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Newsletter: Today: Trump’s Divisive Border Policy

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President Trump at the White House on Monday.
(Brendan Smialowski / AFP-Getty Images)

President Trump and many of his supporters have dug in, as a backlash builds against his policy leading to the separation of migrant families.

TOP STORIES

Trump’s Divisive Border Policy

The Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy has drawn condemnation from an ever-widening group, including some of his Republican allies in Congress and conservative religious leaders. But the response from President Trump and many of his supporters has been one of defiance. On Monday, Trump continued to falsely blame Democrats and defended the policy, which has separated at least 2,000 children from their parents crossing the southern border, by pointing at Europe. “The United States will not be a migrant camp and it will not be a refugee holding facility,” he said at the White House, adding, “Not on my watch.” Today, he’ll meet with House Republicans on immigration bills that could address the policy — even though, in this case, he alone could fix it.

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The Compassion Deficit

Columnist Steve Lopez has been watching the furor over the family separations and wonders where our compassion has gone. “Those who argue that the United States can’t be expected to solve all the world’s problems … have a point,” he writes. “We can’t do all that. But what kind of country, richer than any other, tells destitute victims of rape, domestic abuse and gang violence that not only are they unwelcome here, but we’ll punish them and their children by locking them up separately before shipping them back to the nightmare they fled?”

Winds of a Trade War

They’re still mostly threats, but Trump has once again upped the ante on his trade fight with China. Late Monday, the president vowed to impose tariffs on another $200 billion of Chinese imports if Beijing “refuses to change its practices” — and to double that amount if there’s retaliation. That’s on top of the United States’ 25% tariffs on $50 billion of Chinese goods, most of which would take effect July 6. China’s response: It will fight back against what it called “extreme pressure and blackmail.”

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More Politics

-- Trump called for the creation of a Space Force as a sixth branch of the U.S. armed forces while signing a policy directive aimed at coordinating federal and industry efforts to manage space traffic and debris.

-- For director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Trump has tapped a little-known aide who has no apparent relevant experience in finance, banking regulation or consumer protection.

-- In a setback for political reformers, the Supreme Court refused to rule on the constitutionality of extreme partisan gerrymandering, dismissing cases from Wisconsin and Maryland for procedural reasons.

An Unusual Aerial Battle

In the clashes along the Gaza border, kites and balloons are not among the first things you’d expect to confound the Israeli military. Yet kites trailing burning rags and booby-trapped balloons have caused the worst damage inside Israel, burning at least 7,410 acres of farmland and national parkland. The unusual aerial assaults have increased tensions, with one military analyst for an Israeli newspaper warning that “Israel and Hamas are on the verge of the First Kite War.”

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Palestinians watch a fire-bearing balloon. A growing proportion of the airborne flotilla has been made up of inflated condoms or party balloons bearing celebratory texts.
(Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times )

Man in the Newsroom

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As we told you yesterday, the Los Angeles Times has a new owner. Now, it has a new editor and, after years of upheaval, a new path ahead. After Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong completed his purchase of the 136-year-old newspaper, he named Norman Pearlstine as its executive editor. Pearlstine, 75, has helped shape some of the nation’s most prominent publications, including Time Inc. magazines, the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg News and Forbes. Now, the journalism veteran will help move the L.A. Times forward.

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MUST-WATCH VIDEO

-- Times reporter Esmeralda Bermudez describes being told to speak English to her daughter, who can speak English, Spanish and Armenian.

-- How 10 Cadillacs got nose-deep in the dirt of Amarillo, Texas, and why you should see them.

CALIFORNIA

-- Testifying before legislators at the state Capitol, an attorney for USC defended its response to misconduct reports against a campus gynecologist, saying the university’s decision to force the physician out through a secret internal process “worked efficiently.”

-- Republican governor candidate John Cox says he opposes the separation of immigrant parents from their children at the U.S.-Mexican border, calling the problem “horrendous” and in need of congressional attention.

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-- Building L.A.’s rail system will create thousands of jobs. Can a transportation “boarding school” on an empty site in South L.A. fill them?

-- UC San Diego researchers have discovered the world’s first known nursery for manta rays in an idyllic spot in the Gulf of Mexico.

HOLLYWOOD AND THE ARTS

-- Rapper XXXTentacion was shot dead at age 20 in south Florida, just three months after hitting the top of the charts with his latest album. He had been plagued with legal troubles throughout his short career.

-- The Oprah Winfrey Network’s new drama Love Is_” was inspired by the story of Hollywood couple Mara Brock Akil and Salim Akil.

-- Speaking of love stories: With their new album “Everything Is Love,” Beyoncé and Jay-Z tell a tale of success.

-- “Late Night” host Seth Meyers exited his longtime home at “Saturday Night Live” four years ago, but a quick peek into his office proves that he’s brought a lot of memories of those years with him.

CLASSIC HOLLYWOOD

With his bowl haircut, Moe Howard was “the pie-throwing, eye-poking, face-slapping ringleader” of the Three Stooges comedy team, as The Times once wrote. He and his bald brother Jerome “Curly” Howard performed in the late 1920s as a three-man act with Larry Fine. The Stooges would then make more than 200 film shorts for Columbia Pictures. Howard was born Moses Harry Horwitz on this date in 1897 and died in 1975.

NATION-WORLD

-- At the end of 2017, the highest number of displaced people was recorded worldwide. Here’s what life is like for some of the Rohingya Muslims among them.

-- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Jordan’s King Abdullah II held a rare meeting after months of strained relations to discuss holy sites in contested Jerusalem.

-- In India, an activist is fighting in court to help child brides and grooms win back their lives.

-- The World Health Organization says that compulsively playing video games now qualifies as a mental health condition.

BUSINESS

-- “Roseanne” and Samantha Bee are just two of the latest examples of how TV advertisers today are stepping through a political minefield.

-- American Airlines has agreed to pay $45 million to settle a lawsuit filed by passengers who accused the nation’s biggest airlines of colluding to limit capacity and keep airfares high.

SPORTS

-- Deandre Ayton, the potential No. 1 pick in the NBA draft, says he and the Phoenix Suns’ Devin Booker could be “Shaq and Kobe 2.0.”

-- FIFA has opened disciplinary proceedings against Mexico’s national soccer team because its fans used an anti-gay slur during its World Cup game against Germany.

OPINION

-- Trump is using children as political bargaining chips. It doesn’t get anymore crassly cynical.

-- Coffee isn’t going to kill anyone. California needs a smarter system to let us know what’s dangerous.

WHAT OUR EDITORS ARE READING

-- An audiotape of children who’ve just been separated from their parents at the border includes an agent joking, “We have an orchestra here,” as children wail. (ProPublica)

-- Today is Juneteenth. This 2011 article explains why it’s “our other Independence Day.” (Smithsonian)

-- The Inkas’ records, knotted string devices known as khipus, have proved difficult to decipher. (Aeon)

ONLY IN CALIFORNIA

Danniel the 1-ton Holstein steer was a gentle giant. He stood 6-foot-4, loved to eat bread and gained international celebrity status vying for a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s tallest bovine — a title that was sadly not bestowed during his lifetime. This weekend, Danniel died at age 8 at his home in Eureka, Calif., but his owner prefers to remember the good times: “When he would run” at the sound of a bread bag shaking, “he looked like a doofus.”

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