Among the missing and the dead / Earth, F’d / Mailbag

Among the missing and the dead. An Evanston mom and her daughter—a 2023 graduate of Deerfield High School—who were visiting Israel the day of the Palestinian group Hamas’ attack haven’t been heard from since.
 A statement from the high school’s principal echoes the family’s fear they’ve been taken hostage.
 The original attack and Israel’s retaliatory strikes have claimed at least 1,600 lives—a number likely to grow.
 Chicago author Ethan Michaeli, in Israel for his mother’s funeral, tells Axios: “Within the country, people are comparing this to 9/11.”
 The Associated Press: Under heavy bombing, Palestinians in Gaza have been moving from place to place—only to discover that nowhere is safe.
 Politico: The war is escalating Democratic Party tension “between backing Israel unequivocally and calling for restraint.”
 Media writer Tom Jones: Journalists have been rushing into danger to cover the war …
 … as the conflict drowns Twitter X in disinformation …
 … and brings new focus to Threads, where Platformer’s Casey Newton says “Meta’s investments in trust and safety are paying off.”
 Stephen Colbert said ChatGPT declined a request to write a joke about the conflict—“a rare show of humanity from something that can’t identify which photos contain a traffic light.”

Illinois’ new look. An analysis by the University of Illinois and the Illinois Economic Policy Institute finds the state’s population becoming more urban, educated, foreign-born and higher-paid.
 A researcher tells the Tribune: “Reports of Illinois’ population decline have been greatly exaggerated.”
 Growing population or not, the Trib reports the CTA has been cutting service even as other cities build their transit capacities. (Graphics referred to are behind a paywall.)

‘Tent camps in a Chicago winter are a bad idea.’ A Sun-Times editorial condemns Mayor Johnson’s deal with a sketchy company.
 A Trib editorial: Can the pile of cash Cook County government’s sitting on ease the migrant crisis?

‘A public safety threat.’ Cops have shut a near North Side nightclub outside of which eight people were shot—two critically—early Sunday.
 CWBChicago proprietor Tim Hecke: “Sometimes a mass shooting or two is not enough to close a nightclub in Chicago. Will this one be different?

Earth, F’d. A watchdog group’s found a big flaw in a landmark environmental treaty—one that lets U.S. factories pump global-warming fluorinated gases, or F-gases, into the atmosphere.
 Popular Information: California’s cracking down on deceitful bragging about corporations’ environmental efforts.
 The Lever bestows the title “Swamp Thing” on Republicans’ temporary House speaker, Patrick McHenry, who’s received 90% of his campaign cash this year from the lobbyists and industries he regulates.

‘A vanity project.’ Republicans are attacking presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. for launching an independent run for the White House.

Including Illinois. Spotlighting problems with homeschooling across the country, HBO’s John Oliver flags 11 states where parents practicing it don’t have to notify anyone at all.
 He also calls out a Franklin, Tennessee, “hardcore MAGA candidate” for mayor—a woman who tried to block a Pride event in April …
 … but who encouraged her husband back in 2008, when he was running as a Republican for Congress, to wear a tiny red, white, and blue swimsuit in Chicago’s Pride Parade.
 Also: Do they live in Franklin or … Chicago? (September link.)

‘Visitors to Bally’s temporary casino at Medinah Temple are losing an average of $84.’ Columnist Eric Zorn rewrites a Sun-Times headline.
 Columnist Robert Loerzel looks back to Chicago’s 1918 war against fun.
 Critic Richard Roeper bestows three stars on Painkiller, a Paramount+ documentary series about the Chicago area’s 1982 Tylenol murders.

Chicago Public Square mailbag. Reader Angela Mullins writes in response to an item in Friday’s edition citing speculation from ex-Donald Trump aide Alyssa Farah Griffin that Taylor Swift is “probably the only person” who could beat Trump in a presidential face-off:
 “Griffin’s comment—that it’s so surprising a musician’s opinion could possibly influence their fans politically—shows just how short-sighted a lot of people have become. ‘Rock the Vote’ had a massive impact on voter registration. Woodstock was political, The Beatles were political, Woody Guthrie … I can’t even stop going down that rabbit hole. Turning it into ‘Taylor Swift needs to run for president’ is cheap.”
 Readers’ thoughts are always welcome here.

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