Hello. I'm Davan Maharaj, the editor of the Los Angeles Times. Here are some story lines you shouldn't miss today.
Google revolutionized Internet surfing. Now it aims to transform cellphone service, or at least how we pay for it. It's a simple concept -- pay only for data you use -- but it could shake up the industry. Perhaps more interesting is how Project Fi will work, integrating free Wi-Fi hotspots with two mobile networks. For now, it's limited, but so were those early Google searches.
It's been a baseball ritual for decades. Major League Baseball estimates about 30% of players chew or dip tobacco. They may have a hard time soon at AT&T park, home of the Giants. San Francisco is about to ban smokeless tobacco at all ballparks in the city, party because of the bad example it sets for kids. MLB welcomes the rule. The players union, so far, isn't saying much.
A federal judge OKd a landmark settlement between the NFL and retired players that could mean hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation for long-term head injuries. Costly as that is for the NFL, a longer-term problem may worry the league more: The case raised such alarm about football injures that parents everywhere are thinking twice about letting their kids play at all.
Marvin Horne, a Fresno farmer, just didn't think it was right. A federal board fined him $695,000, under a Depression-era law, for refusing to hand over part of his raisin crop to help support prices. Now he's had his day in court -- the U.S. Supreme Court -- and the justices seem to see things his way. Read what one had to say about Soviet-style "central planning."
Latino families, blacks in leading roles, a Korean American writer -- if TV pilots are a measure, fall lineups of the major networks will be more diverse than ever. It's partly inspired by the success of such offerings this year, and also in large part by audience demographics: The minority population is growing and network viewership is declining. Here's how it's all adding up.
The Hollywood Circuit
That's what Alex Kozinski calls the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, on which he sits. This judge is a major film buff, and he holds open court several nights a year for "Kozinski's Favorite Flicks." Admission's free ($10 if you want pizza and beer), and you might see a celebrity. Not everyone's at ease with the idea, but it gets mostly rave reviews. The Times' Maura Dolan joins in for today's Great Read.
-- The L.A. County district attorney’s office organizes a unit to search for possible past wrongful convictions.
-- An earthquake study says "the Big One" could trigger "other Big Ones."
-- George Skelton: Why the Legislature should quit balking at requiring vaccinations for children entering public schools.
-- Pasadena elects Terry Tornek its first new mayor in 16 years.
-- Beverly Hills cracks down on water waste, proposing fines of as much as $1,000.
-- A century of California droughts told through cartoons.
-- In a legal settlement, South Carolina won't make a transgender teen dress like a boy for a driver's license photo.
-- Senate Republicans seek to preserve the NSA's power to amass phone data.
-- A day after Saudi Arabia said it was ending a major air campaign against rebels in Yemen, airstrikes resume in some areas.
-- Pope Francis will stop in Cuba on his way to the U.S.
-- The European Commission accuses Russian natural gas giant Gazprom of unfair practices.
-- The military looks to Silicon Valley for help bolstering the nation's cyberdefenses.
-- Another of downtown L.A.'s oldest hotels, the Figueroa, will get a major makeover.
-- "38-millimeter or 42-millimeter?" The Times' Tracey Lien goes shopping for an Apple Watch.
--The Ducks sweep the Jets with a 5-2 win in Game 4 of their Stanley Cup playoffs series.
-- A federal appeals court overturns Barry Bonds' conviction for obstruction of justice.
-- Dallas Cowboys defensive end Greg Hardy is suspended for the first 10 games of the season.
-- The latest scores and stats.
-- Sign up at http://countdown.la/fight to receive The Times’ special edition coverage of the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight on May 2.
-- A shout-out to the Newport Beach Film Festival. It still has the neighborhood in focus.
-- Book review: Jon Krakauer takes on Missoula, Mont., in a timely study of campus rape.
WHAT OUR EDITORS ARE READING
-- Insurance: Surge pricing for your entire life.
-- "Ask a Mortician": Caitlin Doughty on the future of death.
-- Bruce Jenner's long history of clearing hurdles.
-- Tour L.A.'s ghost town, Manchester Square, before it becomes a huge rental-car lot.
ONLY IN L.A.
If Melissa Diner's aim was to "start a conversation," she got one. The Venice Neighborhood Council voted 12-2 for her resolution to allow women to sunbathe topless on Venice Beach, a supposed nod to the area's European roots. One problem: It's illegal in Los Angeles. Read what a surf teacher, a homeless artist, a father and a city councilman, among others, had to say.
Please send comments and ideas to Davan Maharaj.