‘Inexcusable’ / ‘It’s gone’/ Fox’s ‘big loss’

‘Inexcusable.’ A union helping Amazon workers organize says having employees stay on the job during Friday’s tornado blitz—which killed at least six workers at Amazon’s Edwardsville, Illinois, facility—was “a dangerous labor practice.”
A survivor tells The New York Times, I felt like the floor was coming off the ground.”
A worker at a nearby Amazon facility flags the company’s limits on workers carrying phones on the job: “After these deaths, there is no way in hell I am relying on Amazon to keep me safe.”
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, who the morning after the twister assault was cheering on another batch of his celebrity space tourists, didn’t comment on his employees’ deaths until late that evening.

‘It’s gone.’ The storms obliterated much of Mayfield, Kentucky …
 … as heartbreakingly captured by drone footage like this and this. (Photo: State Farm.)
A Mayfield factory that produces candles faces questions about why it kept workers on the job Friday night—leaving at least eight dead.
A University of Illinois at Chicago professor of sustainable infrastructure systems joins colleagues to flag post-disaster cleanup as wasteful.
A National Severe Storms Laboratory scientist: As national temperatures rise, the U.S. is likely to see more winter tornadoes.

Promising developments. Bloomberg reports early data from South Africa shows that the omicron COVID-19 variant seems to spread much faster than its precursors—but also doesn’t appear to cause severe disease.
Epidemiologist Katelyn Jetelina on new studies suggesting vaccine effectiveness against omicron increases to 70-80% after a booster shot: “This is nothing short of phenomenal.”

Vaxxes for the littles. The Tribune profiles some of the families in a Chicago vaccine trial for children 6 months to 5 years old.
A gastroenterologist explains to kids why poop is brown.

$2.9 million. That’s how much the City of Chicago was reportedly ready to put on the table to settle with Anjanette Young for the bungled 2019 police raid on her home …
 … and $2.1 million in other settlements were also up for City Council members’ OK.

Fox’s ‘big loss.’ CNN’s Brian Stelter dissects Chris Wallace’s decision to leave Fox News for CNN.
AP: “Even guests on his show Sunday hadn’t been tipped off they were seeing his finale.”
The Daily Beast:Fox News Is Fully Tucker TV Now.”
Veteran Chicago newspaper editor Mark Jacob: “CNN … probably hopes you don’t notice another new hire, Alyssa Farah, who served as a professional liar in the Trump administration. She’s part of a history of CNN hiring corrupt right-wing commentators.”
A veteran CNN producer—of disgraced ex-CNN anchor Chris Cuomo, no less—has been accused of coaxing underage girls into “sexual training.”

Rowling in the gutter. Harry Potter creator J.K. Rowling is in the thick of controversy again after her latest “transphobic” tweet …
 … but conservatives like it.
Interview With the Vampire author Anne Rice is dead at 80.

‘He dreams of Mars as he bestrides Earth.’ Time’s Person of the Year is Elon Musk.
Its Heroes of the Year: Vaccine scientists.

Unrelated developments.
Sun-Times columnist Neil Steinberg hails the arrival in Chicago next year of the World Clown Association’s annual convention.
Axios Chicago checked half a dozen bars along Saturday’s TBOX bar crawl and saw no one following the city’s mask mandate.

‘Like anticipating a third death.’ Former Trib architecture critic Blair Kamin returns to the paper with an elegy for his late parents’ home, which faces demolition by new owners.

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