‘Cohen torched Trump’ / Overkill / AI’s huge leap

‘Cohen torched Trump.’ Recapping yesterday’s testimony from Donald Trump’s ex-lawyer, Michael Cohen, Politico says the question now is whether the jury in Trump’s criminal trial will believe Cohen.
 Cohen’s statements included this: “What I was doing, I was doing at the direction of and for the benefit of Mr. Trump.”
 Law professor Joyce Vance: “In other words, Trump knew. He always knew.”
 Read a transcript of yesterday’s key moments.
 You can follow live updates today here on what Stephen Colbert succinctly calls Trump’s “‘faking business records to cover up bangin’ a porn star’ trial.”

Overkill. A nationwide AP investigation concludes that, in hundreds of deaths where police used force meant to stop someone without killing them, cops violated well-known guidelines for safe restraint.
 That includes cases of officers injecting sedatives into people under arrest.

Loretto larceny. A former executive of Chicago’s scandal-scarred Loretto Hospital has been arrested on charges of helping to embezzle almost half a million dollars from the institution.
 She was nabbed in Houston after boarding a private jet bound for Dubai.
 Chicago City Treasurer Melissa Conyears-Ervin’s been fined $10,000 for firing whistleblowers on her payroll.

Heaven forbid! A Republican member of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission complains that a new rule expanding transmission of renewable energy to the electrical grid is a gift to solar and wind power operators.
 The world set a record in 2023: 30% of all electricity came from clean energy sources.
 Citing, among other things, the Biden administration’s commitment to a clean-energy economy, historian Heather Cox Richardson declares Democrats “America’s cheerleaders.”

AI’s huge leap. ChatGPT’s new GPT-4o is amazing the tech world …
 … even as it displays creepily advanced emotional sensitivity and voice capabilities that evoke the 2013 movie Her.
 It’s free for all—but, so far, just via web browser.

Jeopardy! branches out. It’s going to launch a pop-culture-centered version on Amazon’s Prime Video.
 Comcast says it’ll offer customers a bargain-priced bundle: Netflix, Peacock and Apple TV+.
 How many of these broadcast TV shows getting canceled have you ever watched?

Chicago Public Square mailbag. A reader who prefers not to be named writes of yesterday’s edition: “I found your reference to the Duke commencement disappointing. … It would have been appropriate to put in your citation the context that ‘dozens’ out of 7,000 graduates walked out” on Jerry Seinfeld’s commencement speech.

‘It takes a lot of ego to fill that blank space, day after day, year in and year out, and a lot of humility to realize it doesn’t matter to anyone else a fraction as much as it matters to you.’ Columnist Neil Steinberg has just a little sympathy for a California newspaper columnist “unceremoniously sacked” after 55 years.
Square’s counsel to any columnist cut loose: Just keep doing it (2022 link) …
 … you know, like Eric Zorn.
 But Rudy Giuliani? Give it a rest.

Strictly personal.
Pre-sale begins today for a useful book to which your Square columnist has contributed a bit: Everybody Needs an Editor: The Essential Guide to Clear and Effective Writing.
 Back in 2015, co-author Melissa Harris made a strong case for just one space—not two—after a period.
 Mike Braden made this edition better.

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