Newsletter: Today: The Chaos of Reunification
The first wave of migrant children were reunited with their parents, but the saga continues.
The Chaos of Reunification
The federal government has begun reuniting migrant families separated at the border. But that didn’t end the chaos, confusion and legal battles. Facing a court-imposed deadline, the Trump administration said only 38 of 102 children younger than 5 had been reunited with their parents, but that it was working as fast as it could. It also appeared to soften its hard-line stance on how some detainees are treated, saying the parents of children younger than 5 would largely be released with ankle bracelet monitors rather than held in detention. Thousands of other families haven’t been as lucky, including this Guatemalan father who was deported but without his daughter.
How a Would-Be Justice Is Fought and Sold
Who is the real Brett Kavanaugh? Republicans and Democrats are each creating storylines for Trump’s latest Supreme Court nominee that are likely to pop up repeatedly during the fight over his confirmation. The White House and its allies are trying to sell Kavanaugh on his impressive credentials and to soften his image as a political operative at the center of some of the most partisan battles of the last two decades. Democrats, meanwhile, are shifting their fight against Kavanaugh from the divisive issue of abortion to the threat he might pose to the survival of Obamacare.
-- Trump opened his two-day visit with NATO allies on the attack, claiming Germany “is totally controlled by” Russia.
-- Trump has escalated his trade war with China by identifying an additional $200 billion in Chinese products that he intends to hit with import tariffs.
-- Trump pardoned ranchers Dwight and Steven Hammond, whose conviction for setting fires on public land sparked the armed occupation of a national wildlife refuge in Oregon.
-- A judge in L.A. has rejected a request by The Times and other news organizations to unseal a lawsuit that former Playboy model Shera Bechard filed against Elliott Broidy, one of Trump’s top fundraisers.
Mission Impossible? Mission Accomplished!
Not long ago, authorities thought a team of young soccer players and their coach might have to wait months for the end of monsoon season before they could be freed from a flooded cave in Thailand. Today, their daring rescue is being celebrated as a symbol of global cooperation. “This event brought people around the world together,” said one resident of Chiang Mai, not far from the rescue site. “It showed that our country and our world are not a bad place after all.”
An Act of Compassion — or Enabling?
During the heat wave last week, Matthew Iadarola, a sound mixer from Silver Lake, handed out water at a homeless encampment in Los Feliz. “I will briefly say that I had 17 great experiences meeting and speaking with the people I encountered,” he wrote on the social media website Nextdoor. As columnist Steve Lopez reports, the next thing you know, his post had turned into a full-on debate.
-- A brush fire broke out Tuesday at Griffith Park, sparking concerns about nearby structures and triggering an evacuation of Griffith Observatory.
-- A separate fast-track court designed to quickly process the steady stream of misdemeanor border-crossing cases under the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy has rolled out in San Diego.
-- A state report says hate crimes increased across California in 2017 for the third straight year.
-- Officials say an employee of the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services has been charged with distributing child pornography online.
-- The L.A. County Board of Supervisors has approved two settlement payouts totaling $3.5 million over incidents involving law enforcement agencies.
HOLLYWOOD AND THE ARTS
-- How the then-homophobic L.A. Times handled Tab Hunter’s secret gay life in Hollywood in the 1950s.
-- In the film “Gauguin: Voyage to Tahiti,” Vincent Cassel’s portrayal of the post-Impressionist painter propels the action.
-- An event marking the end of the second season of “The Handmaid’s Tale” featured a politically charged question-and-answer panel.
-- As a conductor and composer, Oliver Knussen was larger than life. Classical music critic Mark Swed remembers the man known as Olly, who died at age 66 this week.
Gene Evans became director Samuel Fuller’s go-to tough guy in films like “The Steel Helmet” in 1951. Before his big break, he worked as a stagehand, carpenter, dishwasher, bouncer and, in his leanest days, lived in the women’s restroom of a used car lot where he washed cars. Evans was born on this date in 1922 and died at age 75 in 1998.
-- Analysts say that, after North Korea’s latest swipe, Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo must focus on pace and structure if nuclear talks are to succeed.
-- In Mexico, President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador is enjoying a honeymoon period with the public, even though he doesn’t take office until Dec. 1. It’s a far cry from being denounced as a threat.
-- Is another election being hacked? That’s the claim against a Chinese group in Cambodia.
-- This drug cocktail reduced signs of age-related diseases and extended life in mice and human cells.
-- A handful of the world’s biggest pharmaceutical companies are canceling or reducing some planned price increases in the U.S. after California enacted a new drug pricing transparency law.
-- With personalized styling and now kids clothing, Stitch Fix is looking to avoid the pitfalls of subscription box services.
-- Seven-time Wimbledon winner Serena Williams lost her first set but bounced back in a quarterfinal match to maintain her status as the favorite in the women’s draw.
-- Trump needs to reassure NATO that he’s not looking for a divorce.
-- Columnist Gustavo Arellano observes: Democrats in power always overplay their hand.
WHAT OUR EDITORS ARE READING
-- With former Fox News co-president Bill Shine in the White House, is it the Mooch 2.0? (Vanity Fair)
-- When your male coauthor gets all the credit. (Chronicle of Higher Education)
-- If you still have a CD collection, this will make you feel good. (Slate)
ONLY IN L.A.
It began with a cryptic tweet from LeBron James: “Haven’t been to a pizza party in a minute. Culver City?” That prompted fans to line up outside the Blaze Pizza store there, hoping for a glimpse of the King as well as a free slice. Well, one out of two isn’t bad. James, who is a part owner of the pizza chain, didn’t show. But a fan holding a giant cardboard cutout of James’ face did.