Today: Parsing the Deal With Iran

Hello. I'm Davan Maharaj, the editor of the Los Angeles Times. Here are some story lines you shouldn't miss today.


A Nuclear Deal ... Then Sparks


For 18 months, Iran and six world powers have been edging toward a nuclear accord one day, collapse the next. Now, there is a preliminary deal, one that Western nations say will slash Iran's uranium stockpile by 98% and halt nuclear research and development for a decade. It would gradually phase out some sanctions against Iran. President Obama calls it "a good deal." Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says it could destroy the Jewish state.

Shabab's War Against Christians

The gunmen came looking for Christian students. In the end, some 147 people died in the brutal attack at Garissa University College in eastern Kenya. Many victims were Christians. The targeting of Christians is a hallmark of Shabab, an Al Qaeda-linked group that claimed responsibility for the attack. The Somali group said the university was on Muslim land and was there to promulgate "missionary activities and to spread deviant ideology."

Water, Cuts and Allocation of Pain

Critics of the historic drought restrictions announced this week by Gov. Jerry Brown want to know why he didn't bring the hammer down on California farmers. After all, growers suck up about 75% of the water Californians use. Farmers say they've already cut their water use far more than the 25% Brown ordered for city dwellers. Growers say they've been dealing with slashed irrigation deliveries, dwindling groundwater supplies and scant offerings from above for decades. The rest of us are just beginning to feel their pain. Meanwhile, with the snowpack diminishing, Southern California ski resorts are turning to warm-weather activities to draw visitors.

The Power of Positive Pastoring

The Rev. Robert H. Schuller was a serial innovator. He started one of the nation's first megachurches from a drive-in cinema. His Sunday television show, "The Hour of Power," reached millions around the globe and featured five U.S. presidents in the 1,000th show in 1990. His Crystal Cathedral campus in Orange County, including gleaming glasswork that seemed to reach for the heavens, was designed by architectural rock stars, including Philip Johnson, Richard Neutra and Richard Meier. Read the obituary of a preacher called one of the greatest success stories of postwar American Christianity.

Driving Sheriff Baca

The officers who served as the drivers for former L.A. County Sheriff Lee Baca were considered his chosen ones. The job was never advertised; drivers were tapped on the shoulder, usually because they had once crossed paths with someone influential. They were always men, often tall and strapping. Now his successor wants to change a culture troubled by cliques and favoritism – and he's starting with the job of his driver.


--A California court issues new rules for when a child can be removed from a parent's custody.

--An independent consultant's report on a 2012 shooting of a Pasadena teen by police is made public.

--You're right. It was the warmest March on record in many parts of the state.

--A peek at the new visitor center, restaurant and other offerings opening Saturday at the Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens.


-- A first-person perspective from Yemen, where the capital city is unraveling.

-- Feeling the heat from business leaders and protesters, the governors of Indiana and Arkansas signed revised versions of their states' religious freedom laws.

--More clues from the wreckage of last week's plane crash in the Alps.

--A total lunar eclipse is coming Saturday morning. Don't miss this "blood moon."


-- What does the exodus of talent agents from CAA mean?

-- Credit card companies are loosening their standards again.

--McDonald's minimum-wage increase doesn't satisfy critics.


-- Heading into the NCAA Final Four, Wisconsin forward Sam Dekker is beginning to look a lot like a first-round NBA draft pick.

-- That Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Manny Pacquiao pay-per-view broadcast next month is going to cost more than you're used to paying.

-- Passings: Eddie LeBaron, 85, the Dallas Cowboys' first starting quarterback.

-- The latest sports scores and stats. NCAA tournament bracket.




-- TV reviewer Robert Lloyd peels back the layers of "Mad Men" as Part 2 of the AMC series' final season approaches on Sunday.

-- Sci-fi? Check. Fantasy? Check. Horror? Check. Comic books? Check. This weekend's WonderCon in Anaheim is the place to be.

-- An all-star tribute to David Lynch at the Ace Hotel explores the sonic texture and shadow of the "Twin Peaks" director's work.


--A state-by-state look at federal farm subsidies.

--A desalination plant in Israel could be a model for Southern California.

--Ten years later, what happened to schoolchildren displaced by Hurricane Katrina.


Siri, meet Ellie. Sometimes it helps to talk through your troubles but not everyone feels comfortable opening up to a therapist. That's where Ellie comes in. The virtual interviewer at USC appears on a TV screen and  -- with the help of computer software – can pleasantly question visitors and gauge their responses. She appears human enough that subjects are willing to engage with her, yet mechanical enough that they are not put off.

Please send comments and ideas to Davan Maharaj.