building at the site of the storied Ambassador Hotel on Wilshire Boulevard. Yet a Trump Tower was not to be, thanks to an array of civic forces. Chief among them was the L.A. Unified School District, which eventually developed the site. In a 1997 deposition Trump said the school district had taken the land from him “as viciously as in Nazi Germany.” Though he would later acquire a golf course in Rancho Palos Verdes, Trump’s history in Southern California is dotted with setbacks, lawsuits and big ideas that never materialized.


The WikiLeaks What-Ifs

How often have we heard the phrase “in any other presidential election”? The so far muted reaction to the apparent hacked private emails of Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman on WikiLeaks are a case in point. The Clinton campaign won’t confirm their authenticity, but the posts have featured some embarrassing exchanges that might otherwise dominate the news cycle. Here’s why they haven’t.

More Politics

-- The State Department and FBI denied there was a quid pro quo over the classification of an email related to the Benghazi attack.


-- Trump has claimed without evidence that the election is rigged, but officials are fighting back by describing how elections work.

-- Melania Trump accused the media of colluding with Clinton against her husband, and wishes he wouldn’t tweet so much.

-- How an act of political violence in North Carolina led to something rare: a bipartisan response.

From the Front Lines of Mosul

Black smoke billowed on the horizon. Booms sounded, some from airstrikes, some from suicide bombers. Twenty miles outside the city of Mosul, Iraqi special forces and Kurdish peshmerga gathered at an operating base as the offensive to retake the city from Islamic State began. Times reporter Molly Hennessy-Fiske was there as a lieutenant colonel warned the troops of booby traps, suicide bombers and mines: “We depend on each other to move ahead. This is our decisive battle.”

An Unexpected Apology From the Police

It’s one of the strongest statements a national police figure has made about race: The leader of the country’s largest police organization formally apologized for the “historical mistreatment” of minorities. “While we obviously cannot change the past, it is clear that we must change the future,” Terrence Cunningham told thousands of police chiefs at a San Diego gathering. Here’s how officers and activists reacted.

Venice: ‘Not on My Boardwalk’


Last month we told you about some Venice residents who were contemplating a bid to secede from the city of L.A. as the bohemian beachside enclave deals with mansionization and homelessness. Now the struggle over Venice’s identity is playing out over City Councilman Mike Bonin’s proposal for private security patrols and cleanup crews on the boardwalk and at other homeless gathering places. Would such measures bully homeless people or turn Venice into a homeless “hub”?


-- Police and prosecutors warn that the state is ill-prepared to handle an expected increase in people driving under the influence of pot if Proposition 64 passes.

-- The bribery case against two brothers, the owners of a tow truck company in Huntington Park, seemed like a sure thing. But it was anything but open and shut.

-- Officials say a fourth person has died from gunshot wounds after a gun battle at a popular Jamaican restaurant over the weekend.

-- Solid academics may not be enough to keep six L.A. charter schools open.


-- As more high-profile sexual harassment allegations come to light, women are forcing Hollywood to confront its “casting couch” culture.


-- Tupac Shakur, Janet Jackson, Pearl Jam, Kraftwerk and Jane’s Addiction top a slate of 19 nominees for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

-- Howard Stern, a Democrat, said he wasn’t replaying his interviews with Trump because to do so would be a “betrayal.”

-- “I owe critics nothing”: Director James Gray goes on his own search while creating “The Lost City of Z.”

-- Theater review: The chief reason to see A Noise Within’s production of Molière’s “The Imaginary Invalid”? Apollo Dukakis’ cranky portrayal of the play’s tyrannical hypochondriac.


-- Arrests of migrants who illegally crossed the Southwest U.S. border jumped 23% in the past year, according to Homeland Security figures.

-- The first wave of migrant children who were living in “the Jungle” encampment in Calais, France, has arrived in Britain.

-- Baseball makes a comeback in Taiwan after officials crack down on game-fixing.

-- Science explains why refrigerators sap the flavor from ripe tomatoes.


-- Why Steven Spielberg is teaming up with Alibaba’s Jack Ma.

-- Columnist David Lazarus on how health insurance winds up being sold to the dead.


-- Dodgers Manager Dave Roberts says, “as it stands right now,” Clayton Kershaw won’t pitch again until Game 6 against the Cubs. The teams play Game 3 today.

-- A judge in Canada dismissed an attempt to ban the Cleveland Indians from using their name and logo during the American League Championship Series in Toronto.


-- Max Boot: The Nazi echoes in Trump’s tweets.

-- Jonah Goldberg: The WikiLeaks emails will haunt a Clinton presidency.


-- Trump biographers aren’t surprised by what they’re seeing from a candidate who’s “willing to go to lengths we’ve never seen before.” (Politico)

-- How a Chinese education company built ”special relationships” with U.S. colleges. (Reuters)

-- Pianist Lang Lang writes about the perils of practicing as a child and the joy of eating his mother’s cooking. (The Guardian)


The giant white dome near the Queen Mary in Long Beach was built to house a huge plane in the early 1980s. But after Howard Hughes’ Spruce Goose flew the coop, it served as a roller derby rink, an ice sculpture attraction and as the Bat Cave and Wayne Manor in two Batman films. Now, Carnival Cruise Line, which has long operated out of part of the building, is taking over the entire facility for a new ship terminal. Here is what’s going on under the dome.

Please send comments and ideas to Davan Maharaj.