LOCAL CALIFORNIA
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Today: Train of Troubles. B.B. King Dies

Hello. I'm Davan Maharaj, editor of the Los Angeles Times.

The focus turns to the engineer in a deadly Amtrak crash, and another news anchor is in hot water. Here are some story lines I don't want you to miss today.


TOP STORIES

Train of Troubles

Not only was an Amtrak train going twice the speed limit when it careened off a curve in Philadelphia, it had been accelerating, investigators say. Attention now turns to the engineer, Brandon Bostian, who by all accounts was competent and safety-minded. Also, anger is growing at the rail industry's slowness to install technology that can prevent such crashes.

Anchors Awry

Another news anchor's in trouble. It wasn't so much that George Stephanopoulos gave $75,000 to the Clinton Foundation. It was that he didn't disclose it during his grilling of the author of "Clinton Cash," which suggests conflicts involving foundation donors. Stephanopoulos, who worked in the Clinton White House, apologized. ABC called it an "honest mistake." Republicans won't forget it.

A Stage Fright

You can almost hear sighs of relief in the party hierarchy when a Republican announces he isn't  running for president. It's not just fear of a muddled party policy picture. There are practical matters. Like debates. With a field headed for Kentucky Derby-size numbers (maybe 20?), party leaders face some tough and ego-bruising choices about whom to let on stage.  

Jailhouse Justice

The only ones taken down so far in the L.A. County jails brutality and corruption scandal are lower ranking deputies. Now, the U.S. attorney is after bigger fish. Former Undersheriff Paul Tanaka has been indicted, along with a captain. They're accused of conspiring to hide an inmate the FBI was using as an informant. A lingering question: Might ex-Sheriff Lee Baca be next?

Maybe Now It's a Race

In the race to succeed U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer, most of the news has been about who won't try to oppose state Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris and her Bay Area Democratic base. Not anymore. U.S. Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-Santa Ana), a daughter of Mexican immigrants, says she's up to the task. She's upset the political apple cart before. It could be an intriguing North-South battle.

Quake Therapy

In earthquake-ravaged Nepal, people cope in different ways. Therapy for Jay Poudyal is storytelling. With a bicycle, camera and plenty of pluck, he scouts out places that need relief supplies. He brings back stories and pictures -- frames filled with faces, not rubble -- for his website. In today's Great Read, find out why Nepal is lucky he didn't lose a struggle with alcohol. 

Missing U.S. chopper found in Nepal

Wreckage of a U.S. Marine helicopter missing since Tuesday has been found in Nepal, the U.S. military says. Nepalese rescuers find three bodies.

B.B. King Dies at 89

B.B. King, a singer and guitarist who put the blues in a three-piece suit and took the genre from the barrooms of the Mississippi Delta to the world's toniest concert stages, died Thursday in his Las Vegas home.

CALIFORNIA

-- Hope on the horizon? Forecasters see signs of El Niño stirring, and the possibility of a wetter rainy season.

-- L.A.'s mayor expresses qualms about part of a plan to raise the minimum wage.

-- The governor's budget plan would give students a break -- or at least keep UC system tuition frozen awhile longer.

-- The heaviest of the rain coming through could hit today.

-- A man is hit and killed by an Amtrak train near the Chatsworth crossing.

NATION-WORLD

-- President Obama and Arab leaders may have little to show for their "summit" in Washington.

-- Hundreds of desperate migrants from Bangladesh and Myanmar are left adrift at sea.

-- 72 die as a Philippines factory fire traps workers.

-- An American is among 14 killed in an attack on a guesthouse in the Afghan capital, Kabul.

BUSINESS

-- Lawsuits put the heat on Wells Fargo, but investors don't seem worried.

-- David Lazarus: Apple's green initiative could set a potent example for other companies.

-- Shyp launches in L.A. to solve a "painful" postal problem.

SPORTS

-- The Clippers had a 19-point third-quarter lead over the Rockets in Game 6 at Staples. So how did they lose? If reading about this epic fail is too painful, here's all you need to know: Game 7 is Sunday in Houston.

-- New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady appeals his four-game suspension.

-- The latest scores and stats.

ENTERTAINMENT

-- Movie review: "Mad Max: Fury Road" may leave you speechless.

-- Movie review: "Pitch Perfect 2" hits all the right notes.

WHAT OUR EDITORS ARE READING

-- Election 2016: So what's new with Hispanics in Florida?

-- "I am not backing off anything I said." An interview with Seymour Hersh.

-- Gay Talese's address book.

-- In flight: A pilot's-eye view of the sky on the London-Tokyo route.

ONLY IN CALIFORNIA

"Don't worry. He won't bite." Just try telling that to a postal worker, especially in L.A. Sleet and rain may not be a problem here, but dogs are: The U.S. Postal Service says it's now the No. 1 city for attacks on carriers. Just in time for National Dog Bite Prevention week, a dog trainer has been brought in to help them out. He has some interesting tips to avoid being bitten.

Please send comments and ideas to Davan Maharaj.


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