The Latest

Southern California breaking news and trends

KPCC DIGEST AM (Sep. 9)—Syria, Serena, Van Gogh in hiding, how to trick your kids with art, the city tells us where to plant it

Desert sunflowers begin the annual desert bloom at sunrise near Amboy Crater National Natural Landmark as a near-normal rain season follows a near-record dry season that lead to a wave of massive wildfires across southern California in 2007, on February 29, 2008 near Amboy, California. Weather experts are saying that it would take years of above-normal rainfall to refill the shrinking reservoirs of the West and to recover from a drought that has plagued western states since the end of the 1990s. Very few wildflowers were seen in California deserts in 2007. Amboy Crater is a symmetrically-shaped cinder cone near Mojave National Preserve in one of the youngest volcanic fields in the nation. The last eruption period occurred 500 years ago.
Desert sunflowers begin the annual desert bloom at sunrise near Amboy Crater National Natural Landmark as a near-normal rain season follows a near-record dry season that lead to a wave of massive wildfires across southern California in 2007, on February 29, 2008 near Amboy, California. Weather experts are saying that it would take years of above-normal rainfall to refill the shrinking reservoirs of the West and to recover from a drought that has plagued western states since the end of the 1990s. Very few wildflowers were seen in California deserts in 2007. Amboy Crater is a symmetrically-shaped cinder cone near Mojave National Preserve in one of the youngest volcanic fields in the nation. The last eruption period occurred 500 years ago. David McNew/Getty Images

1. Serena Williams—From Compton courts to 17th major title (AP)

Serena Williams won her first U.S. Open at age 17. Last weekend, she won her 17th at the same site at age 31, earning $3.6 million and becoming the first woman to surpass $9 million in a season. But that's not what excites her.

"I honestly love to play," Williams said. "When I grew up playing tennis in Compton I just never thought about any of this...I think my dad got me into tennis because of the money, but me being naive and silly, I never thought about it. I just thought, `I want to win.'"

2. Syria: Of response and retaliation (NPR)

Arguments for and against military action in Syria were laid out Monday as more details from CBS's Charlie Rose interview were released, beginning with this:

"President Bashar Assad warned Sunday that if President Obama decides to launch military strikes on Syria, the U.S. and its allies should 'expect every action' in retaliation."

3. From the file of found-in-a-Norwegian-attic comes a 'new' Van Gogh painting (NPR)

A painting once maligned as a fake and stuffed away in an attic has now been identified as a long-lost work by Vincent Van Gogh.

"Sunset at Montmajour" has been authenticated by research research into style, paint, canvas, depiction and other means, according to a statement Monday by the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam.

4. Where the LA sidewalk ends (and your new garden begins?) (KPCC)

Locally grown food is about to get local-er. You may soon be able to grow fruits and vegetable outside home on city property.

The Los Angeles Department of Public Works is in the process of assembling a new list of plants that are acceptable to grow on public parkways—those rectangles of land sandwiched between streets and sidewalks.

5. How to trick your child into learning the alphabet (KPCC)

The toddler years aren't just about tantrums—they're a crucial period for developing motor skills and literacy.

From Pinterest to toilet paper tube painting, Education.com and other websites have put together a series of  activities for prechoolers, all based around letter recognition activities.

6. Instagram with ads, can you picture it? (Mashable)

Commercial-free Instagram is falling out focus as the photo and video-sharing service develops plans to introduce ads in the next year, according to a new report.

Facebook acquired Instagram in 2012 and previously teased the idea of introducing ads to justify its investment.

7. NFL season openers proves dangerous. For fans. (Sacramento Bee)

Falls by fans at stadiums in San Francisco and Indianapolis during NFL season openers have left one man dead and two other people injured, authorities said.

At the 49ers' game against the Packers at Candlestick Park Sunday, a man fell to his death from an elevated pedestrian walkway.

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