Hello. I'm Davan Maharaj, editor of the LosAngeles Times.
A deadly train wreck revives a safety discussion, and some new rules in Santa Monica have the nation's cities watching closely. Here are some story lines I don't want you to miss today.
Stopping a Train
The horrific Amtrak crash in Philadelphia surely will revive demands for nationwide use of "positive train control" technology to slow or stop trains before accidents. An act mandating it for the nation's trains by the end of this year was passed after the 2008 Chatsworth Metrolink crash, but the industry will not meet the deadline. The track in Philadelphia didn't have it.
It's usually a solid issue for Republicans, and it should be again. National security worries are rising in the U.S. As the presidential race heats up, there are some twists. GOP candidates are divided. Mere hawkishness won't do for many war-weary voters, and guns are expensive. Also, none can match Hillary Clinton's foreign policy chops. Here's an incisive look at a key campaign issue.
The Scope of a Problem
Duodenoscopes are incredibly useful in hospitals. Therein also lies a problem. Months after deadly superbug outbreaks tied to the scopes, many made by Olympus, the FDA hasn't pulled any of them from hospitals. Instead, everyone's going all out to find a way to clean them properly. One odd result: That quest is prompting some hospitals to buy even more of them.
Bed and Begone
Santa Monica just passed some of the toughest rules anywhere on short-term rentals (read: Airbnb). They ban rentals of less than 30 days but make it legal -- as long as you stay home, get a license and pay a tax -- to rent out a space for a few nights at a time. Enforcing it is sure to be a struggle. L.A. and other cities are watching closely. Here's a Q&A on the law.
What a clever way to pledge enduring love: People are hanging "love locks," with messages, from railings of the world's bridges. In Paris, however, they're loving the 1804 Pont des Arts to death. Last year several railings collapsed under the weight of padlocks. A bold campaign to stop it all is being waged by unlikely characters: two women from New York and New Jersey.
-- A father is found guilty of murder by throwing his daughter off a Rancho Palos Verde cliff. Previous juries had deadlocked.
-- Here's a graphic look at "extreme heat days" -- those above 95 degrees -- and how they figure in L.A. County's future.
-- The governor's revised budget plan will include a new tax credit for the state's poorest families.
-- George Skelton: Agriculture per se is not the culprit water guzzler. It's the location of the agriculture.
-- The House passes a bill to end the NSA's mass collection of phone records. It'll be a tougher sell in the Senate.
-- A deal with Senate Democrats clears the way for a vote on President Obama's Pacific trade pact.
-- Life or death? A jury starts deliberating the fate of Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.
-- The Vatican, in a treaty, recognizes Palestinian statehood.
-- The "black spider memos" lay bare some of Prince Charles' musings and misgivings.
-- Managed honey bee colonies suffer a a 42% annual loss, a big hit for some California farmers.
-- Ousted CEO Dov Charney accuses American Apparel of defamation in a new lawsuit.
-- David Lazarus: Know your rights when dealing with a funeral home.
-- Sorry. That Giancarlo Stanton home run was not hit out of Dodger stadium.
-- The latest scores and stats.
-- M. Night Shyamalan adds to the mystery on Fox's "Wayward Pines."
-- Stephen Colbert hints at what to expect from his "Late Show."
-- Here are some favorite Bloody Mary recipes from the L.A. Times Test Kitchen.
WHAT OUR EDITORS ARE READING
-- Ditching the grass? The 13 best California-native, drought-tolerant plants for your garden.
-- For artist Elaine De Kooning, "painting" was a verb, not a noun.
-- The $179-million Picasso that explains global inequality.
-- What makes bourbon uniquely American.
ONLY IN CALIFORNIA
The luckless prospector spent just 88 days on Jackass Hill in California Gold Country, but it was a key chapter in the emergence of an American literary treasure: Mark Twain. As Calaveras County marks the 150th anniversary of his jumping frog yarn, today's Great Read sheds new light on what Twain said was his "call to literature, of a low order -- i.e., humorous."
Please send comments and ideas to Davan Maharaj.