Newsletter: Today: Yogi’s Wisdom. VW’s ‘Sorry’ State. Go Ahead, Sing ‘Happy Birthday.’

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


Catcher's Wit

"Baseball is 90% mental. The other half is physical." "It's deja vu all over again." "Pair up in threes." Those are just a few of the gems the New York Yankees' Yogi Berra delivered over the years. The man considered one of the greatest catchers in baseball history has died.

Where Did the Fahrvergnügen Go?

Drivers feel betrayed. Lawsuits are being filed. The stock has tanked. The CEO says he's "deeply sorry." How much worse can it get for Volkswagen in the diesel emissions scandal? The world's largest automaker was already seeing sales in China and the United States lagging. Now it faces up to $18 billion in U.S. fines alone.

They're Coming to America

Whether Donald Trump likes it or not, new data show the nation's immigrant population, regardless of legal status, increased by more than 1 million last year. That's about double the annual growth in recent years, with most of the new arrivals from Asia. A key driver: the relatively strong U.S. economy. 

The Homeless Emergency

Homelessness has been surging in L.A., up 12% since Mayor Eric Garcetti took office two years ago. On Tuesday, he and seven City Council members said they would declare a "state of emergency" and devote up to $100 million to the problem. But where would the money come from? Plus: See how the problem got so big and where the homeless population is concentrated on our interactive map.

The Golden Ticket

Pope Francis is in Washington, D.C., where he will canonize missionary Junipero Serra today. Though Serra made his mark with California missions -- not without controversy -- only about 1,800 tickets were handed out to state residents. They entered lotteries, wrote essays or simply rushed to the front of a line to score a ticket. If any end up on eBay or Craigslist, scalpers may have to answer to a higher authority. Full coverage continues here.

'Empire' Strikes Back

Fox's soapy hip-hop drama "Empire" became the top-rated new series on broadcast TV in more than a decade, produced a hit soundtrack album and was a verified Twitter hit earlier this year. Tonight, Cookie is back for Round 2, and Taraji P. Henson's portrayal of her is the most exciting thing on TV, according to critic Robert Lloyd. Plus: Gabourey Sidibe talks about her return as a series regular. 

Yours for a Song

Blow out the candles. A federal judge in Los Angeles has ruled that Warner/Chappell Music does not hold a valid copyright claim to the "Happy Birthday to You" song. Until now, the company has asked for royalties from anyone who wanted to sing or play it with the lyrics as part of a profit-making enterprise. The plaintiffs are eyeing class-action status to recoup millions of dollars in licensing fees. 


-- The Metropolitan Water District aims to build a plant to recycle sewage into drinking water.

-- President Obama declares a major disaster in the deadly Valley fire.

-- USC's student president says a frat member shouted a racial epithet and threw a drink at her.

-- A plan to move half of L.A. Unified students into charter schools elicits sharp reaction on both sides. 

-- Steve Lopez: Some tips from Uber drivers (but none for them). 


-- How Chinese President Xi Jinping spent his first day in Seattle.  

-- Ahead of today's emergency summit, European Union leaders voted to resettle 120,000 refugees.

-- World leaders are set to adopt an agenda to slow climate change and to eradicate poverty and child mortality. 

-- The greater sage grouse, which we discussed at length Monday, won't be listed as an endangered species.

-- When it comes to controlling weight, not all fruits and vegetables are created equal.


-- Exxon Mobil scraps plans for a temporary fix to its damaged Torrance refinery.

-- Cellphone maker HTC's woes reflect Taiwan's troubles in high tech.

-- Warner Bros. unveils "Lego Dimensions," which combines toy figures with video game playing.


-- Roger Goodell and six owners are taking a more prominent role in the NFL's potential return to L.A.

-- Bill Plaschke: Dodgers fans predicted rotation woes at trade deadline.

-- In the weird world of college football, the spread offense is here to stay.


-- The Chinese remake of "12 Angry Men" faced its own legal drama.

-- Review: "Amélie," a live musical based on the offbeat 2001 French film, opens in Berkeley

-- Brian Williams makes a no-nonsense return on MSNBC with pope coverage.


-- Frightened by "Waze left" turns? The company is trying to limit them. (The Atlantic)

-- Why is China espousing "democracy" and "freedom" in schools and public places? (Wall Street Journal)

-- How Jeff Smith went from rising political star to ex-con. (Washington Post)


Don't harsh their mellow: When lifeguards spotted a hammerhead shark off Malibu, they sent boats to warn dozens of kayakers, surfers and paddle boarders. The kayakers and paddlers went to the safety of dry land, according to one official. As for the surfers: Some of them stayed. That's dedication to catching the next big wave.

Please send comments and ideas to Davan Maharaj.