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.
The Southeast Faces a Worst-Case Scenario
The evacuation warnings were as direct as they come. "This storm will kill you," Florida Gov. Rick Scott said. "Time is running out." Hurricane Matthew's dangerous winds, rain and storm surge are threatening a large swath of the southeastern U.S. coast. They already left a trail of devastation in the Caribbean, especially in Haiti, where hundreds have died. Here is the latest.
He Once Arrested Them. Now, They Mourn Him.
L.A. County Sheriff's Sgt. Steve Owen was known as "Mr. Lancaster" to some. During his nearly three-decade career, he connected with the community by merging tough talk with acts of kindness. This week, Owen was shot and killed in an "execution," as officials called it, while responding to a residential burglary call. Now, Lancaster is mourning him, including some of those he helped after they spent time in the back of his squad car. "He'd do anything for you, your community and your kids," said one. "A damn good man."
Hedge Fund Masterminds: One Backs Clinton; the Other, Trump
James Simons and Robert Mercer joined forces decades ago to build Renaissance Technologies into a powerhouse hedge fund. How they spend their riches today is a different matter. Simons and his wife have donated millions to support Hillary Clinton for president; Mercer has spent millions on an anti-Clinton super PAC, and his daughter is influential in Donald Trump's campaign.
-- Trump on his caustic comments about women: "A lot of that was done for the purpose of entertainment."
-- More than 30 former Republican members of Congress issued a scathing open letter announcing their opposition to Trump and urging fellow Republicans to deny him the White House.
-- With key endorsements and a measured debate performance, Kamala Harris builds more momentum toward the U.S. Senate.
What the World Needs Is Peace
Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos won the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to end a five-decades-long civil war that has killed more than 200,000 people in the South American country. Though Colombian voters narrowly rejected the peace deal, the Nobel Committee said it believes that Santos "has brought the bloody conflict significantly closer to a peaceful solution."
15 Years Later, Al Qaeda and the Taliban Still Terrorize
A decade and a half after the Sept. 11 attacks, the war on terrorism grows only more complicated. In Syria, as Islamic State weakens, the militant group formerly known as Nusra Front has undergone a rebranding, grown into "Al Qaeda's largest formal affiliate in history," and could be plotting attacks against the West. Some 1,500 miles away, a generation has grown up amid the American war in Afghanistan, which today completes its 15th year. Millions are still displaced as the Taliban remains entrenched in up to 30% of the country. Meet two boys who live in a refugee camp, one selling pomegranates and the other polishing shoes to earn money for their families.
A Deeper Understanding of Earthquakes
As if we needed another reminder to prepare for the Big One, three scientists at Caltech have found that earthquakes can occur much deeper below the Earth's surface than originally believed. Is that bad news for Southern California? Not necessarily. Here's how this discovery changes our understanding of seismic activity and its dangers.
Is 'Oldchella' the Future of Music Festivals?
It's only rock 'n' roll, but music fans like it: the prospect of seeing the Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, the Who and Roger Waters over three days on one stage. The Desert Trip festival in the Coachella Valley starts today and has been called "Oldchella," given the headliners' average age is 72. With a more mature audience willing to spend big money, Desert Trip should double the previous record for festival revenue, and that is music to the ears of promoters. But whatever happened to the free spirit of Woodstock?
-- Los Angeles County plans to require hospitals to begin reporting when patients are infected with a certain superbug so lethal that it can kill half its victims.
-- The chief executive of the classified ad website Backpage was arrested on pimping charges as part of a crackdown by state Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris.
-- LAPD Chief Charlie Beck says a 16-year-old fatally shot by police in South Los Angeles called 911 himself before the shooting and left his family a "farewell note."
-- Robin Abcarian: A cannabis candymaker reassures worried parents and prepares for the state's post-legalization boom.
-- Headed to Vegas? Coin slot machines are a breed nearing extinction, but some still love them.
-- Around the galleries and museums: monuments made of cardboard, the Virgin of Guadalupe's legacy, and the art of alchemy.
-- Where to look for Halloween decor that can be scary yet sophisticated.
-- The new L.A. craft beers for fall.
HOLLYWOOD AND THE ARTS
-- The film "The Birth of a Nation" has generated controversy off screen, but is it any good? Critic Kenneth Turan says it is admirably ambitious and passionate, but the grace of art escapes it.
-- "Zoot Suit" playwright Luis Valdez writes about how Gordon Davidson brought civil rights to the American theater.
-- Elena Ferrante's upcoming book reveals how much she wanted to remain unknown.
-- Danny Elfman discusses scoring the film "The Girl on the Train": "The darker it gets, the happier I get."
-- A segment on "The O'Reilly Factor" set in New York's Chinatown is stirring outrage over stereotyping.
-- Sarah Jessica Parker returns to HBO in the chilly new comedy "Divorce."
-- The Obama administration wants to restore financial aid to Mexico that it cut last year to protest the country's human rights record, even though abuses have continued.
-- Defense Secretary Ashton Carter's former top military assistant is accused of running up nearly $3,000 at gentlemen's clubs in South Korea and Italy on his government credit card.
-- Bill Cosby's lawyers have launched their most comprehensive effort yet to have the sexual assault charges against him dropped.
-- Pakistani lawmakers unanimously approved a law that mandates a minimum sentence of 25 years in prison for so-called honor killings.
-- Apes prove it: You don't have to be human to understand what someone else is thinking.
-- Theranos is trying to turn things around by developing a portable blood-testing device, but skepticism abounds.
-- Snapchat is said to be looking at a $25-billion IPO in early 2017.
-- Bill Plaschke: The Dodgers open the postseason today, and with that comes worry.
-- Forced to cut his ties from USC, Buffalo's Reggie Bush returns to the Coliseum to face the Rams.
-- Promising middleweight fighter Maricela Cornejo hopes to push the popularity of women's boxing.
-- Times endorsement: Thoughtful and pragmatic, Kamala Harris belongs in the U.S. Senate.
-- Hollywood's dangerous obsession with China.
WHAT OUR EDITORS ARE READING
-- If you want to see the documents from three of Trump's bankruptcy filings, they're here. (BuzzFeed)
-- The life and times of Warren Beatty. (Vanity Fair)
-- This is where the cobalt in your cellphone and laptop batteries comes from. (Washington Post)
-- Artemisia Gentileschi is considered the greatest female painter of the Baroque age, so why doesn't she get more credit? (The Guardian)
ONLY IN L.A.
What to do if you want to create a drought-tolerant landscape around a house where cacti look out of place? That was the challenge facing the owners of a Tudor-style home in Toluca Lake who wanted an English garden look without the giant water bill. Here's how they kept it proper.