The pressure is growing on Republicans to work with Democrats on healthcare. 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.
No Repeal, No Replace, No Ownership
If at first you don’t succeed, try and then let it fail? That’s more or less President Trump’s latest stance on the Affordable Care Act. “Let Obamacare fail,” he said as it became clear not enough Senate Republicans would support a move to repeal it without a concrete replacement. “I’m not going to own it.” Voters ultimately will decide whether Trump “owns” it, but polls indicate most Americans would support a bipartisan approach. As these numbers show, there’s much room for improvement in U.S. healthcare, especially when compared with other countries.
A Second Meeting With Putin, an Eighth Person at Trump Tower
A second, undisclosed meeting between President Trump and Vladimir Putin — reportedly with no aides present — comes to light. The identity of an eighth person at Donald Trump Jr.'s meeting with a Russian lawyer during the presidential campaign is revealed. It’s become a cliché, but the drip-drip of Team Trump’s dealings with Russia continues. Who is Irakly “Ike” Kaveladze, the California businessman born in a former Soviet republic who was present at the Trump Tower meeting? Read on.
Trump Wants to Undo Obama’s Legacy, but Is It Undoing Him?
Most new American presidents have pushed their own initiatives rather than trying to undo the work of their predecessors. The theory is that addition is much easier than subtraction. As Times Washington bureau chief David Lauter writes in this analysis, Trump’s focus on undoing President Obama’s legacy isn’t doing himself many favors.
-- A day after certifying that Iran is obeying international restrictions on its nuclear program, the Trump administration put new sanctions on Tehran for unrelated alleged transgressions.
-- Russia says it is losing patience over the return of properties that the United States seized as a penalty for Moscow’s election interference.
-- “This could be a really great inspiration for other Republicans around the country”: Arnold Schwarzenegger talks bipartisanship and climate change.
USC Breaks Its Silence on a Former Med School Dean
USC President C.L. Max Nikias says the university will “examine and address” a report in The Times earlier this week that its former medical school dean abused drugs and associated with criminals and drug users. Addressing the controversy for the first time in a letter to the campus community, Nikias acknowledged concerns that many at the school have expressed and stated “we are working to determine how we can best prevent these kinds of circumstances moving forward.”
A Ray of Hope at a Bridge of Despair
It’s a beautiful bridge with a sad history stretching from the Great Depression to the present day: The Colorado Street Bridge in Pasadena has been the site of numerous suicides over the decades. A recent increase has prompted the city to put up temporary barriers while trying to work out a permanent solution. Columnist Steve Lopez visited the site with a suicide prevention expert who has a message for anyone struggling to cope: Help is available. Just reach out.
One More Tutor for the LAUSD
The first day of school at the L.A. Unified School District is a month away, but summer recess has been full of extracurricular activity. A pro-charter school majority took its place on the school board for the first time earlier this month, and now a new player has entered the picture: an advisory panel of business, philanthropic and community leaders that will work with Supt. Michelle King. First task: improving attendance. Read on to see who will have a say.
-- A Mexican American cultural center in L.A. begins to blossom after a rocky start.
-- “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” director Rian Johnson discusses the movie’s opening crawl.
-- Gov. Jerry Brown says the state’s housing crisis is his next priority, but reaching a deal won’t be easy.
-- A massive wildfire in Mariposa County has triggered a new round of evacuations and threatened power lines that feed Yosemite National Park.
-- James Kanno, who spent years in a World War II-era internment camp and went on to become one of America’s first Japanese American mayors, has died at age 91.
-- Remember Carmageddon? A new version of it is coming in September to the U.S.-Mexico border crossing in San Ysidro, which will be closed for 57 hours to realign part of Interstate 5.
HOLLYWOOD AND THE ARTS
-- Pop music critic Mikael Wood saw Fleetwood Mac at the Classic West festival and walked away feeling betrayed.
-- “The Disaster Artist” could be James Franco’s next shot at Oscar gold.
-- The Muppets Studio and the former voice of Kermit the Frog are engaged in a war of words over his departure.
-- In the largest single arts gift to the Cal State university system, a prominent Iranian American family has donated $17 million to CSUN’s Valley Performing Arts Center.
On screen and off, James Garner was a maverick. He easily moved between the small screen and big screen at a time that was rarely done. He successfully battled two studios in court. And when an executive told him to tone down his humor in “The Rockford Files,” he replied, “I’m not going to change at the whim of somebody with no experience and no judgment, so either fire me or don’t mess with it.” Garner died on this date in 2014.
-- The United States is planning “strong and swift” sanctions against the leftist government of Venezuela if it moves ahead with plans to rewrite its constitution and weaken its democracy.
-- “Nobody kill anybody”: Exhausted by homicides, neighborhood leaders are calling for a murder-free weekend in Baltimore.
-- Watch: Rep. Dana Rohrabacher of Costa Mesa asked a NASA scientist, “Is it possible that there was a civilization on Mars thousands of years ago?”
-- Singapore is orderly, civil … and aghast over a feud among members of its founding family.
-- A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report shows that nearly half of Americans have diabetes or prediabetes, and many of them don’t know it.
-- A new survey says foreign home buyers scooped up a record number of residential properties in the U.S. over the last year, despite a rising dollar and political uncertainty.
-- Disney plans to fit a new Marvel Galaxy into its California Adventure Park. But how?
-- The Dodgers are soliciting sponsorship offers from companies interested in attaching their name to Dodger Stadium. Dodgers President Stan Kasten says the name itself, though, isn’t for sale.
-- The Clippers’ Patrick Beverley is ready to succeed Chris Paul, with an accent on winning. But he wants to make clear that “I am not Chris Paul.”
-- With Obamacare repeal off the table, will Republicans start trying to actually improve healthcare?
-- If someone tells you your kid’s teacher would be better off with a 401(k) than a pension, don’t believe it.
WHAT OUR EDITORS ARE READING
-- The former wife of a successful Silicon Valley lawyer tells the story of how he succumbed to drug addiction. (New York Times)
-- How the Venmo money transfer app might make a lot of moola. (The Atlantic)
-- The stories behind 100 amazing movie props. (Thrillist)
ONLY IN L.A.
Hall H is a 65,000-square-foot room in the San Diego Convention Center, but for a few days each year, it’s the most important room in Hollywood. That’s when Comic-Con takes over, complete with all the sights and sounds of films and TV shows hoping to hit it big. As for the smell of success? Film reporter Jen Yamato describes the air as being filled with “romantic top notes of hot dogs and cooling nachos … mingling with the distinct bouquet of 6,500 amped-up human bodies.”
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