Newsletter: Today: Return of the ‘Zombie’ Blimp. Syrians in California.

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


Return of the 'Zombie' Blimp

If you remember the Pentagon's $2.7-billion "zombie" program of radar-equipped blimps from our story in September, you probably recall that the blimp broke loose last month and wreaked havoc on parts of the East Coast. Despite its well-documented deficiencies, lawmakers from both parties are planning to continue funding the system. Do contributions to lawmakers have anything to do with it? Read on

Syria Migrants: The New Americans

As the nation debates whether to let in Syrian migrants fleeing war, this just in: Some are already among us and negotiating life in the Golden State. Kate Linthicum finds a Syrian family at American Inn & Suites in Pomona and documents their encounters in a strange land. Are these the new Americans?

Kobe to Basketball: We Should See Other People

"I'm ready to let you go." That's just one line from Kobe Bryant's open letter/poem to "Dear Basketball," announcing that this, his 20th season in the NBA, would be his last. And now, the farewell tour for the All-Star guard, who's struggled this year alongside the Lakers. Bill Plaschke weighs in on the announcement. Full coverage is here

Who's That Lender?

Some of the nation's largest mortgage lenders aren't banks. And some are run by former executives of Countrywide Financial, the onetime giant that made risky loans contributing to the 2008 financial crisis. Sound scary? Here's why they say this time will be different – and why consumer advocates have concerns

The Climate Change Summit Will Go On

It is one of France's biggest security operations ever: how to ensure the safety of nearly 150 world leaders and thousands of others during the United Nations climate change conference opening near Paris today. Here's how the country is trying to deal with it, much to the dissatisfaction of climate demonstrators.

Into the Wild Blue Yonder

It was the end of an era when the last Boeing C-17 Globemaster III cargo plane left its Long Beach assembly facility Sunday. The plant was once part of a huge aircraft manufacturing complex that dated to World War II. But the home of "the Moose" is closing. Going with it: about 400 jobs. 


-- A boy's murder conviction sharpens the debate on whether juveniles are fit to waive their rights.

-- A good deed, followed by tragedy.

-- Poland won't extradite Roman Polanski to the U.S., essentially ending a four-decade legal saga.

-- Donors gave a super PAC $6 million. Candidates actually got about $140,000.

-- The film "Concussion" tackles the hot-button issue of brain injuries in the NFL.

-- Fifty years later, "A Charlie Brown Christmas" turns out to be a winner after all.

-- Why Chris Martin moved to Los Angeles to make Coldplay's new album.


-- L.A. Unified sees success in counseling rather than arresting truants and kids who fight.

-- A plan to connect all of L.A. County's fire and police agencies on a single communications system has hit another potential setback

-- How LAPD vice is cleaning up Koreatown's less savory side.

-- A futurist explains how the self-driving car could improve mobility in Los Angeles. 


-- The Paris climate summit could bring a historic deal on emissions, but it probably won't halt climate change.

-- Afghanistan's precarious security has officials pointing fingers.

-- A diplomatic brouhaha erupts over "Made in Israel" labels.

-- Violence against abortion service providers has killed at least 11 in the U.S. since 1993.

-- Colorado embodies the nation's divide over gun control.


-- Why rooftop solar advocates are upset about California's clean-energy law.

-- Holiday shopping season starts with a slump. 


-- Aging quarterbacks turn the NFL into a gray area.

-- Clay Helton's game-sealing call for USC: Let Justin Davis finish off UCLA.


-- Mr. Warmth: Don Rickles says comedy keeps him sharp as he nears his 90th birthday. 

-- In India, a conservative film board demands cuts to latest Bond film "Spectre."


-- How poetry shops keep on going. (The New Yorker)

-- JK Rowling discusses the joys of aging, charity work and meeting Morrissey. (The Guardian)

-- Religion's role in the Paris climate change talks. (The Economist)


It was a funeral fit for the "King of Kustom": A parade of vintage, tricked-out autos bade farewell to George Barris, the man who designed the 1960s TV show Batmobile among many other Hollywood vehicles. See how Barris went out in style -- in a gold casket decorated with pinstripes and plastic fins.  

Please send comments and ideas to Davan Maharaj.

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