Breathe uneasily / Apple’s ‘green message bubble’ problem / Quiz!

Breathe uneasily. A new global report ranks Chicago second among major U.S. cities for 2023’s worst air pollution.
 A U.S. EPA scientist with the Chicago region’s Air and Radiation Division: “We have never seen anything like this.”
 Here’s Chicago’s score.
 Block Club: A group of kayakers is clearing up St. Patrick’s Day trash in the Chicago River.

 A man is dead and a Chicago cop wounded after an exchange of gunfire during a traffic stop on the West Side last night.
 Police were investigating the case of an Orland Park postal worker and mother of three found shot and killed early Wednesday.

‘The time has come. The time is now.
Just Go. Go. GO! I don’t care how.’
A federal judge quoted Dr. Seuss in rejecting ex-Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s lawsuit seeking clearance to return to government office.
 Read the judge’s opinion here.
 Experience the Seuss book here.

Apple’s ‘green message bubble’ problem. At the heart of the federal antitrust case against Apple, Ars Technica contends, is the way the company’s hindered communication between Apple and non-Apple devices.
 Wired: “The suit arrived … with surprising ferocity,” accusing the company of denying users “not only better prices, features and innovation, but also better digital security.”
 Calling it “one of the most significant antitrust lawsuits ever filed in the tech industry,” Platformer concludes that, “one way or another, real competition may be coming to the iPhone.”
 Read the complaint: Illinois was not among the states joining the Justice Department in suing Apple.
 Meanwhile Facebook sibling Threads has joined the “fediverse,” a thing that Gizmodo explains “upends everything we know about social media apps.”
 After a nationwide outage, driver’s license facilities across the country—including Illinois—were back online today.

Chicago schools’ ‘major shift.’ As of next year, the school board’s doing away with a per-student funding model, instead giving each school a set number of staff and bonus funding based on student needs.
 A bus driver shortage means Chicago kids who attend selective and magnet elementary schools outside their neighborhoods won’t be guaranteed rides next year.

From ‘I love you’ to ‘asshole.’ Politico: “After decades of building a ‘close, personal’ friendship with Benjamin Netanyahu, Joe Biden has had it with the Israeli prime minister. Now he’s hitting him hard—and it may be working.”
 The New York Times analyzes the Biden administration’s prosecution of Donald Trump: “In trying to avoid even the smallest mistakes, Attorney General Merrick B. Garland might have made one big one: Ending up in a race against the clock.” (A free gift-link read, paid for by Chicago Public Square readers who underwrite this service.)
 Off Message columnist Brian Beutler sees cause for optimism in the November election: “Biden’s got a lot of upside … Trump’s got a lot of downside.”

A Trump windfall? Shareholders’ approval today of a plan to take his social media company public could make Trump $3 billion richer—but not for another six months.
 Jimmy Kimmel: “A joint fundraising venture with the Republican National Committee … will give Trump the rare opportunity to bankrupt an organization that doesn’t have his name on it.”

False. Columnist and former Sun-Times CEO Edwin Eisendrath shoots down 10 of this week’s MAGA lies.
 The Times details a Maine community’s eclipse anxiety: “Where are 20,000 people going to pee?” (Another gift link.)

Have you been paying attention? Time for a fresh test of your news wits in this week’s challenge from The Conversation.
 To beat your Chicago Public Square columnist’s score this week, you’ll have to be perfect.

Correcting the correction. Thursday’s Square fix of an item in Wednesday’s Square needed another fix: Illinois Supreme Court Justice Joy Virginia Cunningham’s Democratic primary victory came as she seeks election this fall to a position to which she was appointed in 2022.
 Thanks to readers—yesterday including Ron Schwartz (again), Ian Mitchell and Marie Dillon—who take seriously Square’s commitment to accuracy.
Injustice Watch’s judicial election overview: “The most controversial candidates in subcircuits lost out to those with stronger reviews from fellow lawyers.”
 Ex-Republican Illinois State Rep. Jim Nowlan: Illinois’ judicial selection process needs an overhaul.

Coming Monday. We resume the roll call of readers whose support keeps Square coming. Those who join those ranks between now and then get to see their names listed first. And you can do that for as little as $1, once.

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