As the threat of tariffs looms, Mexico has detained two organizers of migrant caravans.
Mexico’s Caravan Crackdown
In a bid to stave off a trade war with the United States, Mexican authorities have dramatically stepped up law enforcement pressure against Central American migrants in recent days. This week, two activists associated with the large caravans that famously have drawn President Trump’s ire were detained, and about 600 migrants walking on a highway in southern Mexico were intercepted. But so far, the response from the White House is that Trump hasn’t backed down from his threat of imposing tariffs on Mexican goods starting Monday.
-- Trump marked the 75th anniversary of D-day at the American Cemetery above Omaha Beach in Normandy, France, praising the courage and sacrifice of those who fought here and lauding the alliance that turned the tide of World War II and defeated the Nazis.
-- After two days of intense criticism, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden has reversed course and declared that he no longer supports a long-standing congressional ban on using federal healthcare money to pay for abortions.
Grinding Their Gears?
Seventeen of the world’s largest car manufacturers have delivered a message to Trump: Go back to the negotiating table on vehicle emission standards or risk crippling their industry. The automakers’ letter says the administration’s plans to weaken car pollution and fuel efficiency standards would hurt their bottom lines and could produce “untenable” instability. But some skeptics think it’s more political posturing than earnest plea.
Cathedral and Castle
When Notre Dame Cathedral was ravaged by fire in April, it began a debate over how to restore the landmark: Re-create the old structure, or go in a new direction? If officials choose the former, they could find help in a forest clearing in central France, where history is being made — or, more precisely, being remade. At the Guedelon medieval construction site, workers are re-creating a 13th century castle with the methods and materials in use in the Middle Ages.
United in Loss, Divided in Disease
A highly contagious virus known as Newcastle disease has been plaguing birds in Southern California. While the disease poses no food safety and essentially no human health concerns, authorities have euthanized more than 1.2 million birds — mainly chickens — to stop its spread. But that has outraged a group of backyard bird owners.
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-- Federal officials in Sacramento have indicted more than a dozen members and affiliates of the Aryan Brotherhood prison gang, alleging that top officials within the organization used smuggled phones to order murders and more.
-- Fire officials say the Ranch fire, the biggest fire in state history, was started by a man trying to plug the entrance of a wasp nest with a hammer and stake in Mendocino County last year.
-- The heavily Democratic state Legislature is less popular among California voters than President Trump, according to a poll by the nonpartisan Public Policy Institute of California. So who’s even less popular?
-- The La Brea Tar Pits, formed some 38,000 years ago and excavated in 1913, are getting a makeover. Or, at least, the land surrounding the pits is being rethought.
-- Restaurant critic Bill Addison says Jiang Nan Spring in Alhambra may just have the SGV’s best Shanghainese food.
-- You can fly-cast in the shadow of the Rose Bowl. Of all places, right?
-- In Pacific Palisades, a meditation retreat lets you escape from yourself.
HOLLYWOOD AND THE ARTS
-- Jennifer Lopez is touring to celebrate her birthday. “I’m 50,” she says. “But I feel like I’m 28.”
-- Film critic Kenneth Turan says “Late Night” is a great night thanks to Mindy Kaling and Emma Thompson.
-- The women of MSNBC are reshaping the television landscape.
-- The Tony Awards are Sunday. Theater critic Charles McNulty offers this opinionated guide.
-- Dr. David Eisenberg works at Missouri’s last remaining abortion clinic. Last week, after the governor signed a law banning abortions after eight weeks of pregnancy, officials moved to shut down the clinic.
-- In Kazakhstan, voters will choose a president to succeed Nursultan Nazarbayev, who left the role after three decades. But Nazarbayev retains control as Father of the Nation and head of its Security Council.
-- Wanted: People willing to live on a beautiful, remote Greek island. Specifically, young families.
-- Soaring insurance deductibles and high drug prices are hitting sick Americans with a double whammy.
-- As JPMorgan Chase rolls out forced arbitration for cardholders, researchers say firms routinely pick arbitrators who make industry-friendly decisions. Consumer columnist David Lazarus examines the issue.
-- Hate robocalls? The Federal Communications Commission has authorized phone carriers to automatically recognize and block them.
-- The NBA has fined Golden State Warriors minority owner Mark Stevens $500,000 and banned him from games and all other team events for the next year after he pushed Toronto Raptors guard Kyle Lowry during Game 3 of the NBA Finals.
--A 27th horse has died since Santa Anita opened its meeting on Dec. 26 after the colt River Derby sustained a catastrophic injury while training Wednesday morning.
-- Crisis? What crisis? California refuses to protect renters even as homelessness surges.
-- Linda Fairstein’s Central Park Five role is a case study for restorative justice.
WHAT OUR EDITORS ARE READING
-- If you’ve ever wanted to search the full text of 3 million nonprofit tax records for free, now you can. (ProPublica)
-- How one man’s DNA solved the century-old jailhouse rape of his grandmother. (BuzzFeed News)
-- Dr. John, the legendary New Orleans musician who died at 77, was fond of eating squirrel brains and raccoon, as this 2016 article documented. (New Orleans Times-Picayune)
ONLY IN CALIFORNIA
John Lautner designed it. Bob Hope lived in it. What is it? Only the most famous house in Palm Springs — a circular 24,000-square-foot residence that looks like a spaceship parked on a hill. Back when it was built, Hope and his wife, Dolores, brought in a Beverly Hills society decorator to do the interiors. But swan faucets, wallpaper and carpet didn’t exactly match Lautner’s vision. Now, with venture capitalist Ron Burkle as owner, the Bob Hope house is being remade to reflect the architect’s original vision.