I'm Davan Maharaj, editor of the Los Angeles Times. Here are some story lines I don't want you to miss today.
While Patients Died, the FDA Floundered
Want to know why it took years for the Food and Drug Administration to warn about infections tied to medical scopes? There were a number of missteps, including the FDA losing a hospital report, according to a Senate investigation. But the bigger issue is an antiquated national database for monitoring medical device safety. It was supposed to be updated but hasn’t because two powerful opponents say it will cost too much.
Can’t Buy Me Votes (at Least So Far)
If the early going in this presidential campaign season is any indication, super PAC money isn’t playing a big role in how voters view the candidates. Jeb Bush has collected more super PAC funds than anyone else, yet he’s had poor performance in Iowa and the polls. Now he’s hoping for a “reset” as the nation’s first primary takes place Tuesday. You can follow all the action in the New Hampshire run-up here.
‘It's Like Syria All Over Again’
The fight against Islamic State is far from simple. Case in point: Just as it is losing ground in Iraq and Syria, fighters loyal to the group are seizing territory in Libya. The country’s political dysfunction and civil war have made it ripe for the taking; its oil provides a source of revenue; and its location makes it a base for potential attacks on Europe and northern Africa. Here’s what officials say must be done.
Critic to Football Stadium Builders: Go Wide
The centerpiece of the Rams’ $2.6-billion-plus complex in Inglewood will be a sleek football stadium, but Times architecture critic Christopher Hawthorne says we should “go wide” when evaluating it. The project’s success, he writes, hinges on how it meshes with the community via a large plaza, a performance venue, and commercial, retail and residential space. Meanwhile, in the Bay Area, a proposal to move the Golden State Warriors from Oakland to a new arena in San Francisco’s Mission Bay district is pitting billionaires against billionaires.
No Cam Do, but Beyoncé Brings It
Speaking of stadiums: The Denver Broncos relied on their defense to defeat the Carolina Panthers and MVP Cam Newton in Super Bowl 50 by a score of 24 to 10. The upset victory could be the final NFL game for Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning, who could retire after collecting his 200th career victory and second NFL title. As for the halftime show with Coldplay, Beyoncé and L.A.'s own Gustavo Dudamel and Youth Orchestra Los Angeles: Tell us, who was the winner?
High-Tech Salad Bowl
And speaking of bowls: The city of Salinas in Monterey County is known as the hometown of author John Steinbeck and by its nickname: "The Salad Bowl of the World." Now it’s trying to reboot itself as the agricultural technology center of California. Here’s how it’s trying to turn the sons and daughters of farmworkers into coders for the next generation of high-tech farming.
OUR MUST-READS FROM THE WEEKEND
-- Video of a dead city: This is what Syria's devastation looks like.
-- If Bernie Sanders loses, his backers may not be there for Hillary Clinton in November.
-- After the San Bernardino terrorist attack, many are attending active shooter trainings.
-- A doctor convicted of murder for patients' drug overdoses gets 30 years to life in prison.
-- Oil's latest slump takes a heavy toll on Bakersfield.
-- "Comfort women" and a lesson in how history is shaped in California textbooks.
-- Lunar New Year is morphing into an all-American holiday with taco trucks, beatboxing and beer.
-- Meet the woman who refused Marlon Brando's Oscar and inspired Jada Pinkett Smith's boycott.
-- After recent ICE raids, church leaders offer refuge to Central Americans facing deportation.
-- California issued 605,000 new driver's licenses for immigrants in the U.S. illegally last year.
-- Now you see it, now you don't: A slider photo of the 6th Street Bridge before and after demolition.
-- The Supreme Court will render a verdict on President Obama's use of executive authority.
-- Fighting mosquitoes with mosquitoes: Biological weapons target the Zika virus.
-- Will arrests in the 1989 slayings of six Jesuit priests bring "real progress" in the fight against impunity in El Salvador?
-- The anatomy of a Trump speech: A rollicking festival of grievance.
HOLLYWOOD AND THE ARTS
-- CBS confirms the end of "The Good Wife" during, you guessed it, the Super Bowl.
-- TV review: "A Ballerina's Tale" follows Misty Copeland's incredible rise in the ballet world.
-- After the Directors Guild awards, best picture front-runners sharpen their Oscar pitches.
-- L.A.'s Hauser Wirth & Schimmel is out to upend the definition of a gallery.
-- Let us know who is the best "American Idol" winner.
-- How and when to install a rooftop solar system.
-- Robotic room service: Hotels get automated, but at the cost of the personal touch?
-- Delta has apologized for a brawl between flight attendants that diverted a flight.
-- Women's boxing hopes to gain traction from Holly Holm's UFC victory over Ronda Rousey.
WHAT OUR EDITORS ARE READING
-- A video breakdown of what happened in the flubbed GOP debate intro. (Washington Post)
-- When ecologists kill: the eradication of turkeys on Santa Cruz Island. (The New Yorker)
-- What's the problem with Superman? (The Atlantic)
-- A brief timeline of Cam Newton and the "Dab." (Sports Illustrated)
ONLY IN L.A.
The masks. The tights. The flying head scissors. It can only be lucha libre wrestling. In an early 1900s metal factory in Boyle Heights, the drama plays out for a crowd of twentysomething Latinos, comic-book geeks and a rowdy bunch of Marines -- and for the cameras of “Lucha Underground,” a scripted TV series on El Rey Network. Enter the ring, if you dare, for a cross-cultural tag team match.
Please send comments and ideas to Davan Maharaj.