LOCAL CALIFORNIA

Today: Defiant Unity in Charleston

I'm Davan Maharaj, editor of the Los Angeles Times. A pained but defiant South Carolina church reopens four days after nine parishioners were massacred. California's plan to mine healthcare data raises privacy worries. Here are some story lines I don't want you to miss today.


TOP STORIES

Defiant "Mother Emanuel"

Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church -- "Mother Emanuel" -- reopened in Charleston, S.C.,  four days after nine parishioners were slain there in what evidence suggests was a race-driven rampage. Racism, however, has never kept this church down, not even during slavery. There was pain, to be sure, but also defiance and pride. Separately, the son of one victim says he was told the shooting suspect tried to kill himself.

Race and the "T" Word

It's a question many are asking: If the massacre in Charleston was, as officials allege, motivated by racism and white supremacists, why don't they call it "terrorism"? Two prominent Republicans called it that Sunday, including Rep. Devin Nunes of California. Then there's the question of flying the Confederate flag. GOP leaders are treading more carefully on that one.

Mining Your Health Data

Sounds great: Make sure healthcare providers really help people get better instead of just moving money. The method worries privacy advocates. California aims to collect insurance data on prescriptions, doctor visits and hospital stays for every Obamacare patient. It'll be confidential, we're assured, but recent hacking scandals don't exactly inspire trust. 

The Oddest Couple

They're the two Supreme Court justices most likely to disagree: Antonin Scalia, a brash, burly conservative; and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a diminutive,  soft-spoken champion of the left. Yet the two often dine, vacation and spend New Year's Eve together. They were photographed on an elephant in India. They've even inspired an opera. How do they bridge an ideological chasm?

Hardly Hot Property

An elderly couple about to lose the one-room apartment they've had for 29 years. A retired woman, also facing eviction, who lives in a backyard shed and bathes in a tub of sun-heated water. A supermarket worker who shares a house, and bathroom, with eight other renters.  Think you know the depth of the local housing crisis? Take a tour with columnist Steve Lopez.

"Life Through a Keyhole"

Paul Demeyer was on the road to blindness. Diabetic retinopathy was robbing him of sight -- but not vision, it turns out. Twenty-five years later,  he's a successful director of animation for outfits like Disney. "The narrowing of my view," he says, "has made me look at the broader picture." Today's Great Read is an inspiring story of, as Demeyer calls it, "life through a keyhole."

CALIFORNIA

-- Fresno is tougher than almost anyplace else on water wasters, a strategy that seems to be working

-- L.A. unveils an online system that lets people look up construction permits and other building records, saving trips downtown.

-- 1 surfboard + 66 surfers + 15 seconds = a world record in Huntington beach. 

-- Look for gradual cooling, and a decline in fire danger, starting today.

NATION-WORLD

-- Mideast allies worry the U.S. could turn its back on them in the quest for a nuclear deal with Iran.

-- France floats a new proposal for Mideast peace. Israel reacts coolly.

-- Hillary Rodham Clinton's instant celebrity and the media throng it draws are making it hard to connect one-on-one with voters.

BUSINESS

-- Health insurer Cigna rejects Anthem's $54-billion takeover bid.

SPORTS

-- U.S. Open: What a day for Jordan Spieth. In a nail-biter of a finish on a roller-coaster course, he became, at age 21, the youngest golfer to hold Masters and U.S. Open titles; and he's only the sixth to win both in the same year.

-- The latest scores and stats.

ENTERTAINMENT

-- Podcaster in chief: The story behind Marc Maron's garage interview with President Obama. 

-- "To Apple. Love, Taylor." Taylor Swift wasn't happy about the terms of Apple's new streaming service. And when Swift spoke, Apple listened.

-- Weekend box office: "Jurassic World" is No. 1 again, but there's plenty of joy for "Inside Out."

WHAT OUR EDITORS ARE READING

-- The Economist: How America became the "jailhouse nation,"  and some ideas for changing it.

-- When heirlooms were simply tomatoes.

-- The Washington Post examines how climate-change doubters lost a battle at the Vatican.

-- Adam LaRoche's remarkable father-son baseball story.

ONLY IN L.A.

In 1988, The Times asked some experts to predict what Southern California would look like a couple of decades in the future. They were close on quite a bit: population, ethnic makeup and, for the most part, traffic jams. One thing really tripped them up: how the millennial generation would reshape traditional lifestyles. Here's a graphic look at the past, present -- and future.

Please send comments and ideas to Davan Maharaj.

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