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Newsletter: Today: L.A.'s Cosby Cases. Mega Ships. Best of 2015.

I’m Davan Maharaj, editor of the Los Angeles Times. Here are the story lines I don’t want you to miss today. On this New Year’s Day, we’re looking back at some of our best journalism of 2015.

TOP STORIES

The Cosby Cases in L.A.

Of the dozens of women who have come forward claiming Bill Cosby attacked them over the last five decades, many say the assaults took place in the L.A. area. Yet authorities here have struggled to build a criminal case against him. As Cosby faces charges in Pennsylvania, here’s a closer look at how the accusations in L.A. could figure in.

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Rise of the Mega-Ship

The biggest container ship ever to unload cargo in North America drew a lot of attention when it docked at the Port of Los Angeles this week before heading to Oakland. More than just an eyeful, it is also a sign of the rapid changes that are remaking the global shipping industry. Here’s why local ports are poised to take advantage.

Farmers Feel the Burn From Solar Power

Biomass processing plants — which convert wood and other agricultural waste into electricity — are closing in the Central Valley because they can’t compete with solar and wind energy. That leaves farmers with a hard row to hoe, as they must find more costly ways to dispose of material, not to mention all the trees lost to the drought.

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Hollywood’s Foreign Affairs

Global box office is expected to hit a record $40 billion for 2015, and nearly three-quarters of it was generated outside the U.S. and Canada. No wonder, then, that Hollywood is changing the way it does business: from deciding which films to make, to who’s cast in them, to dealing with international exchange rates. Throwing in a nice nod to China doesn’t hurt, either.

A Book Store Leaves Its Mark

For more than 60 years, Caravan Book Store has opened its doors to the streets of downtown L.A. Among its titles: John James Audubon’s “The Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America,” and an 1896 illustrated guide for tourists to the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway. In today’s Great Read, meet the man who keeps a decidedly analog store going in a digital world.

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BEST OF 2015, PART 3

-- Fleeing Syria: Our series about the exodus from the war-torn country.

-- How a medical device maker kept U.S. hospitals in the dark about deadly infections.

-- Laurie Becklund: As I lay dying of breast cancer.

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-- How Tasers became instruments of excessive force for the Border Patrol.

-- Why the L.A. Fire Department is still largely white and male despite diversity efforts.

-- Graphic: How many millionaires does California send to Congress? Find out here.

-- Bob Dylan: “These songs didn’t come out of thin air.”

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-- Video: Steve Carell, Bryan Cranston, Michael Caine and Samuel L. Jackson discuss acting.

-- Hot Property: Our most popular Homes of the Week for 2015.

-- Photos: The year in arts and entertainment in pictures.

Did you miss our previous looks at 2015? Part 1 is here and Part 2 is here.

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CALIFORNIA

-- Five people, including a 6-year-old boy, were killed Thursday night in a two-car crash in Ontario.

-- The life of a Tournament of Roses princess was far from rosy at first.

-- New maps show the spread and effect of the drought on the state’s forests.

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-- Officials have partially lifted the advisory on eating rock and Dungeness crabs.

-- Robin Abcarian: A view of the state of the state from above.

NATION-WORLD

-- A terrorism arrest in upstate New York caps a busy year for the FBI.

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-- Dubai New Year’s fireworks kicked off while fire engulfed a nearby 63-story tower.

-- Adolf Hitler’s “Mein Kampf” will be republished in Germany, ending a postwar ban there.

-- What the new year could mean for Europe’s refugee crisis.

-- For a Missouri family, 2015 ends with a drenched home in historic winter flooding.

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HOLLYWOOD AND THE ARTS

-- Hannibal Buress: The comic who kindled the Cosby firestorm.

-- George Lucas apologizes for “white slaver” comments on selling “Star Wars.”

-- Actor Wayne Rogers of “M.A.S.H.” fame has died at 82.

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-- TV review: “Downton Abbey” gears up for a grand old-fashioned finale as a new age dawns.

-- At Palm Springs film festival, major stars and plucky upstarts share the spotlight.

-- From “The X-Files” to “The Shannara Chronicles,” a lot of geeky goodness hits winter TV.

-- The J. Paul Getty Museum’s “Victorious Youth” bronze gets another legal detour.

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BUSINESS

-- The bull market stalled; can it reignite in 2016?

-- The U.S. tuna fishing fleet is shut out of a vast area of the Pacific Ocean in a fee dispute.

SPORTS

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-- Iowa and Stanford will meet for the first time in the 102nd Rose Bowl today. Here’s what you need to know.

-- Pac-12 basketball preview: “There’s so many darn good teams.”

WHAT OUR EDITORS ARE READING

-- How “snitches” are part of Orange County’s justice system. (Orange County Register)

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-- Foreign Policy’s writers try to predict the big story lines for 2016.

-- A look at the Hijabis of New York page on Facebook. (Elle)

ONLY IN CALIFORNIA

Happy New Year! And now, here are some of the new California laws that you need to know: Beer-tasting events can be held at certified farmers markets. Cheerleaders for pro sports teams are considered employees, not independent contractors. The lace lichen, commonly known as Spanish moss, is now the state’s official lichen. There’s much more in our interactive on how the new laws affect you.

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Dear readers:

Thank you for supporting the Los Angeles Times. In 2016, we hope you continue to follow more signature Times journalism, from investigative reporting in our communities to the most in-depth coverage of Hollywood. We invite you to share our stories with your friends. Here’s wishing you a wonderful 2016, filled with excitement and great stories.

Davan


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