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Today: 9 dead in South Carolina church shooting

I'm Davan Maharaj, editor of the Los Angeles Times. A shooting at a South Carolina church leaves nine dead.  Here are some story lines I don't want you to miss today.

TOP STORIES

Mass shooting called a hate crime

Nine people were killed in a shooting at a historic black church in Charleston, S.C., in what the police chief called a hate crime. Police are looking for a white man about 21 years old.

Limiting 'Unlimited'

Unlimited means unlimited, right? Well, not exactly. AT&T customers with "unlimited" data plans have found that the company slows their data to a crawl after they use a certain amount. AT&T insists it has been "fully transparent" with customers. Many who cried foul to the Federal Communications Commission didn't think so. Now, the FCC wants to levy a $100-million fine. 

Uberdoing it?

"Sharing economy" firms like Uber are based on an alluring principle: The drivers work for themselves, not the bosses. Not so fast, say California labor regulators in the case of a San Francisco Uber driver; she's an employee, not an "independent contractor."  It's no small point and could upend a ride-sharing model that is taking off across the U.S.

Wanted: A Few Good Sunnis

U.S.-led trainers in Iraq have turned out only 7,000 soldiers this year, fewer than a third of the goal. Baghdad isn't sending enough recruits, the Pentagon says. What's really needed are minority Sunni fighters to take back largely Sunni towns overrun by Islamic State fanatics. Problem is, in this sectarian crucible, many won't fight for a Shiite government they don't trust.

NATO Made Me Do It

More saber-rattling from Russia: President Vladimir Putin is adding 40 long-range missiles to his nuclear arsenal. It's not an arms race, the Kremlin says, but a response to "aggressive moves" by NATO. Those moves are in former Soviet republics that have sought more visible NATO protection since Russia's military swiped Crimea from Ukraine. It's still a dangerous game.

When the Owl Calls Your Name

Hearing an owl call your name foretells death, in an old belief of the Kwakwaka'wakw nation in British Columbia. A world away in South Africa, the owl is similarly ominous, sent by a witch doctor, perhaps, with a curse. Happily for owls, there are more people now like Lerato Ramathopa, 13. Her care for barn owls horrified her family -- but brought her joy. It's today's Great Read.

CALIFORNIA

-- The deadly collapse of a crowded balcony in Berkeley puts new focus on the problem of wood rot. In Ireland, friends mourn several of the victims, who were students.

--  A former L.A. County sheriff's deputy testifies that he and the other deputies beat a jail visitor and then lied to justify it.

-- Drought devastates the cherry crop and puts some growers out of business.

-- State Capitol columnist George Skelton says the new state budget is a lot more nourishing than the bologna legislators have served up in the past.

NATION-WORLD

-- Pope Francis calls for global consensus to save the environment.

-- Here's a look at legal arguments that could sway the Supreme Court on Obamacare.

-- President Obama's imperiled "fast track" trade bill gets another vote in Congress today.

-- It's mushers helping mushers as a wildfire tears through Alaska's Iditarod country.

-- Haitians in the Dominican Republic face possible mass deportation.

Passings: Suleyman Demirel, 90, former president and prime minister of Turkey.

BUSINESS

-- The Fed downgrades its economic forecast and puts off a rise in interest rates.

-- Botox-maker Allergan agrees to buy Kythera and its double-chin treatment for $2.1 billion.

-- A woman's face will be added to the $10 bill in 2020, the Treasury says.

SPORTS

-- Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly, during a visit to L.A., talks about courage and his battle with cancer.

-- The year's U.S. Open course near Tacoma, Wash., could be a beauty for fans and a beast for players.

-- Carson politics could put its NFL stadium plan at risk.

-- The latest scores and stats.

ENTERTAINMENT

-- Brian Williams will join MSNBC.

-- Rachel Moore of New York's American Ballet Theatre will be the next president and CEO of L.A.'s Music Center.

-- Join "Fresh Off the Boat's" Randall Park for a live chat this morning at 11 PDT.

WHAT OUR EDITORS ARE READING

-- Garden & Gun: In the digital age, food has become the cultural currency of our time.

-- New York magazine looks at what Roger Ailes' demotion says about a power shift in Rupert Murdoch's media empire.

ONLY IN L.A.

The drought is bad news, but at least a small silver lining has turned up: cleaner water along L.A. beaches. Less rain means less runoff washing gunk and junk off the streets and into the ocean. Ninety-four percent of L.A.'s beaches got A or B grades in a study. We shouldn't get complacent, though. When the rains return, so will the crud building up on the streets. 

Please send comments and ideas to Davan Maharaj.

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