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Today: Female Veteran Suicides. Extremist Apps?

Hello. I'm Davan Maharaj, editor of the Los Angeles Times. Government research finds that female veterans commit suicide at an alarming rate, and the FBI worries that new cellphone apps are aiding terrorists. Here are some story lines I don't want you to miss today.


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Female Veteran Suicides

Female veterans commit suicide at nearly six times the rate of other women, new government research shows. It approaches the rate of male veterans. That's alarming because, in general, men are far more likely to kill themselves. Also alarming: Nobody is sure why. It might have more to do with who joins the military than with what they experience while serving.

Extremist Apps?

In all the to-do about federal collection of Americans' phone data, a new surveillance worry is barely mentioned: smartphone apps that encrypt or destroy messages. The FBI suspects Islamic State uses them to secretly recruit terrorists, and it wants authority to tap the apps. No way, say Apple and other providers, citing 1st Amendment rights. It'll be another fight in Congress.

Vexed Voters

Turkish voters stunned President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, leaving his party without a majority and blunting plans for a constitution giving him more power. The upstart Kurdish party made big gains. In Mexico, where voters are furious with the government, ballot boxes were torched and polling places blocked in midterm elections. The ruling party is expected to do well anyway.

Sports Dries Up

At Sherwood Country Club, Jack Nicklaus plans a renovation with less grass and harder choices (read: bunkers) for golfers. At Dodger Stadium, underground tech cuts back sprinkler times. UCLA replaces grass with synthetic turf at an athletic field. The Rose Bowl retrofits restrooms with 200 waterless urinals. Sports uses a lot of water. Read how it's trying to use less.

A Bumpy Ride

Cyclists who think they have it rough in L.A. should consider Zahra Hussaini. She rides in rural Bamian, Afghanistan. Besides having to negotiate treacherous roads, she risks the ire of mullahs who see an "infidel practice." That hasn't slowed her down. She trained women for the national team -- yes, Afghanistan has one -- and now even some men approach her for lessons.

Designs for Disaster

They must drive vehicles, drill holes, turn valves, fight through debris and, perhaps most important, not fall down. Some look like humans, but these are robots. They might rescue you in a disaster someday. First, they'll have to survive a devious obstacle course. Top prize: $2 million. Competitors included engineers at UCLA and the Jet Propulsion Laboratories. See how they fared.

CALIFORNIA

-- With state charges driving routine traffic tickets to nearly $500,  a state court is expected to make them easier to challenge.

-- $2,000-plus for high school senior-year rituals? What's driving up the costs -- and driving some parents crazy. 

-- The initial stretch of bullet train tracks gets eight miles shorter because of legal disputes with local cities.

-- Demonstrators rally outside Mayor Eric Garcetti's home to demand action in the fatal police shooting of Ezell Ford.

NATION-WORLD

-- Signs point to a foreign government, in a cyberattack on federal workers, says U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff of Burbank.

-- Jeb Bush hits the global trail -- Germany, Poland, Estonia -- to burnish his foreign policy credentials.

-- New York officials announce a $100,000 reward in the search for two murderers who made a bizarre escape from an upstate prison.

-- Over beer and wurst with Bavarian villagers, President Obama pledges to stand up to Russian aggression against its neighbors.

BUSINESS

-- Tech is booming in L.A., the conventional wisdom goes, but nobody has figured out exactly how to measure it.

-- More auto title lenders snag unwary borrowers in a cycle of debt.

 SPORTS

-- The Cleveland Cavaliers beat Golden State, 95-93, in overtime to even their NBA Final series at one game each.

-- French Open tennis stunner: Stan Wawrinka of Switzerland beats top-seeded Novak Djokovic in the final.

-- Bill Dwyre: American Pharoah's Triple Crown gives horse racing a big boost -- and the amazing colt isn't done running yet.

-- The latest scores and stats.

ENTERTAINMENT

-- "Fun Home" won best musical, the top honor, at the Tonys on Sunday in a category that was especially rich and diverse this year. "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time" won top play. Find a full list of winners here.

-- Box office: "Spy" tops the weekend rankings with a $30-million opening.

-- Trip to France in your future? Our travel section has you covered, including tips on some less-crowded-than-the-Louvre museums.

WHAT OUR EDITORS ARE READING

-- President Obama's latest interviews with local TV anchors don't go quite as planned, Politico reports.

-- Smithsonian.com looks at the best places to see meteorite craters, including one not so far away in Arizona.

-- Popular Mechanics' August 1944 article on how the D-Day invasion was planned.

-- A Moscow Times op-ed looks at why autocrats like Vladimir Putin love international-sports hierarchies such as soccer's FIFA.

ONLY IN L.A.

It's not something you see every day: Lawyers apologizing for lawsuits. That's what has happened in the case of former child actor Michael Egan. He alleged he was sexually abused by local TV execs and sued them, making national headlines.  Now, not only are the lawyers saying they are sorry about "proveably false allegations," they're paying a seven-figure settlement. 

 Please send comments and ideas to Davan Maharaj.


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