Newsletter: Today: The Recount, the Tweetstorm and the New Normal. Cuba Sin El Comandante.

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 Recount, the Tweetstorm and the New Normal

Nearly three weeks after the election, the prospect of a recount in three states sent Donald Trump to Twitter to attack it as “a scam.” Then, without providing evidence, he claimed that millions of people had voted illegally. Seem familiar? As Cathleen Decker writes, Trump the president-elect has so far been a lot like Trump the candidate: mixing business ambitions with pending government power, changing policy positions and fostering public feuds.


More Politics

-- Kellyanne Conway warned that Trump supporters would feel betrayed if he picked Mitt Romney as secretary of State.

-- Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner is the next president’s “eyes and ears.”

-- How Nancy Pelosi’s daughter and Dianne Feinstein’s granddaugther became part of the electoral college.


Cuba Sin El Comandante

The death of Fidel Castro set off celebrations in Miami and mourning in Havana. But just as many Cuban immigrants in the U.S. said they won’t be returning to the island, many Cubans don’t expect major changes now that their comandante is gone. After all, Fidel’s 85-year-old brother Raul is firmly in control until 2018, and senior Cuban officials cite China and Vietnam as their models: a communist government, little political freedom and a capitalism-driven economy.

On Crime, Haters and the Police

Before the presidential campaign, hate-crime reports were rising nationally and in California. After the divisive election, a number of high-profile incidents have made headlines. Now, police across the state are trying to stop hate crimes before they happen: through a public awareness campaign, closer monitoring of social media and, in San Francisco’s case, sending out undercover officers to see if they become targets. “In times of turmoil, in times of uncertainty, in times of strife, hate crimes increase,” L.A. Police Chief Charlie Beck says.

Last Stand at Standing Rock?

For months, Native Americans and others have protested plans for the Dakota Access pipeline near the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota. They call themselves “water protectors.” The police in recent weeks have portrayed them as rioters. Last week, the Army Corps of Engineers ordered the main demonstrator camp to be evacuated by Dec. 5. But as with most things involving this dispute, neither side can see eye to eye.

He Keeps Track of Disney, A to Z

Hollywood has a reputation for neglecting its past, but Disney took a step in the right direction when it hired a young UCLA reference librarian who pitched the company on creating its own archives. Forty-six years later, Dave Smith may be retired, but he still gets a kick out of showing off Walt Disney’s birth certificate or the first Disneyland admission ticket ever sold. (It cost just 1!) Meet the man who has dedicated his life to documenting all facets of the Disney empire.



-- A growing number of National Park Service sites deal with contentious issues of race and ethnicity in American history.

-- Some immigrants fear that the definition of a “criminal” will be stretched under Trump.

-- Trump’s election has China’s former critics looking to Beijing to defend globalization, willingly or not.

-- Can a child who starts kindergarten with few reading or math skills catch up?

-- After $1 billion in player spending, the Dodgers are under an MLB mandate to cut debt.

-- Why Florence Henderson’s passing feels like a death in the family.

-- In the novel “Moonglow,” Michael Chabon looks at how family stories come into being.



-- A Californian will be the first woman of color elected to House leadership. The only question is, will it be Linda Sanchez or Barbara Lee?

-- The state bar association prohibits attorneys from coercing a client into sex or demanding sex in exchange for legal representation, but some lawyers are objecting to a proposal for an all-out ban.

-- The Los Angeles Zoo will celebrate its 50th anniversary today with birthday treats for humans and animals.

-- Your moment of Zen: Watch this time-lapse video of clouds over L.A.


-- Beauty baths, hairstyling, 1,750 pounds of carrots: the luxe life of a Cavalia horse.

-- “I never worked for the money”: Sam Elliott discusses his long career and the Netflix series “The Ranch.”

-- California sounds: Three music videos to watch from local bands.

-- Michael Arden, man of the moment in L.A. theater, merrily rolls along.

-- Ron Glass, who starred in the ’70s police sitcom “Barney Miller” and Joss Whedon’s “Firefly,” has died at age 71.


-- New Orleans police say one man is dead and nine others injured after a shooting in the French Quarter.

-- Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is publicly flirting with bringing back martial law.

-- Biafra, scene of a bloody civil war decades ago, is once again a place of conflict.

-- “Of course, we do have some crashes”: Inside the driving school with live, moving hazards that prepares drivers for Nigeria’s crazy roads.


-- The era of super-low interest rates might be ending. What’s in it for you?

-- This year’s Black Friday shoppers went online more and spent less.


-- Helene Elliott: Rookie quarterback Jared Goff makes progress, but it’s not enough in the Rams’ loss to the Saints.

-- Dylan Hernandez: USC can ponder what might have been, but that loss at Utah two months ago made a difference.


-- Trump admits he has a kleptocracy problem, but so far, he doesn’t have a solution.

-- The incarceration of Japanese Americans in World War II does not provide a legal cover for a Muslim registry.


-- A closer look at Trump national security advisor Michael Flynn. (The New Yorker)

-- KFC without the bucket, McDonald’s without the golden arches: The origins of our modern-day fast-food franchises. (Wall Street Journal)

-- Butterball’s Turkey Talk-Line has received some weird calls. (Esquire)


How do you keep the Rams looking sharp, even if the team is well below .500? In this video, Ben Bloomer, the team’s assistant equipment manager, shows the details that go into preparing helmets and other gear each week. “It’s very integral. We’re like the garbage men of society,” he says. “If they quit, nothing happens.”

Please send comments and ideas to Davan Maharaj.

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