Another shakeup at the Department of Homeland Security has followed reports of children being held in dire conditions at a Border Patrol station in Texas.
Amid Scandal, the Border Patrol Chief Resigns
A widening scandal over unsanitary conditions for children at a U.S. Border Patrol facility in Texas has sparked a new round of resignations and replacements in the Trump administration and last-minute vote-wrangling in Congress. John Sanders, the acting head of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, announced his resignation amid a growing outcry over reports that more than 300 children were held with insufficient food and water, and were left to try to care for one another. It comes just two months after President Trump and his top aides initiated a purge of top Homeland Security officials that has left roughly a dozen leadership vacancies. Meanwhile, the Democratic-led House approved a $4.5-billion bill to provide funding to address the humanitarian crisis, but it faces an uncertain future because it ignores the White House’s request for additional enforcement money.
More From Washington
-- Trump said that an attack by Iran on any American interest would be met with “great and overwhelming force” and that in some areas, “overwhelming will mean obliteration.” Trump issued the threat in a tweet that came after Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said the White House is “afflicted by mental retardation.”
-- Former special counsel Robert S. Mueller III, who spent nearly two years leading the Russia investigation, has agreed to testify publicly before Congress on July 17.
-- First Lady Melania Trump has announced that Stephanie Grisham, her longtime spokeswoman and confidant, will succeed Sarah Huckabee Sanders as White House press secretary. Grisham will also serve as White House communications director and will continue to be the first lady’s spokeswoman.
About That $1,008 Hotel Tab
In vivid detail, federal prosecutors allege that Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Alpine) used campaign money to fund a series of extramarital affairs with congressional staffers and lobbyists. Their court filing comes less than two weeks after Hunter’s wife and former campaign manager, Margaret Hunter, pleaded guilty to conspiring to misuse campaign funds. Hunter did not respond to the allegations and gave no sign that he would try to settle the case.
Let the Debates Begin
Ten candidates, two hours, one stage. The presidential debate season kicks off tonight in Miami with the first of two podium-filled matches among Democrats. Though there are many things to watch for (here are five), among the biggest potential flashpoints may be a sweeping anti-crime bill passed 25 years ago with Joe Biden’s support. Back then, Democrats were ecstatic about it. Today, many blame it for a wave of mass incarceration that has filled prisons with black and brown inmates.
Predator or Prey?
Experts say the mountain lions of Southern California are approaching what they call an “extinction vortex.” Recent studies suggest there’s an almost 1 in 4 chance that the big cats could become extinct in the Santa Monica and Santa Ana mountains within 50 years. That’s led environmentalists to demand that state officials grant protective status. The move could potentially ban development on thousands of acres of prime real estate. Developers say that’s absurd.
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FROM THE ARCHIVES
On this date in 1952, Marilyn Monroe testified against two men who were accused of trying to sell “indecent” photos of young women, including Monroe, by writing fake letters signed with her name. “Municipal Judge Kenneth L. Holaday returned the guilty verdict against Jerry Karpman, 46, photographer, and Morrie Kaplan, 32, salesman, after the onetime calendar girl denied she had ever met them.”
-- David Evans, known as U2 guitarist the Edge, hasn’t gotten his wish to build massive homes on a Malibu hillside. Columnist Steve Lopez has a suggestion for him.
-- After years of failed attempts to rein in “small-dollar” lenders, supporters of a bill to cap interest rates are hoping that a wider coalition of backers and Gov. Gavin Newsom will make a difference.
-- A case involving a Catholic school in Torrance has led to a rift in the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
-- San Francisco has become the first major U.S. city to ban the sale of electronic cigarettes.
HOLLYWOOD AND THE ARTS
-- YouTube’s original programs, once largely behind a paywall, will become free, supported by ads by 2020. It’s one way executive Susanne Daniels is trying to get ahead of the streaming curve.
-- The Scottish indie film “Wild Rose” shows how country music can cross borders.
-- There was a surprise twist for a Caravaggio painting valued at $115 million to $170 million: A mystery buyer emerged before an auction could take place.
-- Kim Kardashian West has launched a shapewear line with a name that caused an immediate backlash: Kimono.
-- A pickup truck driver accused of colliding with a group of motorcyclists, killing seven of them, in Concord, N.H., has pleaded not guilty to negligent homicide.
-- In Bahrain, the Trump administration has kicked off an economic portion of its long-awaited plan for Arab-Israeli peace, amid intense denunciations from the Palestinian leadership.
-- Trump is expected to visit the demilitarized zone between South and North Korea when he visits Seoul this weekend. It’s no Yosemite, but the DMZ has a coastal trail open each day to two groups of 20 hikers, chosen by lottery.
-- Employees of the online furniture retailer Wayfair are planning a walkout today to protest the company’s sale of more than $200,000 in bedroom furniture to a detention center for migrant children in Texas.
-- FedEx has fired a new weapon in the U.S.-China trade war, suing the Trump administration to block enforcement of trade restrictions that placed the company in Beijing’s crosshairs.
-- A bipartisan bill has been introduced in Congress that would prohibit “dark patterns,” the sneaky ways online companies trick you into agreeing to stuff you’d normally never assent to, as consumer columnist David Lazarus writes.
-- California’s college athletes are a step closer to being able to make money from the use of their names, images and likenesses, as a bill gains momentum in the state Assembly.
-- How did the Dodgers’ Cody Bellinger go from sophomore slump to being one of baseball’s best hitters? This graphic explains.
-- The No. 1 debate question for Democrats: Who can undo Trump’s damage?
-- The emerging media narrative on Gen Z is very, very wrong.
WHAT OUR EDITORS ARE READING
-- The Trump administration official in charge of diplomatic protocol reportedly plans to resign and isn’t going to Japan for this week’s G-20 meetings amid a possible inspector general’s inquiry into accusations of intimidating staff and carrying a whip in the office. (Bloomberg)
-- The National Rifle Assn. has shut down production at NRATV. What will Dana Loesch do now? (New York Times)
-- Have a science denier in your life? Here’s how to debate them. (Scientific American)
ONLY IN L.A.
The Space Age neon turret. The old-school marquee advertising in-store performances. The murals and posters adorning the building’s white facade. Since 2001, the Amoeba Music store on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood has been a landmark for tastemakers and tourists. Now, the way is being cleared for the development of a 26-story complex on the site, which means Amoeba is on the move. Where to is anyone’s guess. But what is clear is that it wants to sell weed alongside the vinyl.