Hello. I'm Davan Maharaj, the editor of the Los Angeles Times. Here are some story lines you shouldn't miss today.
Sweet and sour
Sweet: The diet-conscious Obama administration wants food makers to list on labels how many teaspoons of sugar they add to packaged foods. Sour: Almost the entire food industry, at least two governors and even Australia are crying foul -- loudly. What are they afraid of?
If all they have on Robert Durst is HBO's "The Jinx," it might not be enough to convict him of killing Susan Berman in 2000. Little wonder that L.A. police are distancing themselves from the series as they await his extradition from Louisiana. They cite their own "investigative efforts." Even so, it seems clear the documentary on Durst's bizarre life had plenty to do with reviving the cold case. Look for some spectacular legal gymnastics.
Even by the standards of reality TV, it was an extraordinary moment: a seeming murder confession in the off-camera mutterings of an old man using the bathroom. Most of all, the outing of Robert Durst in HBO's "The Jinx" was a reaffirmation of the power of the crime drama and an abiding cultural belief that, as TV critic Mary McNamara puts it, "there can be no crime without guilt."
The torture of waiting
A decade later, images of torture at the U.S.-run Abu Ghraib prison still shock: Iraqis tethered to dog leashes and wires, pyramids of naked men. What has faded is a quest for accountability. A few low-level soldiers were convicted; one contractor settled a lawsuit. It's not quite over, though. Four ex-prisoners who have waited for years might get their day in court.
Now open: Gate to Golden State
When the California Supreme Court denied Hong Yen Chang a law license in 1890, it cited the federal Chinese Exclusion Act, which barred citizenship for “persons of the Mongolian race.” Now three members of the court, including the chief justice, are Asian American. One is Latino, another is African American and two are white women. Read how students from UC Davis and their professor led an effort to persuade the court to right a 125-year-old wrong. And here's a Times story from May 17, 1890.
-- A new analysis concludes that the recent measles outbreak spread largely because of parents who declined to have their children vaccinated.
-- California commute: A look at what might, or might not, be done about grinding truck traffic on the 710 Freeway.
-- The arrest of 10 Venice High teens on suspicion of sex crimes has changed the conversation around dinner tables and on social media.
-- An LAPD officer is charged with trying to smuggle a Mexican national across the border in a car trunk.
-- A letter by Senate Republicans to Iran's leaders begins to complicate talks on limiting the country's nuclear program.
-- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, facing a tough election, says a Palestinian state won't happen on his watch.
-- Russian leader Vladimir Putin reappears after 10 days, but it still isn't clear what he was doing out of the public eye.
-- Despite pressure to quit, the mayor of Ferguson, Mo., says he's staying put.
-- In Las Vegas, pedestrians gamble with their lives.
-- Former Sen. Chris Dodd is getting a rough ride as Hollywood's chief lobbyist.
-- David Lazarus: Credit-reporting firms pat themselves on the back -- for finally doing what the law has long required.
-- Government workers' pensions in California are no longer off the table in bankruptcies.
-- Chris Dufresne's picks in the NCAA tournament. And here's our interactive tournament bracket.
-- UCLA suspends associate football coach Adrian Klemm during a rules violation investigation.
-- Acts aiming to stand out in the South by Southwest music fest.
-- Betty White will get a lifetime achievement award at the Daytime Emmys.
-- Paramount names Marc Evans as president of its motion picture group.
WHAT OUR EDITORS ARE READING
-- Bill Gates: Warren Buffett just wrote his best annual letter ever.
-- With sunny, modern homes, Joseph Eichler built the suburbs in style.
-- 4chan's Christopher Poole reveals why he walked away.
-- Crowdsourcing may have solved a 20-year-old cold case.
ONLY IN L.A.
There's a cafe for most anything these days. Now there's one where you can have the lever on your toaster fixed, get holes drilled in your compost bins and even help keep the planet green. Overheard the other day: "Hey, I can't believe the guy who built the Mars rover just fixed my electric shaver!" Pay a visit with Nita Lelyveld to the Repair Cafe.
Please send comments and ideas to Davan Maharaj.