I'm Davan Maharaj, editor of the Los Angeles Times. Even gun advocates say "smart" guns are a safe alternative, but gun sellers won't touch them; and The Times mourns a former editor who helped return the paper to the forefront of American journalism. Here are some story lines I don't want you to miss today.
"Smart" Guns, Bad Business
There are plenty of "smart" gun designs, weapons that can be fired only by someone with the right wristband, ring or fingerprints. Just try to sell one in the U.S. "I would rather be shot by an i-gun than ever get involved with it again," said a retailer who tried to offer the Armatix iP1. Another design almost ruined Smith & Wesson. Who hates these guns, and why?
Can the U.S. Border Patrol police itself? In its investigations of 67 shootings that left 19 dead, including two teens who had thrown rocks, no agents have been charged so far. That bothers some folks along the U.S.-Mexico border who think the agency is quick to pull the trigger but slow to come clean about it. Here are a few cases in point.
His Heart also Quakes
Most people run from disaster. Binod Tiwari runs to it. He leads a team that assesses damage after mega-earthquakes such as the magnitude 7.8 that devastated Nepal. Heading to the Himalayan nation meant a swirl of emotions: Tiwari grew up in a mud-mortar house there, the kind of building that entombed many Nepalese. In today's Great Read, he gives his mother and other terrified survivors advice on living in an earthquake country.
Broken San Bernardino
It was a bastion of middle-class respectability. These days, as San Bernardino struggles to emerge from bankruptcy, it's a symbol of urban woe: falling incomes, rising crime, homelessness, officials arrested for things like meth possession and perjury. Of the 100 biggest cities in the U.S., it's the second-poorest. What happened, and what's next?
A Loss in the Times Family
The world of journalism has lost one of its most revered figures with the passing of our former editor John Carroll. To many of us, he was a friend, a mentor and an embodiment of the highest principles of our craft. In five years as editor, he helped restore The Times to its rightful place at the forefront of American journalism. Our continued success has been built on one of the most important things he taught us: that by working together across all the newsroom disciplines, we would accomplish more than we ever could as individuals. We will miss him.
-- For 500 kilowatt hours of electricity, public utilities charged an average of $75.54. Private utilities charged an average of $102.29. What gives?
-- An outbreak of MERS, a potentially deadly flu-like virus, has some Korean Americans thinking twice about trips to South Korea.
-- Capitol Journal columnist George Skelton says Gov. Jerry Brown should adapt his "we must adapt" to issues besides the drought.
-- Op-ed: Why it's time for California to dump the bear flag.
-- Jeb Bush, who is announcing today he's running for president, says breaking out of a crowded Republic field could be a long slog.
-- Hillary Clinton sides with some critics of President Obama's stalled Pacific trade legislation.
-- Kurdish fighters backed by U.S. airstrikes make significant headway against Islamic State in northeastern Syria.
-- In Colombia, a surge of attacks against mostly civilian targets further undermines peace talks.
-- California's commercial drone industry is taking off.
-- Many home buyers are rushing to beat a Fed move on interest rates.
-- Southern California home builders Standard Pacific Corp. and Ryland Group have agreed to merge.
-- NBA Finals: The Warriors outrun Cleveland, 104-91, in Game 5 to take a 3-2 series lead.
-- Despite bans and warnings, much of baseball remains hooked on smokeless tobacco.
-- The latest scores and stats.
-- "Jurassic World" stomps its way into the record book with the second-biggest weekend opening in movie history, $204.6 million.
-- Wellness vacations: Return healthier than when you left.
WHAT OUR EDITORS ARE READING
-- No bomb jokes, please: Foreign Policy reports on what foreign governments tell their citizens about hazards of vacationing in the U.S.
-- Spiegel's interview with Jeb Bush: "I admire the fact that Germany is on the right track."
-- The New York Times has the bizarre story of a Leipzig String Quartet violinist and an attempted-murder case in Manhattan.
-- Seattle Weekly: Author Ann Rule spills family secrets in her latest true crime drama -- in court declarations.
ONLY IN L.A.
Robert Shapiro "ineffective"? The lawyer who assembled O.J. Simpson's legal "dream team"? That's what a judge has called his representation of an aspiring actor who was convicted of rape. Now that actor has a different celebrity attorney, Mark Geragos. Read how a video in a date-rape case has pitted two legal powerhouses against each other.
Please send comments and ideas to Davan Maharaj.