CALIFORNIA
LOCAL CALIFORNIA

Today: Greece Blinks. A Fading Flag.

I'm Davan Maharaj, editor of the Los Angeles Times. It looks like Greece has blinked in a showdown with European leaders over its financial crash; enduring icons of the Confederacy are beginning to disappear. Here are some story lines I don't want you to miss today.


TOP STORIES

Greece Blinks

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras gave in to creditors and offered a bailout plan with tax increases and pension cuts -- the very austerity measures Greeks rejected at his urging in a referendum. The alternative: crash out of the Eurozone and into chaos. That scenario was looking too real after Germany and others seemed to call his bluff. It all comes to a head Sunday at a European summit.

Fading Flag

From South Carolina to Long Beach, enduring icons of the Confederacy are fading fast. After a white supremacist was accused of killing nine black worshipers in a Charleston church, South Carolina lawmakers acted with the political equivalent of light speed to remove a Confederate flag from the Statehouse grounds.

The Fracking Gap

Sometimes it's what they don't know that keeps scientists awake at night. That was the message in a report on "fracking" by the California Council on Science and Technology. The technique relies on toxic chemicals to help coax gas and oil from the ground. Is it contaminating drinking water supplies? The problem, the report says, is the state isn't even sure what it should be looking for. Here's the full study.

Latino Power

It's no surprise, but confirmation by the Census Bureau is still a milestone: Latinos now outnumber non-Latino whites in California. The real effects are yet to come, however. Latinos still lag in incomes, education and job skills, but perhaps not for long. They now make up half of Californians younger than 18, and it is this generation that could make a huge difference.

Code of the Forest

They're environmental special forces with satellites, helicopters and guns -- and they're losing. About 2,000 square miles of Brazilian rain forest are eaten up each year by ranchers and farmers who clear it illegally. One problem is an inept bureaucracy. Another is the code of the forest: Huge profits are at stake, and you can be killed just for talking. This forest war is today's Great Read.

CALIFORNIA

-- The Calleguas caper: Tom Selleck of "Magnum P.I." fame and a water district reach a tentative settlement over water theft allegations.

-- The Metropolitan Water District ends a lawn-removal rebate program that perhaps became too popular.

-- Columnist Robin Abcarian details the disturbing case of a black worker, his boss, a noose and the resulting lawsuit.

-- The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce rejects requests to remove the stars of Donald Trump and Bill Cosby from the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

NATION-WORLD

-- Officials now say sensitive information on 25 million people was stolen in a hack of federal files, far more than previously acknowledged.

-- The history of ticker-tape parades: a reflection of American society.

-- Winning the "early" primary: Jeb Bush and his backers report a fundraising haul of $114 million.

-- In Bolivia, Pope Francis warns against embracing a culture that would "discard" the weak.

-- The U.N. says the number of refugees who have fled Syria's war has topped 4 million, and there's no end in sight.

BUSINESS

-- Following the money, Yahoo introduces betting to its fantasy sports lineup.

-- Uber pushes to take the "class" out of a class-action lawsuit.

-- T-Mobile extends phone coverage to Mexico and Canada at no extra cost.

-- David Lazarus: What health insurance mergers will probably do to premiums (you won't like it).

SPORTS

-- The Wimbledon men's semifinals could drive tennis fans to an emotional crossroads. Serena Williams defeats Maria Sharapova to advance to the women's final.

-- Ken Stabler, "The Snake" whose elusiveness at quarterback and gritty will to win helped define the Oakland Raiders in the 1970s, dies at 69.

-- The Rose Bowl's snub of the NFL further complicates the issue of a temporary stadium in the L.A. area.

-- The latest scores, stats and schedules.

ENTERTAINMENT

-- Movie reviews: "Minions" has an irresistible, wonky golden touch. "Tangerine" is a joyful girlfriend movie for our modern age.

-- At Comic-Con 2015: The celebrity photo booth.

WHAT OUR EDITORS ARE READING

-- Quartz reports on research showing that parents really are biased toward firstborns.

-- BuzzFeed goes inside the world's slowest newsroom at Granma, Cuba's Communist Party newspaper.

-- Unmarried dads and the obscure responsible father registry (The Atlantic).

-- They don't know how she'll run, but a thoroughbred named Passionforfashion is turning heads at Los Alamitos. She's pure white. (BloodHorse).

ONLY IN CALIFORNIA

Looks like we'll just have to grit and bear it. To save water during the drought, outdoor showers will be shut off at state beaches. So how to shed that salt and sand after a swim? One park official suggests bringing a jug of water from home -- or using a "fine-bristled broom." Beach visitors aren't alone. The state also has turned off the open-air showers in state prison yards.

Please send comments and ideas to Davan Maharaj.

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