I'm Davan Maharaj, editor of the Los Angeles Times. An emphatic "no" from Greeks leaves the country and Europe's leaders in turmoil; and the devil will be in the details if a nuclear deal is reached with Iran this week. Here are some story lines I don't want you to miss today.
The Greeks Say "No"
Greeks gave an emphatic okhi -- no -- to the European Union on Sunday, rejecting a bailout plan that their leader said would inflict intolerable austerity. Then on Monday the country’s finance minister abruptly resigned. Now the question is: What was the vote really about? Could it spell the end of the euro currency in Greece, or even the end of Greece in Europe? That may no longer be up to the Greeks. Now Europe has a tough decision.
Deal or No Deal?
Maybe a better question is: Good deal or bad deal? As the U.S. and its partners near a nuclear accord with Iran, perhaps Tuesday, pundits have their score cards out. President Obama is often accused of ceding too much to prevent Iran from making a bomb sooner or later. The real test may be whether any deal wins enough public acceptance to survive another president.
Lake Mead's Secrets
As a gauge of the drought, you can't do much better than Lake Mead. It has fallen to its lowest level since it began life behind Hoover Dam, threatening water supplies across the Southwest. Ironically, perhaps, tourism is rebounding as the shrinking lake reveals secrets: ancient cliffs, a ghost town, an old gravel plant, even a B-29 bomber.
Test for Tibetan Buddhism
In the end, it may be China's economic power rather than its dictatorial ways that seals Tibet's fate. After decades in India, Tibetan Buddhist exiles are quietly seeking papers to go home, where opportunities seem better. A big crossroads looms: Who might succeed their spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, who turns 80 today during a visit in Anaheim? Correspondent Barbara Demick interviews this resilient and remarkably calm figurehead and peers with him into Tibet's future.
The Art of Etiquette
You know the drill: the "I've got it" tussle over a restaurant tab. Americans usually settle it quickly and simply. In Persian culture it's a bit -- actually a lot -- more complicated. "No" can mean "yes." Politeness can seem, to outsiders, like something closer to a brawl. In Persian, it's called ta'arof. You might run into it around the Southland. Today's Great Read is a fine primer.
-- Californians have slashed water consumption. So how do some small water districts explain big surges in use?
-- Columnist George Skelton: Why an aid-in-dying bill could soon be in a deep coma.
-- San Francisco officials worry that Obamacare provisions could be a setback for some of the city's most vulnerable people.
-- With new regulations from the state, San Gabriel Valley cities struggle to separate legitimate massage parlors from the less-savory kind.
-- Pope Francis brings his "church of the poor" message to Ecuador as he starts a tour of South America, his home continent.
-- Presidential debates have yet to begin, but Donald Trump already is hogging the Republican stage, leaving his fellow candidates divided.
-- "City of No Illusions": A 73-year-old graphic artist has an answer for Buffalo bashers.
-- Afghan fighters accuse Kabul of neglect in a deadly clash with the Taliban.
-- State tax officials accuse nonprofit insurer Blue Shield of California of stockpiling "extraordinarily high surpluses" and failing to offer more affordable coverage.
-- Who's to blame for pump price pain? California consumer groups point to refineries.
-- After worrying where she fit in on the U.S. World Cup team, Carli Lloyd finally found her place. She scored three goals in the first 16 minutes of the final, leading the U.S. to a 5-2 win over Japan and helping chase away some ghosts from 1999.
-- Who can save San Diego from losing the Chargers? Never fear. Boltman is here.
-- The latest scores and stats.
-- What does a museum do with a work of art that won't fit on even its biggest wall? Just 2 1/2 months before its opening, the Broad is a busy work in progress.
-- Weekend box office: "Jurassic World" romps to the lead again, followed by "Inside Out." "Terminator Genisys" debuts at a disappointing No. 3.
-- Music review: The Grateful Dead can now R.I.P.
WHAT OUR EDITORS ARE READING
-- A Politico magazine back story: How FDR came up with the four freedoms.
-- The BBC goes beneath the surface of swimming pools as symbols of desire, luxury and power.
-- A Florida bus station belts out the classics, but is it "calming music" or "vagrant repellent?"
ONLY IN L.A.
Since Steve Lopez told us last week about pop star Katy Perry's battle to live in the former Immaculate Heart convent in Los Feliz, and the nuns' battle with the archdiocese over who has the right to sell it, the story has gone global. Counter-accusations and red-hot emails have been flying as each side digs in, Lopez reports in an update. Might this call for divine intervention?
Please send comments and ideas to Davan Maharaj.