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Various guns are displayed at a store on July 18, 2022, in Auburn, Maine. Most U.S. adults think gun violence is increasing nationwide and want to see gun laws made stricter.

Various guns are displayed at a store on July 18, 2022, in Auburn, Maine. Most U.S. adults think gun violence is increasing nationwide and want to see gun laws made stricter.

Robert F. Bukaty

The Rundown: Most U.S. adults want stricter gun laws

Hey there! It’s Tuesday, and I’m torn between soaking up the last of summer and wanting to put up my Halloween decorations. Here’s what you actually need to know today.

1. Most U.S. adults say they want stricter gun laws, a new poll shows

Researchers found broad public support for a variety of gun restrictions — including from people who identified as Republicans and those living in gun-owning homes.

The poll was conducted between July 28 and Aug. 1 by the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy and The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research after several mass shootings around the country.

As AP reports: “The poll shows bipartisan majorities of Americans support a nationwide background check policy for all gun sales, a law preventing mentally ill people from purchasing guns, allowing courts to temporarily prevent people who are considered a danger to themselves or others from purchasing a gun, making 21 the minimum age to buy a gun nationwide and banning those who have been convicted of domestic violence from purchasing a gun.”

Researchers also found that eight in 10 Americans think gun violence is increasing in the U.S., and about two-thirds say it’s rising in their state. However, less than half of people polled believe gun violence is increasing in their community. [AP]

2. A whistleblower complaint claims Twitter hid security flaws

The former head of security at Twitter says the company prioritized growth and bonuses over reducing spam — and misled its own board and federal regulators about issues with security, according to a complaint obtained by The Washington Post.

Peiter Zatko’s complaint paints Twitter as “a chaotic and rudderless company beset by infighting, unable to properly protect its 238 million daily users including government agencies, heads of states and other influential public figures,” the newspaper reports.

The complaint also alleges Twitter violated an 11-year-old settlement with the Federal Trade Commission when the company claimed to have a solid security plan.

Twitter has dealt with hacks for years, including of high-profile users like Elon Musk and former presidents Barack Obama and Donald Trump. [Washington Post]

3. As many as one in six U.S. tree species face extinction

About 100 U.S. tree species could be wiped out by invasive insects, a surge in diseases and climate change, according to an assessment published today in the journal Plants People Planet. The list includes coast redwoods, American chestnuts, black ash and whitebark pine.

But the federal government only recognizes eight tree species as endangered or threatened, The Washington Post reports.

“It’s easy to feel that gloom and doom because … the scope of the crisis is really, really great right now,” said Murphy Westwood, vice president for science and conservation at the Morton Arboretum in Illinois and a lead author of the study. “We’re losing species before they even get described.” [Washington Post]

4. A Chicago cop accused of involvement in the Jan. 6 attack has rejected a plea deal

A Chicago police officer accused of breaching the U.S. Capitol and entering a senator’s office during the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection rejected an offer today that would have dropped the most serious charges against him, my colleague Chip Mitchell reports.

Officer Karol J. Chwiesiuk was on medical leave from the Chicago Police Department when he traveled to the Jan. 6 rally supporting then-President Donald Trump, according to prosecutors, who said he texted photos of himself inside the Capitol while wearing a sweatshirt with CPD’s logo.

He was arrested in June 2021 on federal charges that include entering a restricted building, disrupting government business and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds with the intent to impede a congressional proceeding. He is on a leave of absence from CPD. [WBEZ]

5. Illinois counties claim in a lawsuit that pharmacy chains are feeding the opioid crisis

Nineteen Illinois counties filed a lawsuit against some of the country’s largest pharmacy chains for allegedly failing to monitor and restrict improper opioid prescriptions, the Chicago Tribune reports today.

All Illinois counties in the Chicago area except Lake are part of the lawsuit. A spokeswoman for Lake County told the Tribune the county is considering its own litigation.

The lawsuit claims pharmacies run by Walgreens, CVS, Krogers, Meijer, Albertsons and Walmart “failed to design and operate systems to identify suspicious orders of prescription opioids, maintain effective controls against diversion and halt suspicious orders when they were identified, and instead actively contributed to the oversupply of such drugs and fueled an illegal secondary market.” [Chicago Tribune]

Here’s what else is happening

  • Chicago’s top doctor shows cautious optimism on monkeypox. [WBEZ]

  • Illinois residents may be owed money in a class-action settlement with Snapchat. [NBC Chicago]

  • The coronavirus variant you’re first exposed to can affect how well a fall booster works. [Washington Post]

  • Two men have been found guilty in the plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. [AP]

Oh, and one more thing …

NASA’s James Webb telescope has taken new images of Jupiter’s moons, rings, auroras, altitude levels and cloud covers.

You can see bands of blue and gray in the middle, with rainbow-colored hues at the poles.

The white bands indicate cloud cover — including the Great Red Spot, a storm that “could swallow Earth,” according to NASA.

“We hadn’t really expected it to be this good, to be honest,” planetary astronomer and UC Berkeley professor Imke de Pater told NPR. “It’s really remarkable that we can see details on Jupiter together with its rings, tiny satellites and even galaxies in one image.” [NPR]

Tell me something good ...

Back-to-school is one of the unofficial markers of the end of summer. As a relatively new Chicago resident, I spent much of my summer checking off bucket list experiences like Lollapalooza, street festivals and baseball games. But as the season comes to an end, I’m wondering what your favorite smaller-scale events or activities are that I should check out next year?

Jane says:

“If you have the opportunity, see a concert at Canal Shores. OK, it’s Evanston, but it was a treat to see Elvis Costello there. Small crowd, VIP area for those who want/need/can afford it. Relaxed. Fun.”

Paul from Hermosa says:

“Order a Purple Martin from the California Clipper!”

Feel free to email me, and your response might end up in this week’s newsletter.

The Latest
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