Today: Video and Cops. Life and Death in Boston.

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


If Not for Video ...

Perhaps one thing, more than any other, separates the shooting of a black man by a white officer in South Carolina from similar tragedies: clear, compelling video. Before it surfaced, police simply believed the officer's story. Afterward, everything changed, and a cop is charged with murder. Another lesson: Fast, decisive action by a police chief can head off more trouble.

Life and Death in Boston

Guilty on all 30 counts: The jury had little doubt about Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. The city seemed relieved, if not fully satisfied. The hardest part may be next: Federal prosecutors want jurors to impose the death penalty. Tsarnaev has a small bit of hope: People in Massachusetts generally oppose execution, and his attorneys need to convince only one juror.

Collateral Damage

Life's hard in Yemen, the poorest Arab country. It got worse as fighting grew between Houthi rebels and the government. Now, with Saudi air power weighing in on behalf of the latter, a calamity is unfolding: homes bombed, civilians killed, hospitals full, food lacking. "It's hard to imagine it getting worse," a Red Cross official said. Unfortunately, this war seems far from over. 

Scientology's Watchers

Scientology has faced a long series of allegations about intimidation or harassment of former members, including a recent HBO documentary, "Going Clear." Now comes a police report from West Allis, Wis., where officers arrested a private detective with a carload of guns and electronics. He said he was paid to spy on none other than the father of church leader David Miscavige. Read on ...

Raising Athletes

Got kids in sports? Then you've noticed things have changed -- a lot -- since you basically did your best to reconcile what your dad and coach told you to do. Now it's iPhones, video analysis and instant recruiting driven by social media. Eric Sondheimer looks at how two parents and their teen athletes are coping with a generational evolution.


-- Faucets, toilets and urinals sold after Jan. 1 will have to meet tighter water efficiency standards because of California's drought.

-- A state Senate panel OKs a bill that would make it harder for parents to get vaccination waivers for children.

-- The story behind a huge break and an arrest more than three decades after the killing of 6-year-old Jeffrey Vargo.

-- George Skelton on why California should schedule itself back into the presidential nominating process.


-- Video in a fatal Florida police shooting: "Get on the ground or you're dead!"

-- Use of firearms by Border Patrol agents is declining under new guidelines.

-- Islamic State, in a rare act of goodwill, frees 200 Yazidi Muslims who were kidnapped in August.

-- A U.S. soldier is reported killed in eastern Afghanistan, apparently by an Afghan soldier.


-- A $70-billion Shell-BG deal could fuel more oil and gas industry consolidation.

-- Tesla Motors says a new version of its Model S all-electric sedan, the 70D, will cost less than $70,000 after government incentives.


-- Bill Plaschke on the paradox of the Masters: a fine event run by dudes rooted in weirdness. Fortunately, it's still all about golf.

-- The NFL hires Sarah Thomas as its first full-time female official.

-- The latest scores and stats.


-- Decades after taking rock on the "Highway to Hell," AC/DC prepares to let loose on a new generation at Coachella.

-- What will be your road map through the sets at Coachella? Randall Roberts offers advice on a delightful problem.

-- A Coachella 2015 survival guide.

Passings: David Laventhol, 81, publisher who guided the L.A. Times during a period of expansion in the 1990s. Geoffrey Lewis, 79, actor best known as a sidekick in Clint Eastwood films.


-- "Apocalyptic Schadenfreude": What the New York Times, and everybody else, gets wrong about California's water crisis.

-- View from Tehran: Iran's young and hopeful are cautiously optimistic.

-- "This Man I Call Father" My Facebook friendship with Idi Amin's son.

-- Can the world economy survive without fossil fuels?

-- "He wanted his band to be successful. But he didn't want to be the ... voice of a generation" Frances Bean Cobain, on her father, Kurt.


No story was too small for the Valley Times, and therein lies a treasure. From 1946 to 1970, it chronicled the San Fernando Valley and its suburban boom -- not in sweeping essays and exposes, but in a small-town way. Ribbon cuttings. A Dairy Queen opening. Fiftieth anniversaries. The longest continuous Monopoly game. Read, and see, what curators are finding as they archive a remarkable trove of photographs.

Please send comments and ideas to Davan Maharaj.

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