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.
The Big Score for the GOP Plan: No Healthcare for Millions
The White House cried foul. House Republicans tried to find bright spots. But the numbers from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office on the House Republican healthcare plan don't look good for lower-income Americans and those nearing retirement. By 2026, 24 million fewer Americans would have health coverage than under the Affordable Care Act. Fourteen million fewer poor people would be covered by Medicaid. Cost savings to the federal government: $337 billion over the next decade. (Read the full CBO report here.) Will the findings slow the GOP's push to advance the bill through the House by as soon as next week? Meanwhile, columnist Michael Hiltzik gives some examples that he feels say a lot.
-- IRS records show the nonprofit run by white nationalist Richard Spencer has lost its tax-exempt status for failing to file tax returns with the federal government.
-- The Justice Department asked for more time to provide evidence for President Trump's unproven assertion that his predecessor wiretapped Trump Tower.
-- A House bill under review would allow employers to impose hefty penalties on employees who decline to participate in genetic testing as part of workplace wellness programs.
-- An internal poll by California Republican Rep. Darrell Issa showed his support of Trump hurt Issa's favorability ratings last year. He has since distanced himself from the president.
How to Police Your Border, DIY-Style
Remember the Minuteman Project? In Bulgaria, along the border with Turkey, volunteer brigades are on the prowl looking to stop Muslim migrants from entering Europe. Times foreign correspondent Shashank Bengali checked in on perhaps the country's largest far-right vigilante group, as its members trained in a snowy forest wearing combat fatigues.
'Room for Rent' in Little Saigon
Behind the bustle of shopping centers and restaurants in Orange County's Little Saigon lies a quiet world of struggle for those trying to make ends meet. Some are in low-wage jobs or trying to put their lives back together; others are foreign students or traveling salesmen. They find tiny rooms to rent in Vietnamese newspaper classified ads. No credit checks or contracts are involved. Cash and a bit of trust usually suffice.
Criminal Suspects, Take Note: Our Sheriff's Deputies Now Wear Gold Belt Buckles
L.A. County Sheriff Jim McDonnell is spending $300,000 on a minor makeover of deputies' uniforms: changing the color of their belt buckles, belt snaps, baton rings and key holders from silver to gold. McDonnell says it will make them look more professional and that will better convey to a suspect that a deputy is in control. Some rank-and-file deputies would rather see the money go elsewhere, especially when the department is tightening its belt.
That's One Way to Lower Student Debt
The odds of it making past Gov. Jerry Brown's scrutiny aren't very high, but California lawmakers have proposed what would be the most generous college aid plan in the U.S. It would cover not only tuition but also living expenses for nearly 400,000 Cal State and UC students, and increase grants to community college students. Estimated price tag: $1.6 billion per year.
-- Carol T. Christ will become UC Berkeley's first female chancellor. She'll be taking over at a critical time for the university.
-- The L.A. Pride Parade in West Hollywood will be replaced this year with a protest march for human rights.
-- Authorities are investigating vandalism at the Trump National Golf Club in Rancho Palos Verdes.
-- An L.A. warehouse fire over the weekend left a pungent odor, thanks to a supply of chili peppers that went up in smoke.
HOLLYWOOD AND THE ARTS
-- "The Perfect American" is an opera few wanted to touch. So how did a production of the work about Walt Disney's last days play in Long Beach? Critic Mark Swed takes it in.
-- The documentary "Cries From Syria" displays a side of the war few Americans know or are willing to expose themselves to. It will be shown on HBO.
-- Is James Franco's "The Disaster Artist" a great movie about the greatest bad movie? Here's the reaction from South by Southwest.
-- Amy Krouse Rosenthal, an author and filmmaker who wrote the heart-wrenching column "You May Want to Marry My Husband" as she battled ovarian cancer, has died at age 51.
Twenty years ago, a simple movie about the love lives of black artists in Chicago hit theaters. How did "Love Jones" become a classic? This oral history with the cast and crew puts it all together.
-- East Mosul may be free from Islamic State control, but a tour of the city shows it's far from secure.
-- Poland will seek the extradition of a Minnesota man exposed by the Associated Press as a former commander in an SS-led unit that killed civilians in World War II.
-- The leader of Scotland has announced plans to seek a second independence referendum, throwing the future unity of Britain into fresh doubt.
-- Turkey's feud with Europe widens, and politicians on both sides may reap rewards.
-- Your kids aren't killing you. A study says that one day they may actually help you live longer.
-- "Fox & Friends" got a morning ratings bump from its biggest fan, President Trump.
-- USC professor Raphael Bostic will be the first African American to lead one of the Federal Reserve Bank's 12 regional banks. He's been named president of the Fed in Atlanta.
-- Bill Shaikin says Major League Baseball dropped the ball in ruling Mexico out of the World Baseball Classic.
-- After following around losing teams for years, the USC basketball fans known as the Road Warriors are indulging in a rare treat.
-- Faced with fear of a despotic government or apathy, opinion columnist Jonah Goldberg chooses fear.
-- Iowa congressman Steve King yammers about European immigration problems, but his policies would replicate them in America.
WHAT OUR EDITORS ARE READING
-- In Georgia, a KKK banner and its removal stir emotions. But why did it go up in the first place? (Washington Post)
-- Facts by themselves probably won't change your mind. (The Atlantic)
-- How icebergs became a metaphor for something quite deep. (The Point)
ONLY IN L.A.
Ali Mushtaq is the son of Pakistani immigrants and lives with his grandparents. "When I first came home, my grandma was like, 'Why do you have ropes?' " Mushtaq says with a laugh. " 'Why are you going to the hardware store all the time?' " That comes with the territory of being Mr. Long Beach Leather.
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