I'm Davan Maharaj, editor of the Los Angeles Times. A stock market scare underscores the fragility of our electronic world; and Cold War-era nuclear arms treaties are starting to unravel. Here are some story lines I don't want you to miss today.
It had the look of an electronic perfect storm: United Airlines, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Stock Exchange stalled by outages at almost the same time. It highlighted the risks of an interconnected world that runs on fragile technology. Ironically, perhaps, that world also showed a plus side: Recovery was pretty quick, and there were plenty of other places to trade shares.
Not Your Father's Cold War
It was called MAD, "mutual assured destruction," a doctrine that said Cold War rivals wouldn't dare launch a nuclear attack because it would be suicide. Since then we've had START, SALT, SORT and other treaties to curb the arms race. But times are changing. As restive Russia skirts the rules and places like Iran and North Korea join the game, that regime may be unraveling.
Those Other Bailouts
Greece is hardly the only European country forced to swallow bitter austerity pills in exchange for financial bailouts. Ireland, Portugal, Spain and Cyprus all, to some extent, have had to take the cure. So how are they faring, and what do they think about the fight Greece has put up against its European creditors? They're a little more sympathetic than, say, Germany.
Water, Power and Money
The L.A. Department of Water and Power has come forward with the rate increases it says it needs. They could be hefty for big water users over the next five years -- maybe 34% -- and less so for those who conserve. The money is desperately needed for a backlog of overdue repairs for ancient, leaky pipes and mains. Higher power rates also are proposed. Here are the details.
Trouble in the Streets
Crime in L.A. surged 12.7% in the first half of the year, the first such increase in more than a decade. Possible causes are many: gang activity, homelessness, a change in how crimes are classified and new rules that let lesser offenders out of prison. L.A. police are trying various strategies to cope, but there's not much they can do about the underlying social malaise.
-- Gov. Jerry Brown, in a speech in Toronto, takes aim at "troglodytes" who deny climate change and says sweeping change is necessary.
-- A bill that would raise the legal smoking age to 21 stalls in the Assembly.
-- South Carolina’s House agrees to remove a Confederate flag from the Statehouse grounds.
-- An unwelcome Canadian import: smoke from raging wildfires.
-- Baltimore's mayor fires the police commissioner, citing "utmost urgency" to stop a surge of violence.
-- The Obama administration revives "advanced-care planning," once derided as "death panels."
-- Like it or not, Pope Francis is politely dragged into the Ecuadorean president's political troubles.
-- How China's stock market tumble could affect the global economy.
-- Microsoft is planning to lay off about 6% of its workforce, including some in San Diego.
-- Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew is sticking with his plan to replace Alexander Hamilton with a woman on the $10 bill.
-- Clippers sleepover: Players and execs camp out at DeAndre Jordan's home in a successful move to make sure he signs with them and not the Mavericks.
-- Rose Bowl officials decide they don't want the stadium to be a temporary NFL home.
-- Roger Federer will face Andy Murray at Wimbledon again.
-- A judge orders cancellation of the Redskins' federal trademark status.
-- The latest scores and stats.
-- "Minions," an extension of the "Despicable Me" series, brings its mayhem to the box office this weekend.
-- Keith Olbermann and ESPN are parting ways again.
-- How Bill Cosby's "Pound Cake" speech backfired on him.
-- Our Hero Complex blog will be all over Comic-Con. Here's what to look for and where to find it.
WHAT OUR EDITORS ARE READING
-- The Economist looks at lifestyles of the rich and infamous (read: spoiled kids) in China.
-- The BBC talks to some "short sleepers," people who get by just fine on four hours a night.
-- The N.Y. Times savors comedy's sweetest weapon -- the cream pie -- and a stunning new discovery.
ONLY IN CALIFORNIA
Call it the Calleguas Water Caper. Prime suspect: Tom Selleck, a.k.a. "Magnum P.I." The Calleguas Municipal Water District hired a private investigator of its own to find out who was swiping truckloads of water from a hydrant. Now, in a court complaint, it fingers Selleck and his 60-acre-ranch in Hidden Valley. Here's how it all went down.
Please send comments and ideas to Davan Maharaj.