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Today: Nepal's Despair. Baltimore's Anguish.

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


TOP STORIES

Nepal's Despair

As smoke rises from funeral pyres, survivors of Nepal’s worst earthquake in 80 years struggle with shortages of electricity, fuel, water, medicine and sanitation. Worry grows about whether the government -- unstable and resource-starved even in good times -- can cope.  The Times’ Julie Makinen was on the banks of the Bagmati River as a family bid  farewell to their 45-year-old matriarch. Michael Edison Hayden visited festival grounds where thousands of families huddle in tents because their homes are unsafe or simply gone. 

And Now, Baltimore

It's the latest flash point between police and blacks. A week after Freddie Gray's death -- possibly from a spinal injury sustained in a police van -- violence broke out as he was laid to rest: fires, looting, police injured, citywide curfew. Officials blamed outsiders and "thugs." It doesn't help that two weeks after Gray's arrest, it's still not clear what happened inside that van.

Justice Kennedy's Journey

When Ronald Reagan appointed Anthony M. Kennedy to the Supreme Court, many expected a conventional conservative justice. A little-noticed opinion Kennedy wrote seven years earlier, when he served on the federal appeals court in Sacramento, provided a clue that on gay rights  he might be anything but. In 27 years on the high court, Kennedy has led the way toward legal equality for gays and lesbians. He’s widely expected to take the next step when the justices rule soon on same-sex marriage. As the justices prepare to hear arguments in the latest cases, Supreme Court reporter David Savage looks at Kennedy’s journey. 

Saving a Boston Bomber

With Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's guilt in the Boston Marathon bombings sealed, his lawyers are fighting for his life. Their strategy: Put his dead brother, Tamerlan, on trial. If the "big brother made him do it" argument doesn't spare Tsarnaev the death penalty, another might: Lying forgotten in a supermax prison might be a worse fate if he's the martyr wannabe that prosecutors call him.

City of Cash

An audit seems to confirm what a Times investigation suggested long ago: The City of Industry -- 2,500 businesses and a few hundred residents -- was a lucrative concern for companies affiliated with ex-Mayor Dave Perez and his relatives. Those companies were paid more than $300 million in public funds. Auditors found the paper trail a knotty tangle, and there have been no charges. But there's plenty of grist for outrage.

 

CALIFORNIA

-- A Santa Monica couple feared missing in the Nepal earthquake report in: "We are safe."

-- In a lawsuit, a dock official says bad blood between him and a labor leader fueled the dispute that threatened to shut down West Coast ports in February.

-- Bumble Bee Foods is charged with ignoring safety rules in the death of a worker in an industrial pressure cooker.

-- L.A. supervisors are expected to agree to federal monitoring of the Sheriff's Department.

-- A suspect is arrested in the deaths of three teens in the apparent fire-bombing of a South El Monte tire shop.

NATION-WORLD

-- James Holmes' sanity is the main issue as his trial opens in the 2012 Aurora, Colo., theater massacre.

-- The Army's handling of thousands of desertion cases is under scrutiny as sentencing nears for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.

-- A Stanford freshman is going to the Supreme Court to speak up on behalf of the two moms who raised her and her two sisters.

-- Saudi Arabia beefs up its forces along its border with Yemen and launches more airstrikes. Rival Iran is furious.  

BUSINESS

-- Apple beats expectations with its first-quarter earnings, driven by iPhone sales and business in China.

-- L.A. and Long Beach Port truck drivers strike against four companies.

-- Chipotle says it is no longer using genetically modified ingredients.

-- David Lazarus: An AT&T bill for $24,000? For a land line?

SPORTS

-- Insider view: Oscar De La Hoya, one of five men who have fought both Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquaio, writes about Saturday's big fight. 

-- The Angels complete the trade of outfielder Josh Hamilton to the Texas Rangers. Columnist Bill Plaschke sizes up what happened.

-- The latest scores and stats.

ENTERTAINMENT

-- Thirty years after his debut album, the hat still fits country singer Dwight Yoakam.

-- Why "Furious 7" is different from other box office smashes.

Passings: Jayne Meadows, 85, actress who made her name on "I've Got a Secret."

WHAT OUR EDITORS ARE READING

-- Europe's immigration crisis: a path to deadly partition.

-- Why Hillary Clinton could be a lame duck from Day 1.

-- What if street lights brightened and signs spoke as you passed?

ONLY IN L.A.

It was one of those uplifting stories that made Robert Smylie happy whenever he drove by the bustling La Maison Du Pain in Mid-Wilshire. His law firm's former office manager and her sister had built the bakery from scratch, helping spur a revival of the area. Then he discovered a dark secret: millions missing from his accounts. What really helped the bread rise at La Maison?

Please send comments and ideas to Davan Maharaj.


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