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Today: Your Guide to the Kavanaugh Fireworks

Judge Brett Kavanaugh will be back for a second day before the Senate Judiciary Committee, and it’s expected to be even more contentious.

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Your Guide to the Kavanaugh Fireworks

Day 1 of the confirmation hearing for Brett Kavanaugh, President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, was not the sleepy affair typical of such openings. Instead, Senate Democrats repeatedly tried to halt the hearing, saying the process has been hurried and unfair, and shouting protesters were escorted from the audience. One moment that went viral: a failed attempt by a Parkland, Fla., school shooting victim’s father to shake Kavanaugh’s hand. What will today’s action bring? Here are 10 things to watch for from the Democrats, Republicans and Kavanaugh himself. Plus, follow along with our live chat featuring The Times’ experts.

Judge Brett Kavanaugh arrives for his hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday.
Judge Brett Kavanaugh arrives for his hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday. (Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images)

Peace Through Punishment?

Trump has called it the “ultimate deal”: a plan for peace between Israelis and Palestinians. Two months ago, its unveiling seemed imminent. Instead, the proposal hit a wall of opposition from Persian Gulf Arab states, which have called it pro-Israel and out of line with traditional U.S. policy and international law. The latest Trump strategy: punishing Palestinians in an effort to change their tune, including cutting off U.S. funding for the United Nations relief agency for Palestinian refugees.

Curiouser and Curiouser

Rep. Duncan Hunter of San Diego County and his wife stand accused of spending $250,000 in campaign funds on family fun and extravagance, including paying to fly their pet rabbit to Washington, D.C., for vacation. But that hasn’t stopped the Republican from continuing to run for Congress, leading in the polls and getting a supportive tweet from Trump. Columnist Steve Lopez goes down the rabbit hole.

More Politics

-- Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III told Trump’s lawyers in a letter Friday that he will accept at least some written answers from Trump to questions about whether his campaign coordinated with Russia to tilt the 2016 election in his favor, according to two people briefed on the communication.

-- Bob Woodward’s new book paints a harrowing portrait of the Trump presidency. Trump has claimed it’s possibly “made up” or the product of embittered aides.

-- Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey has appointed fellow Republican Jon Kyl, a retired three-term U.S. senator, to fill the seat of the late John McCain. But Kyl wants to do it only until January.

Iran’s Stranded Religious Refugees

Early in Trump’s presidency, he said persecuted Christians overseas would be given a priority to enter the United States. (At the time it created an uproar about a “religious test.”) Yet in recent months, dozens of religious minorities from Iran, including Christians, have seen their asylum claims denied despite a decades-old program designed to help them. What’s going on? Read on.

Taking Scooters for a Spin

Depending on your point of view, electric scooters are either amazing or awful — or perhaps a bit of both. In the same way, policing their use has been like the Wild West. Now, the L.A. City Council has approved its first set of temporary rules for the companies that have plopped thousands of scooters on the streets. The rules include a 15-mph speed limit and encourage use in low-income areas.

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MUST-WATCH VIDEO

-- The sounds of Mexico City, which sings or screams depending on your mood.

FROM THE ARCHIVES

During a drought 30 years ago this week, the water level in the Bridgeport Reservoir in Mono County dropped so low, anglers used archery equipment for their catch. Meanwhile, the Department of Fish and Game tried to rescue as many fish as possible, but thousands perished.

Sept. 1, 1988: Angler Jim Reed uses a bow and arrow to fish for carp from the drain of the Bridgeport Reservoir. As an indication of the drought's severity, the drain was often 40 feet underwater.
Sept. 1, 1988: Angler Jim Reed uses a bow and arrow to fish for carp from the drain of the Bridgeport Reservoir. As an indication of the drought's severity, the drain was often 40 feet underwater. (Thomas Kelsey / Los Angeles Times)

CALIFORNIA

-- A federal appeals court has ruled that prosecuting homeless people for sleeping on public property when they have no access to shelter violates the Constitution’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment.

-- The L.A. County district attorney’s office has declined to file charges against actors Kevin Spacey, Steven Seagal and Anthony Anderson, who were accused of sexual abuse with the arrival of the #MeToo movement.

--Former President Obama will drop into Southern California on Saturday, holding a rally to boost seven Democratic candidates.

HOLLYWOOD AND THE ARTS

-- After 25 years, “The Joy Luck Club” is still a captivating Hollywood movie about Asian American identity. And finally, film critic Justin Chang writes, it's no longer the only one.

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-- Beyond the joke: Mel Brooks and Carl Reiner discuss the origins of modern comedy and the new home video set “Sid Caesar: The Works.”

-- Members of Aretha Franklin’s family have criticized the Rev. Jasper Williams Jr., saying he did not properly eulogize the Queen of Soul at her funeral last week.

-- Danny Elfman will reprise his live performance as Jack Skellington in “The Nightmare Before Christmas” at the Hollywood Bowl in October.

NATION-WORLD

-- Russian jets began an intense barrage on Syria’s northwest, pounding rebel-held areas in Idlib province, hours after Trump warned in a tweet that Syrian President Bashar Assad “must not recklessly attack Idlib Province.”

-- Tropical Storm Gordon could gain strength to become the first hurricane to strike the mainland United States in 2018 as it heads toward the Gulf Coast.

-- Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo’s expected visit to Pakistan this week may have prompted the Taliban to report the death of a leading militant.

-- Seven years after Libya was “liberated,” the only thing certain there is the uncertainty.

-- Much of Brazil's National Museum was destroyed by fire. Here is a glimpse of what was lost.

BUSINESS

-- A new deal to collaborate on an inhalable hypertension drug will let Southern California drugmaker MannKind breathe a little easier about its finances.

-- Tesla shares fell after Mercedes unveiled an all-electric SUV and a Goldman Sachs stock analyst gave Elon Musk’s company a “sell” rating.

SPORTS

-- The Lakers have set themselves up to add another superstar to join LeBron James. How? Columnist Bill Plaschke says it was so quiet, you may have missed it.

-- At the U.S. Open, defending women’s champ Sloane Stephens fell. On the men’s side, Rafael Nadal prevailed in a five-set tiebreaker with Dominic Thiem to reach the semifinal.

OPINION

-- Want the Purple Line, a.k.a. the “subway to the sea,” running by the 2028 Olympics? The feds need to show us the money.

-- Gustavo Arellano says he used to be a skeptic of Chicano studies, before he taught a class and learned its real agenda.

WHAT OUR EDITORS ARE READING

-- Listen to Bob Woodward speak with President Trump about the book “Fear: Trump in the White House” before its publication. (Washington Post/YouTube)

-- “The biblical basis for investigative reporting”: How a reporter’s Christian faith made him a better journalist. (ProPublica)

-- How Indian Americans came to dominate the motel business in the U.S. (National Geographic)

ONLY IN L.A.

In the capital of car culture, some people could use reassurance it’s not weird not to drive. For them, there’s BUSted, a monthly showcase of storytellers recounting tales from the front lines of L.A.’s buses, trains and sidewalks. The cast of characters is diverse, with stories that include humor and pathos. But organizer Scott Schultz says one thing unites them: taking pride in being a “non-motorist.”

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

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