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Newsletter: Today: Trump Turns Up the Heat in Phoenix

US President Donald J. Trump in Phoenix, Arizona, USA
President Trump addresses the crowd at his rally in Phoenix.
(Roy Dabner / European Pressphoto Agency)

President Trump didn’t hold back much at a rally in the Phoenix Convention Center; outside, thousands took to the streets. Here are the stories you shouldn’t miss today:

TOP STORIES

Trump Turns Up the Heat in Phoenix

Defiant. Freewheeling. Blistering. Those were just a few descriptions of President Trump’s rally in Phoenix last night, a day after he delivered a sobering address on the war in Afghanistan. In a 76-minute speech, the president suggested a government shutdown could be used to force Democrats to agree to fund a border wall; said he was likely to terminate NAFTA; and hinted he would pardon former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio, convicted of contempt of court for defying a judge’s order to stop racially profiling Latinos. But Trump saved his greatest criticism for the media, which he blamed for twisting his response to a white supremacist march in Charlottesville, Va., and accused of “trying to take away our history and heritage.” (What he didn’t mention were his words that caused such a backlash, including from leaders in business, the military and his own Republican Party.) Meanwhile, in the Phoenix heat, protesters and Trump supporters engaged in shouting matches; at the end of the night, police dispersed the crowds with tear gas. Trump will visit Reno today.

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More Politics

-- The U.S. Navy plans to relieve the commander of the fleet that experienced four major collisions in Asian waters this year, resulting in the deaths of several sailors.

-- The Justice Department has dropped its request for digital addresses that could identify more than 1 million visitors to a website involved with organizing protests on Trump’s Inauguration Day.

-- Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says North Korean ruler Kim Jong Un may be showing signs of restraint that could lead to dialogue.

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-- Trump’s son-in-law and advisor Jared Kushner will be in Israel today for the latest attempt to revive Middle East peace talks.

The Strategy in Afghanistan: Victory Via Stalemate?

In the president’s address on Afghanistan, Trump vowed that “in the end, we will win.” The reality of how to achieve victory in America’s longest war may not be clear-cut, as Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said: “This entire effort is intended to put pressure on the Taliban…. We may not win one, but neither will you. So at some point, we have to come to the negotiating table and find a way to bring this to an end.” Meanwhile, Pakistan’s military is on the defensive after Trump demanded it step up efforts to root out militant groups, and Pakistani officials feel particularly stung by Trump’s embrace of its rival India.

A Close Shave With Gentrification

Can a tiny, family-run business still make it in today’s L.A.? That’s an increasingly common question in neighborhoods across the city, where the G word — gentrification — has hit home. Few places have seen more change than Echo Park, where Cecilia Rios’ Echo Barber Shop has been in business for a quarter of a century. Just around the corner, a slick, sprawling, modern barber shop has opened up. Columnist Steve Lopez spoke with Rios about what it means to embrace change — and to survive.

Feel the Burn … in Your Bank Account

“No pain, no gain” has been a gym motto for some time now. These days, it applies not just to exercise but also to one’s wallet. Trendy boutique fitness studios, where classes for cycling, boot camp or yoga can run $30 a session, are said to be the only sector pumping up the sedentary gym industry. Who’s leading the charge away from traditional, $29.99-a-month gyms? Here’s a hint: If the stereotypes are true, they love avocado toast.

A Golfer Who Lives on the Links in Nepal

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Golf is often seen as a rich person’s sport. Pratima Sherpa is out to prove that wrong. The 17-year-old junior golfer has lived her entire life with her parents in a maintenance shed between the third green and fourth tee at the Royal Nepal Golf Club. Columnist Bill Plaschke caught up with Sherpa on her trip to Southern California sponsored by the benefactors who hope to see her become Nepal’s first female pro golfer.

Pratima Sherpa poses for a photo at Los Robles Golf Course in Thousand Oaks.
Pratima Sherpa at Los Robles Golf Course in Thousand Oaks.
(Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

MUST-WATCH VIDEO

-- Trump tries to sell the nation on deeper involvement in Afghanistan.

-- Buddy, a blind, 700-pound male California sea lion, arrived at the L.A. Zoo after being rescued and rehabilitated by the Marine Mammal Care Center Los Angeles.

-- One more look at the Great American Eclipse, from Big Summit Prairie, Ore.

CALIFORNIA

-- Los Angeles is looking to join the legal fight against the Trump administration’s threats to withhold anti-crime funds for “sanctuary” cities.

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-- A significant number of Obama administration alumni have entered the field for the 2018 election in congressional and state races.

-- The L.A. County Board of Supervisors has approved new fees on adult film producers.

-- Today’s estimated $700-million Powerball jackpot is the second biggest in the game’s history.

HOLLYWOOD AND THE ARTS

-- From royal to reality: How Princess Diana, who died 20 years ago on Aug. 31, changed female celebrity.

-- Billy Joel, who months ago said he chooses to keep his politics private, wore Star of David badges prominently on his jacket at a Madison Square Garden concert.

-- Mark Wahlberg is Forbes’ top-earning actor of 2017, and according to the magazine, he makes a lot more than the top-paid actress, Emma Stone.

-- Stop me if you think you’ve heard this one before: Morrissey will have a new record this fall and headline the Hollywood Bowl on Nov. 10.

CLASSIC HOLLYWOOD

Barbara Jean Morehead was born on this date in 1931 in Tucson. You may know her better as Barbara Eden, who played the mischief-making genie in the 1960s sitcom “I Dream of Jeannie.” “Jeannie could have been played a different way,” Eden told The Times in 1985, “but I always felt she was a tomboy. She was full of fun and had a good sense of humor. And she certainly had a mind of her own.”

NATION-WORLD

-- The U.S. State Department has warned citizens about traveling to Cancun and Los Cabos, two of Mexico’s most popular tourist destinations, after a spike in violence.

-- Bill Cosby has a new legal team, including a Southern California attorney who successfully defended Michael Jackson in the pop star’s 2005 child-molestation trial.

-- German police say they have seized thousands of tablets of the party drug Ecstasy in the shape of President Trump’s head. Estimated street value: $45,900.

-- In India, you can no longer divorce a woman simply by saying (or texting) it three times.

-- So, what to do with your paper eclipse glasses now? Don’t just throw them in the trash.

BUSINESS

-- A new study shows how Exxon Mobil downplayed climate change when it knew the problem was real.

-- Six Flags Magic Mountain, which is now open 250 days annually, plans to operate year-round to compete with Disneyland, Universal Studios Hollywood and Knott’s Berry Farm.

SPORTS

-- At the Little League World Series, the team from Venezuela made a big impression, even in defeat.

-- Attorneys for former USC kicker Matt Boermeester have filed a petition in Los Angeles County Superior Court seeking to have his expulsion from the school overturned.

OPINION

-- Don’t restrict free speech. Restrict the right to carry guns at potentially explosive public events.

-- Against his instincts, Trump makes the Afghanistan war his own: See the David Horsey cartoon.

WHAT OUR EDITORS ARE READING

-- Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell are locked in a feud, with McConnell privately expressing uncertainty that Trump will be able to salvage his administration. (New York Times)

-- War has devastated cultural sites in the Arab world, and Islamic State isn’t the only force to blame. (The Economist)

-- Truckers can’t stop listening to … National Public Radio? Yes, even if they hate what they’re hearing. (Current)

ONLY IN L.A.

One is an environmental scientist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La Cañada Flintridge who was born in France. The other is a veteran music industry executive who was looking to revive a 1960s French subgenre of pop music known as yé-yé. What happened next was unexpected — but not rocket science.

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