Two of President Trump’s biggest talking points — immigration and tariffs — have merged.
Mexico Is Trump’s Latest Tariff Target
President Trump tweeted that he will impose escalating tariffs on all goods imported from Mexico, starting at 5% on June 10, until authorities in Mexico stop migrants from crossing its territory and entering the U.S. illegally. The surprise announcement could derail passage of the revised North American Free Trade Agreement, just as it was gaining steam. Moreover, it could cause economic upheaval in California and beyond. The plan drew immediate criticism from some of Trump’s closest allies in Congress, with GOP Sen. Charles E. Grassley saying, “This is a misuse of presidential tariff authority and counter to congressional intent.” So what does Mexico specifically need to do? Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney would not define the administration’s demands in terms of a number, saying only that the number of people crossing the border “needs to start coming down immediately in a significant and substantial number.”
The Origins of the Citizenship Question
Newly revealed documents appear to confirm what many critics had long suspected: that the Trump administration’s drive to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census began as a plan to help Republicans and undercut Democrats. The plan “would be advantageous to Republicans and Non-Hispanic Whites” and “would clearly be a disadvantage for the Democrats,” wrote Thomas Hofeller, a GOP expert on redistricting and gerrymandering who died last year. The Supreme Court is now weighing whether to uphold the plan.
-- Trump appeared to concede for the first time that Russian intelligence agents tried to help him win the 2016 election, as the U.S. intelligence community has concluded, a reversal of his long-held claims. Trump later reversed himself again.
-- With tensions flaring between Washington and Tehran, Trump administration officials have been sending mixed signals about Iran. Meanwhile, the Islamic Republic’s regional foes are plotting ways to further isolate it.
-- As Sen. Kamala Harris and other Democratic presidential hopefuls get set to attend the state Democratic Party convention in the Bay Area this weekend, there’s a sense she’s fallen short of expectations after a strong start.
Filthy Conditions at an LAPD Station
The Los Angeles Police Department’s Central Division is tasked with protecting skid row and other parts of downtown that have been in the news lately over concerns about filth and disease. But the station is dealing with problems of its own: When state officials inspected it in November, they uncovered rodent infestations and other unsanitary conditions. Some officers are threatening to seek transfers because of the situation.
The Two Family Guys
Seth MacFarlane, creator of the irreverent animated show “Family Guy,” once likened the barrage of blistering attacks on his program and him from the conservative Parents Television Council to “getting hate mail from Hitler.” But somehow, MacFarlane became friends with PTC President Tim Winter — and learned they actually have some common ground.
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FROM THE ARCHIVES
On this date in 1924, fire broke out at the Hope Development School in Playa del Rey. The flames quickly spread, and there were no fire escapes, exit lights or extinguishers. And in a tragedy that seems largely forgotten to history, 24 of the 42 people inside died. The victims were mostly mentally disabled girls and young women. Here’s more about the fire and images of its aftermath.
-- Facing strong opposition from cities, a state lawmaker has shelved a bill that would have required municipalities to lift bans on cannabis stores if their voters supported Proposition 64, which legalized the state’s pot market.
-- Allegations of racism and corruption are rocking the Antelope Valley Union High School District at meetings said to have gone “buck wild.”
-- Exposition Park in L.A. is planning a makeover that would make Seurat smile.
-- Meet Keith Michaelis and Binh Nguyen, who have worked together at Disney. They aren’t friends, but one tried to save the other’s life.
-- The San Fernando Valley is a vast expanse. Here are 24 places to eat very, very well.
-- If you’re heading to Yosemite, consider a weekend escape to historic Groveland.
-- How to find a bargain: Shopping tips from L.A.’s queen of estate sales.
-- Want to chill with some friends? How about a sound bath? Yes, really.
HOLLYWOOD AND THE ARTS
-- Hollywood is rethinking its many tax-incentivized productions in Georgia … sort of. So what changed?
-- TV critic Robert Lloyd says director Ava DuVernay's Netflix docudrama series “When They See Us” gets to the human heart of the Central Park Five.
-- For an asylum seeker who presents himself at the U.S.-Mexico border, there may be no worse place in America to be sent than a jail in a rural pocket of the Deep South.
-- Even in defeat, Islamic State has devastated Syrian and Iraqi farms with a scorched-earth policy.
-- A boat crash on the Danube River in Budapest left at least seven South Korean tourists dead. More are missing.
-- Claus von Bulow, the Danish-born socialite who was convicted and then acquitted on two counts of attempting to murder his American heiress wife with injections of insulin, has died at 92.
-- Trump’s trade war with China could cost American families an extra several hundred dollars a year for everyday items, but it could cost 150 workers their jobs at a central Washington solar factory.
-- Shares of CBS Corp. and Viacom Inc. jumped Thursday after a report that the two companies were poised to once again explore a reunion, a long-sought goal of the companies’ controlling shareholder.
-- In the first game of the NBA Finals, the Toronto Raptors defeated the Golden State Warriors.
-- How the Stanley Cup-contending St. Louis Blues were saved in 1983 by a man whose daughter can be heard on the radio in L.A.
-- A legal settlement letting homeless people keep all their belongings helps no one.
-- Say goodbye to your local precinct. Voting in California is about to change dramatically.
WHAT OUR EDITORS ARE READING
-- A source says North Korea’s top negotiator ahead of the failed summit with the U.S. was executed amid a purge by Kim Jong Un. (Chosun Ilbo)
-- The National Spelling Bee ended in an eight-way tie after running out of words. (Associated Press)
-- Work-life balance: Time to give up? (The Atlantic)
ONLY IN CALIFORNIA
Would you pay $49.99 to sit in a bar where live rodents roam? Especially given the news lately, probably not. But here’s your chance. Next month, a pop-up Rat Bar in San Francisco will be making a limited run. The critters will be provided by a nonprofit that specializes in small animals and abandoned pet rodents. And who knows? After a few cocktails, you might not even give a rat’s tail.