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Today: Will It Take an Act of Congress?

Today: Will It Take an Act of Congress?
President Trump with House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy after a meeting with House Republicans on immigration. (Mandel Ngan / AFP/Getty Images)

President Trump has stood by his policy of separating migrant families at the border. Now, Republicans in Congress are trying to act, but the path forward is not clear.

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Will It Take an Act of Congress?

Congressional Republicans are looking for a way to end the Trump administration's policy of separating children from their migrant parents — and halt a growing political backlash. Some, like Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, have echoed Democrats in calling for President Trump to simply stop it. But Trump has given no public signs of doing so, instead saying those illegally entering the U.S. “infest our Country.” At a meeting with House Republicans, Trump reportedly didn’t fully endorse their proposals for a comprehensive immigration bill. He also attacked a narrower GOP plan in the Senate to end the family separations, to say nothing of a similar Democratic bill. Still, an administration official suggested the president might sign “legislation that would address the separation issue."

More Politics

-- The Trump administration advanced its plan to promote the sale of skimpier health insurance, finalizing a new rule that would make it easier for individuals and small businesses to band together to get plans that don’t offer a full set of health benefits.

-- The administration is withdrawing from the United Nations body that oversees human rights, saying the 47-nation council has shown an “unconscionable” bias against Israel.

-- Two Senate Democrats want to know what role Kathy Kraninger, Trump’s choice to lead the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, played in the administration’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy.

Worries of a Storm in the Port

So far this year, business has been good at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. But with the Trump administration turning up its trade threats, experts are concerned that a storm could be brewing at America’s largest port complex. If a trade war breaks out, warehouse workers and truck drivers could be particularly vulnerable.

Survey Says …

We’re still more than four months away from the general election in California, but the early numbers show Democrat Gavin Newsom with a dominant lead over Republican John Cox in the race for governor: 45% to 28%, with 27% undecided, according to a new USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll. In the U.S. Senate race, incumbent Dianne Feinstein holds a 36% to 18% lead over state Sen. Kevin de León, but the big number is the 46% who are undecided.

Something in the Water

Is something rotten in the city of Compton? Residents have complained about brown, smelly tap water for more than a year. At a town hall this week, many came out to complain about the local water district. A smaller contingent of defenders held signs with slogans such as “Bad water myth created.” Now, the water agency is denying claims it hired people on Craigslist for support.

Pressing Matters? Relax. Watch the Game

Every four years, for the last four decades, Champion Cleaners hauls out a TV set and shows every World Cup soccer game. Koko Kederian wouldn’t have it any other way. He came to the U.S. from Lebanon with next to nothing. Now, he owns the shop and celebrates his American dream by cleaning American flags for free and giving deep discounts to police and military. But, as columnist Bill Plaschke writes, Kederian “also appreciates the tug of one’s roots, and celebrates the World Cup’s ability to allow everyone, if only for a month, to return to their spiritual home.”

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Koko Kederian, owner of Champion Cleaners in Pasadena, watches a World Cup match between Senegal and Poland.
Koko Kederian, owner of Champion Cleaners in Pasadena, watches a World Cup match between Senegal and Poland. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

MUST-WATCH VIDEO

-- At Cain’s in Tulsa, Okla., rockers, punks and cowboys find a rowdy haven.

-- Actress Yvonne Strahovski helps us process some of the complicated feelings fans have toward her “Handmaid’s Tale” character.

CALIFORNIA

-- A $2.2-billion plan to replace the overcrowded, crumbling Men’s Central Jail in downtown L.A. cleared its last procedural hurdle with a unanimous vote by the L.A. County Board of Supervisors.

-- The L.A. Unified School District has hopes of continuing its winning streak this year with another record graduation rate, but the official numbers may not show it.

-- For the second time this month, a panga-style boat that may have been used to smuggle immigrants landed on a beach in Orange County.

-- The L.A. County district attorney's office has declined to file a criminal case against actor Scott Baio in connection with sexual abuse allegations made by former co-star Nicole Eggert, saying they are beyond the statute of limitations.

HOLLYWOOD AND THE ARTS

-- Walt Disney Co. has named “Frozen” director Jennifer Lee to lead Disney Animation and “Up” director Peter Docter to lead Pixar after the departure of top creative executive John Lasseter.

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-- In the 10-part series “Yellowstone,” filmmakers Taylor Sheridan and Kevin Costner examine a grim side of the American West.

-- Slain rapper XXXTentacion’s violent life stood in stark contrast to his sensitive music, which reached out to those on the edge.

-- A lingering E3 question: As multiplayer games take over, what’s the future for the introverted video game player, the one who doesn’t want to interact with strangers?

CLASSIC HOLLYWOOD

If you’ve ever hummed “Chim Chim Cher-ee” or sung “The Tiki Tiki Tiki Room,” you know the Sherman brothers’ work. Together, Richard M. and Robert B. Sherman won Oscars and Grammys for their compositions for a long list of Disney films and attractions. Tonight, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences will pay tribute to them.

NATION-WORLD

-- A federal judge in Kansas has struck down a state law requiring people to show proof of citizenship to register to vote. It’s another blow for Kris Kobach, the man who oversaw Trump's now-defunct voter fraud commission.

-- Colorado has joined California and a number of other states in the fight to prevent the Trump administration from weakening auto emissions rules.

-- North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s visit this week with Chinese President Xi Jinping is his third in as many months and highlights that the countries remain tightly allied.

-- Canada has become the second country to legalize pot nationwide, though each province is working up its own sales rules.

BUSINESS

-- 21st Century Fox, the Murdoch family-controlled media conglomerate that has long thrived as a big tent that includes subversive shows such as “Family Guy” and conservative viewpoints of commentators such as Sean Hannity, is being pulled apart by partisan politics.

-- Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk says an employee who committed “sabotage” by breaking into its auto plant software systems could be part of a larger plot by enemies bent on the company’s destruction.

SPORTS

-- Dodgers star pitcher Clayton Kershaw is on the mend, but before he returns, he will play in a minor league rehabilitation game Saturday.

-- The Clippers are still looking to move up in Thursday’s NBA draft, but so far their efforts have been rebuffed.

OPINION

-- How to preserve net neutrality in the hotbed of internet innovation.

-- Columnist Gustavo Arellano argues it’s time to deport la migra — that’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Border Patrol — from California.

WHAT OUR EDITORS ARE READING

-- Andrés Manuel López Obrador rails against the “elite,” promises to remake his country and wrote the book “Oye, Trump” (“Listen Up, Trump”). He could be Mexico’s next president. (The New Yorker)

-- General Electric’s stock has been booted from the Dow Jones Industrial Average, but it could be little more than a publicity blow. (Reuters)

-- The story of Chinese immigrant Ah Bing and his namesake cherry. (Atlas Obscura)

ONLY IN L.A.

What could be more cute that a cougar kitten? Try four. Though their names are rather clinical, P-66, P-67, P-68 and P-69 proved to be photogenic when researchers swooped in to determine their age, size and other characteristics. To take this video, the scientists had to move quickly — before the kittens’ mother, P-62, returned to her den in the Simi Hills. If she had, that would not have been cute.

If you like this newsletter, please share it with friends. Comments or ideas? Email us at headlines@latimes.com.

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