Today: NSA Called Out. Anxiety Island.

Hello. I'm Davan Maharaj, editor of the Los Angeles Times. Congress is trying to sort out a big court ruling on the NSA's mass phone snooping, and Britain is picking up the pieces after a rough election. Here are some story lines I don't want you to miss today.


NSA Called Out

A federal court says the National Security Agency lacks legal authority to vacuum up data on all U.S. phone calls. It didn't order a halt but passed the ball to Congress. What timing. Debate already was furious over whether to change, end or keep the once-secret program. Opinions about the ruling are breaking along some unusual political fault lines.

Saudi Uber

Saudi Arabia doesn't let women drive. That makes it hard for some to do anything but, well, stay home. It's especially tough on those like Hala Radwan, just back from France with a business degree, who struggles to get to a promising new job. She found a solution. Saudi versions of the Uber ride-sharing app are opening new avenues of independence for the kingdom's women. 

Clinton PACs it in

Hillary Clinton has often criticized unaccountable money in politics. She also knows it'll take lots of cash to win the presidency. Now, it appears she aims to work for an edge already put to use by Republican rivals. On her California trip, she's asking donors to give to a friendly "super PAC," Priorities USA, that can raise unlimited funds. She'll also have to explain it to critics. 

Anxiety Island

Hotels ship laundry to the mainland for washing. Builders mix cement with water brought by barge. Residents fight with developers over choices between rationing and growth. It's less than idyllic these days on Catalina Island. The economy depends on visitors, but can it take on more in a time of drought? Only one thing seems certain: Even tighter water limits are coming.

An L.A.-San Diego Union

The L.A. Times' parent company has agreed to buy the U-T San Diego, uniting newspapers of California's two largest cities under common ownership. Tribune Publishing, owner of The Times, said it would pay $85 million. "We can take the best of what each newsroom can offer, and offer it to a broader customer base," said Austin Beutner, Times publisher and chief executive.


-- L.A. police officials get an earful from Venice residents about an officer's fatal shooting of a homeless man.

-- A look at some wacky -- and not-so-wacky -- drought ideas Californians are sending to the state.

-- San Francisco prosecutors expand an investigation into criminal cases that might have been compromised by racist and homophobic police texts.

-- Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris' office says she's cooperating with an investigation of a fake police force that included one of her aides.


-- The Senate approves a compromise that would give Congress the right to review any nuclear deal with Iran.

-- The U.S. starts training Syrian rebels to fight the Islamic State militants.

-- It looks like a surprising win in Britain for Prime Minister David Cameron's Conservative Party.

-- Newly reelected Israeli Prime Benjamin Netanyahu assembles a governing coalition -- just barely.

-- In some wary Arab states, odd-looking watermelons from Iran cause a commotion.


-- New York state issues its first charter for a bitcoin exchange, lending a big dose of legitimacy to the virtual currency.

-- Cable companies are scrambling as more TV viewers cut the cord.

-- Blue Bell knew it had a listeria problem as early as 2013, FDA reports show.


-- Floyd Mayweather Jr. slams Manny Pacquiao's "excuses" and takes back his talk of a rematch.

-- The latest scores and stats.


-- Waiting in line for the "Late Show": What fans are saying as David Letterman's exit nears. 

-- Rights to the Electric Daisy Carnival trademark are under dispute.

Passings: Guy Carawan, 87, folk singer who brought "We Shall Overcome" to the civil rights movement.


-- The FBI spent years "researching" the lyrics to "Louie, Louie."

-- How the Berlin Philharmonic chooses a new director: The orchestra votes.

-- Einstein was right again: Results of a NASA space-time experiment.

-- Yankee, executive, soldier, spy. The dashing and often hapless career of Mike Burke.


It looked like any upscale cocktail gathering -- Prosecco, hors d'oeuvres, women chatting quietly. This one, at the Viceroy Santa Monica, was a little different -- an educational "egg freezing" party. "Everyone who can afford to freeze their eggs should freeze their eggs," said Dr. Vicken Sahakian. Find out the doctor's reasoning, and that of women of means, in today's Great Read.

Please send comments and ideas to Davan Maharaj.