I'm Davan Maharaj, editor of the Los Angeles Times. Here are some story lines I don't want you to miss today.
Would You Pay for a Quake Alert?
What is holding up an earthquake alert system that could save lives across the West Coast? A dispute over who will pay the bill. Building out the system costs $38 million, plus $16 million a year to operate. Federal officials have put up about half the operating costs but say California, Oregon and Washington should also pay. So far, those states have refused. Read on to see why Mexico City, Japan and Turkey are prepared but we have fewer than half the stations needed for a fully developed system.
The Cloud Catchers
The prospect of a quake isn't slowing down an architectural arms race on the West Coast: Skyscrapers are on the rise, and U.S. Bank Tower in L.A. — holder of the crown for the tallest building west of the Mississippi at 1,018 feet — will be dethroned by a San Francisco project and the Wilshire Grand Center in L.A. And then there’s Seattle, where a 1,111-foot edifice to top them all has been proposed.
They Jailed the Wrong Man
In 2012, Riverside police arrested Mario A. Garcia on suspicion of DUI. Normally, his lawyer says, Garcia would have been released the same day. Instead, he was held for three. The reason? Authorities mistook him for a man with an identical birth date, first and last names. The other man, wanted on a warrant, was 9 inches shorter, 40 pounds lighter and had a different middle name. Read on to see why an appeals panel has now cleared the way for Garcia to sue L.A. County and the Sheriff's Department.
As the World (of Viacom) Turns
On screen, Sumner Redstone's media empire thrives on drama. Off screen, it could be another matter. The ailing 92-year-old tycoon is relinquishing oversight of CBS and Viacom, which owns Paramount Pictures, MTV, Showtime and much more. Though the leadership transition at CBS went smoothly, a fight for control of Viacom is looming today, with his daughter Shari Redstone playing a key role.
China's Rent-a-Foreigner Market Dips
Stand around. Look "Western." Nice work if you can get it, but for the "professional foreigners" who've made money in China for years, these are hard times. The fad is dying out in first-tier cities like Beijing and Shanghai, though there is an alternative for expats: campy and lowbrow gigs, such as dressing up as a Spartan or making deliveries. Watch the video to see how that turned out for one American.
-- Police say she helped her husband, who is accused in a grisly torture plot. How did she become a lawyer?
-- Too big to succeed? State legislators call for a drastic overhaul of California's utility regulator.
-- An L.A. County man wants a judge to declare him the winner of $63-million Lotto jackpot.
-- A valuable lesson: How a Lincoln High teacher gets all his students to pass the AP Calculus exam.
-- A judge clears the way for Bill Cosby to stand trial on sexual assault charges in Pennsylvania.
-- A boy's life in Afghanistan: anti-Taliban fighter at 9, dead at age 12.
-- A Chinese company lived the high life until it all came crashing down.
-- From the campaigns: Rand Paul and Rick Santorum exit; Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton will debate more; Donald Trump, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio battle.
-- Video: El Jefe may be the last wild jaguar in the U.S.
HOLLYWOOD AND THE ARTS
-- How "Kung Fu Panda 3" became the first major movie to be animated in both English and Mandarin.
-- Bob Elliott, one half of the legendary radio team Bob and Ray, has died at 92.
-- Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara break down three "Carol" scenes.
-- The Pan African Film & Arts Festival draws from the Caribbean, Australia, the U.S. and beyond.
-- Video: The pangs of homesickness were real for Saoirse Ronan as she filmed "Brooklyn."
-- YouTube moves closer to becoming a Netflix for millennials with original programming.
-- Sayonara, Scion. Toyota Motor Corp. is scrapping its youth-oriented nameplate.
-- Is Amazon really going to open hundreds of brick-and-mortar bookstores?
-- In "Denver of the East," you'll find only Carolina Panthers fans.
-- National signing day: See who will play football for UCLA and USC, and watch their videos.
-- ESPN will supply sports programs to China's online service Tencent.
WHAT OUR EDITORS ARE READING
-- Reno 411: The Nevada city is betting big on technology. (The Atlantic)
-- Sarah Palin's link to Roman orators. (New York Times)
-- How Uber just rebranded itself. (Wired)
-- Dive in: Europe's "first underwater museum" is being built off Spain. (The Local)
ONLY IN L.A.
Over 50 years, Paul Revere Williams designed some of L.A.'s best-known structures: the Theme Building at LAX, Saks Fifth Avenue in Beverly Hills and mansions galore. But Williams wasn't welcome inside some of his creations, because he was African American. Read on for more about him and see some of his work on our new Tumblr blog #WeAreLA.
Please send comments and ideas to Davan Maharaj.