Great Reads

Today's Great Read

  • 'Hi, do you have water?' In a Central Calif. town, answer is often no.
    'Hi, do you have water?' In a Central Calif. town, answer is often no.

    The grandmother sat outside in her Sunday best next to a house with peeling paint, her canned iced tea resting on top of a washing machine that didn't work. She'd been without running water for four months.

  • For China's Uighurs, knifings taint an ancient craft
    For China's Uighurs, knifings taint an ancient craft

    Here on the fertile edge of the Taklimakan Desert, people have long believed that placing a knife on their bedside keeps away bad dreams. On a baby's seventh day of life, it's tradition for parents to briefly slip a blade under the sleeping infant's head to guarantee a long and...

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Defrocked pastor defends gay rights at new pulpit

The pastor walked the streets of Lower Manhattan, his hands trembling. A day earlier, he'd been stripped of his ministry, defrocked by the United Methodist Church for presiding over his gay son's wedding. He was afraid he'd never lead a church again.

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  • Christian and Muslim clerics plead for peace
    Christian and Muslim clerics plead for peace

    In the midst of horrific attacks that killed thousands and caused an exodus of Muslims from Central African Republic, clerics are reaching across the sectarian divide to preach reconciliation. One cleric asks: 'Why do you want to kill this boy?'

  • In a decaying resort area, a pot war erupts
    In a decaying resort area, a pot war erupts

    Transients hole up in the old cottage resorts where vacationing families once came to fish and swim. Rotted docks and pier pilings litter the lake's shoreline.

  • In this group, she's just Gloria Molina, quilter
    In this group, she's just Gloria Molina, quilter

    L.A. County Supervisor Gloria Molina shows her fabric-loving softer side at the East Los Angeles Stitchers, which she and friends founded to share their love of quilting and bring more Latinas into its sisterhood.

  • Jesus Burgers offers Isla Vista food for body and spirit
    Jesus Burgers offers Isla Vista food for body and spirit

    Angela Boyd bounced on the balls of her feet as the smell of sizzling meat pierced the ocean breeze. The 19-year-old and her friends were about to celebrate her birthday in Isla Vista, but they were making a pit stop at the Jesus Burgers house.

  • One man's uphill fight to stem childhood obesity
    One man's uphill fight to stem childhood obesity

    A short walk from the fast-food drive-throughs, taco joints and doughnut shops lining Hawaiian Gardens' palm-tree-dotted main drag, a classroom of energetic kindergartners begins a well-rehearsed routine.

  • Syrians flee broken Aleppo as army closes in
    Syrians flee broken Aleppo as army closes in

    Minutes after the barrel bomb eviscerated the crowded market, those still alive had to contend with matters of survival — and collecting what little remained of the dead.

  • Theater troupe takes on Jewish female stereotypes
    Theater troupe takes on Jewish female stereotypes

    Ronda Spinak squeezed more folding chairs into a Brentwood living room, which that afternoon had been transformed, with much shuffling of couches and tables, into a temporary theater.

  • Thai Muslim mosque in Azusa is a work of faith
    Thai Muslim mosque in Azusa is a work of faith

    It is near midnight. The Ramadan prayers have just been said, the congregants have paid respect to Allah and headed home. Only the gray-haired imam and his wife remain at the little house of faith they have devoted their lives to.

  • Pair live their passion for L.A., and share it through an app
    Pair live their passion for L.A., and share it through an app

    Claire Evans is on a mission: to get you to love L.A. She's come up with a jam-packed itinerary to show off the not-always-obvious magic of this sprawling, jumbled-up city — a hidden garden built as a labor of love by an Iranian immigrant, a taco stand that may or may not be able...

  • Owens Valley relic hunter not one to back down
    Owens Valley relic hunter not one to back down

    Norman Starks, the anti-hero of Owens Valley, greeted a stranger at his door with something like a defiant haiku.

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