Today: 'Brash El Niño.' The Missing 18 Minutes.

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



'This Is a Brash El Niño'

It rained a record amount. Flooding and accidents ensued. A tornado touched down in Vernon. And it's only the beginning of what is expected to be a winter of intense El Niño-generated storms slamming into Southern California. Of particular concern are how the tens of thousands of homeless will make it through and how drought-hit hillsides will stand up to the deluge to come. Here some tips for surviving El Niño, and share yours with us on Facebook. The latest news is here.

Yasmin Fernandez is carried by L.A. firefighter Jose Rodriguez after her car stalls in a flooded section of Avenue 26 in Lincoln Heights.
Yasmin Fernandez is carried by L.A. firefighter Jose Rodriguez after her car stalls in a flooded section of Avenue 26 in Lincoln Heights. (Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)

The Missing 18 Minutes in San Bernardino

The FBI is trying to figure out what the San Bernardino shooters did during an 18-minute stretch after the couple killed 14 people on Dec. 2. Agents have pieced together much of the couple's movements, including several hours of meandering through an L-shaped area. But they are asking the public to come forward with video or information about the shooters' whereabouts from 12:59 to 1:17 p.m. that day.

Nuclear Rumblings From North Korea

North Korea claims that it has carried out its first successful hydrogen bomb test. The reclusive communist state has previously conducted nuclear tests, but those devices were believed to be generally weaker plutonium-based bombs. The tremor was equivalent to a magnitude 5.1 earthquake.

Obama's Guidance on Guns

President Obama made an emotional plea Tuesday when he outlined how he will use his authority to fight gun violence, but in a sense it was also an admission: He doesn't expect Congress to act, and his own ability to change things is limited. Why did he act now, even as Republicans call it a dangerous overreach of power? Read on.

Coming Soon: China, Hollywood Insider

The Chinese company Dalian Wanda Group already owns the United States' second-biggest theater chain in AMC Entertainment and is building what it calls "the world's largest film and television studio" in Qingdao. Now, it's poised to add a major U.S. production company to its portfolio: Burbank-based Legendary Entertainment, the company behind "Jurassic World" and "The Hangover."


-- Steve Lopez: For a man's makeshift home, destruction swiftly follows El Niño's arrival.

-- A revealing multimedia look at the state's death row.

-- Bids for bullet train construction show an apparent winner for the next phase.


-- No L.A. schools chief yet: A five-hour meeting ends without a decision.


-- Oregon standoff: Activists say they'll leave if residents want them gone.

-- "Absolutely intolerable": Germany pledges to act after mass sexual attacks on women on New Year's Eve.

-- Who was Sheik Nimr al-Nimr? A look at the man whose execution rocked the Mideast.

-- Trail Guide: Donald Trump goes after Canadian-born Ted Cruz. Hillary Clinton hits up Iowa.


-- One key player wouldn't talk for ESPN's five-part O.J. Simpson documentary.

-- Beyond the headliners, this year's Coachella has some female star power.

-- Author and new talk-show host Reza Aslan: "I'm waiting for a Muslim 'All in the Family.'"

-- Museums in Southern California will offer free admission Jan. 30.

-- Why Ethiopian director Yared Zeleke is generating buzz with "Lamb," his first film.

-- Gabriel García Márquez's 24,000-page archive will be digitized.


-- Biotech pioneer Alfred Mann makes a rare stumble with the inhalable insulin Afrezza.

-- Mindful meditation: There's an app for that, and it's ultra-trendy.

-- SeaWorld settles safety citations alleging it failed to protect orca trainers.

-- Robots, fancy wearables and toddler toys caught our eye at the Consumer Electronics Show.



-- An autopsy finds concussion-related brain changes in a 25-year-old former football player.

-- Sign him up? In a longshot Lakers season, letdown turns to joy for one fan who made a half-court shot for $95,000.

-- The Rams' relocation application says it's best for long-term success in L.A.

-- Mike Piazza's desire to enter the Hall of Fame in a Mets cap speaks volumes about the Dodgers' ills.


-- What is the line between childhood and adulthood? (The Atlantic)

-- Opinion: No, that Manchester street scene is not like a Renaissance painting. (The Guardian)

-- Book excerpt: A Hollywood PR agent reveals the precursor to the Oscar DVD screener. (The Hollywood Reporter)


What happened to the Red Cars, L.A.'s once-extensive public transit system? Many of them ended up being sold for scrap. Some were placed on a ship bound for Buenos Aires. One met its ignoble end after being dubbed "A Streetcar Named Expire." But why were they done away with in the first place? Read on.

Please send comments and ideas to Davan Maharaj.