Today: Fear in Ferguson; getting the lead out

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


Fear in Ferguson

It seemed Ferguson, Mo., might -- just might -- be turning a corner. After a scathing federal report on police treatment of the city's blacks, the police chief said he would resign. Then gunfire wounded two officers outside police headquarters. Officials again are scrambling to stop a descent into social mayhem. Fears by police about their safety will make it that much harder.

Getting the lead out

Investigators spent a year building a criminal case against Exide Technologies, a lead-and-arsenic polluter south of L.A. Now, under a deal with the U.S. attorney, it seems no one will go to prison. Outrage is building, but a more important test of the bargain looms: Is Exide really going to clean up a neighborhood its plant has fouled for nearly a century?

Touchdown drive stalls

Inglewood City Hall did an end run around a public vote in its rush to OK an NFL stadium. Now the defense is stiffening. L.A.'s biggest labor group aims to force a referendum. It wants guarantees of good-paying jobs after, as well as during, construction of the stadium-entertainment complex. "We've got enough poverty jobs," its leader said. "We don't need any more."

Dear Angelenos: Think your commute's bad?

Pity the people of São Paulo who spend theirs sweating in jammed buses and trains rather than listening to car radios. Our Brazil correspondent Vincent Bevins accompanies a Paulistano maid on her 2 1/2-hour commute by bus, train and foot. In this subtropical "Blade Runner"-esque city, the mega-rich buzz above in helicopters, buying their way out of the crime and traffic on the streets. Watch the video and absorb the rich detail in today's Great Read.

Syria’s dark age

It’s an intriguing, and revealing, measure of the ravages of war: light. How much was there when it started, and how much is there now? Wuhan University in China analyzed satellite images showing the number of lights visible in Syria from March 2011 to last month. The results are startling.



-- An O.C. judge boots the D.A. from the case of multiple killer Scott Dekraai for misconduct, but Dekraai could still get the death penalty.

-- Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins denies any conflict of interest in a funding proposal for more-affordable apartments.

-- L.A. County agrees to pay $6,000 to a U.S. citizen who says he was threatened with deportation.

-- "This is America." "This is a non-issue." Robin Abcarian examines the rhetoric flying about in the flag flap at UC Irvine.

Passings: Michael Graves, 80, prolific architect and designer who collaborated on Disney projects and even housewares for Target.


-- California and 13 other states join the effort in court to salvage President Obama's plan to shield many immigrants from deportation.

-- Four wrecks of crude-oil trains in one month heighten worries about their safety.

-- The White House defends the new Secret Service director after two more agents get into trouble.

-- An American aid worker infected with Ebola in Africa is being admitted to a Maryland hospital.

-- Iraqi government forces gain ground in their fight to oust Islamic State fighters from Tikrit.

-- In South Africa, it's right up there with the weather report: the outlook for power outages.


-- After the spread of a deadly "superbug," the FDA says it will require proof that new medical scopes can be sterilized reliably.

-- Del Taco, founded in the Mojave Desert 60 years ago, is being sold to a Chicago company.

-- The FCC releases its new "net neutrality" rules. Opponents are expected to sue.


-- Two L.A. Marathon runners look beyond the finish line to the 2016 Summer Games.

-- Will Ferrell's visit is a hit for the Angels and Cubs.

-- A San Diego advisory committee defends Mission Valley as the proposed site for a new Chargers stadium.


-- The story behind "Cinderella" and the power of good. A review of the new film.

-- At its annual shareholder meeting, Walt Disney announces "Frozen 2."


-- Army substance-abuse clinics turn away soldiers by the thousands.

-- If popular music is escapist fun, why are the songs so sad?

-- A disturbing story about foster care in Arkansas and a congressman who "rehomed" his two adopted daughters.


Oh, the risks reporters take to get the story. Columnist Steve Lopez was, in his words, driving his car "right into the eye of the storm. Obamajam, here I come." If he completes his mission in one piece -- he usually does -- you'll find his video here.

Please send comments and ideas to Davan Maharaj.