Newsletter: Today: Mexico’s Populist Landslide

A new era in politics in Mexico could have profound implications there — and in the U.S.


Mexico’s Populist Landslide


In Mexico’s election on Sunday, voters sent a message: They’re fed up with the country’s rampant corruption, escalating crime and sluggish economy. In a landslide, they selected leftist candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador as their next president. AMLO, as he is known, had run and lost twice before, but this time his campaign struck a chord — and delivered another victory in the march of populism, which has gained traction not only in the U.S. but also Europe, albeit mostly on the right. Lopez Obrador is expected to be less deferential to Washington than his predecessors, but what that means for U.S.-Mexico relations is unclear. Among the many foreign leaders offering congratulations: President Trump.

Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador cheers his supporters at the Zocalo square in Mexico City after Sunday's presidential election.
(Pedro Pardo / AFP/Getty Images )

The Pain Before ‘Zero Tolerance’

In the uproar over the separation of migrant families at the U.S.-Mexican border, the Trump administration has said repeatedly that asylum seekers can avoid that fate by presenting themselves at a port of entry. Court filings tell a different story: They describe numerous cases in recent months in which families were separated after asking for asylum at a port of entry, even when they had documents to establish their relationship — and before the Trump administration announced its “zero tolerance” policy.

Trump’s Pivot From Asia?

In 2012, President Obama announced a foreign policy “pivot” to Asia, redoubling efforts to strengthen military and economic alliances in the face of China’s rising power. These days, Trump has been questioning the United States’ long-standing military commitments to Japan and South Korea, after having already pulled out of the economic agreement known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership. This analysis looks at how America’s influence in the western Pacific may be on the decline.

More Politics

-- National security advisor John Bolton said Trump would raise the question of Russian interference in the 2016 election when he meets with Vladimir Putin this month, even as Trump sidestepped a question as to whether he would do so and continued to critcize U.S. allies.

-- The Supreme Court term that ended last week gave a preview of the new era ahead, when Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. may finally lead a solidly conservative majority.

-- Canada began imposing tariffs Sunday on $12.6 billion in U.S. goods as retaliation for the Trump administration’s new tariffs on steel and aluminum.

The Lakers Get Their King

Last week, Magic Johnson said he’d step down as Lakers head of basketball operations if he couldn’t land a star free agent this summer or next. This weekend, he arrived at LeBron James’ Brentwood house on Saturday night in the first few minutes of the NBA’s free-agency period and persuaded the man recognized as basketball’s best player to join the team. James agreed to a four-year deal worth $154 million, which he can sign starting Friday. For a storied franchise that has missed the playoffs for five years, James “fits into everything, and dramatically changes everything,” columnist Bill Plaschke writes.

Big Brother Is Grading Your Emotions

At first, the students at a high school in Hangzhou, China, thought it was cool: They could pick up lunch and borrow books just by looking into the cameras on campus. Then Big Brother started appearing in classrooms: tracking the students’ behavior and classifying their facial expressions as one of seven emotions. Though the cameras have been turned off, for now, it’s just the latest example of how China has entered the brave new world of facial recognition technology.

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-- “Even the cops don’t like us anymore”: Under Trump, Immigration and Customs Enforcement is increasingly becoming a target of public anger, including calls by some to abolish it.

-- With one final signature, Gov. Jerry Brown closed the chapter on his quest to reshape California’s budget.

-- An LAPD detective’s use of the N-word is roiling an infamous gang murder case.

-- Inside the battle over Stan Lee’s legacy: Friends and colleagues say the 95-year-old Marvel Comics legend has found himself surrounded by people with unclear motives and intentions.

-- How to cope with the crowds at the West’s busiest national parks, including Yosemite, Yellowstone and the Grand Canyon.


-- From L.A. to New York, hundreds of thousands joined nationwide rallies to protest Trump’s immigration policies.

-- Los Angeles lawmakers pressed forward with a plan to set up emergency shelters for homeless people, as a heated meeting at City Hall played out.


-- A wildfire in the Yolo County countryside roared to life over the weekend. Firefighters ordered evacuations and battled to get a toehold amid hot, gusty winds.

-- Nearly three weeks after immigration agents arrested a lawful permanent resident outside his Arleta home, his case has been closed and he has been released from custody.

-- In November, voters will decide these 12 propositions on the ballot, including rent control rules, a repeal of the gas tax, ending daylight saving time and splitting up the state.

-- Paul Egly, a controversial judge who oversaw court-mandated integration efforts of Los Angeles schools in the late 1970s, has died at age 97.


-- The documentary “Three Identical Strangers” tells the surreal, sad story of triplets separated at birth and how they randomly found one another in 1980.

-- A documentary about Elvis Presley finds links between “The King” and the perceived decline of the American dream.

-- On his new album, “Scorpion,” Drake is tired and tiring, according to pop music critic Mikael Wood. But as an artist, he’s as beautiful as ever.

-- A little operatic help for newspapers: “La Gazzetta” at the Ebell Club in L.A.'s Highland Park couldn’t have better timing.


The Fourth of July has become a boom time for the box office, but back in the early 1980s, studios were still skeptical of releasing movies during a long weekend devoted to barbecues and fireworks. That all changed with “Back to the Future” in 1985. Take a look back at the big winners and disappointments since then.


-- A mass stabbing in Boise, Idaho, left nine people injured at a birthday party for a 3-year-old girl. The suspect had been asked to leave the apartment complex where the party was held.

-- Skirmishes in Portland, Ore., erupted between a right-wing group and anti-fascists who have previously clashed across the Pacific Northwest, leading to injuries and arrests.

-- The search for 12 boys and their 25-year-old soccer coach continued in a cave in Thailand, with an international team of rescuers and monks offering Buddhist prayers.

-- A notorious French criminal serving 25 years for murder escaped from prison after heavily armed men landed a helicopter in a courtyard, freed him from a visiting room and carried him away.


-- The cities of L.A., Santa Monica and Pasadena raised the minimum wage on Sunday. At the same time, many Southern California employers are competing for a dwindling supply of workers.

-- Elon Musk declared that Tesla “just became a real car company.” But can it keep building Model 3 vehicles at this pace?


-- Mexico’s passionate fans have flooded Russia for the World Cup and made a lot of amigos along the way. The team faces Brazil today.

-- Defenseman Drew Doughty found the right negotiator for his new eight-year, $88-million deal with the L.A. Kings: himself.


-- Professor Andres Martinez says Mexico’s Lopez Obrador wants to take his country toward a future that looks a lot like its grim past.

-- Thomas Jefferson helped define Americanism as the pursuit of happiness. But what does that mean?


-- Rudy Giuliani told an exile group that the collapse of the Islamic Republic of Iran “is around the corner.” (The New Yorker)

-- The Capital Gazette got more than 800 new subscriptions after the massacre at its office last week. It also got death threats. (Capital Gazette)

-- Wrap your head around this: Is a hole just a place “where something isn’t”? (Aeon)


If you’ve ever seen one of the Miranda Sings videos on YouTube, you’re already familiar with one corner in Colleen Ballinger’s Encino home office. It serves as the backdrop for her parodies and is covered with eccentric fan art and gifts. And if you don’t like it? As Ballinger’s alter ego would say: “Haters back off!”

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