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Newsletter: Today: Trump and Putin, Side by Side

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President Trump with Russian President Vladimir Putin during a news conference after their summit in Helsinki, Finland.
(Chris McGrath / Getty Images)

The uproar continues over President Trump’s comments at his summit with Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, Finland.

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Trump and Putin, Side by Side

It will probably never be known what was said between President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin in their two hours of one-on-one face time. But their post-meeting news conference proved stunning in its own right. Rather than back up American intelligence officials’ unanimous conclusion of Russian election interference in the U.S., Trump said Putin’s denials of wrongdoing were “extremely strong and powerful,” didn’t see “any reason why” Russia would meddle and criticized the FBI for not doing enough to investigate Democrats. With Putin at his side, Trump also slammed the special counsel’s investigation into his campaign’s possible collusion with Russia. Back in the U.S., national security officials, foreign policy analysts, Democrats and some leading Republicans were aghast. Even Newt Gingrich called Trump’s comments siding with Putin “the most serious mistake of his presidency.” John Brennan, the former CIA director under President Obama, went further, calling it “nothing short of treasonous.” Many Republican lawmakers remained silent.

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President Trump And President Putin Hold A Joint Press Conference After Summit
President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin shake hands during a joint news conference after their summit in Helsinki, Finland.
(Chris McGrath / Getty Images)

More From the Trump-Putin Summit

-- Putin offered to do a favor for special counsel Robert S. Mueller III: Russian authorities would be happy to interview the dozen intelligence officers indicted on Friday for hacking emails from Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic Party.

-- Even as Trump expressed no concern about Russia, the Justice Department announced new charges against a Russian woman, Mariia Butina, for conspiracy to act as an unregistered foreign agent.

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-- After the meeting with Putin and six days of Trump’s taunts of allies, analysts have struggled to discern a clear strategy in Trump’s foreign policy. Though some suggested the president sought to shake things up, others saw an inexperienced leader in the global spotlight.

-- For Putin, a former spymaster, Helsinki was a moment of triumph. Russia’s foreign minister called it “fabulous … better than super.”

-- Video: Watch the full Trump-Putin news conference.

The Perfect Firestorm

The Ferguson fire near Yosemite National Park has already killed a firefighter and charred nearly 10,000 acres, but officials fear it’s only getting started on its path of destruction. The hillsides along the Merced River are filled with trees killed by drought and bark beetles; the ground is covered in highly combustible pine needles; and the weather is hot and dry.

Another Test for L.A.’s Homeless Strategy

Near the birthplace of the city of Los Angeles, Mayor Eric Garcetti is looking to begin a rebirth of sorts: moving people off the streets and into the first temporary homeless shelter set up as part of a $20-million program. Officials are hoping that if the cluster of trailers near El Pueblo is successful, it could lower opposition to shelters elsewhere. But as with nearly every construction project, there have been surprises and extra costs, including a $700,000 deck to connect the trailers.

In Pursuit of Justice

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Car chases may be a staple of local TV in California, but they regularly lead to injuries and deaths. The toll has led some to question whether they are worth the risk to the public. Soon, the state Supreme Court will weigh in on whether the Gardena Police Department can be sued by the mother of a truck passenger killed during a PIT maneuver. The department has argued it has immunity under the law, given that it has a policy governing vehicle chases and provides regular training for officers.

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MUST-WATCH VIDEO

-- How do you make film criticism more inclusive? Fourteen critics and entertainment reporters of diverse backgrounds share their thoughts.

CALIFORNIA

-- Twice in the last week, Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies have responded to reports of shots fired near the Malibu Creek State Park area where a father was killed while camping with his two young daughters.

-- On Saturday, Los Angeles police received a call about a large group fighting at the Griffin, a bar in Atwater Village. Beyond that, the two parties involved can’t agree on what happened.

-- A federal judge’s decision ordering the Los Angeles Times to remove information it had published about a criminal case has sparked a battle over free speech. Legal scholars say it weighs in favor of the media.

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-- A new poll shows the closely watched campaign between incumbent Republican Rep. Dana Rohrabacher and his Democratic challenger, Harley Rouda, is starting off as a dead heat.

HOLLYWOOD AND THE ARTS

-- The documentary “Robin Williams: Come Inside My Mind” on HBO delivers a picture of a divided person.

-- Paul Simon took his farewell tour to London’s Hyde Park with a little help from some friends.

-- Ugly carpets and green marble: The design of the Los Angeles Times buildings in downtown changed along with the city, though not always gracefully.

**For Carolina Maranda story on the Los Angeles Times Building.** The mascot for the Los Angeles Ti
The Globe Lobby contained The Times’ iconic eagle and walls made of green suede marble.
(Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)

CLASSIC HOLLYWOOD

Phyllis Diller was a 37-year-old mother of five when she made her nightclub debut as a comedian in San Francisco in 1955. That’s where she developed her timing and routines, along with an outlandish wardrobe and hairdo that helped her break into a male-dominated field. For Diller, who was born on this date in 1917 and died in 2012, her success was mostly about structure: “If there’s one thing I can do, it’s write a joke.”

NATION-WORLD

-- A judge has temporarily blocked the federal government from deporting families who have just been reunified, as officials work under court order to match more than 2,500 children with parents they were taken from at the U.S.-Mexico border.

-- Residents of Tijuana are facing the loss of homes, patios and even a shrine as the Trump administration moves forward on its plans to build a taller, stronger wall separating the U.S. from Mexico.

-- China presented itself as a bastion of international order while announcing its filing of a World Trade Organization challenge against a threat of $200 billion more in tariffs by the United States.

-- An explosion sent lava crashing through the roof of a tour boat off Hawaii’s Big Island, injuring 23 people, officials said.

BUSINESS

-- What’s gotten into Elon Musk? Lately, he’s been at war with everyone from regulators to stock analysts to a child rescuer in Thailand.

-- Speaking of billionaires, Jeff Bezos has become the richest person in modern history. And while Amazon looks to rake in money on Prime Day, it’s a flash point for worker strikes and customer protests.

SPORTS

-- Despite all the ups and downs, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts has managed to stay the course. At the All-Star break, we take stock.

-- Fifty years ago, there were doubts about whether hockey would find a respectable audience on the West Coast. Today, it’s a prime destination.

OPINION

-- Is this the real reason why Trump won’t stand up to Putin?

-- Sinclair Broadcast Group’s bid for a local TV empire across the U.S. may finally get the scrutiny it deserves.

WHAT OUR EDITORS ARE READING

-- How Fox News reacted to the Trump-Putin summit. (The Atlantic)

-- The history of black baseball in Washington, D.C., includes Frederick Douglass’ sons. (The Undefeated)

-- Arianna Huffington says it’s time to prioritize sleep, so forget that whole “you snooze, you lose” business. (National Geographic)

ONLY IN L.A.

The El Segundo blue butterfly was the very first insect to make the endangered species list, back in 1976. Today, the once-elusive creature found only in the coastal dunes between LAX and Palos Verdes is enjoying a renaissance. But it didn’t happen by accident. Here’s how the El Segundo blue came fluttering back.

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