Today: Syrians in Brazil. Troubling Jail Tactics.

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I'm Davan Maharaj, editor of the Los Angeles Times. Here are some story lines I don't want you to miss today.


TOP STORIES


Syrians Step Uneasily Into Brazil's Open Arms
Brazil has made it relatively easy for Syrian refugees to relocate there, but South America's largest country is often a destination of last resort. Many find the street crime, a lack of jobs and a more sensual culture difficult to deal with. But some are also reinventing themselves. See the latest installment of our "Fleeing Syria" series about the mass migration.
Chained to the Wall in an L.A. County Jail
Dozens of inmates at an L.A. County maximum-security jail were chained to the wall with their hands behind their backs, half or completely naked, sometimes with their feet shackled to the floor. The reason: Officials were waiting for them to expel contraband from their bodies. Experts say the practice, which the Sheriff's Department has since stopped, was improper and inhumane. The department has referred 24 cases to the district attorney's office, but advocates for the deputies say they were just following policy.
Rays of Hope in San Bernardino's Schools
Bankruptcy. Shootings. Meth. A terrorist attack. San Bernardino has been through hell. But for immigrant families who live there, hope is in the picture too. Especially in the schools. The district has overhauled its programs to train students not just for college but also for careers in trades such as precision manufacturing, solar power and digital media arts.
Trading China's Cram Schools for L.A.'s Colleges
Chinese students are studying in California in greater numbers than ever before, and not just at big universities. Community colleges in the L.A. area such as those in Pasadena and Santa Monica are seeing more students from lower-middle-class families looking for an alternative to the unforgiving Chinese educational system. But there are pluses and minuses for colleges and attendees.
A Globetrotter Through and Through
Half-court hook shots. No-look behind-the-back passes. Water buckets filled with confetti. The strains of "Sweet Georgia Brown." All of these went into the showmanship of Meadowlark Lemon, who became known as the "Clown Prince of Basketball" in his 24 years with the Harlem Globetrotters. Wilt Chamberlain once called him "the most sensational, awesome, incredible basketball player I've ever seen." Relive the legacy of Lemon, who died at age 83.


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CALIFORNIA


— San Bernardino shooter Tashfeen Malik said she was pregnant when she sought a U.S. green card.
— SoCal Gas pinpoints the site of a leaking well near Porter Ranch.
— Should L.A.'s probation agency be split between youths and adults?
Sikhs feel animosity and are attacked by people who mistake them for Muslims.


NATION-WORLD


— President Obama expands government anti-poverty efforts, frustrating Republicans.
— A grand jury declines to indict a Cleveland police officer in the fatal shooting of 12-year-old Tamir Rice.
— South Korea and Japan "finally and irreversibly" reconcile on World War II sex slaves.
— A look ahead at pivotal cases going before the Supreme Court in 2016.
— Can banks work with pot sellers? The judge in a Colorado case will soon decide.


HOLLYWOOD AND THE ARTS


— Michael Hiltzik: "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" stinks and here's why.
— Some young stars embrace the fame of being in a movie franchise, while others struggle or even walk away.
— Curators and collectors remember the late abstract artist Ellsworth Kelly.
— Steve Carell and director Adam McKay cash in on 25 years of funny friendship in "The Big Short."
— "The Martian's" production designer reveals the secrets of making the Rover and all that sand.


BUSINESS


— Take a look at this year's winners and losers in the financial markets.
— Wells Fargo faces a new lawsuit from an investor who took huge losses on mortgage-backed securities.
— Chinese auto start-ups are poised to disrupt the electric car market.


SPORTS


— For resilient USC seniors, a period of great tumult will end in the Holiday Bowl.
— A doctor backs Peyton Manning's denial of PED use, and the source of an Al Jazeera report recants his story.


WHAT OUR EDITORS ARE READING


— Documents show Islamic State's bureaucracy, including a department for "war spoils." (Reuters)
— Why are there so few female movie critics today? (The Atlantic)
— Did you know Papua New Guinea has the most "living languages" of any country? (The Guardian)


ONLY IN L.A.


He was known simply as Lemmy — a metal god who fronted the band Motörhead. The Rainbow Bar & Grill in West Hollywood was his home away from home. (His menu tip: the spicy chicken strips.) So when he died of cancer on Monday, it was fitting that he was with his family "sitting in front of his favorite video game from the Rainbow." The game had recently been moved into his house nearby. Rock on.
Please send comments and ideas to Davan Maharaj.
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