I'm Davan Maharaj, editor of the Los Angeles Times. Here are some story lines I don't want you to miss today.
San Bernardino Under Siege
"Everyone dropped to the floor," one of the wounded told her relatives. "The guys opened fire for 30 seconds, randomly, then paused to reload and began firing again." The attack on a holiday gathering of San Bernardino County employees left 14 people dead and 17 others wounded. Then, a dramatic televised car chase ended in a shootout with suspects. Now, the investigation into what happened and why continues.
'We're in a Locked Office'
For one nurse at the Inland Regional Center, it seemed to be a drill. She took out her cellphone and made a video of officers entering the building. The reality came via a text from her husband. Here are the stories of the people at the scene of the shooting and their loved ones.
Suspect Seemed to Be 'Living the American Dream'
Syed Farook, an inspector for the San Bernardino County Public Health Department, had traveled to Saudi Arabia, married, had a child and appeared to be "living the American Dream," his co-workers say. Here's what we know about him.
-- The Times has a team of reporters, photographers and videographers on the scene. They've been filing throughout the night and morning. Get the latest from them here.
-- San Bernardino, among the nation's poorest big cities, is dealt a new blow.
-- Timeline: The deadliest U.S. mass shootings from 1984 to 2015.
-- Mary McNamara: "We cannot accept mass shootings as the new normal."
Beijing's Sky Turns Black and Blue
Just as China's president arrived at the big climate conference in France, the acrid taste of smog was on the tips of Beijingers' tongues. The capital city was gripped by pollution that registered 587 on the usual scale of zero to 500. Then, blue skies returned. See before and after images and get a deeper understanding of the pollution that spread across an area 25% larger than California.
California Powers in the City of Light
A who's who of California politics will be in France for the big climate change conference. They won't participate in the official negotiations, but they will be there to let others know about the state's more successful policies — and to bring back potential investment for more.
Something Rotten in Porter Ranch
Back at home, hundreds of people in Porter Ranch are dealing with their own air quality issues. A natural gas leak more than a mile away continues after 40 days and six failed repair attempts. The county Health Department says the gas is not dangerous, though it smells like rotten eggs. Residents have reported nausea, headaches and other illnesses. Is SoCal Gas doing enough?
Uncle Sam Wanted Them. Now, Companies Do.
Military veterans: Uncle Sam's corporate friends want you. A coalition of more than 200 companies has vowed to hire 1 million. One thing, though. "There aren't a million veterans to hire," one expert says. Overall, 3.9% of the 10.8 million veterans in the labor force were unemployed in October, the latest figures show. Here's why the campaign to hire veterans isn’t letting up.
-- A state senator says minors need protection during police interrogations.
-- George Skelton: Scrooge-like charities ruin more than Christmas for everyone.
-- Amid war and desperation, Afghans find relief in their version of "American Idol."
-- Britain's Parliament approves of joining the air campaign in Syria against Islamic State.
-- A former Romanian orphan in the U.S. helps other "unsalvageables" in his homeland.
-- Two police killings of young black men, and the responses by Chicago and Baltimore.
-- At UNLV, there's a north-south divide over a rebel mascot — but it's not what you think.
-- What's next for leadership at long-struggling Yahoo?
-- Scams targeting actors, singers and models get short shrift from L.A. authorities, performers say.
-- NFL owners set a special meeting on L.A. and a deadline for St. Louis, San Diego and Oakland.
-- Chris Erskine checks in with football great Johnny Lujack, who is still going strong at 91.
-- TV critic Mary McNamara calls "Transparent" one of the richest and most ambitious half-hour comedies ever.
-- Steven Spielberg says doing historical drama is great for the imagination. Case in point: "Bridge of Spies."
-- A "happily tasteless new exterior": Our architecture critic reviews the Petersen Automotive Museum.
WHAT OUR EDITORS ARE READING
-- In 336 days this year, there have been 355 mass shootings. (Washington Post)
-- How Chinese-language schools in America are changing. (The Atlantic)
-- An open letter to Aziz Ansari, after his character's comments about black and gay people on "Master of None." (Black Girl Dangerous)
ONLY IN L.A.
With a little help from his friends, Ringo Starr has amassed a lot of stuff. His personal copy of "The White Album." His signature Ludwig drum kit with "The Beatles" logo. John Lennon's 1964 Rickenbacker electric guitar. Those items, along with enough material to fill a 650-page catalog, are going up for auction in Beverly Hills. Read why the drummer wanted to declutter for charity and "make it special."
Please send comments and ideas to Davan Maharaj.