Newsletter: Today: Out of India, Into U.S. Detention
Why are more Indian nationals showing up at the U.S.-Mexico border?
Out of India, Into U.S. Detention
A small but growing number of asylum seekers from India have been crossing into the U.S. through Mexico in recent years, taking advantage of travel routes forged by Latino immigrants. So far during the 2018 fiscal year, 4,197 of those arrested by Border Patrol agents have been Indian nationals, according to data from Syracuse University. In seeking asylum, they often claim political and religious persecution at home. But some Sikhs have alleged they are not allowed to wear turbans while in custody at facilities in California.
Is the FBI being cleaned up or politicized? The firing of another once-high-ranking official, Peter Strzok, has again brought the question into discussion. Agent Strzok’s anti-Trump text messages to lawyer Lisa Page during the 2016 campaign have been cited many times by President Trump as evidence of bias within the agency. Strzok’s attorney argues that the texts did not affect the agent’s job performance and that the firing came in response to political pressure.
-- The president and Omarosa Manigault Newman are exchanging barbs. As part of her book tour, the former White House aide alleged there is a recording of Trump using the N-word during his “Apprentice” days, which he denies, and has played other recordings she made.
-- Trump signed a $716-billion defense policy bill named for John McCain but in his remarks included no mention of the Republican senator, who is battling brain cancer at home in Arizona.
-- Prosecutors have rested their tax evasion and bank fraud case against Paul Manafort. The case now goes to the defense team.
The Rate Is Too Damn High
When is the interest rate on a consumer loan too high? The California Supreme Court has ruled that rates can be so burdensome they are “unconscionable” and, therefore, illegal, but it’s leaving the details for others to figure out. The court’s opinion could call into question the validity of millions of loans and upend the state’s subprime lending market.
The Paper Chase
In another unanimous decision, the state Supreme Court has ruled on restricting the liability of police departments when an accident occurs during a police chase. The court agreed with law enforcement agencies that they are not liable if they have a certain vehicle-pursuit protocol, even if not every single officer has certified in writing that they have read and understood the policy. On average, California has 23 police chases a day, with roughly a quarter ending in collisions, according to the Highway Patrol.
The Footprint of Freedom, or Island of Shame?
One of the United States’ most important military bases is on the footprint-shaped Indian Ocean atoll of Diego Garcia, which even the Navy touts as having “exquisite natural beauty.” Yet for the people who once lived there and on the surrounding islands, it is forbidden territory. In the 1960s and ’70s, as part of a deal with the U.S., Britain forced out the inhabitants, who were deported into poverty 1,200 miles away. Next month their struggle will land in the International Court of Justice in The Hague.
-- At the K-pop convention KCON, a dancer teaches the choreography in the music video for “Singularity” by BTS.
-- A firefighter died Monday battling the Mendocino Complex fire, the largest wildfire in recorded state history. It was another grim reminder for residents of Lake County, where more than 50% of the county’s land has burned since 2012.
-- Justin Wesson, the son of L.A. City Council President Herb Wesson, says he and his wife have reimbursed the city for $2,768 in security services provided at their wedding.
-- Housing groups are criticizing a developer’s plan to displace dozens of residents from rent-controlled bungalows in Westlake to make way for a $64-million affordable housing project.
-- The man suspected of being the Golden State Killer has been charged with a 13th murder, this time in Tulare County.
HOLLYWOOD AND THE ARTS
-- As the first English-language contemporary Hollywood movie with a nearly all-Asian cast since “The Joy Luck Club” was released 25 years ago, “Crazy Rich Asians” is carrying more weight than the typical rom-com.
-- In this interview with The Times, Sandra Oh discusses making Emmy history, her work on the show “Killing Eve” and the joy and grief in feeling recognized.
-- Actress Ruby Rose is taking a break from Twitter after comments about her sexuality and casting as Batwoman on TV.
-- If you watch “The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society” on Netflix, this is the island you’ll want to visit.
At 74, Randy Newman played the Hollywood Bowl to celebrate his half-century as a maker of records. “Why quit?” he said, as he introduced the song “I’m Dead (But I Don’t Know It)” with a bit about how many “old gray-hair rockers” are still on the road scooping up fans’ money. “No one taps you on the shoulder, says, ‘You’re really washed up — you oughta hang it up.’ And no one’s applauding at home, so everybody just keeps going.”
-- More than 100 members of Afghan security forces and 20 civilians have been killed in four days of heavy fighting with the Taliban in the strategic city of Ghazni, illustrating the strength of the insurgency even as the U.S. pursues peace talks.
-- Police in London arrested a man on suspicion of terrorism Tuesday after a car crashed into pedestrians near the House of Parliament. No deaths or life-threatening injuries have been reported.
-- American tariffs are only the latest setback for Turkey’s economy, which has been running on borrowed cash.
-- Israel is said to be on the verge of relaxing sanctions against Gaza.
-- At Montana’s Glacier National Park, a wildfire destroyed structures and forced evacuations.
-- Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk said his tweet about having “secured” funding to take the electric-car maker private was based on meetings with Saudi Arabia’s sovereign fund, but others are skeptical.
-- Google wants to know where you go so badly that it records your movements even when you explicitly tell it not to, according to an Associated Press investigation.
-- Sixty years ago today, UCLA head football coach Henry “Red” Sanders died. His legacy has lived on.
-- Sandy Koufax, prep basketball announcer? It happened in the 1970s, former Dodger sportscaster Ross Porter says.
-- The $1.27-million payment of public funds to LAPD Chief Michel Moore is more evidence that the city should drop DROP, the Deferred Retirement Option Program.
-- For most Americans, the notion that racism is solely about institutionalized white power simply doesn’t compute, writes columnist Jonah Goldberg.
WHAT OUR EDITORS ARE READING
-- Stephen Miller’s uncle writes that, “if my nephew’s ideas on immigration had been in force a century ago, our family would have been wiped out.” (Politico)
-- If you’re feeling sad, that’s OK. Research suggests that experiencing some not-so-happy feelings can promote psychological well-being. (Aeon)
-- Are celebrity chefs going stale? (Bloomberg)
ONLY IN L.A.
Do not try this at home, or at the zoo, or anywhere else for that matter: A man climbed a barrier at the Los Angeles Zoo and then slapped a hippopotamus on its rear end. Officials learned of the swat last week after a video began circulating on social media. The LAPD is investigating the incident, and the hippo enclosure now has a first for an exhibit at the L.A. Zoo: a “No Trespassing” sign.