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, including our weekend recommendations and weekly look back into the archives.
By Day’s End, Will We Have Obamacare or Trumpcare?
President Trump pulled out the hard-sell tactics this week to get a “yes” vote on the Republican plan to repeal and replace Obamacare on Thursday, the landmark legislation’s seventh anniversary. It didn’t happen. Now, his message is: Vote today; take it or leave Obamacare in place. But as one Republican summarized, “The problem we have right now is nobody likes this bill.” Conservatives want to see Obamacare dismantled even more, such as not requiring insurers to provide 10 essential health benefits. Centrist GOPers worried about backlash from the 24 million or more Americans who could be without health insurance.
Nunes: I’m Sorry, and Now I’m Not So Sure
A partial walkback. An apology. Calls for an independent investigation. After House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes had claimed officials in President Trump’s transition team had been the subjects of surveillance by U.S. intelligence agencies, an aide said Nunes did not know “for sure.” Nunes also apologized to his colleagues for not following protocol. That did little to quiet those who want an independent prosecutor or a special panel to look at possible links between Trump’s campaign and Russia.
-- The Senate voted to kill privacy rules meant to protect your sensitive online data; it’s expected to pass the House in the coming weeks.
-- An agency has ruled Trump can continue to lease a downtown Washington hotel from the federal government.
-- Senate Democrats plan to filibuster Neil Gorsuch’s nomination to the Supreme Court. Here’s what we learned during his confirmation hearing.
Video: ‘What Happens to My Child If I’m Deported?’
The concept of seeking sanctuary in a church goes far back into history, but the modern-day movement to shelter those in the U.S. illegally began in the 1980s to help Central Americans seeking political asylum. Since then, the effort has ebbed and flowed. With Trump in office, it’s growing rapidly — along with doubts about where it will lead. Meanwhile, immigrants ask: “What happens to my child if I’m deported?” Watch this video.
The ‘Bad Luck’ Theory of Cancer
Scientists want you to know this isn’t an excuse to smoke, eat poorly or expose yourself to chemicals. But a sweeping new study has found that 66% of the mutations that put us at risk for cancer are the result of unavoidable errors made by cells. In other words, a combination of biology and bad luck. If that’s true, it could lead to new strategies for fighting cancer.
Unraveling the Legend of Yma Sumac
Yma Sumac was from Peru and, in the 1950s, she became an international sensation as a singer. Her exotic Inca princess persona, though, was invented entirely in Los Angeles. Times arts writer Carolina Miranda offers a fascinating look at a woman who wanted to be a folk performer but became part of Hollywood royalty.
-- This weekend’s movie recommendations from our film critics.
-- Nine L.A. diners, coffee shops and restaurants that have great meatloaf sandwiches.
-- Grow blueberries on your patio: They’re perfect for small-space gardening.
HOLLYWOOD AND THE ARTS
-- Times film critic Justin Chang was a “Power Rangers” fan in his youth. So what does he think of the new movie?
-- The Hulu series “Harlots” challenges the typical TV depiction of prostitutes as nameless sidekicks or props.
-- First person: Poet Rigoberto González on being in the bittersweet club of professionals of color who get mistaken for the cleaning or wait staff.
-- The latest in our series on L.A. without the NEA: Lula Washington wants to lift lives through dance; her troupe has received 11 grants since 1998.
-- Authorities say the man who killed four people and injured dozens outside the British Parliament was “a peripheral figure” in British terrorism investigations and had a long criminal history.
-- Israeli police have arrested a 19-year-old man suspected of phoning in a series of bomb threats against Jewish community centers in the U.S.
-- A former Russian lawmaker and fierce critic of President Vladimir Putin who fled to Ukraine was shot dead outside a luxury hotel in Kiev.
-- Energy Secretary Rick Perry is inserting himself into an unusually small political dispute: an election for student body president at Texas A&M University.
-- Of the country’s 10 largest cities in the U.S., the Chicago metropolitan statistical area was the only one to drop in population between 2015 and 2016.
-- Select companies bidding to build Trump’s border wall will be required to construct an example of their proposal in San Diego.
-- Have you received this call? It starts with silence, then a woman says, “Oh, hi there! I’m sorry, I was having a little trouble with my headset!” Guess what? It’s a robocall scam.
-- Showtime has moved to Westwood, where two freshman phenoms have helped the UCLA men’s basketball team reach the Sweet 16, but it has not happened without distractions. They play tonight.
-- Shaquille O’Neal will get his Lakers statue outside Staples Center today, and Kobe Bryant couldn’t be happier.
-- The elephant’s in the room, as most Republicans are in denial about the probe into Trump-Russia ties: See the David Horsey cartoon.
-- Just like her mother, Chelsea Clinton never gets a break.
WHAT OUR EDITORS ARE READING
-- “Facts are stubborn things,” John Adams said in 1770. Will Trump find that out the hard way as president? (The Atlantic)
-- The names of baked goods in Argentina betray a political past. (Atlas Obscura)
-- What are some common myths about learning as an adult? Check out this quiz. (NPR)
ONLY IN CALIFORNIA
Tom Amberry, who died last week at age 94, specialized in podiatry. After retiring in 1991, he specialized in shooting free throws as a form of relaxation. Two years later, he made 2,750 shots in a row at a small rec center gym in Orange County. “I could have made more — a lot more,” Amberry said. “But they were closing the gym, so they kicked me out.” Here’s how the Free Throw King learned to hit nothing but net.
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