Phonejacking alert / Pedestrian deaths surging / Newsroom raid victims’ stories

Phonejacking alert. The Sun-Times flags a rash of crimes in which thieves grab victims’ phones and then demand passcodes to apps like Zelle and Venmo.
 Although a Chicago cop recommends deleting those apps from your phone outright until you need them, a less drastic compromise is just to hide ’em—as you can do easily on an iPhone or Android device.
 Popular Information condemns a Washington Post editorial “calling for an aggressive national response to organized retail crime” while relying on industry numbers that constitute “a complete fabrication.”

‘The notorious gun shop linked to hundreds of Chicago guns.’ ProPublica says the case of an Indiana business illustrates that more than 60,000 U.S. gun retailers have little financial incentive to tell questionable buyers no.
 A Chicago cop who shot and killed two men—costing City Hall about $2 million—is running to become a Cook County judge.
 Invisible Institute founder Jamie Kalven: “Why does the Chicago Police Department tolerate abusive racists in its ranks?

Pedestrian deaths surging at night. Looking for reasons, The New York Times indicts phones and pot.
 Illustrating the dangers of a largely deregulated freight train industry, Last Week Tonight’s John Oliver last night terrifyingly reenvisioned a 1984 Thomas the Tank Engine episode.
 He also spotlighted the “anti-LGBT” bigotry of House Speaker Mike Johnson, “who believes in more accountability for his son’s search history than he does for the people who tried to overthrow the government.”
 Against the wishes of three conservative justices, the Supreme Court today refused to take on a case about whether state and local governments can ban conversion therapy for LGBTQ+ kids.

‘He really is all hat, no cattle.’ Law professor Joyce Vance is unsurprised at Donald Trump’s decision not to show up as the final witness in the civil fraud trial against him in New York.
 A legal expert tells Trump’s niece Mary: “With the gag order back in place, there is no way Donald’s testimony wouldn’t have landed him in jail. He would have attacked the court, he would have done exactly what he was told he couldn’t do.”
 Wisconsin’s secretary of state is calling for removal of one of Trump’s fake electors from the state elections commission.
 Public Notice columnist and lawyer Lisa Needham: “The Hunter Biden indictment is the product of weaponized justice—but not in the way Republicans say.”
 Alex Jones, the asshole who called the 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut a hoax and who’s been ordered to pay families of educators and first-graders killed in that attack $1.5 billion, is now welcome back on Twitter X.
■ Columnist Parker Molloy: “It's Been a Year Since NYT Published a Notoriously Bad Article [about X overlord Elon Musk]. It’s More False Than Ever.

A war crime? That’s how Amnesty International characterizes—and Washington Post analysis affirms—Israel’s use of U.S.-supplied white phosphorus munitions in an attack that injured at least nine civilians in Lebanon.
 The Conversation: “Hamas’ use of sexual violence is an all-too-common part of modern war.”
 Also: “Israel’s mass displacement of Gazans fits strategy of using migration as a tool of war.”

‘If you think, even for a moment, this isn’t what longtime abortion opponents want … think again.’ USA Today columnist Rex Huppke: “Texas is showing Americans the dark future women face.”
Post columnist Jennifer Rubin: Republicans, “having catered to extreme antiabortion forces … should prepare to reap the political whirlwind in 2024.” (Gift link, courtesy of Chicago Public Square supporters).

Newsroom raid victims’ stories. The Freedom of the Press Foundation this afternoon hosts an online panel in which journalists abused by police and the FBI—in Florida and Kansas—share their accounts firsthand.
 You can RSVP free here.

‘Advice for anyone who is helping an elder … take a road test.’ Reader Anne Libby updates her quest last month to nail down an elusive appointment for her senior citizen dad to renew his driver’s license through the Illinois Secretary of State’s office: “When we looked online this time, the scheduling page had a new banner, showing a number for senior citizens to call to schedule road tests. … We called  … and were able to make a local appointment for him.  … Call 800-252-8980, select Option 2.”

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