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Today: Biden Is No Ordinary Joe

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

Time Is on His Side

Will Joe Biden run for the presidency? Conventional wisdom might say it's too late for the vice president to go up against Hillary Rodham Clinton. Yet as we've seen with Donald Trump, this election cycle has been been anything but ordinary so far. Here's why Biden and Co. are waiting -- and why it's a pain for Clinton.

Beijing Blues

China's economy is slowing and its stock market is tumbling. The solution, most agree, is to turn the economic engine into one powered more by consumption and services than by being fueled by exports. Getting there won't be easy. 

The Secret Life of Trees

They have stood for thousands of years. They've picked up names like General Sherman and Kong. Even in the drought, the giant sequoia trees in Sequoia National Park seem to be holding up. What's really going on with them? Head into the Giant Forest with the biologists trying to unlock their secrets -- and see what it's like to scale their heights. 

Water Wise

The conservation message seems to be getting through. Californians cut back their urban water use last month by nearly a third compared with July 2013. Our drought report card breaks down how you and your water district did. Don't think we’re out of the woods yet. 

Play Under Review

In the last two years, Calabasas High School has become a destination for football players from Compton, Long Beach, Malibu and Torrance. The school's coach says it's only natural that students want to go where the academic and athletic programs are strong. Others say the number of transfers raises a red flag. District administrators have been reviewing the situation. 

CALIFORNIA

-- Immunization rates for children in California are relatively high but still lag, according to nationwide data. 

-- State lawmakers have shelved bills to raise the minimum wage, ban oil drilling off the coast and provide work permits to agricultural laborers who are in the country illegally. 

-- A judge halts a case brought by counties against five narcotic drug manufacturers. 

--  A report from L.A. city analysts points to holes in plans for a bid to host the 2024 Summer Olympics. 

NATION-WORLD

-- A Virginia TV station is "at a loss" to explain why a fired worker shot two former colleagues on air.

-- Migrants are found dead in a truck in Austria; European leaders meet about the refugee crisis.

-- President Obama marks Hurricane Katrina's 10th anniversary with praise for New Orleans' recovery.

-- A space for children in Johannesburg, South Africa, with a rich historical legacy has closed.  

-- The silver lining of being neurotic.

BUSINESS

-- Companies are on the hook for contractors' labor policies, the NLRB says. Columnist Michael Hiltzik calls it a major victory for workers.

-- The FDA approves Amgen's cholesterol-lowering drug Repatha for some patients. List price: $14,100 for a year's worth of treatment.

-- David Lazarus: Why drugmakers are held in low esteem.

SPORTS

 -- Josh Rosen looks ready for his new job as UCLA quarterback. 

-- The Lakers' Jim Buss discusses Kobe Bryant, rookie guard D'Angelo Russell and more. 

ENTERTAINMENT

-- Spike Lee, Gena Rowlands and Debbie Reynolds will receive honorary Oscars

-- Max Joseph, who costarred on the MTV show "Catfish," makes his directorial debut with the film "We Are Your Friends." 

-- Netflix's "Narcos" plays up Pablo Escobar's menace and magnetism. Mary McNamara reviews.

WHAT OUR EDITORS ARE READING

-- Are college students too sensitive to words and ideas they don’t like? The Atlantic says they are and why that's bad for education

-- Grantland digs into the back story of Twins.com, the website that Major League Baseball could not buy.

-- On Medium, HarperCollins Publishers' executive editor tells her story of working at Amazon.

ONLY IN CALIFORNIA

San Francisco has a smelly problem: People are using the streets as a bathroom. In response, the city has gone so far as importing urine-resistant paint from Germany. Columnist Robin Abcarian steps, carefully, into a situation made worse by a lack of public facilities, homelessness and the drought.

Please send comments and ideas to Davan Maharaj.

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