5,000 dead / Grandpa-in-chief / You’ve got money—maybe

A World Health Organization leader says the number of people affected could top 20 million—including 1.4 million children.
Live TV caught two aftershocks in Turkey.
Other heartbreaking video—presented with a graphic content advisory—shows a child pulled alive from the rubble.
The Washington Post explains why this quake was so deadly.

‘I don’t care for how he has been cozying up to … the Trumpy local chapter of the Fraternal Order of Police.’ Ex-Tribune columnist Eric Zorn (middle of today’s edition) has a problem with the Trib’s endorsement of Paul Vallas for Chicago mayor.
A new ad by Mayor Lightfoot’s team shows Vallas asserting in 2009: “I’m more of a Republican than a Democrat.”

‘If Chuy would win the mayorship, what happens to his seat in Congress?’ The Chicago Public Square mailbag brought that question from reader Jerry Zieman about U.S. Rep. Chuy Garcia’s bid to unseat Lori Lightfoot.
Garcia’s pushing a plan to give Chicago homeowners and renters relief from rising property taxes.
Time to check out the Square voter guide.

Grandpa-in-chief. Look for President Biden’s State of the Union address tonight to strike a tone of reassurance.
His guests will include U2 founder Bono.
You can watch on the White House YouTube channel (link updated).
Donald Trump-loving Illinois Rep. Mary Miller says she’ll boycott.
First-term Rep. Delia Ramirez of Illinois will deliver progressive Democrats’ response.
Columnist Rex Huppke contends that nothing Biden can say would “shake conservatives’ conspiratorial construct that every move he makes is a demonic blend of evil,” and so proposes a draft that begins: “The State of the Union is … WOKE AS (EXPLETIVE)!”

‘Few individuals have spent more money to legitimize Trump … than Charles Koch.’ Popular Information details how the right-wing billionaire keeps trolling journalists by signaling a break with the ex-president.
The Nib’s Tom Tomorrow suggests Valentine’s Day greetings from reactionary Republicans.
Also at The Nib: Ron DeSantis’ Book Club—mocking the Florida governor’s totalitarian push to remove library books.

‘It’s a mess out there.’ Your Local Epidemiologist explains what the president’s decision to end the COVID-19 emergency actually means.
Columnist Matt Yglesias: The pandemic’s still upending the economy in surprising ways.

Abortion as ‘involuntary servitude.’ A federal judge says the 13th Amendment—the one created to end slavery—may provide a constitutional right to abortion.
Jessica Valenti’s Abortion, Every Day newsletter spotlights Florida high schoolers unhappy about a requirement that student athletes report their menstrual histories.

You’ve got money—maybe. Checking the Illinois database of unclaimed property is quick and easy—just enter your name—and could net you bucks you didn’t know you had coming.
The City Cast Chicago team came into some cash that way (bottom of today’s edition).
Chicago’s domestic workers and undocumented immigrants are eligible to apply for one-time $500 payments under the city’s COVID relief program.

‘If AI helps newsrooms better serve readers, they should welcome its arrival.’ Media critic Jack Shafer: “We shouldn’t fear that take-over if it produces better journalism.”
Poynter: ChatGPT can launch fake news sites in minutes.
Citing staffing challenges, newspaper giant Gannett—which laid off hundreds last year—has eliminated online comments at most of its sites.
Google’s stepping up the AI arms race, rolling out a service called Bard, which it says can do things like plan a baby shower and compare Oscar-nominated movies.

Did you miss us? If you found yourself longing for Square over the long weekend, know that you can always get updates via the Square Facebook page, where you would have found news such as this:
Victims’ quest for justice from a corrupt Chicago cop who destroyed hundreds of lives.

Square asketh, Square giveth. Square would love your vote in the Reader’s Best of Chicago poll.
More free one-month subscriptions for the paid edition of Eric Zorn’s Picayune Sentinel will go to the first three readers to write to Picayune@ChicagoPublicSquare.com.
 Pam Spiegel made this edition better.

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