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Today: Is That Vin Scully Clearing His Throat?

Hello. I'm Davan Maharaj, editor of the Los Angeles Times. As media giants Charter Communications and Time Warner Cable prepare to merge, the Dodgers and announcer Vin Scully could be just a click away. Here are some story lines I don't want you to miss today.


TOP STORIES

Can We Watch the Dodgers Now?

In a deal that would create Southern California’s largest pay-TV provider, Charter Communications announced  its $78.7-billion purchase for Time Warner Cable. The companies will be asked to demonstrate that this merger will serve the public interest. But it does seem more likely to pass muster with federal regulators than the recently scuttled Comcast-TWC merger. For baseball fans with cable TV, there's a flicker of hope: To show good will, Charter may soon begin broadcasting Dodgers games to its customers, perhaps breaking a logjam in the yearlong stalemate over who carries the channel.

A Test for Lynch

U.S. Atty. Gen. Loretta Lynch is reaching out to law enforcers to win their trust and respect, and apparently to distinguish herself from her predecessor. Eric H. Holder Jr.’s ties to the rank and file soured in his final months in office, particularly after several police shootings of unarmed African American men. Now, Lynch must straddle the chasm between law enforcement and minority communities as she decides whether to prosecute officers in New York, South Carolina and Baltimore. One early test could come in Cleveland this week, as the Justice Department may impose federal monitors to oversee changes inside the city’s police force.

Alliance, Betrayal, Redemption

"Is this how America treats its friends?" That question still eats at Temour Ebrahim, who returned to his native Afghanistan to help oust the Taliban in 2001, and became a close ally of U.S. counter-terrorism and reconstruction teams. For the better part of a decade, Ebrahim tapped his vast network of contacts to parlay intelligence on Taliban weapons stashes and smooth the way for reconstruction projects. Then, for reasons he does not fully understand, Ebrahim was declared a spy and agent of Iran, and he landed in detention for more than two years. He's out now and again working on security issues with U.S. teams, who apologized for what happened – after asking Ebrahim to take a polygraph test.

More Taxes Ahead?

Gov. Jerry Brown persuaded California voters to go along with new taxes in 2012 to pull the state out of crisis.  Now the economy is looking up – but some powerful interest groups want to keep the tax spigot open, over Brown's objections. Among the proposals expected to pop up in an upcoming bill or ballot measure: a $2-per-pack increase in cigarette taxes, a 10% levy on oil extraction, an overhaul of the state tax code and a reworking of Proposition 13 that, one business advocate warns, could trigger “Armageddon.”  

Hard Times in Cattle Country

The rolling hills and valleys of California's Central Coast have supported generations of ranchers, and they’ve seen dry spells before. But look around this year and the scenery is especially frightening. Grassland devoid of grass. Cattle herds a fraction of their former size. Towering pines eaten alive by fungal pathogens.  And those ranchers who didn’t have the foresight to turn their grazing land into wine country are out of luck: There's now a moratorium on new vineyards using groundwater.

CALIFORNIA

-- Memorial Day events blend celebration and solemnity. Plus a photo gallery.

-- The tale of rainmaker Charles Hatfield, who fled San Diego after the flood of 1916.

-- UC law students celebrate their exemption from supplemental fee increases.

-- The Antelope Valley Transit Authority experiments with digital ads on buses.

NATION-WORLD

-- Poland's conservative victor in its presidential race could foreshadow tougher demands toward the EU.

-- Malaysians believe they've found 139 graves at suspected trafficking camps.

-- Biden tries to buck up Iraqis, promises training and equipment.

-- The U.S. Supreme Court is to rule on 13 important cases between now and late June.

BUSINESS

-- Pennysaver employees and advertisers are unsure where to turn next after the direct-mail marketer shuts down.

-- Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal courts Hollywood in an L.A. visit.

-- David Lazarus: Don't ignore that odd-looking traffic citation.

 SPORTS

-- The Ducks defeat the Chicago Blackhawks, 5-4, in Game 5 of the NHL's Western Conference finals and lead the series three games to two. 

-- UCLA earns the top seeding in the NCAA college baseball tournament and will face Cal State Bakersfield on Friday. USC also qualified for the tournament and will play Virginia on Friday.

-- The latest scores and stats.

ENTERTAINMENT

-- Review: The Rolling Stones play San Diego's Petco Park.

-- Britt Robertson of "Tomorrowland" says she'd rather be a character actress than a star

-- Passings:

Eric Caidin, Hollywood memorabilia maven and guru of grindhouse, dies at 62.

WHAT OUR EDITORS ARE READING

-- The Dutch have never forgotten the Americans who gave their lives to defeat the Nazis.

-- Anxiety about drone warfare is increasingly reflected in American film, television and music.

-- Nurse confessions: Don’t get sick in July.

ONLY IN L.A.

Banker, lawyer or doctor? No way, say a growing number of L.A.-area chefs who are turning their backs on that traditional “Asian trifecta” of career paths. Their immigrant parents may yearn for them to make good with successful white-collar jobs, but the kitchen beckons. At Little Sister in Manhattan Beach, Pine & Crane in Silver Lake, Phorage in Culver City and other high-end hot spots, second-generation chefs are pushing the envelope by creating ethnic cuisine presented with modern flair and top-shelf ingredients.

Please send comments and ideas to Davan Maharaj.


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