Newsletter: Today: Under Trump, Grandma Is Not Close Family

LOS ANGELES, CA. -- Thursday, June 29, 2017: A passenger arrives at the Tom Bradley International T
A passenger arrives at the Tom Bradley International Terminal at LAX on Thursday.
(Christian K. Lee / Los Angeles Times)

The travel ban is back, and the Trump administration says grandparents and grandchildren aren’t “close” relatives. 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.

TOP STORIES

Under Trump, Grandma Is Not Close Family

Who counts as “close family”? That’s a key question as President Trump’s travel ban finally has taken effect, blocking travelers from six predominantly Muslim countries and all refugees. The Supreme Court ruled that the ban did not apply to foreigners with a “bona fide relationship” with American individuals or entities, but offered just a few examples. The Trump administration has taken that to mean it can block grandparents, grandchildren, aunts, uncles and so forth, a position the state of Hawaii is challenging in federal court. The policy on refugees is creating even more confusion. All this means lawyers and protesters are back at LAX.

A protester at LAX holds a sign welcoming Muslims to the United States on Thursday.
A protester at LAX holds a sign welcoming Muslims to the United States on Thursday.
(Christian K. Lee / Los Angeles Times)

More Politics

-- Republicans’ hopes for a revise of the Senate health bill by today are fading, with no quick fix in sight.

-- President Trump’s voter fraud commission wants the names, addresses and more information of all registered voters, but California’s secretary of state has said no.

-- Two immigration bills approved by the House would increase penalties under “Kate’s Law” and punish “sanctuary cities.”

-- Trump will meet face-to-face with Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Germany next week.

The President Tweeted This

With the GOP healthcare overhaul struggling to find votes, the fight against Islamic State reaching a critical point and tensions over North Korea’s nuclear program heating up, President Trump went on Twitter to attack two TV hosts — “low I.Q. Crazy Mika” Brzezinski and “Psycho Joe” Scarborough — and said he had at one point seen Brzezinski “bleeding badly from a face-lift.” White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders says Trump “fights fire with fire.” Republican and Democratic lawmakers were not amused. “Mr. President, your tweet was beneath the office and represents what is wrong with American politics, not the greatness of America,” wrote GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham.

Justice Gorsuch Shows No Beginner’s Jitters

It’s no surprise that Supreme Court Justice Neil M. Gorsuch is conservative. After all, Trump promoted him as a fitting successor to the late Antonin Scalia. But some court watchers are raising eyebrows at the zeal Gorsuch has shown in looking to change the law, particularly in the area of religious liberty and church-state separation. Most newcomers to the high court take a more cautious approach.

The Pope Faces a Test as a ‘Prince of the Church’ Is Charged

Cardinal George Pell says the charges of sexual offenses he’s facing in Australia are “relentless character assassination.” Depending on what happens as the case wends its way through the courts, it could affect the legacy of Pope Francis, who has pledged “zero tolerance” for sexual abuse within the clerical ranks — but has also come under criticism for a lack of transparency.

After $14 Million in Cleanup, Most L.A. Homeless Camps Remain

The numbers are mind-boggling: L.A. public works crews have cleaned 16,500 homeless encampments since 2015, removing more than 3,000 tons of trash. But a Los Angeles Times review has found that the $14-million citywide cleanup effort has made just a marginal difference in the number of encampments, many of which simply form again nearby. Some business owners wonder if it’s an exercise in futility, but one official says: “What might have happened had we not spent that money?”

FLASHBACK FRIDAY

Los Angeles International Airport is expecting 1.2 million passengers during the Fourth of July weekend. In June 1930, when Los Angeles Municipal Airport was dedicated, the crowd was considerably smaller: 25,000 attended the ceremonies at the site of what is now LAX, as biplanes took to the sky.

MUST-WATCH VIDEO

-- White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders defended Trump’s tweets.

-- Demonstrators against the Senate healthcare bill took to the streets in Sherman Oaks.

-- Southern California is blanketed by the smell of wildfires.

CALIFORNIA

-- A federal judge has blocked a law that requires Californians to dispose of large-capacity ammunition magazines by Saturday or else face fines and possible jail time.

-- A homicide suspect who exchanged shots with L.A. police during a running gun battle in El Segundo filmed at least part of the encounter on a cellphone, according to a source.

-- Two fighter jets flying over L.A. on Thursday caused a freakout on social media, but there’s a simple explanation.

-- The “take a wench for a bride” auction scene on Disneyland’s Pirates of the Caribbean ride will be replaced by one showing townsfolk lining up to surrender their valuables. The tall redheaded woman stays.

YOUR WEEKEND

-- A wine lover’s weekend escape in Paso Robles.

-- Red, white and blueberry: 16 recipes for summer fruit pies.

-- Four great places to get pork ribs in Los Angeles.

-- How this first-time camper learned to stop worrying and commune with nature ... and sand crabs.

HOLLYWOOD AND THE ARTS

-- In “Despicable Me 3,” Gru finds his twin, but film critic Justin Chang says the fun is neither doubled nor tripled.

-- Kylie and Kendall Jenner have apologized and pulled their line of vintage music T-shirts featuring graphics of themselves stamped onto images of Metallica, the Notorious B.I.G. and others.

-- Times books editor Carolyn Kellogg on the guilty pleasure of reading Hollywood memoirs.

NATION-WORLD

-- After three days and 140 witnesses, a public hearing on NAFTA hints at the huge work ahead for U.S. negotiators.

-- A Minnesota woman charged with fatally shooting her boyfriend in a failed YouTube video stunt foreshadowed the event when she tweeted that it would be “one of the most dangerous videos ever.”

-- German Chancellor Angela Merkel calls “isolationism and protectionism ... delusional.” No, she didn’t mention Trump by name.

-- German lawmakers voted Friday to legalize same-sex marriage, bringing the country in line with many of its Western peers.

-- In a temple that predates the pyramids, scientists have found evidence of a mysterious “skull cult.”

BUSINESS

-- Would you pay $4.99 a month to watch an ad-free cable channel? AMC is testing one, as the TV industry struggles to please viewers who hate commercials.

-- Why have chiropractors been allowed to call themselves “doctors” in California since 1922? Columnist David Lazarus explores.

SPORTS

-- A Florida police report says tennis star Venus Williams caused a car crash that led to the death of a 78-year-old man. Authorities say the crash remains under investigation and Williams has not been cited or charged.

-- The Clippers’ Blake Griffin tops the list of NBA free agents who might actually sign with new teams.

OPINION

-- Trump says mean girls like Mika Brzezinski are bullying him. He still can’t sit with us.

-- The GOP healthcare scheme is all politics, no care: See the David Horsey cartoon.

WHAT OUR EDITORS ARE READING

-- The Wall Street Journal reports that, before the presidential election, a longtime Republican opposition researcher mounted an independent campaign to obtain emails he believed were stolen from Hillary Clinton’s private server, likely by Russian hackers. He implied to others he was working with Mike Flynn.

-- Can those personal DNA data reports really give you exercise and diet advice? (The Atlantic)

-- The iPhone is 10 years old, and its creators “don’t feel good about the distraction” it’s created. (The Verge)

ONLY IN L.A.

In the film “Jaws,” they needed a bigger boat. Off the Southern California coast, they might need a bigger selfie stick. Cal State Long Beach researchers are using underwater cameras to identify individual sharks by their markings. “We turn the cameras on and let the sharks take their own selfies,” says Chris Lowe, director of the Shark Lab. Watch this video and you might think twice about going into the water.

Please send comments and ideas to Davan Maharaj.

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