With turmoil on many fronts, there's no break-in period for the new face of the White House. 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 Los Angeles Police Department's cadet program enrolls more than 2,000 young people who hand out bobbleheads at Dodgers games, direct traffic at Hollywood Bowl parking lots, listen to lectures and work on their physical fitness. But a recent scandal involving cadets, stolen police cars and illicit sex has shed light on deficiencies both in the program and in how the LAPD keeps tabs on its cars and other equipment.
The Tragic Toll of Human Smuggling
The driver of a tractor-trailer is in custody after police found eight bodies and dozens of people struggling for their lives in the back of the sweltering 18-wheeler in San Antonio. Authorities are calling it a human-trafficking tragedy, and it's not the first here. While the acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement is vowing to stop trafficking, some immigration advocates say ramping up border security has driven those seeking refuge into the arms of smugglers.
One of the challenges of reporting from overseas is putting a human face on events taking place thousands of miles away. This story puts an animal's face on Venezuela's economic and political troubles. The Caricuao zoo in Caracas was once a showcase for tropical wildlife and a major tourist destination. Now it is the picture of neglect, with vultures circling above the pen of Ruperta, an African elephant who was once the star attraction.
John Heard played a corrupt detective in "The Sopranos," Tom Hanks' nemesis in "Big" and a disabled Vietnam War veteran in the film "Cutter's Way." Though most people associate Heard, who was found dead at age 71 over the weekend, as the father in "Home Alone," he didn't necessarily want to be remembered that way. He thought his role as a drunkard in the original "Sharknado" would "replace people calling me the 'Home Alone' dad."
Lady Bug the dachshund was once dumped at a Riverside shelter, her hind legs unable to move. Thanks to the love and care of the vet who adopted her, including acupuncture, physical therapy and a water treadmill, Lady Bug not only can walk again, she also competed at the 22nd Wiener Nationals at Los Alamitos Race Course. As columnist Chris Erskine reveals, this story has legs — short, stubby, cute ones.