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Today: Laid-Back Tech? Back-Seat Driven.

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


TOP STORIES

Arab Angst

The last time Arab armies teamed up it was a bust, but at least they had a common enemy: Israel. Now tamping down Yemen is the goal, but after that it's complicated. The Saudis see Iran as the big threat. Egypt worries about terrorism. An Arab military alliance also runs the risk of sharpening divides within Islam. If it can't sort out its own conflicts, it could make others worse.

Laid-Back Tech?

Snapchat might love Venice to death. Its founders set up in an old bungalow there as an antidote to the Silicon Valley culture. Beach walks helped them perfect their messaging app. Now it has 200 workers and the bungalow days are long gone. Read what locals are saying as Snapchat prepares to snap up more office space -- a lot more.

'Africa's Worried About You Guys'

Trevor Noah is succeeding Jon Stewart at "The Daily Show." Don't know him? That's likely to  change. The 31-year-old bi-racial South African, with his biting social and racial commentary, arrives just in time for a presidential campaign. "Africa's worried about you guys," he once told Stewart on the show. The early line: Comedy Central may be on to something.

Back-Seat Driven

Ford is bringing back the Lincoln Continental. The focus is on the back seat, where China's richest people like to sit. Ford is betting they'll pay a premium for 30-way adjustable seating, a champagne bar, a motorized laptop table, satin lining and other Beijing-style luxuries. Conceived in America, but not for Americans.

CALIFORNIA

-- The number of people deported from the L.A. area has fallen sharply, federal statistics show.

-- Officials say they have video showing a man walking into the DaVinci apartment project with gas cans before December's huge fire in downtown L.A.

-- A UC Berkeley soccer player missing since Saturday after leaving a USC party was killed when he tried to cross the 10 Freeway, officials said.

-- An L.A. judge declines, for now, to let Brazil interrupt a court battle for ownership of the 840-pound Bahia Emerald.

NATION-WORLD

-- The Supreme Court raises doubts about the constitutionality of lifetime monitoring of sex offenders with GPS devices.

-- Two former federal investigators in the Silk Road black market website case are accused of theft and money laundering.

-- The copilot who crashed the Germanwings airliner into the French Alps had been treated several years ago for "suicidal tendencies."

-- A farmworker strike that has crippled farm exports in Baja California appears to ease, but protesters keep pressing for better pay.

-- Shiite Muslim militias rejoin Iraqi forces attempting to retake the strategic town of Tikrit from Islamic State forces.

Passings: Lt. Col. Robert Hite, 95, one of Doolittle's Raiders in World War II.

BUSINESS

-- UnitedHealth agrees to buy pharmacy benefits firm Catamaran in a $12-billion deal.

-- Volvo says it intends to build its first U.S. assembly plant but doesn't specify a site.

-- Amazon Home Services aims to compete with Angie's List and Yelp

SPORTS

-- Indiana's "religious freedom" law makes things uncomfortable for sports groups in Indiana, including those involved with the Final Four this weekend.

-- Sorting out the Dodgers catchers, the most unsettled spot on the team.

-- The Kings still have a shot at the playoffs, but it's getting dicey for the champs.

-- The Atlanta Falcons are fined for using fake crowd noise and lose a 2016 draft pick.

-- The latest scores and stats. NCAA tournament bracket.

ENTERTAINMENT

-- HBO's "Going Clear" Scientology documentary kindles a vigorous debate.

-- Jay-Z relaunches his Tidal music service.

-- New stories written by the late Elmore Leonard will be published in June.

WHAT OUR EDITORS ARE READING

-- The crushing defeat that shaped Scott Walker.

-- The brief history of "Americanitis." 

-- A small revolt grows as more people refuse to pay back student loans.

-- Venus Williams is still a force at Key Biscayne 18 years after her debut there.

ONLY IN CALIFORNIA

During three decades as "Chopper Bob," the airborne reporter and pilot airlifted dozens of people to safety during calamities. Now a strawberry blond with softer features, Zoey -- not Robert -- Tur is back at the controls. The remarkable story of her return to the news business after two years of hormone therapy and sex reassignment surgery is today's Great Read

Please send comments and ideas to Davan Maharaj.


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