Newsletter: The Weather Is Nasty Out There

Commuter Snow SMALLER
A commuter makes his way to work through snow and slush on Monday, Nov. 11, 2019. Manuel Martinez / WBEZ
Commuter Snow SMALLER
A commuter makes his way to work through snow and slush on Monday, Nov. 11, 2019. Manuel Martinez / WBEZ

Newsletter: The Weather Is Nasty Out There

Hey, it’s Monday! And this is how I’m approaching the day today. Here’s what you need to know. (PS: You can have this delivered to your inbox by subscribing here.)

1. Wild weather in Chicago

A hearty autumnal snowstorm hit the Chicago region this morning, leading to snarled traffic, hundreds of flight cancellations and this excellent photo of a family from Michigan posing in front of a snow-covered Cloud Gate.

Get out your winter gloves and watch out for ice, because meteorologists are expecting as much as six inches of snow today followed by a high temperature of just 22 degrees tomorrow.

Icy conditions earlier this morning caused an American Airlines flight from North Carolina to slide off the runway at O’Hare. No one was injured, but in what might be an indication of how used to this we are, a Chicago Fire Department district chief called the incident “pretty benign.” [Chicago Tribune]

And the kicker? It’s [checks wall calendar of motivational quotes] only Nov. 11!

2. The impeachment inquiry enters a new phase this week

Witnesses will testify in public this week in the House impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump.

On Wednesday, expect open testimony from two diplomats: William Taylor, the acting U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, and George Kent, the deputy assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs. On Friday, the committee is scheduled to hear from the former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch.

Lawmakers have already heard from these witnesses behind closed doors, but House investigators hope the open hearings will shape public opinion. [NPR]

Meanwhile, former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley called Trump’s efforts to force Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden “not a good practice” but not impeachable in an interview with NPR. [NPR]

3. Is Walgreens for sale?

A new report from Bloomberg indicates that a private equity firm is interested in buying Deerfield-based Walgreens, an acquisition “that would almost certainly be the largest private takeover in history,” according to CNN.

A number of things have hurt Walgreens recently. Along with its rivals CVS and Rite Aid, the retailer has faced increased pharmacy competition from Walmart and Amazon. And last week, The Washington Post reported that Walgreens distributed nearly one out of every five of the most addictive opioids at the height of the opioid crisis.

Walgreens shares rose today on news of its possible sale. [CNN]

4. A violent day in Hong Kong

A police officer shot a young protester in the middle of an intersection in Hong Kong today. Across town, a man arguing with protestors was set on fire. As of this evening, both were in the hospital fighting for their lives.

Months of anti-government protests have thrown Hong Kong into its worst political crisis in decades. What began as a fight over a Chinese extradition bill has morphed into a broader call for democracy and police accountability in the semiautonomous region.

“Neither side seems to agree on what the future should look like under Chinese rule,” writes the New York Times. “And neither seems willing to compromise.” [New York Times]

5. Today is Veterans Day

Here are a few stories in honor of those who served.

The New York Times has the story of a group of 85 veterans from central Illinois who last month took part in an ‘honor flight’ trip to war memorial sites in Washington, D.C.

When they arrived at Ronald Reagan National Airport, they were met with cheers and applause. “Walking through that airport when we landed was the most emotional experience I’ve had in relation to the Vietnam War,” said Mike Sims, who served in the Air Force. “I’ve never had anything like it.” [New York Times]

Here are photos from Veterans Day celebrations across the country. [USA Today]

Earlier this year, nine deported U.S. veterans shared their stories with WBEZ. They spoke of their combat-related illnesses and how they long to return home. [WBEZ]

And if you’re a veteran, here’s a list of places around Chicago that are offering up free meals today. [Chicago Sun-Times]

Here’s what else is happening

  • Teachers will begin voting Thursday to accept or reject their tentative contract agreement with Chicago Public Schools. [Chicago Tribune]

  • Bolivia is in crisis following the resignation of its president amid protests over election fraud. [NPR]

  • The Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba said it sold $38.4 billion worth of goods on ‘Single’s Day.’ [TechCrunch]

  • Disney’s new streaming TV service debuts tomorrow. [AP]

Oh, and one more thing …

The recorder: It’s a cheap, flute-adjacent instrument that can inflict squeaky torture on friends, family and almost certainly the dog when you bring it home from grade school.

The recorder is rarely featured in contemporary music, so why did most of us have to learn to play one in school?

In this episode of Curious City, WBEZ’s Monica Eng asked that question to a retired Oak Park music teacher who taught the recorder for 17 years. The answer? Among other things, “The fact that it’s a simple, direct melody instrument makes it the perfect instrument for young learners.” [WBEZ]

Tell me something good …

The planes were grounded and the weather is still bonkers out there, and that’s already got us dreaming about getting the hell out of dodge. What are your getaway plans this winter?

Me? I’ve got a friend who’s getting married in Mexico sometime next year, and honestly it can’t come soon enough.

Feel free to email or tweet us some of your travel plans, and we might share your responses here this week.

Thanks for reading and have a nice night! We’ll see you tomorrow.