LOCAL CALIFORNIA

Today: Tick, Tick, Tick ...

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


TOP STORIES

As the Clock Strikes Midnight ...

Time ran out on the National Security Agency's authority to collect massive amounts of Americans' telephone calling data Sunday night. The Senate appears poised to pass a House bill this week to reform the NSA's domestic surveillance practices, but debate among Republicans especially has become a major element in the 2016 presidential campaign. 

A Soccer Tournament in Jeopardy

The federal corruption investigation of FIFA, the governing body of world soccer, may jeopardize the much ballyhooed 2016 Copa America tournament in the United States. The alleged bribery connected with the tournament was one of the major examples in the 161-page indictment handed down last week. The tournament has never been held here and its coming was taken as a validation of the sport’s growing prominence in this country. Now, it’s uncertain if the tournament will take place in the U.S. after all.

Squiggling L.A.

The Sixth Street Viaduct has been one of the most revered -- and dilapidated -- icons in the city. Due to a fatal flaw in its concrete, the bridge will soon be replaced with a new span designed not just as a utilitarian crossing between Boyle Heights and downtown, but as a squiggling connector, destination, urban artwork and playground. Demolition begins this summer. The $428-million project is scheduled to open in 2019. 

Sheriff's Deputies Admit Lying

Two sheriff's deputies have broken ranks and changed their stories in a jail beating case. The deputies now say in a plea agreement that the victim, a visitor to the jail, was handcuffed while he was beaten. The two deputies have agreed to plead guilty to criminal charges and testify against three other deputies who have been indicted on federal assault and civil rights charges. 

Gastronomical Science

Do you eat your food or subject it to weights and measures? Chef-turned-food writer Christopher St. Cavish does both. In his quest to find the perfect Shanghai soup dumpling known as xiao long bao, he set off across the city of 24 million to rate dumplings. Inspired by the ones he enjoys at Din Tai Fung, the Taiwanese restaurant that has expanded to the United States, St. Cavish studied how thin the dough was, how much soup was served with the dumpling and the weight of the filling inside. Then he published his findings. Restaurateurs weren't impressed, but he was satisfied. In more ways than one. 

CALIFORNIA

-- L.A. County residents facing higher water bills speak out against conservation plan.

-- Sidewalk Talk project sends volunteers to the street to simply listen.

-- L.A. Mission is selling a low-income apartment building in Hollywood, forcing residents to move.

-- Complaints about the DWP keep pouring in to columnist Steve Lopez.

NATION-WORLD

-- Islamic State fighters threaten to seize Syrian border town from other rebels.

-- Secretary of State John Kerry was headed back home after breaking his leg in a bicycling accident in France.

-- Texas looks like the Wild West as flooding forces a cattle drive.

-- Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush says he knows that if he runs for president he will have to criticize his brother, former President George W. Bush, though it makes him uncomfortable.

BUSINESS

-- Entrepreneur Elon Musk's growing empire is fueled by billions in government subsidies.

-- How would the national economy look with a $15-an-hour minimum wage? Here are perspectives from four cities: Los Angeles, Chicago, Oakland and Washington. 

-- A Spirit Airlines robot responds to customer questions on social media.

  SPORTS

-- The NBA Finals begin Thursday. Title-starved fans in Oakland and Cleveland can hardly wait.

-- U.S. soccer goalkeeper Hope Solo sets aside the tumult of her personal life and focuses on her last goal: a World Cup. The tournament begins Saturday.

-- The latest scores and stats.

ENTERTAINMENT

-- In “Heaven Knows What,” filmmakers Josh and Benny Safdie follow the life of homeless teenage drug addict Arielle Holmes. The result is bold and moving. 

-- Bob Schieffer signs off from "Face the Nation" and 46 years at CBS News.

-- Check out our guide to the new summer TV season.

 

WHAT OUR EDITORS ARE READING

-- Did you know Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo spent a year in Detroit in the early 1930s? Yale University Press' blog features an interview with Mark Rosenthal, curator of an exhibit at the Detroit Institute of Arts about the artistic couple in the Motor City.

-- In an essay for Zocalo Public Square, John Wayne biographer Scott Eyman sees the man himself in his movie roles.

-- It seems a given that the oldest living person in the world doesn't hold that distinction for long. Fivethirtyeight trains its spotlight on the turnover at the top.

ONLY IN L.A.

Vatican City has the Sistine Chapel. L.A. has Mama Shelter, a new boutique hotel with ceilings painted by contemporary artists. Owner Benjamin Trigano commissioned artists, photographers and designers to embellish the interior of the hotel, and the project kept expanding to the elevators and the bar. So instead of hotel patrons peering down at their smart phones, will they be craning their necks up at the ceiling instead? 

 

Please send comments and ideas to Davan Maharaj.


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