I'm Davan Maharaj, editor of the Los Angeles Times. Here are some story lines I don't want you to miss today.
Obama's Lone Gun Theory
President Obama will announce that he will use executive authority to expand background checks and increase enforcement of existing laws as he tries to limit gun deaths. It falls short of the sweeping change he's long sought. Even so, the Republican backlash has been strong. "This is a dangerous level of executive overreach, and the country will not stand for it," House Speaker Paul D. Ryan said.
San Bernardino Moves Forward
A month after the San Bernardino terrorist attack, employees returned to work for the first time at the Inland Regional Center. Later, thousands of county employees and others attended a memorial service to remember the victims and honor survivors and first responders. Here is how the healing process is moving forward.
The Ranchers Who Inspired a Standoff
Oregon ranchers Dwight Hammond and his son, Steven, have become a cause célèbre for the self-proclaimed militia that has seized empty federal buildings on a wildlife refuge. That distinction sits uneasily with the Hammond family and their neighbors. Take a closer look at the two, who quietly surrendered to prison authorities in Southern California — and a look at some prominent figures in the standoff.
Wall Street Gets the Shanghai Blues
As if going back to work after the holidays wasn't a downer enough, Wall Street got off to a shaky start for 2016. The rising tensions in the Middle East, a lackluster U.S. manufacturing report and, most of all, a big sell-off in the Chinese stock market brought the bears out. Will this set the tone for the year? As usual, everyone has an opinion and only hindsight is 20/20.
Snitches' Brew in Orange County
"A ship without a rudder." "Failure of leadership." "Win-at-all-costs mentality." Those were just some of the words from a report by a special committee looking into the Orange County district attorney's office and problems with the handling of jailhouse informants. An outside investigation could be next in the ever widening scandal.
Why the Saudi-Iranian Split Spoils U.S. Plans
The Obama administration's best-laid plans for the Middle East could go awry because of the conflict between Sunni-dominated Saudi Arabia and Shiite Iran, analysts say. Among the key initiatives that could be affected: ending Syria's civil war, combating Islamic State and implementing the Iran nuclear deal.
-- The dangers of El Niño storms: "Steady, not spectacular. But it's relentless."
-- Legislators propose spending $2 billion to build housing for homeless.
-- Opponents of the state's aid-in-dying law come up short in their effort to overturn it.
-- The suspect in a series of violent crimes is shot after a chase on the 5 Freeway.
-- "Don't open the door," immigrants are warned as the family deportation roundup continues.
-- Bill Clinton is back on the campaign trail.
-- A British law expands the definition of domestic abuse to include psychological harm.
-- To fight the world's worst air pollution, New Delhi forces cars off the roads.
-- Four super-heavy elements will be added to the periodic table.
HOLLYWOOD AND THE ARTS
-- Coachella unveils its lineup: Guns N' Roses, Calvin Harris and LCD Soundsystem will headline.
-- Video: We gathered six directors, including Quentin Tarantino and Ridley Scott, in a room. Here's what they said.
-- With "Chi-Raq," Spike Lee takes on gun violence and angers Rahm Emanuel.
-- Matt Damon talks about making "The Martian," including his 40-pound space suit with a hinky oxygen supply.
-- With true crime all the time, Investigation Discovery has become the top cable network among women aged 25 to 54.
-- TV review: MTV's "Shannara Chronicles" whips up plenty of millennial magic.
-- Country singer Craig Strickland's body has been found in Oklahoma.
-- CES kicks off with a prediction that global tech sales will fall 2% this year.
-- Lyft defies predictions by continuing to grow as a rival to Uber.
-- Siri, Cortana, Alexa et al: the strengths and weaknesses of digital assistants.
-- Tesla delivers more cars than ever before, but its stock price dives.
-- The Rams, Chargers and Raiders have submitted relocation applications to the NFL.
-- As if the Lakers didn't have enough issues, now Byron Scott and Julius Randle are at odds.
-- Holly Holm gets a new UFC deal and a "possible" fight before a Ronda Rousey rematch.
WHAT OUR EDITORS ARE READING
-- Why the FTC's initiative to let consumers opt out of being tracked online went nowhere. (Recode)
-- Which U.S. schools are all those Chinese students on F-1 visas attending? (Foreign Policy)
-- A Nashville tech startup is trying to help classical musicians sell their work online. (NPR)
ONLY IN L.A.
Production designer and art director John Iacovelli won an Emmy for "Peter Pan," but his 1927 Atwater Village home is a true flight of fantasy. Taking a "maximalist" approach, Iacovelli has filled every corner with thrift-shop finds and pieces from his career. The sitting room contains dressing screens from a production of "Dangerous Liaisons"; the garden has a bench from the "Babylon 5" TV series. Take a virtual tour.