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Today's headlines: Walking black; a socialist president?

Hello. I'm Davan Maharaj, the editor of the Los Angeles Times. Here are some story lines you shouldn't miss today.

TOP STORIES

Walking black

A Ferguson, Mo., ordinance calls it "manner of walking." Locals  call it "walking black." It's supposed to keep the streets clear and orderly. A federal report has another take: The mostly white police force used it to harass and fine blacks and keep city coffers flush. Perhaps worse, it's nothing new. Examples have emerged across the country. Remember Bell?  

Walking tall

The past will weigh heavily on President Obama as he visits Selma, Ala., for the 50th anniversary of a watershed civil rights march, but so might the future. As Obama starts to ponder his role in society after he leaves the White House, how might he use his status as America's first black president? We also look at the modern civil rights movement, including a gallery of its leaders.

Why not me?

Sen. Bernie Sanders can go on forever about the improbable becoming reality: a black president, female police, gays marrying legally. So why not a socialist in the White House? As the Vermont independent weighs an unlikely run, he offers one assurance: “I will not be a spoiler.” Take that, Ralph Nader. Our political correspondent Mark Barabak caught up with Sanders in Iowa.

Beating back Ebola

With all the recent worry about superbugs, it's nice to see a bit of good news out of Liberia. Beatrice Yardolo, 58, walked out of a clinic cured of Ebola -- apparently the country's last case. Only after 42 days of no new cases will Liberia be declared Ebola-free, but the outlook seems good. Not that the crisis is over: Guinea and Sierra Leone have seen setbacks.

Undue process

America's justice system is grounded on the principle that even the most dastardly offender gets his day in a fair court. Not so, apparently, for many child immigrants who crossed into the U.S. illegally. More than 7,000 have been ordered deported without seeing a judge. "What was a border crisis has now become a due process crisis," says one advocate for the kids.

The measles front line

A preschool co-op discovers 1 in 4 of its students are not fully vaccinated. First thought: Require vaccinations. Second thought: And risk alienating a quarter of the school's parents? The recent measles outbreak has put kindergartens and preschools on the front line of a national debate on vaccines. Read how they're coping in California

CALIFORNIA

-- Republican state Assemblyman Rocky Chavez enters the race to succeed U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer. 

-- Harrison Ford is "battered but OK" after crash-landing his vintage plane on a Venice golf course.

-- El Niño is finally arriving, but it's probably too little and too late to offer much drought relief.

-- Coroner releases the real name of a skid row homeless man killed by L.A. police (he had been living under a stolen identity).

-- Robin Abcarian looks at the women and the cases behind a groundbreaking legal textbook on reproductive justice

Passings: Brian Carman, 69, guitarist who co-wrote the surf classic "Pipeline"; Cardinal Edward Egan, 82, former archbishop of New York.

NATION-WORLD

-- In Arizona, Jodi Arias is spared the death penalty after an 11-1 hung jury.

-- Victims of the Boston Marathon bombings tell a jury about chaos and carnage.

-- Ringling Bros. says it will retire its elephant acts by 2018. The elephants will retire to Florida.

-- They call him "Supermani": a look at Qassem Suleimani, a powerful Iranian general with a knack for turning up in trouble spots. 

-- U.S. military trainers arrive in Ukraine. Russia isn't happy.

-- The U.S. ambassador to South Korea is recovering in a hospital after a knife attack.

BUSINESS

-- A strong dollar and jammed ports were bad enough, but slack demand from China is a real sucker punch for many U.S. industries.

-- All 31 of the biggest U.S. banks pass the latest round of Fed "stress tests."

SPORTS

-- Saturday is "Big Cap" day at Santa Anita Park. Bill Dwyre sits down with a top jockey agent who was there 75 years ago when Seabiscuit won it. 

-- Clayton Kershaw logs a perfect start in his first spring outing, pitiching two innings (and then some) in a 6-1 Dodgers win. 

ENTERTAINMENT

-- At the movies: The robot is the least robotic thing about "Chappie." 

-- Review: "The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" overstays its welcome.

WHAT OUR EDITORS ARE READING

-- Mithi, Pakistan: Where a Hindu fasts and a Muslim does not slaughter cows.

-- The rise of Mexican music festivals: paradise, but with more hipsters.

-- Intriguing Sports Illustrated cover: Secrets of Wilt Chamberlain and a man's search for the truth.

-- In the U.S., Pope Francis' approval ratings are on par with those of John Paul II.

ONLY IN L.A.

It’s not the trial of the century, but a weeklong federal case here could affect how artists create music in the future. At issue: whether pop singer Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” is an original song or a rip-off of Marvin Gaye’s “Got to Give It Up,” as Gaye’s heirs claim. In court, Thicke has been on stage as well as on the stand, pounding out songs by U2, the Beatles and Michael Jackson.  Was Thicke “high on Vicodin and alcohol,”  as he testified, or, as he told Billboard in 2012, did he have Gaye on the brain when he wrote the song? 

Please send comments and ideas to Davan Maharaj.

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