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.
Uncle Sam: I Want You (and Your Bonus Money Back)
“Disgraceful.” That’s what lawmakers are calling a Pentagon effort to force nearly 10,000 California National Guard soldiers to repay the bonuses of $15,000 or more they received a decade ago for reenlisting and going to war. On top of that, they’re being hit with interest charges, wage garnishments and tax liens if they refuse. “I feel totally betrayed,” said Susan Haley, an L.A. native and former Army master sergeant who deployed to Afghanistan and lost a leg in combat; she said she sends the Pentagon $650 a month, or a quarter of her family’s income. Read the L.A. Times report that uncovered the program and what Congress members are saying they will do to fix it.
Tragedy on Interstate 10
Authorities are investigating the deadliest crash in California in decades: More than a dozen people were killed and many more injured when a tour bus returning to L.A. hit the back of a big-rig truck near Palm Springs over the weekend. Finding the cause of the crash may be difficult, but some of the survivors are recounting what happened.
Requiem for a Radical
He was one of the Chicago 7; traveled to Hanoi to protest the Vietnam War; and with his then-wife, Jane Fonda, founded a group that campaigned for Proposition 65, which requires signs warning of cancer-causing chemicals across California. “I was told it was adolescent rebellion 40 years ago,” Tom Hayden told The Times in 1994. “I’ve finally come to the conclusion that sure, some of it’s hormonal, but that doesn’t explain the lifelong nature of it.” A proud rebel to the end, Hayden has died in Santa Monica at age 76.
The Voices of Aleppo
Much has been written about the horrific siege of Aleppo. We wanted to know how people are living through it. Via telephone, Facebook messenger, WhatsApp and Skype, they told us. “We live in a state of terror all the time,” says one resident of eastern Aleppo. “Even when we sleep.” The stories of suffering, especially by children, will move you.
Can Republicans Hold the Senate?
With election day just over two weeks away, Republicans are worried Democrats could take control of the U.S. Senate. They need to pick up only four seats if Hillary Clinton wins the White House, or five if she doesn’t. Given that Donald Trump’s campaign manager says Trump is behind, as well as the apparent down-ballot drag he’s having on GOP candidates, the odds of the latter scenario have increased. Take a look at what’s giving Republican strategists sleepless nights.
-- Trump’s brand is taking a hit from the sexual assault allegations against him and the lewd recording.
-- Boosting black voter turnout is key to the Clinton campaign’s North Carolina strategy.
-- Trump’s campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, denies her tweets are cries for help.
The Mega-Merger Driven by a Small Screen
To paraphrase a favorite line from “Sunset Boulevard”: AT&T and Time Warner are big. It’s the screens that got small. AT&T’s proposed $84.5-billion takeover of the media giant is one of the most dramatic examples yet of how the shift to mobile devices and Internet streaming is reshaping the technology and entertainment industries. If the government signs off (no guarantees there), will the synergy theory work this time?
For Dodger Fans, There’s Always Next Year
The Chicago Cubs defeated the Dodgers this weekend and are headed to their first World Series since 1945. Though there was ultimately no joy in Dodgerville, columnist Bill Plaschke says all is not lost after a season in which the team was “energizing, aggravating, uplifting, distressing, rocking and reeling. Often all at the same time.”
OUR MUST-READS FROM THE WEEKEND
-- A parent’s nightmare: Hundreds of American kids are suddenly paralyzed, and doctors still don’t know why.
-- How quickly should officers who kill return to work? An LAPD officer fatally shot two people just days apart.
-- “My reputation is destroyed”: Former state Sen. Ron Calderon was sentenced to 42 months in prison after he pleaded guilty in a corruption case.
-- The leaning tower of San Francisco: The 58-story Millennium Tower is upscale, but literally sinking fast.
-- On Fairfax Avenue, the Jewish scene fades and the new streetwear scene comes into focus.
-- An outsider takes charge of the Border Patrol. And yes, he’ll wear the green uniform.
-- Goodbye, meat dress. Hello, blue jeans: Lady Gaga goes classic rock on her new album “Joanne.”
YOUR ELECTION GUIDE
-- What to make of California’s 17 propositions on the ballot.
-- Reminder to Californians: Today is your last day to register to vote.
-- Endorsements by The Times’ editorial board.
-- The state is watching these six cities closely for financial fraud.
-- In this congressional district campaign, water is a bigger issue than Trump.
-- The L.A. Unified School District is taking a closer look at charter schools and maybe a harder line toward them.
-- A committee funded largely by Airbnb has donated $100,000 to promote Proposition HHH, the Los Angeles city measure that would raise tax dollars to help build 10,000 units for the chronically homeless.
HOLLYWOOD AND THE ARTS
-- “The Walking Dead” gets a crushing blow and a new beginning in a bloody seventh season.
-- “Gilmore Girls” fans flocked to a New England town for a fan fest complete with yarn.
-- Singer Janelle Monae tells us why she made her acting debut in “Moonlight.”
-- American cinema and politics take center stage at the Rome Film Festival.
-- Three ballet companies prove the brilliance of one legendary choreographer.
-- Two years after a police officer shot Laquan McDonald, Chicago residents reflect on how the shooting has changed the city.
-- At a field hospital near Mosul, even the badly wounded are itching to get back in the fight.
-- A visit to “the Jungle” refugee camp in France, just before it’s set to be destroyed.
-- Since the inception of the International Criminal Court, set up to prosecute the worst atrocities on Earth more than a decade ago, only Africans have been brought to trial.
-- Scientists may have a cure for jet lag, at least in mice: temporary oxygen deprivation. Don’t try it at home.
-- Elon Musk describes his vision for human habitats on Mars. Think: geodesic domes.
-- Five healthy money habits to teach your kids.
-- Lakers Coach Luke Walton: “I like leading by love. But I had hippie parents, so that’s to be expected.”
-- It was a long trip to London for the Rams. With another loss on their record as a souvenir, it promised to be an even longer trip back.
-- Henry Weinstein: In the Nixon-Humphrey election, I refused to vote for the “lesser of two evils.” That was a mistake.
-- If you want to influence people, don’t try to persuade them. Use “pre-suasion” instead.
WHAT OUR EDITORS ARE READING
-- Two Trump rallies in two days: the supporters, the protesters and a divided America. (The Ringer)
-- A man who once worked at WikiLeaks gives his views on Julian Assange and says why he believes Assange is out to settle a score with Hillary Clinton. (BuzzFeed News)
-- “Jack Reacher” author Lee Child on writing, criticism and the one classic book you should read. (Signature)
ONLY IN L.A.
How much would you pay for a naked statue of Donald Trump that appeared on Hollywood Boulevard in August? Someone paid $22,000 for it at an auction on Saturday night.
Please send comments and ideas to Davan Maharaj.
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