Today: Let Us Frack. Excess Success.


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


Spy Files Looted

When U.S. special ops teams had to pull out of Yemen, officials worried about losing a big intelligence tool in the fight against Al Qaeda. The damage may be worse than initially thought. Iran-backed militia leaders have looted Yemeni files with details of U.S. operations, including IDs of local informants. The country, meanwhile, is spiraling into civil war.

Let Us Frack

In Windsor, N.Y., jobs are scarce and people are leaving. Just across the Susquehanna River in Pennsylvania, business is booming. What gives? Pennsylvania allows fracking, a controversial way to force natural gas out of shale. New York bans it as a risk to clean water and public health. That's a risk many in Windsor and nearby towns seem willing to take. They're talking secession.  

An Excess of Success

Unemployment is way down. The skyline is way up. The treasury is flush, and philanthropists are building hospitals and schools. Since Ed Lee became mayor of San Francisco and embraced the tech boom, the city has boomed along with it. So what's with the "Evict Ed Lee" graffiti? In a word: housing. Read why Lee's legacy is also his problem.

The Talk of the Valley

Was Ellen Pao a greedy underperformer or the victim of a sexist corporate culture? No matter who wins, the drama playing out in a San Francisco court already is rattling Silicon Valley and its reputation as a largely man's world. The jury's still out, but "the impact of the case already is being felt," says a tech entrepreneur. "People know the problems are bigger than this."   


-- The city's share of a Los Angeles River restoration project could reach $1.2 billion, far more than earlier suggested.

-- George Skelton looks at a new poll showing vast support among California voters for a path to citizenship for immigrants here illegally.

-- Long Beach police say the slaying of an infant earlier this year was part of a bizarre kidnapping plot. Four people have been arrested.

-- L.A.'s mayor wants the state to offer 30% tax breaks to owners of vulnerable buildings who do seismic retrofits.


-- Evidence suggests one pilot had left the cockpit of a Germanwings airliner and couldn't get back in as it descended and crashed in the French Alps.

-- Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, a Taliban captive for five years in Afghanistan, is charged with desertion.

-- The Supreme Court rules against an Alabama voter redistricting plan.

-- An expelled Oklahoma fraternity member says he's "deeply sorry" he led a racist chant that was caught on video and sparked a national uproar.


-- H.J. Heinz is buying Kraft Foods in a deal valued at $36.6 billion. Consumer groups worry about higher prices.

-- Herbalife hits back at its critics with its first Southern California TV ads in more than a decade.

-- Federal officials investigate Chinese-made laminate flooring sold by Lumber Liquidators after a report raises concerns about formaldehyde.


-- As the NCAA basketball tournament resumes, coaches dominate the story lines.

-- USC contends newly unsealed records in the Todd McNair case show NCAA bias.

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


-- Now and then with Julie Andrews: A Q&A on the "The Sound of Music" and other topics.

-- Andrews is in town for tonight's opening of the TCM Classic Film Festival.

-- LACMA strikes a sponsorship deal with Hyundai to focus on Korean art.



-- The more things stay the same. L.A. in 1918 and 2015 at KCET/Departures.

-- Cosby's "Far From Finished" tour forges on. But is it his last?

-- "You can't govern the country based on being angry." Lindsey Graham's unorthodox strategy.


Even in the weird world of TV weather, George Fischbeck stood out. His enthusiasm about the nuances of meteorology sometimes caused him to forget about the forecast. And L.A. loved him. "Dr. George," as he was known, died Wednesday at 92. Read a profile of a real L.A. original.

Please send comments and ideas to Davan Maharaj.