I'm Davan Maharaj, editor of the Los Angeles Times. Here are some story lines I don't want you to miss today.
A Massacre With No Clear Motive
A large cache of ammunition, weapons and pipe bombs. Possible contacts with alleged extremists. Could it have been terrorism, a workplace conflict or a combination of both? "There was obviously a mission here," an FBI official said. "We know that. We do not know why." More from the widening investigation into the San Bernardino shooting rampage.
She Fled Iran, Only to Be Killed in the U.S.
A father of six and a soccer coach. A free-spirited coffee shop worker. A man married to his high school sweetheart. A mother of three who had fled Iran to escape Islamic extremism. They were among the many victims in the San Bernardino attack. Here are their stories — and how one man lost the love of his life.
'It Doesn't Make Sense'
Who were Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik? The picture that emerged confounded. He was born in Chicago. Loved working on cars. A friend said he had memorized the Koran. By all accounts, he was quiet. Less is known about Malik, a Pakistani national he married in Mecca. Together they had a daughter — the arrival of whom his co-workers had celebrated with a baby shower.
-- The Times continues to have a team of reporters, photographers and videographers on the scene. Get the latest from them here.
-- "The situation was surreal": How officers responded to the attack.
-- Democratic and Republican candidates' responses show a stark divide.
-- Once again, Muslim organizations fear a backlash.
-- Commentary: By all means, please do politicize my hometown's tragedy.
-- Steve Lopez: Another day, another massacre.
On the 'No Fly' List? You Can Still Buy a Gun
A day after the rampage in San Bernardino, Washington turned its attention to gun control. In the Senate, Republicans blocked a proposal to stop people on the anti-terrorist "no fly" list from buying guns. Meanwhile, President Obama is trying to find a way to close a loophole that allows thousands to buy firearms without a background check.
French Police Use Some Force Majeure
Breaking down doors. Closing mosques. Placing suspects under house arrest. French authorities are doing all of this and more since a national state of emergency went into effect. The aggressive moves are meant to build trust among a frightened public. Some worry that they put civil liberties at risk and further alienate Muslims.
Reporting for Duty: Women in Combat
More than 250,000 women have served as drivers, pilots, analysts and more with combat units in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2001, according to the Pentagon. In April, any combat job will be open to them. Next: Will women be required to register for the draft? A look behind a historic move that turned aside objections from the Marine Corps.
We'll Take a Park, Not a Freeway Parking Lot
Now that officials have dropped the idea of building an extension of the 710 Freeway above ground, Caltrans has a lot of land on its hands: about 400 residential properties, nearly 60 vacant lots and several large open spaces. What to do with it? Architecture critic Christopher Hawthorne suggests new parks and affordable, well-designed housing would be just the ticket.
He Carried the Torch, and Now L.A.'s Olympic Bid
He learned at the knee of Hollywood's "last mogul," Lew Wasserman. As his grandson, he got a chance to carry the Olympic torch before the 1984 Games. In today's Great Read, meet Casey Wasserman, chairman of Los Angeles' bid to bring back the Summer Games in 2024. "If we lose this bid because people think I wasn't committed enough, then shame on me."
-- The L.A. County D.A. won't file criminal charges against a CHP officer who repeatedly punched a woman.
-- A state audit blames poor leadership for threatening the financial health of the Central Basin Municipal Water District.
-- Under GOP control, the Senate finally passes a bill to repeal Obamacare.
-- Syrians in Texas: "Where do I go? No one wants me.”
-- Torrential rains slam India and cause deadly flooding.
-- Israel announced arrests in an arson attack that killed a Palestinian toddler and parents.
-- Fed chief Janet Yellen gives reasons to raise a key interest rate.
-- YouTube is looking to purchase streaming rights to TV shows, movies and more.
-- The SEC accuses two people of misspending millions from Chinese investors hoping to get visas.
-- A closer look at the Clippers' ups and downs.
-- At 42, Deena Kastor isn't through with the marathon.
-- Scott Weiland, the singer who first gained fame with the Stone Temple Pilots, has died at 48.
-- TV review: Bill Murray's naughty 'n' nice "Christmas" special belongs on an all-year-long wish list.
-- Fiction, nonfiction, kids and more: Your holiday book buying guide.
-- Movie review: "Hitchcock/Truffaut" is a revealing glimpse of the filmmakers' summit.
WHAT OUR EDITORS ARE READING
-- "Prayer shaming" after the San Bernardino shootings. (The Atlantic)
-- No more "good," "bad" or "fun": Teachers implore students to use more expressive words. (Wall Street Journal)
-- The opening chapter of "The Bohemians: Mark Twain and the San Francisco Writers Who Reinvented American Literature." (Longreads)
ONLY IN L.A.
Straight out of Central Casting, it's … Central Casting. The company whose clients have included Ronald Reagan, Olivia Munn and countless extras for film and TV is celebrating its 90th anniversary today. Do you know what California sets as the minimum age for a baby to work as an extra?
Please send comments and ideas to Davan Maharaj.