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Today: Plug In and Go

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

TOP STORIES

Next in Line

In a few weeks Congress will vote on approving or rejecting the Obama administration's nuclear deal with Iran. But regardless of the outcome – and assuming it passes with or without a presidential veto – Obama's successors will probably revisit the issue over and over in the years to come. How – and even whether – the agreement is implemented hangs in uncertainty. A president’s foreign policy legacy will have to wait.

Power of the Pulpit

It's a long way from the 1980s, when the Rev. Al Sharpton first gained a national profile as a black activist. But his message has resonated anew since the deaths of Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner and Michael Brown. The killings of unarmed blacks and Sharpton’s railings about racial profiling and police abuse have put him in the same conversation with the Black Lives Matter movement. His style is what sets him apart from the leaderless mass of voices ricocheting around social media.

Full of Hot Air

They're a familiar, if not ubiquitous, sight at sporting events and other televised galas. But the Goodyear blimp Spirit of America is so last century. Analog controls using levers, toggles and pulleys, for instance. Finally it's the end of the line for the aging blimp and time for one last flight from its home base of Carson hard by the 405 to a decommissioning hangar in Tustin. The story is today’s Great Read (with video).

Turning Over a New Leaf

If you earn more than $500,000 a year, should you get a government subsidy to buy an electric or hybrid car? How about an annual income of $250,000? Those are some of the questions California lawmakers are considering in Sacramento. What began as an incentive program to boost the electric car industry has turned into a debate over who’s rich and who isn’t. And who can afford to drive home a Tesla.

Going the Way of the Dodo

Winter-run salmon require cold water to survive. It’s as simple as that. But California’s four-year drought and a relaxation of environmental standards have complicated matters for the endangered Chinook. Decisions about when to release water from the state’s extensive system of dams to counteract rising river temperatures have greatly affected the native fish. Conservation hatcheries are racing to find a solution.

CALIFORNIA

-- Compton Unified fights a lawsuit that claims the district failed to properly educate students who have suffered from trauma.

-- L.A.’s shade balls go viral — but the Internet has mixed opinions.

-- Democratic women seek to regain lost ground in Sacramento.

-- City Beat: To connect with the Beatles in 1964 all they needed was imagination — and a helicopter.

NATION-WORLD

-- Americans recount the French train attack: "He was ready to fight to the end. So were we."

-- The power of ethnic Tibetans’ self-immolations in China.

-- Families of the missing say they are stonewalled by Mexico state authorities.

-- Obama returns from vacation with a full agenda and a ticking clock.

-- Twin panda births crash the National Zoo's "panda cam."

BUSINESS

-- Shanghai’s exchange falls nearly 8.5%; triggers global sell-off.

-- The tech sector faces challenges if the stock market slide continues.

-- How Edison uses water to store excess power.

-- She brings Latin music's top acts to the stage.

SPORTS

-- Bill Plaschke: 50 years after the Giants' Juan Marichal hit the Dodgers' John Roseboro with a bat, all is forgiven.

-- Ohio State is the unanimous No. 1 in the season’s first AP college football poll.

-- USC checks in at No. 9 on Chris Dufresne's preseason countdown.

-- Maria Sharapova plans to bring a professional tennis tournament to L.A. in December.

ENTERTAINMENT

-- The art project filling MacArthur Park Lake with thousands of painted spheres.

-- When is a Michelangelo not a Michelangelo? Perhaps in a traveling Vatican exhibition.

-- Mary McNamara on the angst of failing to keep up with all that new TV. 

WHAT OUR EDITORS ARE READING

-- The Atlantic asks: Is Pope Francis' humility a character trait or a calculated choice? 

-- This one's for the coffee fiends. The Guardian says you must head for Alaska.

-- Smithsonian magazine tries to answer why flamingos stand on one leg.

ONLY IN L.A.

In less than a month you will be able to visit the Broad, the contemporary art museum in downtown L.A. showcasing the expansive collection of philanthropists Eli and Edye Broad. Eli is the disciplined billionaire entrepreneur whose business acumen made it all possible. Edye is the one with the emotional attachment to the art. Edye is the one who connects with the artists, who is well read and unpretentious. The one with the eclectic interests. She says she doesn’t know why we’d want to write about her. You’ll see.

Please send comments and ideas to Davan Maharaj.

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