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Today: Trump Drives the Big 'Rig.' Battle to Retake Mosul Begins.

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



Trump Drives the Big 'Rig'

As Donald Trump has dropped in the polls and fought allegations of sexual misconduct, he has gone bigger on the theme that dark forces — even “Saturday Night Live” — are aligned against him. Historians and others are wondering whether all his talk of the election being “rigged” is fueling a bitter divide that will last well beyond Nov. 8. Meanwhile in Ohio, where no Republican has ever won the presidency without carrying the state, Trump has almost no visible get-out-the-vote operation, as opposed to Hillary Clinton’s well-organized efforts. 

More Politics

-- A local Republican Party office in North Carolina was damaged by fire, and someone spray-painted an anti-GOP slogan on a nearby wall. Trump blamed “animals representing Hillary Clinton and Dems.”

-- Clinton keeps fishing for big money while lagging behind with smaller donors.

-- A ninth woman came forward accusing Trump of unwanted sexual advances.

California Votes: Here's Our Guide

Early voting has begun in California. Do you know your candidates and ballot measures yet? In the race to fill the U.S. Senate, that’s a particularly pressing question, given that state Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris and Rep. Loretta Sanchez squared off in a debate only one time. That’s why we pressed the two Democrats on policy issues, including immigration, clean energy and the Trans-Pacific Partnership. As for the 17 propositions on the ballot, here’s a handy guide — along with The Times’ editorial board endorsements, if you’re so inclined. 

The Battle to Retake Mosul Begins

The long-awaited fight to recapture Mosul, Iraq, and oust Islamic State from its last major stronghold will be the Iraqi military's most complex operation yet: urban warfare in a city full of civilians. Though officials dropped leaflets urging residents to shelter in place, humanitarian groups are worried that an exodus will further stretch resources. Then there's the question of what happens after the offensive is over. Here is the latest from Iraq.

Something's Rotten in Alabama

A year ago in Porter Ranch, a methane leak forced more than 8,000 families from their homes, as they complained of ailments from noxious fumes. Eight years ago, the residents of Eight Mile, Ala., began noticing similar symptoms after a leak of the chemical odorant that's added to natural gas to make it smell like rotten eggs. But unlike in Porter Ranch, they say there have been no relocations, no media hordes and no relief from the stench. They want to know why the response to a low-income, mostly African American community has differed from the reaction to one that is affluent and mostly white.

Who's Watching the Inglewood Police?

In 2002, Inglewood officials created the Citizen Police Oversight Commission so that an independent body could monitor the actions of the city's officers and let residents have their say. It hasn't worked out that way. The commission is supposed to convene monthly, but the panel meets infrequently — only four times this year. Meanwhile, questions about police shootings go unanswered.

My Kind of Town, L.A. Is

Chicago is known for its cold blasts during winter, but columnist Steve Lopez discovered the source of some hot air in the Windy City. Our sister newspaper published a column ahead of the Dodgers-Cubs series that included such gems as: “Known widely today as ‘The Birthplace of Cocaine,’ Los Angeles is a stunningly unfortunate city on the Pacific Ocean, located in a semi-arid region known as California’s Crotch.” Well, Mr. Lopez has some thoughts on that. P.S.: The Dodgers blanked the Cubs on Sunday night to tie their series before heading to our “unfortunate” town.

Monterey Park's Music Man Knows How to Harmonize

Johnny Thompson remembers when Monterey Park wasn't the so-called first suburban Chinatown of America. He remembers the political backlash to Chinese-language signs and the white flight. But Thompson decided to embrace the change around him rather than flee. "It has worked out very well," the 72-year-old told The Times' Pete King. "That is the good thing about America. Diversity always wins out, and it makes everybody better."


-- Prosecutors say a Long Beach police officer turned a minor call into a deadly shooting, but he won't face charges.

-- Tailed by controversy from New York to L.A., this Cookie Monster lives far from Sesame Street.

-- The battle of the ballparks: Cubs vs. Dodgers and the lost history of L.A.'s own Wrigley Field.

-- Forget the boot. The latest tool against parking scofflaws is the Barnacle, and it won't let go.

-- Protect your money: Look out for these uncertainties looming over the economy.

-- "Out!" Boyle Heights activists say white art elites are ruining the neighborhood … but it's complicated.


-- Two suspects have been arrested in connection with a shooting at a popular Jamaican restaurant in L.A. that left three people dead and 12 wounded.

-- A nationwide foreclosure settlement was a victory for state Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris, but an imperfect one.

-- There are big plans to clean up and renovate MacArthur Park, but nearby residents are skeptical.

-- George Skelton: Proposition 60 raises the question of whether Californians should be deputized as condom cops.


-- Desert Trip was perhaps the first rock festival to successfully appeal to four generations of music fans.

-- With four movies this year, Kevin Hart is the hardest-working man in show business.

-- Paul Simon isn't resting, either: "I'm never going to retire."

-- Ang Lee's war film "Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk" is dividing audiences.

-- Twenty years after the death of Japan’s greatest composer, Toru Takemitsu, music critic Mark Swed looks at what he meant not only to Japan but to the world.

-- President Obama has published a list of his essential sci-fi movies and TV shows.


-- When it comes to gun laws, Nevada could be edging closer to California.

-- At a refugee camp in the West Bank, some residents are rebelling against the Palestinian Authority.


-- Thousands of Iraqi fighters have poured into Syria to help Bashar Assad remain in control.


-- Thailand grieves for its late king and wonders when its crown prince will take the throne.


-- No, the Great Barrier Reef in Australia is not dead, but it is in trouble.


-- Figure out how risky your investments are by asking these six questions.

-- Michael Hiltzik: Lawmakers targeted memorabilia scams but they hit corner bookstores by mistake.


-- A loss to the Detroit Lions leaves the Rams stunned and frustrated as they head to London.

-- The Clippers' Diamond Stone shows he's more than just a paint player, he can also shoot.


-- What the WikiLeaks emails tell us about Hillary Clinton.

-- How to fix solitary confinement in American prisons.


-- A son was following in his father's footsteps as a white nationalist leader. Then he started questioning the movement's ideology. (Washington Post)

-- The publisher of the Arizona Republic responds to death threats made after the paper endorsed Clinton, the first Democrat it has ever supported for president. (Arizona Republic)

-- Read a section of the memoir of Ngugi wa Thiong'o, the UC Irvine professor who was favored to win the Nobel Prize in literature this year until Bob Dylan won. (Literary Hub)


Joe Magelleney and his neighbors built the Maravilla Handball Court in East L.A. from bricks that had been fired in nearby kilns. The first record of it dates to 1928, making it most likely the oldest handball court in Southern California. Though it has had its ups and downs through the decades, it still welcomes those seeking refuge in the thwop-thwop of a handball game. Reporter Thomas Curwen takes us inside.

Please send comments and ideas to Davan Maharaj.