Newsletter: Today: No Room for Campaign Complacency. Inferno in the Inland Empire.

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.


No Room for Campaign Complacency

Don’t take anything as a given. On Tuesday, the FBI gave Congress classified documents related to its investigation of Hillary Clinton’s emails, as GOP lawmakers explore why no charges were brought. Clinton, though, seemed more concerned about her supporters getting too confident. “Don’t be complacent, my friends,” she said in Philadelphia. In Wisconsin, Donald Trump made the flip side of that appeal, reaching out to black voters and saying Clinton and Democrats have taken them for granted.


More Politics

-- The Trump campaign is bringing in Breitbart News’ Stephen Bannon as CEO and promoting pollster Kellyanne Conway to campaign manager.

-- Trump advisor Al Baldasaro said Clinton “should be shot in a firing squad for treason.”

-- Nearly a decade after joining Obama’s team, these “lifers” are getting ready to leave the White House.

Inferno in the Inland Empire

Burned: at least 18,000 acres in less than a day. Evacuated: more than 80,000 people. Destroyed: an untold number of structures. That’s the scene in the Cajon Pass near the 15 Freeway in San Bernardino County, and it’s just the latest in a series of wildfires to hit California this year. More hot, dry and windy weather won’t help matters. Here’s our report from the front lines.

A firefighter reports that the Blue Cut fire is burning on both sides of Highway 138 in Phelan, Calif.
A firefighter reports that the Blue Cut fire is burning on both sides of Highway 138 in Phelan, Calif.
(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times )

Don’t Take a 20-Minute Shower Just Yet

The drought is stretching into its fifth year, but California water regulators say it’s OK for most of the state to ease up on conservation. Roughly 80% of California’s water districts say they have enough to meet customer demand, which means they can go back to 2013 levels of use. More about why they’re opening up the floodgates just a bit.

No Steering Wheel, No Gas Pedal, No Driver

There are plenty of companies trying to bring driverless cars to the marketplace. This week, Ford became the first to commit to a date: 2021. If all goes as planned, that means in five years — or less, if someone else beats Ford to it — an autonomous car could be picking you up. The company’s idea is to roll them out for ride sharing and hailing, then open up sales to individuals. But first, the government needs to figure out how to regulate the technology.

U.S. Women Lead the Way in Rio

Simone Biles. Katie Ledecky. Michelle Carter. Kim Rhode. The list of American women dominating the Rio Olympics goes on. Together, they have won more medals than any entire nation except China and Britain, and as many gold medals as any other country’s entire delegation. Columnist Bill Plaschke looks at how they became the story of the Games.

More Olympics

-- Biles finds herself in the stratosphere of stars with her fourth gold medal.

-- Runners Abbey D’Agostino, Nikki Hamblin are the real winners after a display of the Olympic spirit.


-- UC Berkeley’s chancellor will resign after widespread criticism by faculty members.

-- A U.S. appeals court had ruled the federal government can’t spend money to prosecute people who comply with state medical pot laws.

-- The arson suspect in the Clayton fire in Northern California had previously worked as inmate firefighter, authorities say.

-- Steve Lopez: So many lovely beaches in Malibu, if only you could get to them.


-- An official calls it worse than Hurricane Katrina: Tens of thousands have been rescued in Louisiana floods.

-- Russia deployed warplanes to an Iranian air base to strike targets in Syria.

-- The son of “El Chapo” was among those kidnapped in Puerto Vallarta, a prosecutor says.

-- Aspiring FBI agents learn from the mistakes of the bureau’s “shameful” investigation of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

-- In India, a journalistic exposé leads to a criminal complaint … against the journalists.


-- Summer Shakespeare: A critic’s take on the secret to theatrical success.

-- A dispute over the treatment of some “Sausage Party” animators echoes problems in the industry at large.

-- Why “The Nightly Show With Larry Wilmore” will be missed.

-- Brian Williams will get a late-night news program on MSNBC in September.

-- John McLaughlin, host of TV’s raucous “The McLaughlin Group,” has died at age 89.


-- A settlement to end the battle over Viacom would see CEO Philippe Dauman exit with a pretty penny.

-- Univision is buying bankrupt Gawker Media.

-- It’s official: The Playboy Mansion has sold for $100 million, and Hugh Hefner has a new landlord.


-- Chase Utley’s return to Philadelphia comes with a wallop in a Dodgers’ 15-5 win.

-- The Galaxy head to Yankee Stadium, where the coach has many fond memories, but not of soccer.


-- Aetna’s withdrawal from Obamacare exchanges isn’t the start of a death spiral.

-- Anabolic steroids taint Olympic competition, but it’s what they do to the human brain that is terrifying.

-- Patt Morrison asks elections expert Andrew Gumbel about Trump, Edgar Allan Poe and rigging the vote.


-- She was a secretary for Joseph Goebbels. “No one ever believes us nowadays — everyone thinks we knew everything,” says the 105-year-old. (The Guardian)

-- Public marriage proposals, Olympics edition: romantic or atrocious? (Salon)

-- Where do all those rotisserie chickens come from, and are they a good bargain? (Priceonomics)


A few years back, “eyebombing” was an online craze that involved affixing googly eyes to objects. That’s what may come to mind when you see this video of a creature that is known as a stubby squid. Researchers happened upon the purple, googly-eyed relative of a cuttlefish while they explored the ocean floor via a camera off Southern California’s coast. “It looks like some little kid dropped their toy,” said one scientist.

Please send comments and ideas to Davan Maharaj.