‘Dead men walking’ / ‘Hauling ass’ / ‘Desperate and disfigured’

‘Dead men walking.’ That’s The Intercept’s take on Russian mercenary leader Yevgeny Prigozhin and Russia’s President Vladimir Putin after Prigozhin’s apparently failed attempt to overthrow Putin.
 A Russian TV anchor and Kremlin propagandist: “Our country will never be the same again” …
 Poynter media watchdog Tom Jones: CNN’s weekend coverage of the Russian situation shined.
 A Wesleyan University scholar says the episode has shredded Putin’s “strongman” image …
 … and The Telegraph says it’s raised U.S. concerns about who controls Russia’s nuclear arsenal …
 … but it’s boosted spirits in Ukraine.
 The Intercept again: As Ukraine’s worked to liberate more territory occupied by Russia, it’s escalated censorship of journalists trying to cover the front lines.
 The Hollywood Reporter: Before he turned on Putin, Prigozhin made propaganda movies to sell his war.

‘The soul of Chicago.’ Mayor Johnson is praising Chicago billionaire James Crown, who died Sunday in a car crash at a Colorado race track …
 … on his 70th birthday, less than a month after he committed to spearheading an ambitious Civic Committee initiative to cut Chicago’s violent crime.

For Chicago, rainbows. The bursts of rain that disrupted the city’s Pride Parade had an apt upside: Vivid rainbows caught by many a camera …
 … but the weather wasn’t so kind as it moved east into Indiana and beyond.

‘Hauling ass.’ Although the top speeds for NASCAR racers next Sunday may not be evident until Saturday’s qualifying runs, a race veteran tells the Sun-Times that drivers’ aggression will amaze spectators.
 Axios Chicago’s Justin Kaufmann is excited: “It's like Mario Kart … alive on Michigan Avenue.”
 The Tribune: 40 cars racing around downtown in warm, humid weather ain’t gonna improve air quality.
 Author and Atlantic contributor James Fallows explains why he and his wife bought a Tesla—despite founder Elon Musk’s damage to public discourse.
 As electric vehicles cut into gasoline sales, more states are considering taxing auto travel by the mile instead of the gallon.

‘There are far better uses for $6.5 billion.’ Community activist and civic leader* Marj Halperin, in a letter to the Sun-Times, condemns plans to pour taxpayer money into a big residential, transit and business development just west of Soldier Field.
 Hey, maybe some of it could help get the hazardous lead paint out of Chicago Public Schools.

Supreme suspense. The AP lists some of the big decisions still to come from the Supreme Court before it breaks for summer …
 … including a case about state lawmakers’ power to make rules for federal elections—independent of state courts’ authority (December link).
 PolitiFact rates Donald Trump’s 2020 election assertions “Pants on Fire.”

‘Unreliable Artificial Intelligence-Generated News.’ That’s what NewsGuard calls websites operating with little or no human oversight, publishing articles written largely or altogether by bots. And it counts at least 141 major brands unintentionally supporting the spread of that misinformation.
 Here’s NewsGuard’s UAIN site tracker.

‘Desperate and disfigured.’ ProPublica unzips a report on “the secretive world of penile enlargement.”
 The Washington Post: Facebook parent Meta’s new AI lets people make chatbots. They’re using it for sex.
 Writing in Wired, a University of Oxford digital ethics scholar sees a future in which “we … accept pornographic deepfakes as a normal way of fantasizing about sex, only that we outsource some of the work that used to happen in the brain to a machine.”

How’s this edition look? We’re tweaking the Chicago Public Square format for legibility this week. Better or worse? Let us know what you think by replying to any email edition or emailing design@chicagopublicsquare.com.
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Summer’s here and the time is right for glancing at these T’s. Your seasonal wardrobe’s not complete without a Square cap and T-shirt, as sported yesterday by reader Steve Ignots, dressed to the nines.
 Support Square in any amount—one-time (nice!) or recurring (nicer!)—and you get $5 off either or both.
 Elizabeth Austin made this edition better.

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* And esteemed former colleague to your Square columnist at the late WXRT News (2019 link).

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