Lead story: Oh, BP. It’s okay. Really. By now, everyone’s forgotten all about that teensy little oopsy-daisy you had in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. You know, the little spill wherein you dumped an estimated 206 million gallons of crude oil into a delicate ecosystem? Wherein the economic effects linger (but thanks for those ads!) as does the threat of oil churning up every time a hurricane comes by? I mean, sure, it’s understandable you’d be nervous after that. But I wouldn’t worry. No one will get that upset about you selling 4.7 million gallons of tainted gas in Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin. That’s way less than before! It’s a good thing you’re finding oil in other places, like the Nile Delta. Who needs the Nile Delta anyway? Not Gulf of Mexico wildlife or fuel injectors, am I right?
Also: The defense in the Drew Peterson case has rested, meaning the jury could soon get the case, and then we’d be all done with this thing one way or another, right? Wrong. While Peterson himself will not testify at the trial, depending on how the jury finds, we won’t be done with this thing for a while. A guilty verdict will only mean lenghty appeals. The prosecution's anctis — as well as that hearsay law — give the defense plenty of grist for that fight. A not guilty verdict means the prosecution will up their attempts to peg the Stacy Peterson murder on Drew, too, something that's hard to do without a body. The most fun outcome of all also feels the most likely: a mistrial. Then we get to do this dance all over again.
And then: So now that the Chicago Teachers Union has made their ten-day strike announcement, what comes next? First of all, a lot of tense waiting for parents over the next week. The strike notice means teachers could strike at the end of next week, but it's also a tactic they could use to force the city's hand to fire up negotiations. Said negotiations have been going on since last November. And while it's been 25 years since the last teacher's strike in Chicago, parents are obviously still worried about what they'll do if the strike does happen. Two seemingly movable forces are now primed for a fight that has an endpoint; it's just a matter of who'll blink first.
Farewell: Tennis star Kim Clijsters, who retired from the sport after a loss at the U.S. Open Wednesday. The four-time Grand Slam event winner (three U.S. Open titles, one Australian Open title) knew it'd be her last tournament going in. And while a second-round loss isn't exactly what she had in mind, she walks away one of the great hardcourt players of the last decade.
- Hurricane Isaac moved ashore — slowly — and has weakened to a tropical depression. But the clean-up is just beginning in Southeast Louisiana, where early estimates put the storm’s surge almost on par with that of Katrina.
- Paul Ryan had his moment in the spotlight at the GOP convention Wednesday night, accepting the vice presidential nomination while delivering a speech that set fact checkers on fire.
- Meanwhile, President Obama proved he’s the nerdy dad we suspected, taking to popular Internet forum Reddit for an AMA (Ask Me Anything) session. It’s pretty great to see a President embracing the Internet like this even if his answers were bland and predictable.
- Remember the controversy over opening Wal-Mart stores in Chicago a few years back? Now that they’re springing up across the city, this little animation shows how they’ve spread across the entire country. Watch and try not to think of a plague spreading.
- Outer space science continues to amaze as we now know that gravity waves can be seen.
- A Chicago Police officer was shot in the knee while responding to a call last night in Morgan Park; his injuries aren’t life-threatening. It’s a sobering reminder of the number of police officers killed or injured in the line of duty in Chicago in recent years.
- Even Alderman aren’t spared during this violent year. James Cappleman (46th) has reportedly been attacked twice now, most recently by a knife-wielding woman.
- Another round of trash pick-up changes has been announced by the city.
- File under “good news, maybe?” — you’ll soon be able to buy Powerball tickets online in Illinois.
- The biggest will-they-or-won’t-they of the GOP convention: the Reagan hologram. Except it’s not because the “news” is satire.
- A bunch of Notre Dame players have gotten in trouble but Allen Pinkett thinks that can be a good thing because if anything can turn a collegiate sports team around, it’s arrests.
- Well, there’s been at least one good thing about the Cubs this year and that’s Darwin Barney’s record-setting defensive performance.
- It’s official: the NFL will use replacement refs for at least Week One of the regular season. As if officiating couldn’t get any worse…
- The battle between the NHL players union and the league continues as the two sides try to reach an agreement on a new labor deal and sidestep another lockout for the league.
- Were juiced balls partially to blame for the explosion of home runs during MLB’s so-called “steroids era”?
The Daily Show correspondent Samantha Bee absolutely crushes it at the GOP convention.