Today: A Cold War Shiver. Patriot Shame.

Hello. I'm Davan Maharaj, the editor of the Los Angeles Times. Israel finally has its new government, and watch out today for Britain to elect its next one.


A Cold War Shiver


NATO has yet to face a real test in defending its newer members, which include some former Soviet republics. Kremlin saber-rattling has everyone on edge, and NATO is staging exercises in Estonia and Latvia to show its resolve. Vladimir Putin hardly seems cowed. He keeps reminding everyone that Russia is a nuclear power, words veteran Kremlin watchers say can't be brushed off.

Patriot Shame

Fans can believe it or not, but now the National Football League does: A New England Patriots trainer deflated footballs before big games, its report says, and quarterback Tom Brady knew about it. It made the balls easier to pass and catch. Though the Patriots dispute the findings, the evidence is striking. No word on penalties yet, but it's another black eye for the NFL.

Melissa's Moment

More than most people, Melissa Rivers was inextricably linked to -- and overshadowed by -- her mother. When Joan Rivers died suddenly, Melissa found herself the straight man without her lifelong foil. Now it's her moment to tell the world she's going to be OK without her mom -- that she's more than just her mother's daughter. "It's going to take me some time to find my voice. I'm still working on that. But it's hard."

Rates That Hold Water

When a court told San Juan Capistrano it couldn't charge higher water rates to certain customers just because they used more, it sent a shiver through water agencies. That, after all, was to be a key conservation tool as the drought goes into extra innings. All is not lost, though. Read how water agencies and their attorneys are preserving at least some of the tiered-rate regime.

Keystone Cops?

It would be funny if it weren't a little scary. Members of a mysterious Masonic Fraternal Police Force began showing up at police agencies across the state claiming jurisdiction -- or something. It's unclear what they were up to, but three have been arrested. The kicker: One is an aide to Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris, who is running for the U.S. Senate. The aide's now on leave.


-- An officer shoots a homeless man in Venice, and the L.A. Police Chief sounds uneasy after viewing surveillance video.

-- Palmdale agrees to change the way it holds elections, settling a lawsuit over minority representation.

-- How an app ruined their streets: Times readers sound off on Waze.


-- Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake asks the Justice Department to investigate the city's police department.

-- Investigators say an attack on an anti-Islam event in Texas still looks like a "lone wolf" operation.

-- Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu secures a slim majority to form Israel's next government.


-- Asian Americans have a tougher time than most cracking tech's glass ceiling, a study finds.

-- Tesla Motors reports a higher loss for the first quarter.

-- L.A.'s Wells Fargo lawsuit: What bank customers are saying.


-- Manny Pacquiao undergoes shoulder surgery; doctors say it went well.

-- The latest scores and stats.

-- Bill Dwyre: Tom Brady's legacy takes a hit.


-- Another festival. Five acts to make it worth a Vegas trip for Rock in Rio USA.

-- Caroll Spinney tells us what it's like inside "Sesame Street's" Big Bird suit.

Passings: Jim Wright, 92, former House speaker. Edward Wright, 75, mystery writer and former Times editor. Errol Brown, 71, singer-songwriter known for "You Sexy Thing."


-- A warning from Bill Gates: Don't forget Ebola.

-- A multinational food company probably owns your favorite brand.

-- The indelible mark of World War II on modern Russia.


-- When Baltimore shook with anger, here's what China saw.



State Capitol Columnist George Skelton isn't afraid to take on what's popular in Sacramento. What's popular now is demonizing California's green lawns. Our home lawns soak up maybe 5% of developed water, Skelton notes. Agriculture? 80%. Maybe we'll have to sacrifice our grass, he writes, "but please, show a little respect for what we're being asked to give up."

Please send comments and ideas to Davan Maharaj.