Today: The Perils of Trump’s Meeting With Putin

President Trump is facing a growing threat from North Korea while he prepares to meet with Vladimir Putin later this week. I’m Davan Maharaj, editor-in-chief of the Los Angeles Times. Here are some story lines I don’t want you to miss today.


The Perils of Trump’s Meeting With Putin

The G20 summit starts Thursday in Germany, where world leaders are certain to discuss North Korea, Syria, Islamic State and global terrorism. But the most highly anticipated talks of President Trump’s tenure will be when he meets face to face with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday, while allegations of collusion remain at the center of a criminal investigation in Washington. Putin is known to prepare meticulously for such meetings. U.S. officials say they’ve prepared a thick binder for Trump, along with a list of tweet-length blurbs that summarize the main points. But senior aides have been mum on what the two leaders will discuss.

North Korea Puts Trump to the Test

It’s the biggest test yet of President Trump’s administration: North Korea says it has at long last test-launched an intercontinental ballistic missile, which Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called “a new escalation of the threat to the United States, our allies and partners, the region and the world.” As a show of force, the U.S. and South Korea conducted a combined missile exercise within 10 miles of the demilitarized zone. The two countries, along with Japan, requested an emergency U.N. Security Council meeting today. But the basic problem, one that has flummoxed the last three American presidents, remains — and the options for dealing with it all carry great risk.

In Jersey City, Jared Kushner Learns a Lesson About Politics

Jared Kushner may have stepped aside from his real estate business to work in the White House, but in Jersey City he’s still got trouble with a capital T, and that stands for Trump. A Democratic stronghold, the city is full of immigrants, many of whom weren’t happy when Trump claimed “thousands and thousands” there cheered the Sept. 11 attacks. Now, Jersey City has turned sharply against Kushner’s companies, which have been a major player in redeveloping the area but now have seen political support for high-profile projects vanish.

Video: The ‘Killer Kern’ Is a Different Monster This Year

The Kern River in Central and Northern California has long been known as the “Killer Kern.” Years of drought depleted its waters and softened its reputation. But after this year’s wet winter, the river has come roaring back. Kern County relies on about 50 trained volunteers to help save swimmers caught in powerful currents and recover the bodies of those who have drowned. Eight people, including one who had a heart attack, have died on the river since March.

Ransom Yarger and Paulina Stanfield conduct a search mission along the Kern River.

Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times

Ransom Yarger and Paulina Stanfield conduct a search mission along the Kern River.

Ransom Yarger and Paulina Stanfield conduct a search mission along the Kern River. (Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)

Cans and Bottles in Search of Redemption

If you’ve tried to recycle your cans and bottles in Southern California lately, you’ve probably wondered: Why is it so difficult? It’s not just your imagination. Many recycling centers have closed in the last two years, as a complex mix of economic factors has hit the recycling business on all sides. In a state that prides itself on being green, environmentalists say more containers are ending up as litter or in landfills.


— A small town’s decision results in an unlikely hero.

— At the Tipsy Robot in Las Vegas, the bartenders are completely sober because they are mechanized.

— The Cal State Long Beach Shark Lab uses video to identify individual great white sharks off the coast.


— The melting pot that is America and Los Angeles was on display at a Fourth of July celebration in downtown’s Grand Park.

— Republican David Hadley, a former Assemblyman, is announcing his bid to be the state’s next governor.

— At the University of La Verne, students are surprised to find a private school with a public mission.

— In Lynwood, Advanced Placement classes are no longer only for the unofficial elite.


— Director John Singleton places a dramatic frame around the early days of the crack epidemic in South L.A. in FX’s “Snowfall.”

— Trey Parker on giving voice to “Despicable Me 3’s” supervillain, mulling the end of “South Park” and ignoring Trump.

— Alison Brie, Aubrey Plaza and Molly Shannon play nuns in the film “The Little Hours.” Here they talk about f-bombs and faith.

— Who is H.E.R.? The enigmatic R&B singer gave her first face-to-face interview without confirming her identity.


It’s been 50 years since “Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In” aired as a one-off special from “beautiful downtown Burbank,” before it became a regular series the next year. Remember Richard Nixon saying, “Sock it to me”? Creator-producer George Schlatter says, “He was definitely not a comedian, but he was a lot funnier than folks might think.”


— A New York City police officer who has shot while sitting in her patrol car has died. The suspect was shot and killed by other officers.

— Doctors want to end life support for Charlie Gard, a fatally ill baby. His parents want to try experimental therapy. Trump has offered to help.

— A schism among Syrian rebel fighters could slow down the battle against Islamic State.

— Europe’s migrant crisis threatens to overwhelm Italy, even as the number of flimsy boats washing up on Greece’s shores has dropped.

— In a small-town Colorado church, an immigrant facing deportation finds sanctuary and friendship.


— Consumer columnist David Lazarus looks into something you might be reluctant to think about: If you’re on a spouse’s health plan, what happens if the worst should happen?

— Upfront Ventures, L.A. County’s biggest venture capital firm, just got bigger.

— After satisfying security concerns, Emirates and Turkish Airways said Wednesday they have been exempted from a U.S. ban on laptops in airplane cabins.


— Where will you find some of the best high school quarterbacks this weekend? At the Battle of the Beach seven-on-seven passing tournament in Huntington Beach.

— The Anaheim Ducks have drafted two players who have shared a bond ever since they became teammates as 12-year-old hockey players.


— Two sides of legal pot: L.A. County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas is skeptical, while Assembly member Reginald Byron Jones-Sawyer Sr. says bring it on.

— If you’re planning a trip to Europe this summer, be forewarned: You may spend a lot of time explaining Trump to the natives.


— The White House won’t release its visitor logs, so Politico is keeping track, unofficially of course.

— A hip sushi chef in New York has been speaking English in a Japanese accent. He’s white. (Eater)

— Fascinating but not for the squeamish: the art, science and joy of making a prosthetic eye. (Aeon)


Off the couch, onto the Strand. That’s the approach of a Redondo Beach therapist who combines traditional talk therapy with a run along the sand. Columnist Robin Abcarian, an avid runner herself, went for a good, head-clearing jog to find out more.

Please send comments and ideas to Davan Maharaj.

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