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.
In Vegas, Betting on Suspense
"I'll keep you in suspense." "That's horrifying." "Such a nasty woman." Last night's third and final presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump had policy points and memorable lines, but none more so than Trump's wait-and-see response on whether he would accept the election's outcome. How will voters react to that? We have less than three weeks to find out. Read a transcript of all the major exchanges, annotated by Times journalists, and leave your own comments.
-- Fact-check time: Social Security, the national debt, "open borders" and more.
-- Here's what it was like to be in a Mexican BBQ joint while watching Trump talk about "bad hombres."
-- Some New Yorkers aren't too thrilled to reside in a building with the Trump name on it.
The Ultimate Meme Generator
The Clinton shimmy. Ted Cruz as the Zodiac Killer. Bernie as Col. Sanders. #TrumpFace. This unpredictable election year hasn't seen anything like the Obama "Hope" poster or an "I Like Ike" button emerge as a defining symbol, but it has had countless memes. "It's an avalanche," says one meme researcher. Take a closer look at the political memes of this year and of yore.
Stay or Go? No Easy Answers in Mosul
Tape an X on windows to keep them from shattering. Disconnect gas pipes. "Tell your children that the loud booms are just thunder." Those are some of the instructions on the leaflets that were dropped on Mosul ahead of the battle to retake the city from Islamic State. With fighting underway, more than 1 million people must decide whether to hunker down or flee from their homes.
For Some Iranians, the 'Great Satan' Looks Pretty Good
The official line in Iran still calls the U.S. the "Great Satan," just like in the Iranian Revolution. That's not stopping ordinary citizens from applying to move to America. Last year, half a million did so via a lottery for countries with low rates of immigration to the U.S., up from 150,000 in 2007. Roughly 5,000 won. But some people in Iran aren't happy that others are leaving for the West, and some in the U.S. are suspicious of those coming here.
Should Public Pensions Be Untouchable?
Have you heard of the California Rule? It guarantees government workers the pension that was in place on the day they were hired, and has been picked up in a dozen other states. The tenet also makes it difficult to deal with billions of dollars in shortfalls. Now, the California Supreme Court is considering whether to weigh in on a challenge to decades of court decisions that could have a huge effect on the pension crisis — and pensioners.
Understanding the $$$ of Prop. HHH
Proposition HHH on the L.A. ballot would authorize $1.2 billion in borrowing over 10 years to construct thousands of apartment units for the homeless. Backers call it the "most significant effort ever" to end homelessness in the city. Opponents say it's "a giveaway to the politically connected developers." How would it work? Read on.
YOUR ELECTION GUIDE
-- What to make of California's 17 propositions on the ballot.
-- Reminder to Californians: You have until Monday to register to vote.
-- Endorsements by The Times' editorial board.
-- The state Department of Justice is investigating Wells Fargo & Co. on allegations of criminal identity theft over its creation of millions of unauthorized accounts, according to a search warrant.
-- A federal jury in Los Angeles ruled in a civil trial that NBA star Derrick Rose and two friends did not rape a woman.
-- A Huntington Beach man slit his throat in a courtroom after a jury found him guilty of raping a girl when she was 13.
-- Robin Abcarian catches up with 76-year-old twins who have grown pot for decades and oppose legalization.
HOLLYWOOD AND THE ARTS
-- Movie review: "Michael Moore in TrumpLand" isn't the firebrand film one might expect.
-- Should you watch the updated "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" on TV tonight?
-- After making $98 in music royalties for "This Is Spinal Tap" over 30 years, writer-star Harry Shearer is suing the studio for $125 million.
-- Renée Fleming and the Emerson String Quartet brought some obscure music to light at Disney Hall.
-- Eminem has released an anti-Trump single called "Campaign Speech."
-- The DEA has backed off a ban on kratom, a plant used to treat opioid addiction, after a public outcry.
-- After the Brexit vote, Britain's independence party is struggling with an "existential crisis."
-- The Philippines president is cozying up to China after talking tough about the U.S.
-- Many in Thailand want a princess to ascend to the throne, but her scandal-plagued brother is next in line.
-- In Turkey, you can be arrested for having this app on your phone.
-- Google is moving closer to launching its own online TV service featuring a small package of channels for a monthly fee.
-- SAG-AFTRA is threatening a strike as early as Friday over compensation for actors in video games.
-- The Dodgers' follies help the Cubs tie their National League Championship Series with a 10-2 victory.
-- The L.A. Sparks will play for the WNBA title on Minnesota's court tonight but may have an edge of their own.
-- Another unsettling debate performance by "Little Trump."
-- Here's why you should vote to abolish California's death penalty.
-- What to do with your mother-in-law's possessions after she dies?
WHAT OUR EDITORS ARE READING
-- Behind the scenes with Republican strategist Ana Navarro, whose comments on a CNN panel went viral. (The New Yorker)
-- North Korean women who flee the country are frequently forced into sex work and other situations they need to escape yet again. (Washington Post)
-- NBA star Carmelo Anthony on police violence and the politicization of sports. (The Undefeated)
ONLY IN L.A.
Building a bridge over the 101 Freeway in Agoura Hills so that mountain lions can safely cross would cost tens of millions of dollars. That kind of money probably won't be coming any time soon from "the state's transportation kitty," as reporter Bettina Boxall writes. Read on to see how the cat crossing is taking a step forward with the Annenberg Foundation.